NASCAR GRAND NATIONAL DIVISION, BUSCH NORTH SERIES PRE-RACE NOTES New England Dodge Dealers Twin 100, Thompson International Speedway, Sunday, October 30, 2005 * Andy Santerre can clinch his unprecedented fourth consecutive Busch North Series...
NASCAR GRAND NATIONAL DIVISION, BUSCH NORTH SERIES PRE-RACE NOTES
New England Dodge Dealers Twin 100, Thompson International Speedway, Sunday, October 30, 2005
* Andy Santerre can clinch his unprecedented fourth consecutive Busch North Series championship by finishing 17th or better at Thompson, even if second place Mike Stefanik, his teammate, scores maximum points by winning the race and leading the most laps. Third place Ryan Moore will not race at Thompson due to NASCAR suspension. The only other driver with a mathematical chance at the title is fourth place Matt Kobyluck, but Santerre will eliminate him by qualifying for the race.
* Kobyluck and Moore are tied for the Busch Pole Award championship with three poles each. Even if Kobyluck does not win the Busch Pole at Thompson on Saturday, he will clinch the title by qualifying for the race since last place points would move him ahead of Moore in the final Busch North Series standings, which serve as the tiebreaker for all seasonal awards.
* Sean Caisse has clinched the Sunoco Rookie of the Year title. In fact, the top five places in the Sunoco Rookie standings -- Caisse, John Salemi, Jeff Anton, Joe Masessa, and Charles Lewandoski- cannot change at Thompson.
* John Salemi and Kip Stockwell are tied for the POWERade Power Move of the Race Award seasonal honors, and a three-way tie exists among Matt Kobyluck, Brian Hoar, and Eddie MacDonald for the Featherlite Most Improved Driver honors. Numerous drivers could join the tie in both categories at Thompson, again with the final point standings deciding the issue if necessary.
* It's not an official award category, but Matt Kobyluck is assured of winning the most Busch North Series races in 2005. He has four wins to two each for Andy Santerre, Mike Stefanik, and Ryan Moore. If Kobyluck should win at Thompson, he would have won at every operating speedway in his home state of Connecticut in 2005.
* It would be difficult for the identity of the 15 drivers who will earn automatic Busch North Series invitations to the NASCAR Toyota All-Star Showdown scheduled for November 10-12 at Irwindale (Calif.) Speedway to change at Thompson provided all the contenders qualify for the 30-car field. Kip Stockwell, in 15th place, leads Scott Bouley in 16th by 103 points, meaning Bouley needs to finish 29 places ahead of Stockwell to earn a ticket to Irwindale. If Stockwell, 14th place Dale Shaw, or 13th place John Salemi should fail to qualify, the scenario changes dramatically. Bouley is within 118 points of all three.
* Drivers outside the top 15 can receive invitations to the NASCAR Toyota All-Star Showdown if any of the top 15 decline. Scott Bouley leads Jeff Anton by just five points for 16th position, the next driver to be invited to Irwindale if any of the top 15 decline.
* The Busch North Series half of the New England Dodge Dealers Twin 100 is the only "twin" that will actually be run. The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour end of the scheduled doubleheader has been superceded by the 125-lap World Series of Stock Car Racing event, which like the New England Dodge Dealers Twin 100's, was rained out earlier this month.
* This is the first time that the Busch North Series season has ended at Thompson International Speedway. However, it is the 12th time in 13 years that the series has concluded in Connecticut. >From 1993 to 2003, Lime Rock Park's road course was the scene of the finale. Last year the Busch North Series ended at Dover (Del.) International Speedway.
* It's also not the latest finish to a Busch North Series season. The 1995 campaign ended at Lime Rock on November 4.