Once rising NASCAR star to appear in court this week after life takes dark turn

Sean Cassie (Irdell County Sheriff's Department)
Sean Cassie (Iredell County Sheriff's Department)
Sean Cassie (Iredell County Sheriff’s Department)

It’s a story that could make a compelling dramatic movie. A young driver trying to work his way into NASCAR meets a NASCAR-affiliated track owner who becomes his mentor. The story might have had a happy ending with a young seemingly talented driver showing he has what it takes to race among NASCAR’s elite. Instead, this week it was revealed through court documents and police reports that the story has a violent and somewhat bizarre twist. And that story is far from over.

It began more than a decade ago almost by happenstance. Sean Caisse was a teenager who seemed to have a talent for racing. In 2002 the Caisse, then 16, and his family boarded a plane to New Hampshire after vacationing in Florida. According to a report in the Maine Sunday Telegram, the young Caisse was seated next to an older gentleman. The two stuck up a conversation that quickly turned to racing. The young Caisse started racing go-karts at age 10, first in Massachusetts and then in Pelham, New Hampshire, where he grew up. From 1996 to 1999, Caisse won seven karting track championships in four divisions.

A week after the flight the family learned that their son’s seatmate that day was Andy Cusack the owner of Beech Ridge Motor Speedway, a 1/3 mile NASCAR-sanctioned asphalt oval in Scarborough, Maine.