Andy Santerre's Protege Youngest Winner at South Boston East Race

Mary Jo BuchananSenior Writer IMay 31, 2009

Andy Santerre, four-time Champion of NASCAR's Camping World Series East has a penchant for spotting and developing new, up and coming talent.  Santerre did it again this weekend with his sixteen year old protege Brett Moffitt winning the race.

Moffitt became the youngest race winner ever in the East Series history, surpassing even Joey Logano, who won a West Series race just one month before his seventeenth birthday.

This weekend, Moffitt was exactly sixteen years, nine months, and 23 days old when he accepted the checkered flag in Victory Lane for Andy Santerre Motorsports.

Moffitt featured his own website on the ASM no. 44 Chevy.  It was a solid race weekend, from practice to qualifying to the race itself.

Moffitt and two other rookies battled in the first practice, with Moffitt coming out with the fastest lap at 16.110 seconds.

Dustin Delaney beat Moffitt and won second practice.  But again, Brett Moffitt was in the hunt, finishing in the fifth fastest position.

It was again a battle of these rookies for the Coors Light Pole Award.  Ryan Truex won that fight, securing his first career pole for the race.

Moffitt came in second for qualifying and Sean Caisse, another driver formerly under the tutelage of Andy Santerre, came in third.

After the National Anthem, invocation and command to fire the engines given by  former Nationwide Series Champ Randy LaJoie, Truex and Moffitt were ready to lead the field to the green.

Truex and Moffitt battled each other for much of the race, trading the lead three times. But when all was said and done, it was young Moffitt who took the checkered flag with a substantial lead.

The top ten finishing order for the South Boston 150 East Series race was:

1.   Brett Moffitt

2.   Ryan Gifford

3.   Ryan Truex

4.   Jody Lavender

5.   Max Gresham

6.   Alan Tardiff

7.   Sean Caisse

8.   Ty Dillon

9.   Eddie MacDonald

10.  Dustin Delaney

Past Champion Matt Kobyluck came in eleventh and other NASCAR notable Steve Park finished in the thirteenth spot. Chase Mattioli, grandson of Dr. Rose and Doc Mattioli, owners of Pocono Raceway, finished 22nd after a tough race involving several spins.

Moffitt said after the race that his car was "perfect."  He continued, sharing that "The Lord was definitely with me, especially on that last straightaway."

Owner Andy Santerre coached Moffitt all the way.  "Andy kept telling me to save the right rear and I did just that", said Moffitt.

Moffitt also shared that he and Andy Santerre Motorsports are seeking sponsorship to race for the full East season.  The young driver hopes that this kind of win will attract the needed funding to do just that.

"I can't say enough about him; he's a heck of a talent", said Santerre of his protege.  "I knew he would be good".

The win puts Moffitt in second place in the Camping World Series East point standings.  Moffitt is now just 26 points back from leader Jody Lavendar.

Moffitt is no doubt looking forward to his next race with mentor and car owner Andy Santerre.  The team will head next to the road course at Watkins Glen for the East race on Saturday, June 6th.

Sources:  Penny Aicardi; Home Tracks.

Photo Credit:  Steve Dykes/Getty Images for NASCAR