SEAN CAISSE OUTDUELS KOBYLUCK IN TSI HARLEY-DAVIDSON 150 AT STAFFORD MOTOR SPEEDWAY STAFFORD SPRINGS, CONN. -- Sean Caisse won his second straight NASCAR Grand National Division, Busch East Series race to start the 2006 season Friday night,...
SEAN CAISSE OUTDUELS KOBYLUCK IN TSI HARLEY-DAVIDSON 150 AT STAFFORD MOTOR SPEEDWAY
STAFFORD SPRINGS, CONN. -- Sean Caisse won his second straight NASCAR Grand National Division, Busch East Series race to start the 2006 season Friday night, coming out on top of a fierce duel with front row mate Matt Kobyluck in the TSI Harley-Davidson 150 at Stafford Motor Speedway. The pair were the only race leaders, swapping the lead among themselves eight times.
Caisse took the lead for the final time by finding forward bite on a restart with 12 laps to go, then denying Kobyluck's attempt to use Stafford's famous "bottom shot" pass in turn one. It was the same move Kobyluck had used earlier on lap 53 to gain dominance of the event's middle stages.
Mike Olsen, who shadowed the leaders for much of the race, was third for the second week in a row. Dave Dion, making his 2006 debut, charged into contention in the closing laps to grab fourth, while southern visitor Jody Lavender made up for a late-race disappointment on home turf in South Carolina last week by completing the top five. Charles Lewandoski, Ryan Seaman, Joey McCarthy, Jeff Anton, and Bryon Chew were sixth through tenth. It represented a best career finish for both Lavender and Lewandoski.
Stafford favorite Ted Christopher was a prime contender until an accident which also involved John Salemi sent him to the pits after 122 laps. A few laps later, a strong run by Mike Johnson ended in a turn one accident. Brian Hoar, runner-up in the season opener, never took the green flag due to last-minute engine trouble. Ten cautions periods resulted in 63 laps being run under the yellow flag. Attrition was high, with only 18 cars running at the finish, of whom a dozen were on the lead lap.
Caisse won the Busch Pole award, while Seaman's drive through the field from 22nd to seventh netted him the POWERade Power Move of the Race. McCarthy was the Featherlite Most Improved Driver, climbing 17 places from last week. For the second straight race, Dion Ciccarelli led the Sunoco Rookies.
Sophomore sensation Caisse, driving for four-time champion Andy Santerre, finds only the most-laps led bonus earned by Kobyluck at Stafford keeping him from a perfect score after two races. He now leads the series by 30 points over Kobyluck and 40 over Olsen heading to next Saturday's Fucillo Auto Park HUGE 150 at Holland (N.Y.) International Speedway.