Caisse Brings ASM Team Another Top-Five and Second in Points Strong Finish Caps Off a Stellar Season for the Casella ...
Caisse Brings ASM Team Another Top-Five and Second in Points
Strong Finish Caps Off a Stellar Season for the Casella #44 Team
CONCORD, NC (October 2, 2006) -- The numerous twists and turns of the road course at Lime Rock Park (CT) could have played out just as many plotlines for Sean Caisse and the Andy Santerre Motorsports #44 Casella-backed team on Saturday afternoon. Caisse left last week's race at Dover second in the standings, but his chances for the championship were slim in the season finale at Lime Rock. As soon as championship leader Mike Olsen led a lap early in the Lime Rock event, Caisse was eliminated from the title chase, but he still had plenty to race for.
If the #44 team faltered at Lime Rock, Caisse could have fallen as far as fourth in the standings come race's end. Instead, Caisse did all he could with his racecar, even rallying back from an early spin, to finish an impressive fifth in just his second-career road course start, thus securing second in the final BES championship standings.
"We had more to lose than we had to gain in this race," said Caisse. "I knew that going in. We could've fallen back to fourth in the points. We've had a few issues the last couple of weeks and we needed a good rebound race. We needed to run a conservative race and I think we did. We ran the top-10, top-15 most of the race and we finished in the top-five. My guys have done a great job all year, and I have to congratulate Mike Olsen and the whole #61 'Little Trees' team on the championship."
Even though Caisse came up just shy of securing car owner Andy Santerre's fifth-straight BES title, he came ever so close and is now even hungrier than ever to get that championship of his own down the road.
"I think we're coming back next year. The deal's not sealed yet, but I'd like to go for a championship. I've learned a few things this year. I made a few mistakes, had a few equipment failures, but I think we're only going to be stronger next year. We'll go out there and run for a championship next year, and hopefully, it'll be me, Mike, Matt Kobyluck and all the other guys racing for the title.
"A championship would be nice, but it isn't that easy. It just goes to show you how hard it is to compete every week and to be able to run like Mike did all year. I think his worst finish was a ninth place and he finished every lap. He's a good points racer, and that's what makes him so competitive. We can't have the DNFs like we had this year, and I made a few mistakes out on the track that cost me some points also. You just can't go out there and win championships, but I have a great mentor in Andy Santerre in my corner. That's all we need."
While the regular season for the NASCAR Busch East Series wrapped up at Lime Rock, there is still one race on the ASM team's schedule, the Toyota All-Star Showdown at Irwindale Speedway (CA) on Saturday October 21st. Santerre has had impressive showings in Irwindale in the past, as has Caisse in 2005. The two will combine to take on the rest of the top-15 in points from both the Busch East and NASCAR AutoZone West Series in a battle televised in front of a live national audience on SPEED.