Caisse Masters The Bump And Run; Wins At Dover by Penny Aicardi
Logano is Officially Crowned Busch East Champion
Sean Caisse took the battle of Dover.... (51 Photo)
Sean Caisse used a bump-and-run on lap 144 of the Sunoco 150 to take the lead from Joey Logano and win the NASCAR Busch East Series season finale at Dover International Raceway Friday afternoon. Caisse held off the determined driver on the final restart for the checkers, and secured second place in the point standings.
“It was pretty cool, huh?” said Caisse after-the-fact. “It was short track racing. He bumped me a few times this year and I race my competitors the way they race me. I got an opportunity and I seized the day. He’s been a great competitor all year and I know he’s moving up in his career. I’m sure we’ll be racing in the future. It was a good run for him and his team and congratulations on the championship.”
Caisse, who last year wrecked three cars in a single weekend at the ‘Monster Mile’, led a total of four times throughout the event. The win was his fourth this season, and concluded one of the biggest turnarounds of the year. Caisse struggled for several weeks after his win in Minnesota, and dropped as far back as 12th in the points. He turned it around at Thompson International Speedway in July.
“We came back from a lot of adversity - we had four bad weeks in a row. It just goes to show we do have a championship-caliber team because we came back from so far,” he said.
Caisse started the race from third, but became a factor as early as lap 14 when he drag-raced Logano down the frontstretch on a restart for the lead. Caisse led for six circuits before succumbing to the pressures of Logano.
Caisse, along with many of the lead lap cars, came down pit road following a lap 55 caution with Caisse returning to the field in seventh position. Logano opted to stay out and continued to lead the event. Logano pitted and handed the lead over to John Freeman, but it only took four laps before Caisse moved his No. 44 Casella Waste Systems Chevrolet back to the head of the pack. It didn’t last long, however, as Caisse again came down pit road to top off the fuel.
Caisse re-entered the race in tenth position and took only 15 laps to get back out front. His efforts were foiled, however, by Logano on lap 121 when he passed Caisse on a restart.
Caisse’s teammate, Jeffrey Earnhardt, followed Logano and moved into second. Earnhardt sat on the pole for the start of the race.
“Jeffrey ended up catching me and I let him go because I knew he had a better car. Then that caution came out at the end,” Caisse explained.
The final green flag flew at lap 141 with a nine lap dash to the checkers. Logano went out front, but on lap 143, Caisse gave the driver of the No. 20 Joe Gibbs Driven Oil a bump before moving underneath him for the lead.
“I probably should have done what Sean did to Logano and we would have won the race,” joked Earnhardt. “We would run (Logano) down and get right behind him and just get really tight. We did that for a while and then the caution came out and we had been terrible on restarts.”
Logano, Earnhardt, Jesus Hernandez, and Tim McCreadie rounded out the top-five finishers. While Caisse was popping champagne in victory lane, however, Logano was enjoying a celebration of his own: the 2007 NASCAR Busch East Series Championship.
Logano is the youngest driver ever to win the series title, and the first driver to break a 17-year-old rookie record held by Ricky Craven. He’s also the first rookie in the series to ever win the championship.
“My crew chief Mike Sibley is one of the greatest out there. Everyone on the team has worked so hard, and it paid off. Every time we went to the race track we had a chance to win. But
...while Joey Logano was the war for the 2007 NASCAR Busch East Series championship. (NASCAR Photo)
there are ten teams who could win every single week. The NASCAR Busch East Series has great competition,” said Logano.
Peyton Sellers moved into third in points with Matt Kobyluck and Jeffrey Earnhardt rounding out the top-five.
Kobyluck’s slide down the point ladder was due in large part to an accident at lap 106. Under caution, Jesus Hernandez made contact with Kobyluck’s Mohegan Sun Casino Chevrolet.
“To get wrecked under caution is one of the stupidest things that could happen on the racetrack,” said Kobyluck. “We took the caution when we went underneath the start/finish line and he wrecked me in turn two.”
The final event for the 2007 season is the NASCAR Toyota All-Star Showdown – a non-points event with the NASCAR West Series, Grand National Division. Guaranteed positions are available to the current champion, Joey Logano, and past winners Caisse, Kobyluck, Eddie MacDonald, and Rogelio Lopez. The event is scheduled for October 20th and will be broadcast live on SPEED TV.
