The Chrome Horn News



   A chance meeting in the NASCAR trailer has turned into a career-maker for Andy Seuss and put him behind the wheel of a car that is a threat to win the Made In America Whelen 300 at Martinsville Speedway on Sept. 20..
   Midway through the 2007 NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified season, Seuss bumped into Jeff Riggs while in the NASCAR trailer. Riggs, who heads up the team, asked the Hampstead, NY, driver to stop by the Riggs Racing hauler. Seuss did and wound up with a one-race deal with the Martinsville-based Modified team.
   That one-off race, which just happened to be the 2007 Made In America Whelen 300 at Martinsville Speedway, was wiped out by poor timing. Seuss was understanding, but disappointed.
   “They ( Riggs Racing ) put a lot of emphasis on Martinsville and they wanted me to run a second car there last year,” Seuss recalled recently. “Then they realized they had two races really close together, and it didn’t happen. It was a little frustrating. I thought I had missed a big chance.”
   It turned out that Seuss didn’t need the tryout. Nor did he need to be upset at the missed seat time in the Riggs Racing Modified.
   When two-time Southern Modified champion Junior Miller and Riggs Racing decided to part ways at the end of the season, Seuss got the call again, this time for a fulltime ride.
   “The second I put my phone down after agreeing to race with them, it hit me … I’m replacing Junior Miller in a championship car. It made me a little nervous,” said the 21-year-old Seuss. “But they have been good to me, knowing I’m fairly new to this, but they understand everything.”
   A year ago Seuss was virtually unknown in NASCAR circles. He had campaigned a family-owned Modified on the Northern-based True Value Modified tour for a couple of seasons, but had rarely ventured out to events on either the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour or the Whelen Southern Modified Tour.
   “The Whelen Modified Tour is very tough. You need a lot of people in the crew, there are a lot more weekday shows that take everyone out of work. It’s just a tough series,” said Seuss.
   Seuss’ big break through came last summer when he traveled to Nashville for a Whelen Southern Modified Tour event. His underfinanced, almost unknown family team rolled to a win, besting the best the southern tour had to offer.
   “I had been racing Modifieds for three years on the True Value series and had some success there. But last year when we came down south and won…that was the first big success we had had,” said Seuss.
   “We had won at New Smyrna ( Florida ) during Speedweeks, but nothing at the NASCAR level. To get that win and race hard with Tim Brown, it was huge. We had a pretty good battle the whole race.”
   It hasn’t been a typical Riggs Racing season, but it hasn’t been bad either. Seuss has a second, a fifth and four top 10s in the tour’s six races so far this year. And there have been a couple of great runs, possible winning runs, wiped out by accidents or mechanical woes.
   “We’ve been very fast all year. We’ve had some misfortune. We had one big wreck, destroyed the car on the first lap after winning the pole. A couple of weeks ago we were running second with 20 to go when the oil line fell off. One of these days things will go right and we’ll win one,” said Seuss.
   The next big race on Seuss’ radar screen in the Made In America Whelen 300 at Martinsville Speedway on September 20. It’s the Holy Grail of Modified racers, the one everyone wants to win, and because they live in Martinsville , it’s even bigger for the members of Riggs Racing .
   “This one is going to be big for us. It’s in the Riggs’ backyard. It’s the race all Modified teams aim for,” said Seuss.
   And it is also the only combination event on the schedule the entire season, the only time the Southern Tour drivers get to go head-to-head with the Northern Tour drivers.
   “That makes it even bigger,” said Seuss. “But I think we’ve got what it takes to run with them.”
   Tickets for the Made In America Whelen 300 are $25. Children six to 12 years old are $5. Tickets may be purchased by calling 1.877.RACE.TIX or visiting


Source:  Mike Smith / Martinsville Speedway PR
Posted:  September 2, 2008

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