For many young drivers, just getting the opportunity to get into the seat of a race car is a challenging quest, especially in these tough economic times.
For 24-year-old Sean Caisse, his dream has been realized, and he is more excited than ever to get back behind the wheel of a race car.
Caisse will make his Nationwide Series debut with RAB Racing this weekend. He will be back on the track piloting the No. 09 Ford Fusion in Saturday’s Federated Auto Parts 500 at Nashville Superspeedway.
“I’m just excited for the opportunity that RAB is giving me,” Caisse, a former K&N Pro Series East Rookie of the Year, said. “I couldn’t be happier getting an opportunity with better people.
“I got contacted by Robby Benton who was looking for a driver and my name got brought up. Luckily he called me up and it went from there.”
It has been admittedly a difficult year for Caisse, whose only time on the track was earlier this year when he competed in the K&N Pro Series Toyota All-Star Showdown. Caisse had a top-five car, but broke a drive shaft on lap 128, finishing 37th.
Although he has been doing some testing and spotting, for someone so passionate about racing, not being behind the wheel has been most challenging.
“That’s the only race I’ve run this year,” Caisse said. “It’s a humbling experience what I’m going through, but I feel like I’m humble enough and I want to stop humbling.
“I just want to get back in a car. The rest will take care of itself.”
Caisse is excited to race at Nashville for a number of reasons. First and foremost, the up-and-coming driver thinks that this opportunity may be his chance to shine and attract sponsors for future races.
“Any time you can get on the racetrack and perform and show yourself, it’s an opportunity to open the eyes of whoever, sponsors or clients,” Caisse said. “It’s an opportunity that you need to capitalize on.”
Caisse is also excited to get to Nashville, where he has some experience.
“I always run well there,” Caisse said of Nashville Superspeedway. “It’s a really fun race track. I learned a lot from Carl Edwards when I went there last time. He was arcing his car out a lot. What I’ve learned from last time running there, I feel very confident to be able to compete up front, especially with the RAB Racing underneath me.”
Another reason that Caisse wants to get back to the track is to reconnect with old friends.
“I’m looking forward to seeing Justin Allgaier again,” Caisse said. “He’s been running strong in his Penske Verizon car. I want to be able to race against him.”
Caisse previously raced against Allgaier in the ARCA Series.
Caisse also looks forward to having the opportunity to race primarily with the Nationwide regulars, as many Cup drivers will be occupied with the race at Pocono this weekend.
“At least there’s not 20 Cup guys to compete against,” Caisse said. “It will be good to learn from them but not be overwhelmed by them.”
With all of the anticipation around the race weekend, Caisse is also very cognizant of the difficult times faced by the host city, with the recent flooding in Nashville. He is hoping, along with the other Nationwide drivers, to bring some hope and healing to the fans in the devastated area.
Caisse is not only anticipating what awaits on the track this weekend. He is also excited about what is happening off the track, with his wife expecting their first child, due in September.
But most of all, Caisse is looking forward to fulfilling his ultimate goal: Getting back to racing at the Nationwide level.
“I am so fortunate that Robby Benton and RAB Racing is giving me this opportunity,” Caisse said passionately. “That makes me feel good.
“My main goal is to drive my a** off. If that puts me in a position to win, I got nothing to lose and everything to gain.”