NASCAR GRAND NATIONAL DIVISION, BUSCH EAST SERIES NEWS & NOTES DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (October 11, 2006) -- It's not like carpooling from Braintree to Boston or from Morristown to Manhattan, but it accomplishes the same goal. Three Busch East...
NASCAR GRAND NATIONAL DIVISION, BUSCH EAST SERIES NEWS & NOTES
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (October 11, 2006) -- It's not like carpooling from Braintree to Boston or from Morristown to Manhattan, but it accomplishes the same goal. Three Busch East Series teams, each with an open slot in its stacker trailer, are planning to pair up with another team for the cross-country haul to the NASCAR Toyota All-Star Showdown at Irwindale (Calif.) Speedway, October 20-21. Kip Stockwell's No. 16 Sabil & Sons/Randolph National Bank/EastSeries.com Chevrolet will ride aboard the Anton Racing rig with Jeff Anton's No. 30 Engineered Floors Chevrolet. Tracy Gordon's No. 33 The Woodworks/Archer Corp. Ford will join Mike Johnson's No. 96 Johnson Lumber Ford in the Johnson Racing hauler. Finally, the team which started the "share the ride" theme last year, Willoughby Racing, will carry the No. 84 Jamerson Racing/Star Sales Ford of Dion Ciccarelli along with its own No. 15 Waste Management/BG Environmental Chevrolet for John Salemi.
RUNNING THE NUMBERS -- TOYOTA ALL-STAR SHOWDOWN STYLE: The 15 drivers invited to represent the Busch East Series at the Toyota All-Star Showdown total 43 career wins in the series, of which nine were scored in 2006. The biggest winner on the team is the last driver to qualify for the Showdown, Tracy Gordon, with 12 career wins. Matt Kobyluck has 10 wins, Mike Johnson seven (not including his 2004 Toyota All-Star Showdown win), Mike Olsen six, Sean Caisse three, and Joey McCarthy, Bryon Chew, Brian Hoar, Ruben Pardo, and Kip Stockwell one each.
There will be another 38 series wins sitting on pit boxes at Irwindale. Andy Santerre, winner of 23 races, is crew chief for Sean Caisse and six-time winner Dale Quarterley fills the same role for Jeff Anton in the Busch East Series, while nine-time winner and three-time champion Jamie Aube works with Andrew Myers (No. 4 Toyota of Escondido Chevrolet) in the AutoZone West Series .
It's a generally youthful Busch East Series team as well, with ages running from 19 to 40. John Freeman (No. 22 SuperCuts./Family Dollar Dodge) is the youngest. As for the two senior members, let's just say each has the same family name as a driver in the Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup.
RUNNING THE NUMBERS -- REGULAR SEASON STYLE: It was a competitive season for the Busch East Series by any measure. Here are a few of those measures.
In 11 races, there were seven winners, 18 drivers scored at least one top-five finish, and 28 recorded at least one top 10. Of 71 drivers scoring points, 19 were present at every race. Pointing toward a strong future, 18 of those drivers had never competed in the Busch East Series prior to 2006.
Starting fields were nearly 100 percent filled. Not counting New Hampshire International Speedway, where the starting field shown on the entry blank was expanded in both July and September to accommodate the increase in entries over previous years, there were 253 starters for 256 places in the race lineups.
All three participating manufacturers were represented in the top 10 of the final point standings. Chevrolet, with strength in numbers, was the choice of the series champion for the tenth straight year, but Brian Hoar gave Dodge fourth and Mike Johnson kept the Ford flag flying in seventh.
Dodge joined the winners' ranks thanks to Ruben Pardo (No. 12 Movida/Family Dollar Dodge) at Lime Rock Park, but Ford failed to win for the first time since 1993. Also, for the first time, not a single Pontiac was entered in a Busch East Series race.
MORE RECORDS FOR KELLY MOORE: Even though he only competed in two races, Kelly Moore (No. 47 NAPA Auito Parts/Bill Dodge Chevrolet) extended a number of the series records he already held. He scored his 27th victory at NHIS in September, which also marked his 125th top five, his 192nd top 10, and his 329th start, all records. His money won total, $1,549,511, is sure to remain a record for at least one more year, although Mike Olsen's final winnings for 2006, bolstered by his champion's post-season awards and potential Toyota All-Star Showdown winnings, should put him within striking distance.
Moore didn't win a Busch Pole in 2006, but since his total of 47 (the same as his car number) is more than double that of runner-up Dave Dion, his record is certainly safe for quite a while.
The race: NASCAR Toyota All-Star Showdown
The drivers: Top 15 drivers from each of the two series in the NASCAR Grand National Division, including the Busch East Series and AutoZone West Series ... Top 10 drivers from each of the four series in the NASCAR AutoZone Elite Division, including the Midwest Series, Northwest Series, Southeast Series and Southwest Series.
The place: Irwindale (Calif.) Speedway
The dates: Friday, Oct. 20 and Saturday, Oct. 21
Radio: NASCAR Radio on XM Satellite Radio (Channel 144)
Posted awards: $500,000
Track layout: Half-mile oval
2005 Grand National Division winner: David Gilliland
2005 Elite Division winner: Auggie Vidovich