Andy Santerre Motorsports Sweeps Mansfield Caisse Scores Third Win and Fifth Pole of the Season; Earnhardt Takes Fifth CONCORD, NC (August 27, 2007) -- Sometimes, when a race team is firing on all cylinders, nothing can...
Andy Santerre Motorsports Sweeps Mansfield
Caisse Scores Third Win and Fifth Pole of the Season; Earnhardt Takes Fifth
CONCORD, NC (August 27, 2007) -- Sometimes, when a race team is firing on all cylinders, nothing can keep it down -- not even Mother Nature. The Andy Santerre Motorsports team rolled into Mansfield Motorsports Park (OH) Saturday for the NASCAR Busch East Series' first-ever 150-lap event at the half-mile track amidst rain storms that could have derailed not just the team, but the entire event.
But nothing was going to keep ASM away from success in Mansfield. The rain showers Saturday came both before the main event and after, but during the race, team ASM was right where it has been in recent weeks; up front.
Sean Caisse wheeled the Casella Waste Systems #44 Chevrolet to its fifth pole on the 2007 BES season and the 20-year-old driver prevailed in a hard-fought battle with Matt Kobyluck for his third victory of the year. Following him to the checkered flag was ASM teammate and Dale Earnhardt Inc. Development Driver Jeffrey Earnhardt, who scored his second-straight top-five finish in the Bass Pro Shops / Tracker Boats #1 Chevrolet.
"It was a good weekend for us," said ASM team owner and four-time series championship-winning driver Andy Santerre. "With Sean, sitting on the pole, his fifth of the year, and going on to get the win, we're glad to get him back on track. He's had a tough season with just a couple mechanical things and a couple wrecks. We just haven't had the luck we hoped for this year, but we've been the dominant car at most of the races. There's only been three races where we were outrun. We're going to keep digging.
"At Stafford earlier in the year, we sat on the pole and dominated the race, but the car broke while we were leading. After that, I said 'guys, this is the third race in a row that we've had trouble, so let's just go from here and focus on winning races and forget all the other stuff.' I think if you take your focus off the points and focus on running hard, I think you run better. It takes the pressure off.
"Since then, We've been climbing up the ladder. We've climbed from 11th up to third in points, so hopefully we'll stay up in the top-three and get as high as we can."
Caisse took the lead early and led all but 12 laps of the 150-lap main event, but numerous caution flags would close the rest of the field up to the rear bumper of the Casella #44. On two of the restarts, Kobyluck would take the advantage over Caisse, but the young racer was not going to let the win get away from him. Caisse took the lead for the final time on lap 137 and cruised to victory number-three on the year.
"My car was flawless the whole night and really what I think paid off was practice," said Caisse. "I tried running a really, really low line because I knew this place would get tight. We started the race pretty much on the free side and I was hoping for those clouds to come so it would tighten up a bit. They came and I don't think the car got much better, but it was easier to drive. My hat is off to this team and to my sponsor Casella Waste Systems for making this possible. We were pretty excited to come here to Mansfield for the first time, and to get a pole and a win is just incredible."
Making the Mansfield trip even sweeter for the ASM team was the fifth-place result of Jeffrey Earnhardt in an ASM-prepared #1 Chevrolet for DEI.
"It seems like everywhere we've been testing with Jeffrey, he's done really well," said Santerre. "Going to some of these tracks for the first time has been hard on him because there's limited practice. He went out and felt real comfortable and he did a great job. He qualified third and finished fifth. That's two weeks in a row he's done that. We're all real proud of him.
The ASM team now shifts their focus to the penultimate event on the 2007 NASCAR Busch East Series schedule. The #44 and #1 ASM machines will venture to Loudon, NH for the Aubuchon Hardware 125 on Friday, September 14th.