SANTERRE OUTDUELS KOBYLUCK FOR 22nd BUSCH NORTH VICTORY IN STAR COUNTRY/DOMINIC'S SAUSAGE 150 AT MOTOR MILE SPEEDWAY; TAKES POINT LEAD FROM TEAMMATE STEFANIK RADFORD, Va. -- Andy Santerre shifted his "Tour for Four" into high gear Saturday...
SANTERRE OUTDUELS KOBYLUCK FOR 22nd BUSCH NORTH VICTORY IN STAR COUNTRY/DOMINIC'S SAUSAGE 150 AT MOTOR MILE SPEEDWAY; TAKES POINT LEAD FROM TEAMMATE STEFANIK
RADFORD, Va. -- Andy Santerre shifted his "Tour for Four" into high gear Saturday night at Motor Mile Speedway by winning a side-by-side duel with Matt Kobyluck in the Star Country/Dominic's Sausage 150, the first ever stand-alone appearance of the NASCAR Grand National Division, Busch North Series south of the Mason-Dixon Line. It was Santerre's 22nd career victory, third on the all-time list.
Ryan Moore prevailed in an equally tense battle for third over Mike Olsen, Mike Stefanik, Eddie MacDonald, and Jerry Marquis. Dale Shaw, Rogelio Lopez, and John Salemi completed the top ten. Santerre gained the Busch North Series point lead for the first time in 2005 as he seeks his fourth straight title. Santerre leads Stefanik by 15 points, Kobyluck by 49, and Moore by 88 with five races remaining.
Santerre started eighth and never threatened to take the lead until after he pitted for two right side tires, along with most of the other contenders, at lap 83. By lap 110 he was back in the top five, and from lap 112 to 116 he waged door-to-door combat with teammate Mike Stefanik for third place. That was only a prelude to the drama to come. After taking second place from Ryan Moore he dropped to the low side of Kobyluck on lap 130 and stayed there until he cleared his rival on the 135th tour. The lead change was officially recorded on lap 132.
The first 40 laps belonged to first-time Busch Pole winner Sean Caisse. He pulled away effortlessly until Joey McCarthy blew his engine in turn one and Caisse spun into the wall. He tried to continue but damage to the front end left him 22nd in the 25-car field. Brian Hoar then led for nine laps until his engine expired, giving Moore (17 laps) and Olsen (31 laps) their turns at the lead until Kobyluck took over at lap 98. Olsen, the last of the leaders to pit, was on the move in the closing laps but could only advance to fourth. In all, six drivers exchanged the lead seven times.
Salemi earned the POWERade Power Move of the Race Award and Kobyluck scored the Featherlite Most Improved Driver Award. Santerre averaged 64.887 miles per hour and won by 0.612 seconds. Seven caution periods consumed 38 laps, but 20 cars were running at the finish with 14 on the lead lap.
The Busch North Series continues next Saturday night with the eagerly-anticipated return to the series' birthplace, the Fisher Snow Plows 150 at Oxford Plains Speedway in Oxford, Maine.