Andy Santerre Motorsports Shows the Way at Dover Caisse Takes Fourth Victory of the Season; Earnhardt a Career-Best Third CONCORD, NC (September 24, 2007) -- Dover International Speedway is commonly referred to as the "Monster...
Andy Santerre Motorsports Shows the Way at Dover
Caisse Takes Fourth Victory of the Season; Earnhardt a Career-Best Third
CONCORD, NC (September 24, 2007) -- Dover International Speedway is commonly referred to as the "Monster Mile," thanks in large part to the high-banked, mile-long racetrack's notorious reputation for tearing up racecars and leaving drivers shaking in their racing shoes from the wickedly intense action.
On Friday, September 21st, however, two drivers proved that they were not even the least bit intimidated by the "Monster," as Andy Santerre Motorsports brought both Sean Caisse and Jeffrey Earnhardt to podium finishes in the Sunoco 150 NASCAR Busch East Series event. Caisse's fourth victory of the season and Earnhardt's career-best, third-place finish concluded the 2007 BES season on a high note for team ASM.
"Obviously, it was a great race for the whole ASM team," said Team Owner Andy Santerre, himself a past Dover winner. "It was a lot of fun watching Sean and Jeffrey racing with each other and racing with Joey Logano, the series champion. Those three proved they were the class of the field at Dover. Even on Thursday in practice, we felt it was a three-man race. We thought we had a good shot at going to victory lane with the #1 (Earnhardt), but we weren't so sure about the #44 (Caisse). But in the end, Sean got up on the wheel and got after it. I'd say the driver won that race."
Caisse sewed up second in Busch East Series points with his fourth victory of the year in the Casella Waste Systems #44. The win, however, was not as simple as the strong car he had throughout the day may have shown. Caisse had to use some late-race short track prowess to get by BES Champion Joey Logano for the lead with just eight laps remaining. Just to have a shot to get the lead, Caisse had to battle his way to the front of the field at Dover, just as he had to climb up in points throughout the season after some mid-season bad luck to get back up to second in points for the second-straight season.
"It was short track racing for sure," said Caisse. "He bumped me a few times this year, and I race my competitors the way they race me. I got an opportunity (to take the lead) and I seized the day. He's been a great competitor all year, and I know he's moving up in his career. I'm sure we'll be racing in the future. It was a good run for him and his team and congratulations on the championship.
"We ended up second in the points, so I'm really proud of all my guys and my whole team. We came back from a lot of adversity - we had four bad weeks in a row. It just goes to show we do have a championship-caliber team because we came back from so far."
DEI Development Driver Jeffrey Earnhardt, in an ASM-prepared Bass Pro Shops/Tracker Boats-backed #1 Chevrolet, had perhaps the strongest car throughout the Dover weekend. Earnhardt put the #1 machine on the pole on Thursday, his first-ever Busch Pole Award, and battled with his ASM teammate Caisse and Logano at the front of the field throughout the 150-lap race Friday. The only thing that kept Earnhardt out of victory lane were some late-race restarts, but a third-place finish still was the perfect way for Earnhardt to wrap up his rookie season.
"We had the car to beat, that's all I can say," said Earnhardt. "The guys on this team gave me one heck of a racecar. I probably should have done what Sean did to Logano and we would have won the race. We would run him down and get right behind him and just get really tight. We did that for a while and then the caution came out and we had been terrible on restarts. I just have to give it to my guys; they made me run as well as I did. They're the ones who put the car under me, and they're the ones who have worked hard all year long."
Earnhardt wound up fifth in points in his rookie season on the Busch East Series with the strong run at Dover. Combine Earnhardt's fifth-place points result and Caisse's runner-up status at the end of the BES season, team ASM's stats impress the four-time BES driving champion Santerre.
"Jeffrey was pretty awesome," said Santerre. "We went to Dover and tested, and Jeffrey was really good. The car was real good; it was one of Junior's (Dale Earnhardt, Jr.) best cars. The thing ran flawless all weekend. Jeffrey hadn't been known for his qualifying this year, but we knew he had a good shot at the pole. He got up on the wheel, put it on the pole and did a great job in the race.
"In the race, Jeffrey was right there trying to pass Logano and was right there on him when the caution came out. That kind of hurt his chances right there because his car was a little slow on the restarts. Sean was able to get on the wheel and get by.
"The ASM team ended up getting first and third and we were all pretty pumped up about that. That's a good way to end the season."
While the Busch East Series' points-paying season may be over, team ASM still has one race remaining on its schedule. Sean Caisse and the Casella Waste Systems #44 Chevrolet will venture to Irwindale Speedway in California on October 19th and 20th for the Toyota All-Star Showdown, a big-money invitational race. The All-Star Showdown will be broadcast live on SPEED.