In what has become a transitional period in his racing career, Andy Seuss has seized upon an opportunity to explore different racing disciplines. While the two-time champion of the late NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour has been taken notice with his Stock Car exploits, particularly in the ARCA Racing Series, he is now adding another full-body discipline to the list.
This weekend Seuss will add Late Models to his check list in 2017, the American-Canadian Tour specifically, performing double-duty at New Hampshire Motor Speedway as he is entered in Saturday’s ACT Invitational.
Seuss will also drive his family-owned Modified in the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour F.W. Webb 100 the same afternoon. It is a day that will continue a season of wonder and excitement for the New Hampshire born champion.
“It’s a dream come true, this year has been pretty neat for me. With the lack of a full-time Modified ride I’ve had a great opportunity to branch out, do more Stock Car racing with ARCA, the K&N East Series, and now ACT Late Models,” Seuss told Speed51.com powered by JEGS.
While Seuss has been around ACT Late Models before, he is approaching it as a fresh start since the last time he took the wheel of one was before he had made his mark in Modifieds.
“I ran some ACT-type Late Models at Lee USA Speedway (NH) probably over a decade ago, before I got heavy into Modifieds. But never an ACT sanctioned race. Of course, Loudon being a crown-jewel of any kind of series, it’s pretty neat to make the first start there.”
While making his first ACT start is special in itself, doing it at the “Magic Mile” makes it that much sweeter.
“Every race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway is important to me, I grew up as a little kid there, just glued to the fence, dreaming of one day driving there,” Seuss said. “To make what is going to be my fourth start there this year is definitely special to me.”
Seuss is partnering with local car owner Chad Sullivan to pilot the No. 0NH this weekend, a team which shares both family ties and mutual friendships with Seuss.
“I’m going to drive for Chad Sullivan, his shop isn’t too far from my parent’s shop,” he explained. “A lot of mutual friends, even crew members. Mike Holmes, who’s been my tire guy forever has been working over there. Matt Pitkin who’s been a staple on our ARCA and our Modified team has helped on that team in the past, and I’ve known Chad a long time. Flirted about driving for him and finally the stars aligned where we could work together.”
Seuss is also not holding back on asking for whatever tips he can gain prior to race day, as he seeks out help from Loudon’s most accomplished Late Model driver and a fellow Modified competitor who has never let go of his Late Model roots.
“I just got Eddie MacDonald’s phone number and I’ll be calling him for setup and driving help. Obviously, he’s one of the most successful people to ever turn a lap there,” Seuss stated. “Woody has run the ACT race, he’s another I’ll probably talk too, just because he can compare the differences between a Modified and a Late Model up there for me.”
The time for learning will not be long for Seuss and the team, as only an early morning 50-minute practice session will be available before race time. Despite the difficulty, Seuss is confident that given a sturdy car, he will be able to take it to the front.
“The 50-minute scuff session I’m sure is going to be huge for me getting used to the car and what I need. I’m sure I’ll learn a ton, hopefully enough by the start of the race that we can be competitive and during the race I’ll be able to learn a little bit more and hopefully it’s good enough to come out with a respectable finish and finish in one piece so I get invited to do it again.”
While he admits getting to checkers first on Saturday evening might be a tall order, it is definitely not out of the realm of possibility.
“The competition in ACT is very stiff and the teams that have been up there the last few years, as well as the ones that tested, will be tough to beat. But we’re not ruling anything out, the way they have the parity in the series with the motor and different chassis rules. As long as I can get acclimated to the car and get a setup under me, you can’t rule it out.”
Be sure to follow Speed51.com this weekend for coverage of both the ACT Invitational and NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour from New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
-By: Connor Sullivan, Speed51.com CT, MA, RI & Long Island Editor – Twitter: @Connor51CT
-Photo credit: Speed51.com