KELLY MOORE SCORES RECORD 27th BUSCH EAST SERIES VICTORY AT NHIS; TITLE CONTENDERS HIT TROUBLE BUT OLSEN EXPANDS LEAD OVER CAISSE TO 57 POINTS WITH TWO RACES TO GO LOUDON, N.H. - Kelly Moore, the all-time leader in NASCAR Grand ...
KELLY MOORE SCORES RECORD 27th BUSCH EAST SERIES VICTORY AT NHIS; TITLE CONTENDERS HIT TROUBLE BUT OLSEN EXPANDS LEAD OVER CAISSE TO 57 POINTS WITH TWO RACES TO GO
LOUDON, N.H. - Kelly Moore, the all-time leader in NASCAR Grand National Division, Busch East Series victories who was racing for only the second time in 2006, navigated flawlessly through a caution-filled New Hampshire 125 at New Hampshire International Speedway on Saturday afternoon to score his 27th career triumph in the series and his fifth at NHIS. Brian Hoar, Bryon Chew, west coast visitor Andrew Myers, and Tracy Gordon completed the top five in the race shortened to 104 laps by time constraints. Ryan Seaman, Peyton Sellers, Ruben Pardo, point leader Mike Olsen, and Jerry Marquis finished sixth through tenth.
Moore, who was the 1995 champion and leads the series in virtually every career statistical category despite limiting his schedule for the past two seasons, started 23rd and took the lead for the only time on lap 89 from Hoar. He pulled away on the green-white-checker finish to record a 0.941 second margin of victory. He was the last of eight leaders who swapped the lead 11 times. Sean Caisse showed early strength before giving way to Jeff Anton when most of the leaders pitted at lap 21. Anton paced the next 22 laps, the first laps led in his career, before stopping for service. During that time, point leader Mike Olsen spun and went to the back of the field.
A renewed battle between Caisse and eight-time NHIS winner Brad Leighton ended at lap 69 when they tangled in turn 3 with Matt Kobyluck, who was subsequently parked for the day. Moore took the lap 78 green flag in fourth place behind Brian Hoar, Dave Dion, and Peyton Sellers. While he was briefly passed by Bryon Chew, Moore took less than a dozen laps to move to the lead and never let go.
Andrew Myers advanced all the way from 41st to fourth, winning the POWERade Power Move of the Race Award. Tracy Gordon improved seven places from the last race at Waterford (Conn.) Speedbowl to capture the Featherlite Most Improved Driver Award. No Busch Pole Award was made after time trials were rained out on Thursday and the field was set by car owner points. Moore averaged 69.211 miles per hour as eleven caution periods slowed the action. Of the 46 car starting field, 37 were running at the finish with 34 on the lead lap. Ruben Pardo expanded his lead in the Sunoco Rookie of the Year race to three points over Dion Ciccarelli.
Busch East Series championship contenders, Olsen and Caisse, both appeared to be on the brink of disaster after their separate on-track incidents, but Olsen rallied to finish ninth, leading one lap, and Caisse was 14th while leading the most laps. As a result, Olsen extended his lead to 57 points with two races remaining. The next round is next Friday at Dover (Del.) International Speedway.