Santerre Determined To Win Grand National Showdown Race

IRWINDALE, Calif. (Nov. 11, 2004) -- Andy Santerre, the 2004 NASCAR Grand National Division, Busch North Series champion, is set to cap an already marvelous season with a victory in the Grand National portion of the Toyota All-Star Showdown Saturday at Irwindale Speedway. Santerre finished second in the inaugural event in 2003.

Goodyear is the exclusive tire supplier for NASCAR's Grand National Division, which includes the Busch North Series and the NASCAR West Series. The tire combination supplied at Irwindale for the Showdown is the same combination used at every track either series raced at this season, except the tracks measuring a mile or longer.

Santerre said the fact that the teams in both divisions have experience with the tire combination supplied for the Showdown helps to alleviate any advantage the West Series teams have from racing at Irwindale twice this season.

"It helps being used to that tire combination," Santerre said. "We know the air pressure and the stagger we want. It makes a difference. (The West teams) are used to the tire and we're used to the tire. It makes for a lot better race."

Goodyear's D1470 will be used on the left side of the cars and the D1471 will be used on the right. The tires are bias-ply racing tires and Chad Fletcher, Goodyear's Marketing Manager for the NASCAR Touring Series, said they were very effective in the two West races this season.

"This combination is the standard workhorse set up for the two series," Fletcher said. "We brought these tires to almost every race and, by now, the teams are very familiar with these tires."

The three-day event will include testing Thursday, qualifying races Friday and the main events on Saturday. Both the Grand National final and the NASCAR Elite Division feature will be carried live by SPEED Channel, starting at 11 p.m., Eastern Time.

The Grand National race will be 150 laps around Irwindale's high-banked, half-mile venue. The regular season West races at Irwindale were both 150-lappers and Fletcher noted the cars went the distance without pitting. The Showdown event includes a 10-minute pit stop during which the teams can make adjustments, including bolting on a fresh set of Goodyear tires.

"Should be good side-by-side racing," Santerre said.

The Busch North teams worked together at Irwindale in 2003, sharing information and even parts, in an effort to win the series-to-series championship. The effort paid off as the Busch North teams scored the most points and won the inter-series competition. West Series racer Austin Cameron won the race.

"We can have a lot of fun out here," Santerre said. "But we can have fun back home, too. The biggest reason we came here was to win this race."

Thanks to Goodyear, every team will have a chance.