After a strong run on a New Hampshire quarter-mile last weekend, defending NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour champion Andy Seuss heads to another bullring, the famous Bowman Gray Stadium in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, for Saturday’s Strutmaster 199.
“Racing on a quarter-mile last week I guess got me a little bit ready,” said Seuss. “But I don’t know if there’s anything like Bowman Gray to get you ready other than racing there.”
But while the two tracks may measure the same in distance, that’s where the similarities end.
“They’re entirely different,” Seuss said about comparing Monadnock Speedway last weekend and Bowman Gray this Saturday night. “Monadnock is decently banked, especially in one and two. Bowman Gray is the definition of flat.”
Seuss had a strong run going in his family-owned car at Monadnock last weekend. He ran in the top 10 most of the 200 laps before late contact relegated him to a 12th-place finish.
“That was huge,” Seuss said. “It was pretty neat doing that with our small family team. Now to come back here to Ideal Racing it’s pretty good for momentum.”
The28-year-old driver has never won at the place known as “The Madhouse.” He’s come close in past NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour events, however. Seuss’ best finish at the famous bullring came last year when he finished fourth, and he’s also finished fifth three times throughout his career at Bowman Gray.
He explained that he has a “bittersweet” outlook on racing at Bowman Gray Stadium.
“It’s a once a year stop for the Tour and I don’t race there weekly, but I definitely look forward to this date,” said Seuss. “However, it is a little bittersweet just because of the carnage that can happen beyond your control. The track is so tight so there’s not a whole lot of room to dodge wrecks that happen in front of you. It’s a tough place to pass. So for all those reasons, it’s not my favorite place.
“It’s one of those deals where we’ve had cars capable of winning there in the past and we get caught up in somebody else’s mess. You’ve got to be not only good there but lucky as well.”
While it isn’t his favorite track on the 11-race schedule, it’s still a place from which Seuss really wants to take home a trophy.
“With the history of the track and the crowds they get there it’s definitely a place I want to check off in my career,” he said.
If Seuss takes the win at Bowman Gray, he’d have accomplished just about everything possible in Modified racing in the Southeast. He’s aware of that now, after a fan made sure he knew that.
“It’s funny, I had a southern fan on Facebook hit me up this week,” Seuss said. “He said even though we won the championship last year we haven’t conquered the south until we at least win one at Bowman Gray.”
-By Rob Blount, Speed51.com Northeast Editor – Twitter: @RobBlount
-Photo Credit: Speed51.com