* Joey Logano Becomes First Rookie Champion Of NASCAR Busch East Series * Caisse Wrestles Dover Sunoco 150 Win From Logano, Repeats As Championship Runner-Up * Jeffrey Earnhardt Wins First Career Bud Pole Award, Posts Best Finish Of 2007 ...
* Joey Logano Becomes First Rookie Champion Of NASCAR Busch East Series
* Caisse Wrestles Dover Sunoco 150 Win From Logano, Repeats As Championship Runner-Up
* Jeffrey Earnhardt Wins First Career Bud Pole Award, Posts Best Finish Of 2007 Campaign
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Sept. 25, 2007) - Joey Logano (No. 20 Joe Gibbs Driven Chevrolet) finished second but became the NASCAR Busch East Series' first rookie champion in the Sunoco 150 at Dover International Speedway Friday afternoon.
Sean Caisse (No. 44 Casella Waste Systems Chevrolet) took the race lead from Logano with just seven laps to go, and then withstood a final charge by Logano to win by a car length.
Pole winner Jeffrey Earnhardt (No. 1 Bass Pro Shops/Tracker Boats Chevrolet) turned heads with a contending run to finish third. It was the 18-year-old Earnhardt's best finish of the season and his fourth top-five finish over the last six races of the season.
While the top-three finishers were the event's primary contenders throughout the event, other drivers who led the event included John Freeman, Jesus Hernandez and Bryon Chew.
"This is definitely the coolest thing I've ever done," the 17-year-old Logano said of winning the 2007 NASCAR Busch East Series championship as a rookie.
"We set a goal at the beginning of the year to win the championship," Logano said. "We went into every race thinking we could win, and that's what you have to do."
He also said the NASCAR Busch East Series was the perfect place for him to begin his NASCAR racing career.
"This is a great series," Logano said. "You get to go to The Monster Mile, to Loudon, to Iowa. You go to all those different places and you're racing with some great guys who are great drivers."
Caisse, the oldest of the top-three finishers at 21, said he didn't think a win was in the cards for him as the Sunoco 150 headed for conclusion.
"I honestly think we had a third-place car," Caisse said after his fourth win of the season. "Jeffrey had the best car of the three of us, I believe."
On the race's final restart, Caisse slipped by Earnhardt to take over second, and then took the lead from Logano with seven laps to go. He won by .172-second.
"We were able to get a good run on the inside and put some pressure on Joey, which enabled us to get by him at the end. It was a really good run for us. We finished second in points after struggling a little bit early in the season. This is a good way to wrap it up," Caisse said.
Earnhardt agreed with Caisse's assessment of his Chevrolet.
"I felt like we were the best car in long runs and probably the worst car on restarts," Earnhardt said. "I really have to hand it to Sean for winning the race. He kind of let me go, thinking I was going to get Logano and the next thing I knew, he was leading."
Earnhardt was pleased to wrap up his rookie NASCAR Busch East Series season with his best finish of the year - his fourth top-five finish in the final six races.
"We made it into the top five in points in my rookie year, and I didn't think we would be able to do that," Earnhardt said. "We sat on the pole at Dover which was pretty awesome. We had it all together. I think coming here to test really helped us. We had a good car and a great day."
Jesus Hernandez (No. 4 Allstate Chevrolet) placed fourth, followed by Tim McCreadie (No. 31 Camping World/RVbank.com Chevrolet.)
By virtue of NASCAR's lower age limit of 16 starting this year for its touring series, Logano is also the youngest champion of the series as well. Logano turned 17 on May 24. Logano scored an unprecedented fifth NASCAR Busch East Series victory in his rookie season at New Hampshire International Speedway in Loudon, N.H., Friday, Sept. 14. He finished the season with 10 top-five finishes in 13 starts.
Logano, a development driver by Joe Gibbs Racing, revealed uncommon talent by leading the series point standings all but one week during the early season, and drove on to five wins and 10 top-five finishes in 13 races. That set a record for races won by a rookie. The previous record was two-win seasons by three different drivers.
Logano praised his teammates in sharing the title.
"My crew chief, Mike Sibley, is one of the greatest out there," Logano said. "Everyone on the team has worked so hard, and it paid off. Every time we went to the race track we had a chance to win. But there are ten teams who could win every single week. The NASCAR Busch East Series has great competition."
Chase Austin (No. 99 HomeLife Dodge) posted his rookie season's best finish of sixth followed by Marc Davis (No. 92 WHUR 96.3 Chevrolet), Steve Park (No. 54 Waste Management/Recycle America Chevrolet), Peyton Sellers (No. 83 Strutmasters.com Chevrolet) and Max Dumarey (No. 16 Bodycoach.net Chevrolet).
Following Logano and Caisse in the final top 10 in series points were Sellers, Matt Kobyluck, Earnhardt, defending series champion Mike Olsen, Rogelio Lopez, Jamie Hayes, Marc Davis and Jeff Anton.
Series drivers are now preparing for the post season's rich and prestigious NASCAR Toyota All Star Showdown scheduled for Oct. 20 at Irwindale (Calif.) Speedway.