18-year-old Andy Seuss Just Wants to Race Modified Racer Doesn't Care What Type of Car it is, He Just Wants To Go HAMPSTEAD, NH (March 29, 2005) -- Years ago, before NASCAR was mentioned in the same breath as the NFL or Major League Baseball,...
18-year-old Andy Seuss Just Wants to Race
Modified Racer Doesn't Care What Type of Car it is, He Just Wants To Go
HAMPSTEAD, NH (March 29, 2005) -- Years ago, before NASCAR was mentioned in the same breath as the NFL or Major League Baseball, young drivers were attracted to the sport not because of the possibility of fame and fortune, but because they loved to race.
They would spend countless hours in the shop working on their cars and their ultimate weekend involved being able to run in multiple divisions, maybe even at multiple tracks, and barnstorm the county doing what they loved.
18-year-old Andy Seuss might be living in the racing world of 2005, but his attitude on the sport is a refreshing throwback to those simpler times. He races as much as he can with his team of family and friends and he gives 100 percent each time out. He's not afraid to get his hands dirty and he'll race any type of car that he can get into the seat of.
"I ran about 50 races last year in the Modifieds, the 350 Supermodifieds and the Late Model," said Seuss. "We had a top-five finish in each car. We had heat race wins in the Modified and the Late Model. In the Super, I won a feature in my fourth start."
This season, Seuss will focus most of his energy on his #70 Modified, owned by NASCAR Busch North team owner Jerry Morello.
"We thought we were going to run the Late Model at Lee on Friday nights and the Super Saturday nights at Star last year," said Seuss. "It didn't quite happen that way."
Instead, Seuss ran the full season in the True Value Modified Racing Series for Morello after the two joined up with each other early in the year. That led to a new plan, which also didn't quite work according to, well, the plan.
"We were going to run the Super on the off weekends and it turned into us running the Super and the Late Model on the same night," said Seuss. "Then, it turned into us just running the Super for the early part of the year because the Late Model turned into so much work. We didn't really have any sponsors with the Super and we did with the Late Model and the Modified, so those cars became our priority."
The Modified team turned the corner late in 2004 and Seuss hopes to continue that improvement this year in all the cars.
"Towards the end of the year, we did a lot better," said Seuss. "We finished second in one of the segments of the Lee Late Model Nationals. But, it still ran terrible. The car was fast, but it was just a handful to drive. Last year, we just threw everything together too quick. This year, we are going to pick at it until it's right and then go out and run it. I'm confident that we can win races this year."
Seuss' passion for racing can be seen in his choice of a favorite NASCAR Nextel Cup driver. He's not swayed by who has the most endorsement deals or who has made the most appearances on television. Instead, Seuss pulls for a guy who hasn't won a Cup race in over a decade, but is a true racer.
"Growing up, I was a Dale Earnhardt fan and my Dad rooted for Ken Schrader," said Seuss. "Back then, I was usually telling him that my guy beat his guy. But when you become a racecar driver, you look at Ken Schrader and say 'Wow!' I'm now the biggest Ken Schrader fan there is. He just loves to race. He's very diversified; he can hop into a USAC car, a Truck or a Cup car and go fast."
And closer to home, Seuss also has a ton of admiration for a driver he has raced against -- Ted Christopher. The New England driver has made a name for himself by being willing to race anything and has won races in NASCAR Modifieds, the NASCAR Busch North Series, PASS Pro Stocks, ISMA Supermodifieds and just about anything else with a steering wheel.
"Teddy Christopher is another guy I like a lot," said Seuss. "It's hard to root for someone that you race against, but when you see how much he loves to race, you can't help but have so much respect for him."
So with Seuss looking up to those guys, his focus might be on the Modified in 2005, but that doesn't mean that he won't race anything else. The team sold their Supermodified, but plans to run the Late Model at Lee occasionally, when it doesn't siphon resources from the Modified effort.
Even though Seuss knows this is a great idea, the racer in him has mixed feelings.
"I'm not going to like being home on Friday nights, but we'll be right here spending an extra night in the shop to make our Modified faster for the next day," said Seuss. "I want to race as much as I can, but we can't let the maintenance and the preparation slip. "
Seuss is also candid when it comes to his career goals. He wants to do the best that he can at every level of the sport and then think about moving up.
"Obviously I want to move up, but first you have to be successful in what you're doing to move up to something else," said Seuss. "My goal is to be a professional racecar driver. If I don't make it to Cup, I won't be disappointed if I can race something else and make a living doing it. If I can run Modifieds successfully and do all of the racing that I can in a weekend, that would be more than enough."
And like any true racer, there is one thing that Seuss hates more than anything -- rainouts. But, he even has a plan for that.
"If there is a rainout, I'm down in my basement playing racing video games," said Seuss. "If I can drive a racecar I will do it; if not, I'll do the next best thing. That's what I like to do."