RYAN SEAMAN TOOLS UP FOR 2005 NASCAR GRAND NATIONAL DIVISION, BUSCH NORTH SERIES WITH UPGRADED EQUIPMENT AND PERSONNEL DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (March 29, 2005) -- In 2004, Ryan Seaman achieved his first goal with the NASCAR Grand National Division,...
RYAN SEAMAN TOOLS UP FOR 2005 NASCAR GRAND NATIONAL DIVISION, BUSCH NORTH SERIES WITH UPGRADED EQUIPMENT AND PERSONNEL
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (March 29, 2005) -- In 2004, Ryan Seaman achieved his first goal with the NASCAR Grand National Division, Busch North Series. He won the circuit's rookie award, running the full series and finishing 16th in points. He earned an invitation to the NASCAR Toyota All-Star Showdown at Irwindale (Calif.) Speedway, where he finished in the top 20. It was a solid showing for a small family team going on the road with on one of NASCAR's toughest regional series in a type of race car completely new to them.
For 2005, the 22 year-old Toms River, N.J. driver and his team have set their goals a lot higher. They've done more than plan- they've invested in upgraded equipment on the track, in a new big-rig hauler, and in a new crew chief who has been successful as a Busch North driver himself, Greg Schaefer.
When Ryan and his father and car owner, Everett Seaman, loaded up their new stacker-type trailer after the recent Racearama trade show in Massachusetts, it contained two gleaming Chevrolet Monte Carlo race cars, just like the big teams "The car we used for short tracks last year got new front and rear clips and a new body," Ryan related. Translated from the racer's jargon, that means just about every part of the car's structure is new except the roll cage. "That will be our new speedway car," he continued, adding "We turned our speedway car into our new short track car with a new front clip and some bodywork. We're still using Performance Technology Engines. We've got two motors now and we're in search of a third one."
The importance of top-line equipment, both on the track and on the road, should not be understated, but in the Busch North Series, at least the top 15 teams are on a nearly even footing in terms of the hardware they bring to the track. The difference between a contender and a pretender is usually the human element, and in that area as well the Seamans have made a major upgrade for 2005.
In 2004, Everett Seaman, a veteran modified crew chief, handled those duties with the help of an enthusiastic volunteer crew and the good will of other teams. "Pretty much all the top teams were willing to help us out and get us headed in the right direction," Ryan recalled, "but we were just working off what everybody else told us. We came from racing modifieds and we didn't know anything about these cars."
That's the vital element Greg Schaefer provides in his new role as crew chief. A former late model champion at the now-closed Flemington (N.J.) Speedway, Schaefer and his car owner John Parks ran an independent Busch North Series team from their suburban Philadelphia shop during the 2000 to 2003 seasons, recording five top-five and 13 top-10 finishes. Schaefer's best year was 2002, when he finished ninth in points and nearly reached victory lane at Waterford (Conn.) Speedbowl.
"That's going to be the biggest improvement for our team, the experience that Greg brings," Ryan Seaman declared. Schaefer's involvement with the team started last September at Dover (Del.) International Speedway, which produced Seaman's first top ten finish. "He came down to Dover to spot for us and he came to Wall to spot for us," Ryan noted, referring to the scheduled season finale at his home track in New Jersey. "Then he came to Irwindale to crew chief for us and we got along real well," he noted.
The additions for 2005 have Ryan Seaman thinking big, but still in realistic terms."We know most of the tracks now and with the experience Greg brings, I don't see any reason we can't finish in the top ten in points," he stated. After all, it's just his sophomore year in the Busch North Series, and he's keenly aware that it took four seasons for his Jersey Shore neighbor and fellow modified product, Martin Truex Jr., to graduate to the big time.