Career Weekend For Ryan Seaman At Dover: Qualifies Third, Finishes Fourth (Dover, Del. - Sept. 23, 2005) - Ryan Seaman has struggled through most of the 2005 NASCAR Grand National Division, Busch North Series season, but the last two races have...
Career Weekend For Ryan Seaman At Dover: Qualifies Third, Finishes Fourth
(Dover, Del. - Sept. 23, 2005) - Ryan Seaman has struggled through most of the 2005 NASCAR Grand National Division, Busch North Series season, but the last two races have seen him set career bests in both qualifying and race finishes, while picking up a position in the season points standings each week. After qualifying third at Dover International Speedway Thursday, he ran in the top ten all day in Friday's race, then put on a charge in the final ten laps to go from eighth to finish fourth.
"This is beyond awesome," the Toms River, N.J. driver said after the race. "The car was perfect, I couldn't ask for anything better."
The weekend started on Thursday with two practice sessions where Seaman's ERS Fleet Repair Chevrolet was eleventh fastest in the first, then jumped to eighth fastest in the second. The improvements continued through time trials, where Seaman qualified third.
"We had a real good practice all day long," he said. "We didn't do a qualifying run in practice, but we changed some stuff for qualifying and the car ran good. I heard Eddie MacDonald's run and it sounded like he held it to the floor all the way around and I decided if he could do it, I'm going to try it too.
"Third is pretty cool," he continued. "I've got to thank all my guys, Kevin Cranmer, Bo Built Bodies, and all my crew. It's been an awesome weekend. Everyone's been working real well together these past couple weeks and hopefully we'll have something for them these next couple races."
Through the first fifty laps of the MBNA RacePoints 150 on Friday, the worst Seaman ran was tenth. He was tenth when caution came out on lap 81, and followed the leaders onto pit road on lap 86 for right-side tires and gas. He returned to pit road the next lap for right-side tires, and resumed the race still in the top ten.
He briefly fell to twelfth after racing resumed, but was quickly back in the top ten to run eighth as the laps wound down. Caution came out on lap 134, and then the race was stopped three laps later for track clean-up.
When the green came out again, Seaman put on a show. He passed last year's Dover winner, Dale Quarterley, after the restart. A lap later, he passed last week's winner, Ted Christopher. Running fifth with just a couple laps to go, he passed early leader Tim Andrews for fourth, and ran out of laps before he could challenge Sean Caisse for third place.
Fourth was Seaman's best ever series finish, and the third place qualifying effort was his best; he had previously never qualified in the top ten. And he's now in the top ten in series points, moving to tenth after his first top-five and third top-ten finish of the season.
"We started off and the car wasn't that good," he said after the race. "We went from third all the way back to tenth. We had a lot of trouble on restarts, my car was not good at all on restarts. We had the wrong third gear in it, and on every restart we lost two to four spots, it was kind of aggravating. But after two laps, this thing was a rocket ship. After we made those adjustments on our pit stop, I could put this thing anywhere I wanted it. If we had a few more laps there at the end I definitely would have had one more spot before the end. This thing was fantastic. We put new clips on this car over the winter and a new Bo Built body on it, and I've just got to thank my father for everything he's done for this team. The changes we've been making have definitely paid off, I just wish it wasn't so late in the season since we've got momentum and only have two races left."
Seaman explained the last ten-lap charge.
"I was driving it just like I was time-trialing it," he said. "I didn't touch the brake, I just let it sail into the corners and I was off. I got great help from Joey Meier, Mike Waltrip's Nextel Cup spotter, who was spotting for me for this race."
Seaman returns to action next weekend for another two-day show, but this will be at the 1.53-mile road course at Lime Rock Park in northwest Connecticut.
"We're going to go to Lime Rock and just have at it. We're going to stay on the lead lap, stay on the racetrack and shoot for another top-ten and move up some more in the points," Seaman said. "Things have been a little frustrating, but we've taken our lumps and now we've got things going in the right direction, we just have to take advantage of that for these last two races."