Roller Coaster Weekend for Andy Santerre Motorsports Caisse's Pole, Earnhardt's Rally and Williams' PASS South Win Highlight Weekend CONCORD, NC (June 11, 2007) -- Stafford Motor Speedway (CT) has become Andy Santerre...
Roller Coaster Weekend for Andy Santerre Motorsports
Caisse's Pole, Earnhardt's Rally and Williams' PASS South Win Highlight Weekend
CONCORD, NC (June 11, 2007) -- Stafford Motor Speedway (CT) has become Andy Santerre Motorsports' playground in recent years. Team owner Andy Santerre drove to two there wins back in his driving days and team ASM swept both the pole and the race win with driver Sean Caisse at the historic half-mile in 2006.
This year, things appeared to be lining up nicely for a continuation of that trend. Caisse scored his second-straight Stafford Busch Pole and appeared to be having a strong run in the race, but mechanical issues sidelined the #44 Casella Waste Systems machine before the young driver was able to salvage a 24th-place finish.
Dale Earnhardt, Inc. Development Driver Jeffrey Earnhardt did turn heads at Stafford in an ASM-prepared Bass Pro Shops/Tracker Boats #1 Chevrolet by rallying from his 20th-place starting position to finish 12th.
"We unloaded at Stafford and we were real fast," said Santerre. "I knew we had a shot at the pole with Sean because the car was really good. We went out and qualified on the pole and Sean said the car was perfect. He thought we could win with it pretty easy.
"We ran pretty much unchallenged for the first 30 or so laps and were looking good. A lot of the cars that were close, or even in the same league as us, were all overheating their brakes and their rotors were cherry-red and ours weren't even glowing. I thought we were sitting pretty. Then on about lap 40 or so, something broke. We brought it in and it turns out that the sway bar mount on the lower A-frame broke. That was pretty disappointing, but we fixed it and went back out and rode around. The last lap of the race, we were a couple tenths quicker than the leader, but we were out back riding around.
"It's frustrating when you break when you're that good, but I guess it happens."
Even though Caisse's result wasn't indicative of the type of night that it could have been for the Casella #44 bunch, Santerre was pleased with the effort of the 17-year-old Earnhardt.
"Yeah, he sure did have a good run," added Santerre. "He wasn't real happy with his qualifying run, but he picked away and ended up almost getting back up into the top-10, but he ended up a little bit short and came home 12th. He had a pretty decent night, didn't tear anything up and came out of there in one piece. That's something we haven't been able to do the last few weeks, so he did a good job.
"Another good thing that came out of the weekend was that we've got two whole cars, so we can concentrate on getting our Loudon stuff ready and we don't have to be repairing sheet metal the next couple weeks. We can just concentrate on making them go fast."
Even though the weekend at Stafford was up and down for Team ASM, there was a winning atmosphere in the race shop on Monday morning because an ASM crew member brought home a trophy of his own.
ASM employee and rising racing star Corey Williams scored his first-career Pro All Stars Series (PASS) South Super Late Model win hours after turning wrenches on Jeffrey Earnhardt's machine at Stafford. Williams, originally from Boothbay, Maine and now living in the Charlotte, NC area, hopped on a flight just a few hours after the Stafford Busch East race and got to Orange County Speedway in Rougemont, NC just in time to hop into his #47 Super Late Model. With Andy Santerre Motorsports adorning the sides and hood of his car, Williams powered to the lead late in the 150-lap race for the victory in one of the most competitive short track series in the Southeast.
"When the car left our shop, I didn't know if they were quite ready or quite prepared, but turns out they proved they had a good car," said Santerre of his employee Williams' race at Orange County. "He was real tired. He didn't get to bed until about 1:30 Saturday morning and had to get up at 3:30 to catch a flight out of Connecticut. It was a long day, especially with the rain delays at Orange County, but it paid off and he got his first PASS South win, so that was pretty big. At least we had one trophy in the shop on Monday morning."
Andy Santerre Motorsports will return to action when the NASCAR Busch East Series holds its first of two events at New Hampshire International Speedway in Loudon, NH on Friday, June 29th.