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Dover Camping World East Race Bittersweet For Former Champ Andy Santerre

Mary Jo BuchananSenior Writer ISeptember 25, 2009

For four-time Camping World East Series Champion Andy Santerre, the race at Dover International Speedway is bittersweet.

It will mark the end of an era, with Santerre selling Andy Santerre Motorsports (ASM), while also marking a new beginning for Santerre with his new role at Revolution Racing in the Drive Diversity program.

"Sue (Andy's wife) and I discussed selling our business," Santerre said. "We've been doing this a long time and just the way the economy and the way things are going, we decided that we would put the business up for sale."

"We got a buyer back in August and we've been working on all the details," Santerre continued. "We've sold to a company called the 909 Group and they are handling the Drive for Diversity program for NASCAR."

Both Santerre and his wife will be going to work for the 909 Group, running under Revolution Racing, the racing arm of the business. Santerre will be the Competition Director for the Camping World East side of the house.

"Right now it looks like we're going to do four East teams," Santerre said. "So, I'll be handling that."

"It's pretty exciting and I'm up for the challenge."

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Yet Santerre admits that the move is bittersweet. Not only has Santerre always worked for himself, but he has also always been "hands on" with his race cars.

Santerre has owned ASM since 1995 and he acknowledged that he has mixed feelings about its demise.

"In one way, it's sad," he said. "But in another way, it's exciting, as I can just worry about making the cars go fast."

Santerre will be moving his shop to Revolution Racing's new headquarters in Mooresville, N.C. The Drive for Diversity program, Santerre's next assignment, will be housed in the shop formerly occupied by Braun Racing.

"We've got a lot of work to do in these next few weeks," Santerre said.

After the move, Santerre will face his next challenge in his new role, that of helping to choose the upcoming class of Drive for Diversity drivers in the combine that will be held Oct. 16th—19th.

"All the drivers will get to try out and show what they can do and I'll be there and be a part of it," Santerre said.

Santerre will be working with Drive for Diversity leadership Max Siegel and John Story, both of whom Santerre has known since their Dale Earnhardt, Inc. days. 

"Andy is the cornerstone of our program," Story said. "He'll really kick our program into high gear."

"This allows him to do what he loves best," Story continued. "We want to build winners and that's what he has done his entire career."

Santerre's wife will also be working with Revolution Racing, doing the licensing work with NASCAR, as well as making travel arrangements. Santerre also insisted on providing for his ASM crew members, and many of them will be joining the couple in their new venue.

For Santerre, his goal will be to work with his designated drivers in the Drive for Diversity program and to help them move along to the next level.

"They really want to get some young drivers started and bring them up through each series," Santerre said. "To get them to one of the top three is the plan."

"If we can get one moved up to the national ranks, that's our goal," he said.

But for this weekend, Santerre will be focused on getting his current ASM driver, Brett Moffitt, the best finish he can at the Monster Mile in the last race of the Camping World East Series season. 

"The goal for Dover is to finish well and to finish third in the points," Santerre said. "We need a good top-five finish and to stay out of trouble."

Moffitt qualified well and will start the Sunoco 150 in the fourth position in the race at Dover International Speedway. Moffitt had a time of 23.569 seconds at a speed of 152.743 mph in his qualifying run.

While Santerre and Moffitt will part ways after the finale of the Camping World Series East season, they will reunite for the Toyota All-Star Showdown on Jan. 30 in Irwindale, CA. Santerre acknowledges that his young driver will land on his feet, hopefully with a Cup development deal.

But for Santerre, it truly is the end of an era. From winning four championships and holding the record for the most series wins in a row as a driver, to owning and crew chiefing for the team that bore his name, Santerre will soon start a new chapter of his life with the Drive for the Diversity program.

While he is leaving his old life at Andy Santerre Motorsports behind, Santerre is in essence going full circle in his new role at Revolution Racing. It may be bittersweet, but there is no doubt that Santerre will be right where he belongs, growing and developing NASCAR's newest future stars.

Photo Credit:  Mary Jo Buchanan

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