BNS: Stafford: Post-race notes

Martin Truex Jr. became the first Busch North Series driver to lead a race flag-to-flag since Mike Olsen at Thunder Road International Speedbowl on August 31, 2002. The victory was the first for Truex since this same event in July 2001,when he was...

Martin Truex Jr. became the first Busch North Series driver to lead a race flag-to-flag since Mike Olsen at Thunder Road International Speedbowl on August 31, 2002. The victory was the first for Truex since this same event in July 2001,when he was on the tail of a three-week stretch in which he won at Thompson and Stafford, separated by a close second to Brad Leighton at NHIS. In fact, Friday marked the first Busch North victory for Truex outside the month of July!

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Speaking of Mike Olsen, he would be happy to skip turn three at Stafford next time. Last September, the 2001 champion slammed into the turn three guardrail with the right front corner in the hardest accident of his career. Friday night he tested the same armco barrier with the left rear corner. Again, the wall won. This time he could at least drive away, but the car was never the same and he parked after 102 laps for 27th place.

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Andy and Sue Santerre became parents for the first time on Monday, May 5, with the arrival of Sara Elizabeth Santerre, weighing seven pounds and measuring 20 inches. Mother and daughter are doing well in North Carolina; father finished second, won the Powerade Power Move of the Race Award for position improvement, and extended his point lead. Not a bad week for all concerned.

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Bill Penfold missed a race due to injury for the first time in his Busch North Series career. While he walked away from his crash at Lee USA Speedway in the season opener without fractures or internal injuries, the rugged Maine driver was still feeling the effects of the impact a week later.

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A late-race accident robbed Bobby Dragon of a potential top-ten finish, something the 14-time Busch North Series race winner has not enjoyed since 2000. Dragon ran as high as sixth with Mark Willoughby's BG Environmental/Waste Management Chevrolet, but was 26th in the final rundown.

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Tom Carey announced his return to semi-regular Busch North Series action with a strong fifth place that could have been even better if not for a fourth-turn traffic jam just after he had moved into second at lap 110. The former Bud Pole champion has teamed with the Sta-Rite Water Systems team to run a limited schedule that will next see him in competition back at Stafford in June. Denny Doyle will also contest some races for his family's team, including the road courses where he was so successful in 2002. They won't even have to cut new vinyl for the car numbers: Carey is running as #03, Doyle as the familiar #30.

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Seven drivers made their first appearances of the season at Stafford. In addition to Truex and Carey, Jerry Marquis, driving the Darling family's Chevrolet, was 15th after involvement in the same skirmish as Dragon. Tom Bolles was the first car one lap down, in 18th, followed closely by Don Wagner in Jim Pritchard's Mannings USA Chevrolet. Wagner, incidentally, was coming off two straight modified wins at Mountain Speedway in St. Johns, Pa., where he is the defending champion.

Ryan Seaman made his first career Busch North Series start and was running in 24th place at the checker, while John Cerbone had clutch trouble and pulled behind the wall after 36 laps becoming the first car out. Like Wagner, Seaman continues to race in the open wheel ranks. The Toms River, N.J., driver is a regular in NASCAR Dodge Weekly Series competition at Wall Township Speedway. The last Wall graduate to join the Busch North ranks was Martin Truex Jr.

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The Raybestos Rookie-of-the-Year contest was evened up as Ryan Moore took race honors on the way to fourth overall. For Tim Andrews, the top rookie in the season opener at Lee USA, eleventh place was a solid effort after crashing and tearing up the left rear corner at the end of practice. Tim's dad, Winston Cup crew chief Paul Andrews, took advantage of a rare break in the Cup schedule to watch his son in action.

-nascar-

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Series NASCAR
Drivers Martin Truex Jr. , Ryan Moore , Tim Andrews