NASCAR Grand National Division,
Busch East Series-Sunoco 150 Results
Friday, Sept. 21, 2007
Dover International Speedway
Lap length: 1 mile
(Start position in parentheses)
1. (3) Sean Caisse, Pelham, N.H., Chevrolet, 150 laps, 83.929 mph, $13,500. 2. (2) Joey Logano, Middletown, Conn., Chevrolet, 150, $10,661. 3. (1) Jeffrey Earnhardt, Mooresville, N.C., Chevrolet, 150, $10,000. 4. (19) Jesus Hernandez, Fresno, Calif., Chevrolet, 150, $7,500. 5. (21) Tim McCreadie, Watertown, N.Y., Chevrolet, 150, $7,000. 6. (8) Chase Austin, Eudora, Kan., Dodge, 150, $6,000. 7. (15) Marc Davis, Mitchellville, Md., Chevrolet, 150, $5,700. 8. (18) Steve Park, East Northport, N.Y., Ford, 150, $4,600. 9. (5) Peyton Sellers, Danville, Va., Chevrolet, 150, $4,700. 10. (7) Max Dumarey, Gent, Belgium, Chevrolet, 150, $5,000. 11. (24) Richard Gould, North Brunswick, NJ, Chevrolet, 150, $3,700. 12. (20) Jerry Marquis, Broad Brook, Conn., Dodge, 150, $4,150. 13. (27) Jeff Anton, Russell, Mass., Chevrolet, 150, $4,100. 14. (11) Rogelio Lopez, Aquascalientes, Mexico, Chevrolet, 150, $4,000. 15. (25) Mike Olsen, North Haverhill, N.H., Chevrolet, 147, $4,550. 16. (28) Dion Ciccarelli, Severn, Md., Chevrolet, 146, $3,900. 17. (9) Ruben Pardo, Mexico City, Mex., Chevrolet, 140, $3,850. 18. (6) Eddie MacDonald, Rowley, Mass., Chevrolet, 139, $3,800. 19. (29) Scott Bouley, Wolcott, Conn., Chevrolet, 137, $3,750. 20. (26) Michelle Theriault, Bristol, Conn., Chevrolet, 136, $3,725. 21. (13) Matt Kobyluck, Uncasville, Conn., Chevrolet, 116, accident, $3,700. 22. (16) John Freeman, Huntersville, N.C., Chevrolet, 115, suspension, $3,675. 23. (17) Ryan Seaman, Toms River, NJ, Chevrolet, 113, accident, $3,150. 24. (33) Jonathan Smith, Beacon Falls, Conn., Chevrolet, 112, electrical, $3,600. 25. (12) Bryon Chew, Mattituck, N.Y., Chevrolet, 92, accident, $3,500. 26. (22) Tim Andrews, Mooresville, NC, Chevrolet, 85, engine, $3,000. 27. (10) Antonio Perez, Mexico City, Mex., Chevrolet, 84, accident, $3,000. 28. (14) Jamie Hayes, Norlina, N.C., Chevrolet, 64, accident, $3,500. 29. (4) Brian Ickler, Poway, Calif., Chevrolet, 42, suspension, $3,000. 30. (23) John Salemi, Nashua, N.H., Chevrolet, 73, engine, $3,500. Race Statistics Time of Race: 1 hour 47 minutes 14 seconds Margin of Victory: .172 seconds Fastest Qualifier: J.Earnhardt (151.413 mph, 23.776 seconds) Caution Flags: 8 for 54 laps. Lead Changes: 11 among 5 drivers. Lap Leaders: J.Logano 1-14; S.Caisse 15-21; J.Logano 22-65; B.Chew 66-68; J.Freeman 69-72; S.Caisse 73-86; J.Hernandez 87-91; J.Freeman 92-102; J.Hernandez 103-105; S.Caisse 106-120; J.Logano 121-143; S.Caisse 144-150. Standings: 1. J.Logano, 2123; 2. S.Caisse, 1957; 3. P.Sellers, 1862; 4. M.Kobyluck, 1840; 5. J.Earnhardt, 1736; 6. M.Olsen, 1721; 7. R.Lopez, 1671; 8. J.Hayes, 1661; 9. M.Davis, 1654; 10. J.Anton, 1630. Sunoco Rookie Standings: 1. J.Logano, 112; 2. J.Earnhardt, 82; 3. R.Lopez, 78; 4. J.Hernandez, 74; 5. J.Hayes, 72; 6. M.Davis, 65; 7. M.Theriault, 53; 8. C.Austin, 52; 9. J.Smith, 44; 10. M.Dumarey, 39; 11. T. Schendel, 31; 12. J.Pritchard, Jr. 17; 13. R.Jarvis, Jr. 14; G.Quiroga 5. (unofficial)