MIKE STEFANIK BREAKS LONG WINLESS STREAK FOR HIMSELF & HIS TEAM IN FUCCILLO AUTO PARK HUGE 150 AT HOLLAND SPEEDWAY; TEAMMATE SANTERRE 2nd; KOBYLUCK 3rd TO KEEP POINT LEAD HOLLAND, N.Y. -- Mike Stefanik broke into the NASCAR Grand ...
MIKE STEFANIK BREAKS LONG WINLESS STREAK FOR HIMSELF & HIS TEAM IN FUCCILLO AUTO PARK HUGE 150 AT HOLLAND SPEEDWAY; TEAMMATE SANTERRE 2nd; KOBYLUCK 3rd TO KEEP POINT LEAD
HOLLAND, N.Y. -- Mike Stefanik broke into the NASCAR Grand National Division, Busch North Series win column for the first time since 1998 and gave his team its first victory in three years by taking Saturday night's Fuccillo Auto Park HUGE 150 at Holland International Speedway. Stefanik won the Busch Pole and led all the way to edge teammate and defending champion Andy Santerre by 0.221 seconds. Matt Kobyluck, winner of the season opener, fought his way to third to maintain the point lead. Dave Dion and Joey McCarthy completed the top five.
Stefanik had been winless since returning to the series and teaming up with Grizco Racing in 2003. His last win had come at Lime Rock Park in Lakeville, Conn. to end his second straight championship season in October 1998. Grizco's last win had come with driver Brad Leighton in 2002. This year, team owners Steve and Peg Griswold completely reorganized their team, moving operations to North Carolina under the direction of three-time defending champion Santerre. It was Grizco's first one-two finish in ten years of Busch North Series racing, and the 11th win for Stefanik, who has remained a regular winner in the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour during his Busch North Series drought.
While Santerre followed in Stefanik's tracks most of the night, he turned up the pressure in the last few laps and was nearly along side Stefanik at the checkered flag. Highlight of the race for the large crowd and the live HDNet television audience was the intense battle for second between Santerre and Kobyluck which raged for the final half of the race, reaching its peak from laps 119 to 126 when they ran side-by-side around the high-banked 3/8-mile oval. Kobyluck had cleared Santerre and set off in pursuit of Stefanik when a car spun in front of the leaders but kept moving without drawing a caution flag, and Santerre retook second in the resulting scramble.
Joey McCarthy earned the POWERade Power Move of the Race Award for advancing nine positions, from 14th at the start to fifth at the finish. Ryan Moore, who finished ninth, captured the Featherlite Most Improved Driver Award for moving up 19 spots from the preceding race at Stafford (Conn.) Motor Speedway. Sean Caisse, in tenth, was the top Sunoco Rookie of the Year contender. As a result of his third place finish, Kobyluck maintained a slim ten point lead over Santerre in the Busch North Series standings.
Time of Race: 49 minutes,17 seconds
Avg Speed: 68.482 MPH
Margin of Victory: 0.221 Sec
CAUTION PERIODS: 5 for 23 laps
LAP LEADERS: Mike Stefanik 1-150
BUSCH POLE AWARD: Mike Stefanik, Burnham Hydronics Chevrolet (14.596 seconds @ 92.491 mph)
POWERade POWER MOVE OF THE RACE AWARD: Joey McCarthy, Tech-Air Chevrolet (advanced 9 places start to finish)
FEATHERLITE MOST IMPROVED DRIVER AWARD: Ryan Moore, R.C. Moore Chevrolet (improved 19 places from last race)