Andy Santerre Honored For Third Straight Busch North Series Title; Quarterley, Seaman, Dion, Stefanik also Take Top Awards UNCASVILLE, Conn. -- Andy Santerre received his third consecutive NASCAR Grand National Division, Busch North Series ...
Andy Santerre Honored For Third Straight Busch North Series Title; Quarterley, Seaman, Dion, Stefanik also Take Top Awards
UNCASVILLE, Conn. -- Andy Santerre received his third consecutive NASCAR Grand National Division, Busch North Series championship ring to highlight and conclude Saturday night's Busch North Series awards ceremony at the Mohegan Sun Resort.
Joining Santerre as a third time honoree was crew chief Roger Tryon, while Joe Bessey received the champion car owner award for the second straight year. Bessey was unable to attend the ceremony and engine builder Dennis Fischer accepted on his behalf.
In addition to their championship laurels, Santerre's Aubuchon Hardware Chevrolet team was recognized as a group with the series' Sportsmanship Award, voted by the series officials based on their record of helping other teams, including their closest rivals for the title.
Santerre, the 36-year-old Cherryfield, Maine native, became the second driver in Busch North Series history to win three consecutive championships, joining Jamie Aube who recorded the hat trick from 1988 to 1990. He scored five wins, nine top-five, and 12 top-ten finishes while outdistancing runner-up Mike Olsen by 206 points. In his acceptance remarks, Santerre noted that his current team will not return intact for 2005 and his plans for next season are uncertain, but also expressed the desire to add to his collection of championship rings before he thinks of retirement.
Elsewhere during the busy evening of presentations, Dale Quarterley and Ryan Seaman each collected two major awards. Quarterley, who finished third in the final standings, was honored with both the POWERade Power Move of the Race Award and the Featherlite Most Improved Driver Award, while Seaman claimed the Auto Meter Rookie of the Year Award and the series' Driver Improvement Award.
Two of the Busch North Series all-time greats earned prestigious accolades. Dave Dion received the Busch Pole Award championship after setting the fastest qualifying time on three occasons in 2004, and Mike Stefanik was voted Most Popular Driver by the NASCAR members participating in the series.
The Bunk Sampson Award, presented by the family of the late Busch North Series Director, was given to long-time series official Jim St. John, while the Busch North Series Auxiliary honored Thelma Corey for her long-time service to the organization. The series 18th annual banquet featured FOX TV broadcaster Mike Joy as master of ceremonies and was attended by an audience of over 500 in Mohegan Sun's Uncas Ballroom.
BUSCH NORTH SERIES BANQUET NOTES
Special guests at the Busch North Series banquet included former Daytona 500 winning crew chief Frank Stoddard and his wife Heidi, who were part of the Mike Olsen Little Trees team party. Stoddard got his start in racing as a teenage crew member for Olsen's grandfather Stub Fadden.
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The great success enjoyed by the Busch North Series team at the NASCAR Toyota All-Star Showdown last month at Irwindale (Calif.) Speedway was frequently mentioned during the evening, notably by Andy Santerre and Mike Stefanik. Each of them had a good view of the 150-lap race -- they were both eliminated by mechanical failure within 15 laps, but the remaining Busch North teams went on to sweep nine of the top ten places, led by race winner Mike Johnson, Matt Kobyluck, and Joey McCarthy.
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Previous "three-peat" champion Jamie Aube, who was present as a top 20 driver in the 2004 standings, was recognized for his pioneering achievement by master of ceremonies Mike Joy just before Santerre took the stage. Aube and Santerre are the only three-time champions in series history; the Busch North title has never been won three times without being recorded consecutively.
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The Busch North Series has long been known as a family-oriented series. That was emphasized again by the Women's Auxiliary service award to Thelma Corey, who is part of a four-generation family at many races with daughter Elaine Stockwell, grandson Kip Stockwell, and great-grandson Cam Stockwell. Cam made his track debut early this year at age two months.
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Another family totally devoted to the Busch North Series is the Bouley family. Scott Bouley, who made the banquet's premier fashion statement in white formal wear from head to foot, achieved a career goal by starting every race and finishing in the top 20 with one car and one engine. Scott noted, however, that they went through two trailers and three tow vehicles during the year.