AUGUSTA — Andy Santerre mingled with a curious crowd of onlookers. Some stopped for a quick handshake, others to swap racing stories of yesteryear.

Santerre, a Cherryfield native, may not be a national racing icon but he’s still a king to some here.

“People know who I am here,” he said Friday at the Augusta Civic Center while meeting fans at the 24th annual Northeast Motorsports Expo.

How could racing fans not?

After all, he was one of the more dominant Maine drivers in the early 2000s.

Santerre, who lives in Charlotte, N.C., won four consecutive Busch North points titles from 2002-2005.

“Andy was a good, clean driver,” said Doug Averill, 50, of Andover, who received Santerre’s autograph. “He’s a household name, yes. There doesn’t seem to be any big names now as they were when he was doing it.”

Santerre competed in the NASCAR Nationwide (then known as the Busch Series) in the early 1990s. He earned one victory on the tour, the 1999 NAPA Autocare 250 at Pikes Peak International Raceway in Fountain, Colo.

“I’ve done all I wanted to do,” Santerre, 43, said. “I won in NASCAR. I won as a driver and I even won as an owner. But it does seem like a long time ago. If I weren’t still in it, I’d miss it.”

Santerre, who is one of the top draws of the show, recently served as competition director for the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East.

He held that position for two years before deciding to switch jobs. He left his position late last month.

“I think I’m going to work for a K&N team,” he said. “I’m changing jobs but not careers. I was looking for something different to do. It was time for a change, but there certainly was no hard feelings.”

The K&N Pro Series is a developmental wing of NASCAR. It was formerly known as the Camping World Series East and Busch North.

While Santerre was one of the more recognizable ex-drivers at the show Friday night, Phil Bisson had one of the more unique vehicles.

Bisson, 42, of Sabattus, had his massive pulling tractor, “Itty Bitty Kitty” on display.

But there was nothing “itty bitty” about this tractor.

The tractor, which Bisson races at several state fairs each summer, weighs 9,300 pounds. The V-8 engine, which Bisson built from scratch, weighs as much as 600 to 700 pounds, he estimated.

Bisson said he always wanted to convert his regular farm tractor into one that could compete at fairs.

“It was something I always wanted to do,” he said. “It was a lot of work. I put in many hours, but I did all the work myself.”

The show continues today from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. It’s also open Sunday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Bill Stewart — 621-5640

[email protected]


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