After being dealt what seemed to be a crippling blow in the form of an engine failure at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in July, Andy Seuss didn’t know when his next NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour race would be. But last week that question was answered when Seuss received the helping hand he needed to get back on track this Thursday night at Bristol Motor Speedway (TN).
Following last Wednesday’s Budweiser 150 at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park (CT), the No. 57 team owned by Bryan Dauzat came into position to receive what has been a race-proven engine, owned by one of the most enthusiastic figures in Modified racing.
“It is a Doug Dunleavy motor. It’s actually the same one that Bobby Santos ran the last two races at Stafford and Thompson,” Seuss told Speed51.com. “After Thompson last Wednesday, it came out of the 44 car and made its way down here. They weren’t planning on going to Bristol so they didn’t need it. It’s also the same motor we led laps with at Loudon last year in my car, so it has a history of speed. Hopefully we can make it work at Bristol.”
Santos recorded a fifth-place finish on August 8 at Thompson with that same engine, five days after it had survived a crash at Stafford Motor Speedway (CT) while Santos was competing at the front of the field.
To say that Seuss is thankful for all the help he’s received these past weeks would be an understatement.
“I’ve got to thank Bryan Dauzat and his O.B. Builders company, not only for giving me an opportunity to drive this car, but when we have issues he provides the parts and the pieces to get back on the race track. Doug Dunleavy, not only for what he does for me, but for all Modified racing. Jimmy and Carlton Verge have always been supporters of my driving, this year they came on board to be a part of the team. All the guys that come out and get us to the race track.”
As for the matter of whether Seuss can win with the engine at Bristol, that is a different and complicated subject.
“There’s a lot of variables going into Bristol this year, between the addition of restrictor plates and a bigger spoiler,” he explained. “It’s a matter of how quick we can get adjusted to the new rules and go from there. You have the traction compound on the inside, which makes it tough for passing, but good close racing. Hope the fans enjoy it. I would expect everybody to be in a tighter pack, kind of like what we see at Loudon. Not really able to get away from each other, bumper-to-bumper type racing.”
While Seuss does like his chances of coming away with his first Bristol trophy, he is grateful just to have the opportunity to once again race at the legendary “Last Great Colosseum.”
“It takes a lot of effort just with changes in the car and different things, guys take days off of work. In reality it really is a huge opportunity to do it. It’s a privilege to get out on that race track. It’s the ultimate racetrack, it’s bad to the bone. You’re 100-percent every lap you’re out there, you can’t let your guard down. It’s very exciting.”
Speed51.com will have Trackside Now coverage of the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Bush’s Beans 150 all day Thursday from Bristol Motor Speedway.
-By: Connor Sullivan, Speed51.com Northeast Editor – Twitter: @Connor51CT
-Photo credit: Speed51.com/Rick Ibsen