LOUDON, N.H. – NASCAR honored the all-time Top-10 NASCAR K&N Pro Series East Drivers on Friday morning at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
The announcement comes as part of the 25th year of the series, which began as the NASCAR Busch North Series back in 1987. Andy Santerre, Kelly Moore, Brad Leighton, Jamie Aube, Ricky Craven, Mike Stefanik, Joey Logano, Ryan Truex, Dale Shaw and Dick McCabe were the 10 drivers named.
"There's no doubt I could beat any of these guys," said Leighton, who won back-to-back series titles in 1999 and 2000.
Craven, who went on to a race-winning Sprint Cup Series career after a dominant 10-win championship season in 1992, said that though only four of the drivers on the list are still racing full-time, the competitive juices still flow.
"If you put us on a track together, it would end ugly. I can assure you of that," Craven said.
Santerre, who earned the top spot on the list, was grateful for the honor.
"It's an incredible honor," Santerre said. "To be the first pick is just amazing. A lot of times after you retire and go away, you think that everyone is going to forget about you and what you did.
"I hit things at the right time. I was fortunate enough to have people that backed me and supported me, and I couldn't be prouder. It was a great career for me – and as a kid, I never thought I'd make it to this level of NASCAR."
Truex, who won the two most recent series championships, knew most of the men surrounding him at the podium after having first watched his father, Martin Truex, and later his brother, Martin Truex Jr., compete against them.
"I'm sure everyone remembers me when I was a just a little guy running around with my dad and my brother at the race track. It's cool to be up here with them," Truex said. "What they did back in the Busch North Series was a lot tougher than what I went through the last two years.
"I had great equipment and great people behind me. But back in the Busch North Series, it was more homegrown teams and guys running their own race cars around the race tracks. What they did was really incredible."
Inevitably, most all of them praised their fellow competitors for helping shape their own careers. Other drivers provided the measure of their results.
"Andy's always been a class act. He really lit them up," Craven said. "He did a great job, he represented the sport and represented NASCAR the right way. Kelly and I go way back – way back – and I always appreciated Brad. He's a hard racer and a good racer. Jamie's a champion.
"But, my gosh, I feel like I know these betters than the guys I spent 11 years racing with myself... There's a few guys I raced with that didn't make the Top 10, just because there wasn't enough room. One guy I want to single out is Dave Dion. Dave's kind of a member of the gang. He would be like an alternate, I would think."