CELEBRATE SOUTHERN MODIFIED TITLE
Native Scores First NASCAR Championship
There is an old saying ‘Good things eventually come
to good people’ and that is appropriate for this
year’s NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour champion
It has been a long road for the 27 year-old
Hampstead, New Hampshire, native. He clinched the
title in his 84th career tour start which is the
most by any of the six champions to win in the
10-year history of the southern tour.
His parents, Steve and Bobbi – where at least one of
them has made it to every one of his starts, logging
in over 175,000 miles in the process – brought him
down South in 2006. He made four starts in each of
his first two seasons, picking up his first win in
only his fifth start at Nashville (Fairgrounds)
Although winning his first championship might have
taken longer than he might have envisioned back in
2006, he still enjoyed hoisting the champions trophy
at Charlotte Motor Speedway this past October.
“We have been working so long to get this
championship and it was such a relief when we
finally were able to celebrate in Charlotte,” said
Seuss. “When we first came down here we thought we
would give it a year or so and see how things went
and we won our first race just about a year after we
came down to race and things just fell into place.”
Not sure what his family-owned team would be able to
do moving forward, Seuss was then approached by
veteran team owner David Riggs and his Riggs Racing
team led by his son Jeff.
This was no ordinary team; they had won the first
two NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour titles with
legendary driver Junior Miller behind the wheel.
The team gelled quickly and, although they didn’t
get their first win together until the season finale
in 2008 at Caraway, Seuss knew he had found a home.
“I have been so fortunate in my career to have the
opportunity to partner up with some great people and
with David and Jeff giving me that opportunity in
2008 I was able to learn and get better as a
driver,” Seuss said.
The partnership would produce seven more wins
together until tragedy struck the team in late 2010.
Jeff Riggs passed away unexpectedly in November,
leaving Seuss’ plans for 2011 up in the air.
“That was just such a shock to everyone,” Seuss
added. “He was the guy who gave me my break in this
sport and I wouldn’t be the driver I am today
without him and David and it was just a tough time
After making a handful of starts for veteran
Winston-Salem, North Carolina, car owner Bryan
Fishel, Eddie Harvey and his father Howard decided
to field a second car out of their Ideal Racing shop
and Seuss jumped at the chance to drive their
modified. He finished third in their first race
together at Caraway Speedway in July of 2011 and the
new partnership was another smooth transition for
Seuss and Eddie Harvey picked up their first win
together just one month later when they returned to
Caraway and the duo have won 10 races together and
now a championship since they teamed up 47 races
“To be able to team up with Riggs Racing was awesome
and then to have another great ride come along when
Eddie called is just a blessing,” Seuss added. “It’s
a ride every driver wants and I was lucky enough to
get it and we have been able to accomplish a lot of
great things together.”
Seuss has usually been a second-half of the season
kind of driver and has been able to use wins to
close in on the title but never quite getting close
enough. He has finished second in the points
standings in 2009 and 2011.
The difference this season was that Seuss and Harvey
started the season on a roll, winning two of the
first three races in the series and eventually three
out of five to take the lead in the standings.
That quick start helped the team in the second half
of the season as three-time defending champion
George Brunnhoelzl III was making his charge for a
Seuss finished every lap of competition except one
this season, when he spun on the final lap at
Bristol Motor Speedway in August. After that race
things just didn’t seem right for Seuss even though
they still finished in the top 10 in the next two
“We fought the car and fought it and I eventually
told Eddie something just didn’t seem right with the
car,” Seuss said.
Harvey decided to check out the car and he found
that a lower control arm and the chassis was a
little bent so they took it to Brad LaFontaine at
Northeast Race Cars and once they put on a new clip
Seuss was back up front challenging for wins.
“To me that stretch we had with the car bent and
still able to finish with top-10s and top-fives
showed just how strong a team we have at Ideal
Racing,” Seuss added.
Harvey echoed those same sentiments.
“We assumed we just had suspension damage and when
we found the chassis damage, Brad and his group just
did a great job getting us back to where we needed
to be and we are very thankful to him and his staff
for helping us get that fixed so quickly so we could
stay in the hunt for the title.”
Although Seuss didn’t get back to Victory Lane he
was able to finish the season with three consecutive
top-five finishes and hold off Brunnhoelzl by 14
Now Seuss can get ready to enjoy his title with crew
members Reggie Newman, Jimmy Harvey, Justin Wells,
Justin Link, Mike Paris, Sammy Williams, Charli
Brown and friends from RAHMOC Power that supplied
the engines this season.
“This is going to be a time to celebrate but I
wished David (Riggs) could have been here to
celebrate with us too,” Seuss said. “I wished he was
here with us, but I know he is not suffering anymore
and that is all that matters. He wanted to see me do
well in this series and we were able to bring home a
title thanks to Eddie and I know he would have
enjoyed seeing us get the trophy on stage.”
The elder Riggs succumbed to cancer just days before
Seuss clinched the title in Charlotte in October.
Seuss will celebrate with the other Touring Series
champions at the NASCAR Touring Series Awards on
Dec. 13 in the Charlotte (North Carolina) Convention
Center at the NASCAR Hall of Fame.
CHAMPION CAR OWNER AND CREW CHIEF:
Anyone who has worked in NASCAR racing knows if you
are ever going to be successful it takes a lot of
dedication, time management, and hard work. This
year’s NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour champion
car owner and crew chief might be one who has pushed
that to the limit.
Eddie Harvey is no stranger to the division as he
and his father, Howard, have fielded cars for years
in both the NASCAR Whelen Southern and Whelen
Modified Tours. His dad Howard already has two owner
championships with George Brunnhoelzl III, in 2011
and 2012, and now it is Eddie’s turn to collect his
For the younger Harvey this achievement is special
not just because it is his first as car owner, but
how he was able to find the time to get everything
done in a timely fashion.
Eddie Harvey works on the race cars in his shop,
works at his family-owned Phoenix Pre-owned Motors
and also serves as general manager of Vestal Buick
GMC in nearby Kernersville. Finding time to do all
of those things well is something he is proud of and
“I was basically born in to this sport and it’s a
labor of love for me,” said Eddie Harvey. “This
championship is very special to me and it means the
world to me and my family that we were able to get
this with Andy (Seuss). I am also very lucky
everyone at Vestal Buick GMC have been so willing to
work with me as we pursued this championship.”
Eddie Harvey knows the only way he was able to make
it through the season was to work hard and have the
help of some great people.
“I can’t thank my family enough for all the support
they have given me and the ability to focus on
things when I needed to,” Eddie Harvey added. “I
stay pretty busy between all three places and their
help has been tremendous. This was a total team
Seuss teamed up with the Harvey’s in 2011 after the
sudden death of Jeff Riggs left the season in doubt
for Seuss. Eddie and Jeff’s father David partnered
up and things just came together for Eddie and Andy.
“Although we didn’t start working together until
2011 Jeff and I had already been talking about
teaming up together,” said Eddie Harvey. “We were
talking before he passed away suddenly and I knew
his dad since I was a child. It just worked out like
it was supposed to for all of us.”
Eddie, his dad Howard, and the entire Ideal Racing
team will celebrate at the NASCAR Touring Series
Awards on Dec. 13 in the Charlotte (North Carolina)
Convention Center at the NASCAR Hall of Fame.
Source: Tim Southers / NASCAR