Caisse Hopes to Give ASM Team an Irwindale Victory Young Driver Turned Heads at Track Last Season, Now He's Going out to Finish the Deal CONCORD, NC (October 13, 2006) -- They say that stars are born in California and that isn't just true in...
Caisse Hopes to Give ASM Team an Irwindale Victory
Young Driver Turned Heads at Track Last Season, Now He's Going out to Finish the Deal
CONCORD, NC (October 13, 2006) -- They say that stars are born in California and that isn't just true in the film industry. It is the case in racing as well.
Last season, Sean Caisse showed up for the NASCAR All-Star Showdown at Irwindale Speedway (CA) as the newly-crowned NASCAR Busch North Series [now known as the Busch East Series] Rookie of the Year. In front of a healthy California crowd and a much larger live television audience, Caisse went on to win his qualifying race and place fourth in the feature event.
In the off-season that followed, Caisse was chosen as the driver for the Andy Santerre Motorsports #44 entry, sponsored by Casella Waste Systems. This year, Caisse and the ASM team won three races and finished as runners-up in the Busch East standings.
So Caisse has some very positive memories of the place where he saw his first NASCAR Touring Series checkered flag being waved at him.
"That place is a beautiful facility," said Caisse. "I had never been to the West Coast before, so it was cool just to go out there and fly into Los Angeles, much less to race. We went out there, won the heat race and stayed out of trouble in the feature and finished in the top five."
This year, Caisse hopes to deliver something special in California for his team owner Andy Santerre. In three Showdowns as a driver, Santerre was fast but luckless. Now he faces the possibility of winning the race with Caisse behind the wheel.
"We fell a little bit short of winning a championship this year," said Caisse. "I really wanted to get that for all of ASM -- Andy, Sue and all of the guys who helped us out this year. Now, we just have to go out there and try to win this race. It's not quite 'checkers or wreckers' for us, but we do want to win it really bad. There's some money at stake. It pays well to finish first."
The old racing adage, "To finish first, you must first finish," might sound a little bit trite and overused, but Caisse knows that it is also very true.
"What I did last year...that is the same attitude that I need to have for this year's race. You've got to ride the first 100 laps and those last 50, you just need to haul.
"We're bringing my favorite car out there. It's one that I won three races with this year. I'm confident in my equipment and I know that we're going to have a killer set-up for out there. I'm pretty optimistic about a good finish. I think that we'll have a top three car."
Another added component to the Showdown is the fact that the top 15 drivers in the Busch East standings will team up against their counterparts from the NASCAR AutoZone West Series for a mini-title of sorts to be decided. There is extra prize money available to participants of the winning team, but even more important are the bragging rights. Caisse is looking forward to working with his competitors this time out to chase a victory.
"Last year, we [The Busch North/Busch East Series] might have been a little bit more dominant, but this year I think that it has evened out. It will be interesting to see where everyone stacks up against each other. A few of the guys have come from out West to run our races and they've been right there. I think that it will be a close match."
The schedule for the Toyota All-Star Showdown begins Friday, Oct. 20 with an afternoon practice session for both divisions, followed by twin 50-lap qualifying races on Friday evening. The results of Friday's races will determine the starting lineups for the main events on Saturday. SPEED will televise both nights of racing while NASCAR Radio on XM Satellite Radio will also provide play-by-play coverage.