New Team, Same Winning Attitude Brings Sean Caisse to Greenville DEFENDING ROOKIE OF THE YEAR HOPES TO KICK OFF BUSCH EAST TITLE RUN WITH ASM CONCORD, NC (June 6, 2006) -- Four-time defending NASCAR Busch East Series (formerly Busch North...
New Team, Same Winning Attitude Brings Sean Caisse to Greenville
DEFENDING ROOKIE OF THE YEAR HOPES TO KICK OFF BUSCH EAST TITLE RUN WITH ASM
CONCORD, NC (June 6, 2006) -- Four-time defending NASCAR Busch East Series (formerly Busch North Series) Champion Andy Santerre knows a bit about winning season-opening races. For three straight seasons, Santerre won the first race of the then-BNS campaign at Lee USA Speedway (NH). That kicked off a season that led to a championship in all three of those years.
This year, though as the series is open for business, there are a lot of differences. Santerre has moved into an ownership and crew chief role of Andy Santerre Motorsports with new driver Sean Caisse. The series won't be opening the schedule at Lee, but hundreds of miles away at Greenville Pickens Speedway in South Carolina for June 10th's An American Revolution 150.
About the only thing that's the same from all those years of success with Santerre behind the wheel are the winning attitude of the ASM team and the 2005 Rookie of the Year Caisse.
"This may be a totally new venture for us, but we're excited to get this season started at Greenville," said Caisse. "Every time Andy went out and won the season opener, he won the championship at the end of the year. That just goes to show how important it is to start off the season running well. If you win that first race, everyone's chasing you from then on. That's a lot more fun than chasing other people.
"We want to win, there's no doubt about it, but if we can go out and run strong and show everyone that we will be strong all season long. We're going go stay out of trouble and if we've got a fourth place car, then we'll finish fourth. We're just trying to stay consistent and contend for wins. Nobody usually remembers who won the races, but everyone knows who won the championship and that's our goal."
While Caisse may be opening his season at Greenville, he's been logging plenty of laps at the historic half-mile in recent weeks. The ASM team brought the Casella Waste Services #44 to Greenville twice in preparation for the June 10th event. Caisse used the opportunity to learn a new track and to communicate with the new team.
"Each driver when they're expressing what's wrong with the car, it takes a while for the crew chief to fully understand what the driver wants. Everybody's got a different vocabulary. Luckily Andy and I have found a common understanding on what kind of adjustments to make to the car. We've been at a racetrack testing four times already since the winter time, so we've been able to come up with a really good communication level. He's a great driver and he knows these cars and these tracks like the back of his hand.
"When we started testing over the winter, I just kept my mouth shut on the radio and just let him know what I felt the car doing so I could hear him tell me what he would normally do. He's a driver and a four-time champion, so obviously I'm going to learn all that I can from him. Now we're at the point where we can make suggestions to each other to make the car better."
The communication is there and Caisse knows how to drive at Greenville, now the only thing left to do is to get a good run to start off the season that the 20-year-old driver hopes to end with another championship trophy for his car owner to add to the collection.
"If we want to have any shot at winning the championship this year, it's going to be very important to come out of the gate on fire. Starting off the season running up front will really carry this team through the season."
It won't be easy to get the season started off on a high note, as the tricky Greenville track, in Caisse's eyes, will throw the Busch East pilots some curveballs on race day.
"The track is about as flat as Beech Ridge, but it doesn't have anywhere near as much grip. I like the place, I think it's an awesome racetrack, but track position is going to play a huge role in the outcome of the race. It's going to be pretty tough to pass guys there, plus if you're running mid-pack or farther back, there's a wall on the inside and the outside of the track. So if someone ahead of you gets tangled up, you've got no place to go, so you've got to run up front if you expect to have a shot.
"You're definitely going to need some pretty good brakes because you have to get hard on the brakes in the corners. Whoever gets into and off the corners the best is going to win, and I think we've got the right package to get the job done."
The An American Revolution 150 is scheduled to take the green flag at Greenville-Pickens Speedway at 8:00pm live and in high-definition television on HDNet.