Andy Seuss Follows in the Footsteps of a King for '08 Season
20-Year-Old is Chosen to Drive the #47 Advance Auto Parts Modified for Riggs Racing
HAMPSTEAD, NH (January 18, 2008) -- How do you replace a king? That was the question that Riggs Racing faced this off-season after the long-time driver of their Advance Auto Parts Dodge Modified, Junior Miller, decided to scale back his racing schedule. Together, Miller and the Riggs team won two of the last three NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour championships.
Success was nothing foreign to either party, the Riggs team has won nearly 100 Modified races through the years with drivers like Miller, Jamie Tomaino, Paul Radford, Johnny Bryant, Tony Jankowiak, "Puddin" Swisher and Tim Arre. Miller had also won more races than anyone could count, having earned the title "King of the Southern Modifieds" in the process.
So the Riggs team looked high and low for a new driver and eventually their search took them a long ways from their Martinsville, Virginia shop. All of the way up North to Hampstead, New Hampshire in fact, where they found 20-year-old Andy Seuss and signed him up for the 2008 NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour season. Seuss will now wheel the #47 Advance Auto Parts / Shell Dodge Modified for Riggs Racing.
Ironically, the old driver at Riggs had a lot to do with signing up the new guy.
"Andy had run some Southern races since 2005 and I paid a little attention to him, but it was really Junior Miller who got us to really watch him," said Jeff Riggs, who operates the team along with his father David. "Junior told me to watch whoever was driving the #70 car because that driver knew what it was all about."
And when a driver like Junior Miller talks, you'd do best to listen.
"Yes sir, you do," said Riggs.
Seuss feels that being selected to drive the Advance Auto Parts Modified for the Riggs team is nothing short of a dream come true.
"When you think of Riggs Racing, the first thing that comes to mind is all of the domination that they've had down south," said Seuss. "They've won races and titles and are always a threat to win anytime that they go to the track. It is such an honor to become part of this team. "It was a big deal just to be considered for this ride. To get it was just amazing. Now, I'm looking forward to seeing what we can do together. We're shooting for the Rookie of the Year title and to win some races together."
Seuss might be a young rising star in the sport of auto racing, but he's already put his name on the Modified map. He has already won a NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour race at Music City Motorplex in Nashville, despite having only run a handful of races on the tour over the past few seasons. He's the 2006 Modified champion of New Smyrna Speedway's World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing. He has also won the DAV Memorial at Seekonk Speedway and has built up an impressive resume of racing for his family's #70 Modified team in a short amount of time.
In fact, Seuss sees a lot of parallels between his family's team and the Riggs operation.
"The Riggs fit very well with us," said Seuss. "They are family-oriented and they are hard workers. They take racing seriously, but also enjoy it too. We have a lot in common and we'll have fun together."
So far in his brief Southern Modified career, Seuss has paid plenty of attention to the Riggs team when Miller drove for them.
"One of the first things that I would always do at the track would be to see what Junior was doing in practice and try to learn from that. He wasn't always the fastest guy in practice, but you always knew that his pace would hold up in the race. More times than not, he'd be passing us near the end of a race and he would go on to win."
Seuss has also discovered that the NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour is a place where he really wants to race, despite a commute of nearly 1,000 miles from his New Hampshire home to the tracks on the Tour schedule.
"The NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour is a lot of fun. The racing is physical, but it is also clean. You can beat and bang for the lead, but you also know that at the end, both cars battling will probably be pointing in the right direction. Then there is the history of NASCAR Modified racing in the South and that is just amazing. The crowds are impressive too. It's a great Tour and I'm looking forward to making a home there."
Sponsoring the Riggs Racing #47 team is just one of many ways that Advance Auto Parts is involved in the sport of auto racing.
"It is a great honor to represent companies like Advance Auto Parts and Shell," said Seuss. "I have always appreciated their involvement everywhere. Advance is involved in dirt racing, modified racing, drag racing...you name it and they support it. I can't thank them enough for what they do."
"We are very excited to bring the North and South together with Riggs Racing and Andy Seuss this year," said Mike Paris of Advance Auto Parts. "Advance has over 3,000 stores in 40 states, so that represents us and our Team Members well. The Riggs are some of the best car owners in the business. They know how to work hard and get the job done. Andy Seuss has shown the same thing in his career so far. That is what our customers do as well, so to have everyone come together like this just seems natural."
Also joining Advance Auto Parts and Shell on the list of sponsors for the #47 Modified are Dodge, Don and Dee Stone Motorsports, Glad Precision, Pilat Graphic Design, Newman Lawnmower, Sunoco Race Fuels through Hank Thomas Performance, Absolute Machine, Stuart's Automotive, Summit Signs and Rockingham Boat.
Now Seuss, the Riggs team and all of their sponsors can't wait for the racing season to get started.
"We are very excited having a young driver in the car," said Riggs. "It's going to be a learning curve for us to learn what he likes in the car and to learn to work together, but we'll just take it race by race and we'll be all right."