EDDIE MacDONALD WINS BUSCH NORTH SERIES FINALE AT THOMPSON; ANDY SANTERRE IS FOUR-TIME CHAMPION BY 42 POINTS OVER TEAMMATE STEFANIK THOMPSON, Conn. -- Eddie MacDonald dominated Sunday's New England Dodge Dealers Twin 100 at Thompson...
EDDIE MacDONALD WINS BUSCH NORTH SERIES FINALE AT THOMPSON; ANDY SANTERRE IS FOUR-TIME CHAMPION BY 42 POINTS OVER TEAMMATE STEFANIK
THOMPSON, Conn. -- Eddie MacDonald dominated Sunday's New England Dodge Dealers Twin 100 at Thompson International Speedway, but Andy Santerre's eighth place was enough to clinch his unprecedented fourth straight NASCAR Grand National Division, Busch North Series title.
Mike Stefanik, Mike Olsen, Sean Caisse, and Matt Kobyluck followed MacDonald to the checkered flag. It was his second career victory but his first since 2002, and the first ever for Triple Crown Racing owner Jerry Morello. MacDonald, Morello, and crew chief Rollie Lachance joined forces this year and until Thompson they had often been fast, but unable to crack the top five finishing positions. The speed was there at Thompson as MacDonald qualified second and led all but eight of the 102 laps run, but this time there was staying power as well as he turned back challenges from Caisse in the early laps, Jerry Marquis at mid-race, and finally Stefanik in the closing laps. Those four drivers exchanged the lead six times through five caution periods for 34 laps. MacDonald's margin of victory was 0.411 seconds and he won $6,500.
Caisse scored his second Busch Pole Award of the season on Saturday, while Sunday's race found Brad Leighton earning the POWERade Power Move of the Race Award by advancing from 30th and last in the lineup to finish 13th. Caisse also received the Featherlite Most Improved Driver Award and was the top Sunoco Rookie contender for the eighth time in 2005.
Santerre needed only a 17th place finish to clinch the title, but that became much more difficult after he blew his primary engine on Saturday and was forced to start at the tail of the field as a result of the engine change, even after qualifying a lowly 23rd. He made steady progress, avoiding several tangles in front of him, and entered the top ten with 20 laps remaining. Unofficially, took the title by 42 points over his teammate Stefanik and 140 over Kobyluck. Mike Olsen, who edged Caisse for third place on the last lap, finished fourth in points.
While the twice-postponed Thompson event ended the Busch North Series regular season, there is still racing for 15 teams as the Busch North Series' best take on their NASCAR Grand National Division, West Series counterparts in the third annual NASCAR Toyota All-Star Showdown at Irwindale Speedway in southern California, November 10-12, seeking a third straight team title as Mike Johnson defends his individual honors. <pre> UNOFFICIAL BUSCH NORTH SERIES FINAL STANDINGS (wins) 1. Andy Santerre (2) 2120 2. Mike Stefanik (2) 2078 3. Matt Kobyluck (4) 1980 4. Mike Olsen 1933 5. Ryan Moore (2) 1884 6. Bryon Chew 1734 7. Sean Caisse 1682 8. Brian Hoar 1666 9. Eddie MacDonald (1) 1647 10. Mike Johnson 1618 11. Ryan Seaman 1616 12. Joey McCarthy 1553 13. John Salemi 1478 14. Dale Shaw 1475 15. Kip Stockwell 1442 16. Dave Dion (1) 1368 17. Jeff Anton 1346 18. Scott Bouley 1336 19. Joe Masessa 1130 20. Laine Chase 1016
NEXT RACE: NASCAR Toyota All-Star Showdown, Irwindale Speedway, Irwindale, Calif., Nov. 10-12 (vs. NASCAR Grand National Division, West Series)