Sean Caisse Moving Past Misfortune at NHIS; Puts Focus on Dover ASM Setting Sights On Repeat Victory at The Monster Mile CONCORD, NC (September 18, 2006) -- Sean Caisse and the Andy Santerre Motorsports team are in contention for the 2006 ...
Sean Caisse Moving Past Misfortune at NHIS; Puts Focus on Dover
ASM Setting Sights On Repeat Victory at The Monster Mile
CONCORD, NC (September 18, 2006) -- Sean Caisse and the Andy Santerre Motorsports team are in contention for the 2006 NASCAR Busch East Series championship. Although their chances for the title took a hit during Saturday's running of the New Hampshire 125 at New Hampshire International Speedway, the 20-year-old driver, his car owner and crew chief, four-time BES champion Andy Santerre, as well as everyone involved with the ASM operation remain steadfast in their hunt for the 2006 title as the series heads to Dover International Speedway on September 23rd.
"Dover is the place where I got my first top-three finish of my career last year," said Caisse. "The place means a lot to me, that's for sure. Not surprisingly, it's one of the places that I really want to win on this series, but I think winning there would be more special than anyplace else."
The other track that Caisse wanted badly to win at was at New Hampshire International Speedway. Earlier this season, Caisse's #44 Casella Waste Systems Chevrolet was the dominant machine on the 1.058-mile oval located not far from the driver's hometown of Pelham, NH. Caisse qualified on the pole and led the most laps, but a tire issue in the closing laps resulted in a still-satisfying second-place finish in July. But because he was kept out of victory lane, Caisse was even more pumped up for a victory, and an opportunity to close the points gap between himself and championship leader Mike Olsen in the series' return engagement at NHIS.
Saturday afternoon, Caisse was again the class of the field. In fact, he led the most laps for the sixth time this season. He started on the outside pole, as Bud Pole Qualifying was rained out and the field was set by owner points. Just like in July, Caisse checked out to a sizable lead early and was in the catbird's seat as the field was slowed by numerous caution flags throughout the race. Caisse relinquished his lead to make a pit stop with other lead-pack cars while other cars stayed at the front of the field. Caisse restarted deep in the pack, and showed patience beyond his years racing back to the front without incident. Caisse took the lead again at lap-55 and led until contact with another front--runner started a chain of events that caused severe damage to the #44. It ended the team's chances for victory on what seemed to be a banner day for ASM.
Even after what seemed to be a race-ending incident, the ASM team kept digging with sights on the championship. When the smoke had cleared and the checkered flag flew, Caisse had brought home a 14th-place finish and now stands 56-points behind Olsen for the championship with two races remaining.
"I'm really proud of my guys. I'm not going to give up. I don't know if that (NHIS race) is the breaker between the championship or not. If it is, so be it. Things that happen on the racetrack are out of my hands. There is nothing that I can do about it nor is there anything I can say that will change it."
Rather than dwell on the rough NHIS weekend and avoiding any repercussions from the on-track skirmishes, Caisse and the ASM team are already back in their North Carolina race shop doing what they do best -- preparing winning racecars that hopefully will make a return visit to Dover's victory lane. Team owner Andy Santerre won in the #44 machine last season, and Caisse will look to equal that feat on September 22nd, then get in the seat of a NASCAR Busch Series entry for Kevin Harvick, Inc. the next day as he makes his series debut at Dover.
"There is sun on the horizon for me and this team. I'm working with a great guy in Andy Santerre. I've got a great deal with Harvick. We just have to look at Dover as another opportunity to close the gap on Mike (Olsen) and get back to victory lane."