Andy Seuss Salvages Weekend With Second at Caraway Advance Auto Parts Team Works All Night After Getting Wrecked on Friday to Run Strong on Saturday HAMPSTEAD, NH (April 14, 2008) -- The weekend that Andy Seuss and the ...
Andy Seuss Salvages Weekend With Second at Caraway
Advance Auto Parts Team Works All Night After Getting Wrecked on Friday to Run Strong on Saturday
HAMPSTEAD, NH (April 14, 2008) -- The weekend that Andy Seuss and the #47 Riggs Racing Advance Auto Parts team had was a curious one. It started with much hope -- having two NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour races on their schedule; then it turned to disappointed, and finally it ended on a positive, and somewhat unexpected, note with a fine runner-up performance Saturday night at Caraway Speedway (NC).
Seuss started on the pole for Friday night's SMT race at Ace Speedway (NC), but that ended on the first lap with something that went bump in the night.
"At the start we got a good jump, and Jason Myers ran me real clean down into one. I pulled from him and then LW [Miller] pulled behind me, gave me a shot and we spun. Watching all the cars coming right for me wasn't fun, but my Bell Helmet, Lajoie seat and HANS Device helped me be okay.
"[It started when] my spotter told me clear into turn-three and to keep it on the bottom. Then all of a sudden, smack. It was a hard hit, and it wasn't a tap or anything like that. He lifted the back of the car right up off the ground. It was the first lap of the race and it really wasn't needed. I talked to LW before the race, and I told him that I had a new setup and I wasn't going to go hard. If he was faster than me and he could get next to me, I was going to give him the spot. So there was no reason to do that. When you are talking about destroying 20-thousand dollars of equipment for a team that runs out of a carport and a single-car garage, it sets us back pretty good. It was un-called for."
With their primary car junked, the Riggs team pulled out an old back-up car for the next night's race at Caraway Speedway. They worked overnight to get it prepared.
"We had one night to get a car ready. It's a 12-year-old car that was sitting under a carport and hasn't been run since the beginning of last year. The motor was out of it, and there was no seat or rear-end. We left the track and it was an hour-and-a-half trip up to [the Riggs shop in] Martinsville (VA). When we got there, two guys from the race team that didn't go to Ace already had the car pulled inside. They had the clutch on the motor and it was going in. Some of the guys who were up all day at Ace working didn't even go to bed that night. They worked right through the night. They were great to me and let me go to bed at 3am to get some sleep.
"We scaled the car in the morning and finished up a few things. I can't thank those guys enough. There were even guys helping that didn't come to the track either day but were there to help out. It's good to be part of a family like Riggs Racing because the whole team is a family, and it really made it evident last night with the dedication it took from the guys to work together and get this car to Caraway."
Without their primary racecar, the goals for Caraway weren't very high. And nobody would have blamed Seuss or the team for just going through the motions on Saturday. But nobody gave up, and throughout practice and qualifying they kept making the racecar handle better and better.
The result was a car that led for 134 of 150 laps and finished a strong second behind race winner Brian Loftin.
"It was a great race," said Seuss. "We had a really good car and we battled John Smith at the start for several laps on the outside for the lead. It made it really tricky because the cracks in the track were weeping, and there was a little bit of water on the high side. After a handful of laps we got up front. We had a good car, but it hadn't been tested for a long run so we said, ok, we'll see how long it goes. It was more than we could ask for out of a car that we had very little practice on and we got together last night. George Brunnhoelzl was right there with me for a while. He was stout and ran me real clean. I think we were a little out-horsepowered tonight, but we got beat by the team (Brian Loftin's #23) that was the class of the field. Hopefully next week we can come back and give him a run for his money.
Still, giving up the lead to Loftin late in the going was tough.
"That was the heartbreaking moment. I still thought in my mind that if I got down into turn one and it didn't wash up and I just get back in my rhythm I would be fine and have enough to hold him off. He really got us with some motor. We came off the turn pretty even, and he was a half-a-car behind me. He got under me at the end of the straightaway. He drove it in there hard, but he didn't wash up into me. He drove me clean. He's a lot of fun to drive against. Driving with guys that will race you clean like Brian is why we come to compete. It makes it a whole lot better than the mess from the race at Ace the other night."
The races at Ace and Caraway were only Seuss' second and third starts with the Riggs team, but there has been no learning curve. As proven by this weekend, the team has already been running on all cylinders.
"The whole team is gelling well. It's a mix between our team and Riggs Racing. I'm glad to see David back into it and excited about it. Every aspect of the team is going well. David and Jeff are working well together, and my father is in the mix relaying to them what I am mean since he is so used to working with me. The crew, spotter, tire-guy, everyone is working well. It's fun, not only because of the history at Riggs Racing, but to work with David and Jeff, who are incredibly intelligent. It's been blowing me away every week coming to the track and what they have been able to show me."