NOTEBOOK: Andy Seuss looking forward to 'having fun' in New Hampshire Modified race

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·6 min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

Andy Seuss is a busy man.

The New Hampshire native and North Carolina resident works as the car chief on the No. 16 Kaulig Racing Chevrolet in the NASCAR Cup Series that will be piloted this weekend at New Hampshire Motor Speedway by A.J. Allmendinger.

In addition to that, he and his wife are currently in the process of moving. So you might say Seuss’ life is currently complicated.

That makes this the perfect time for Seuss to dust off his driving suit and climb back into a Modified to race in Saturday’s NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Manufactured in America 100 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway (6 p.m. ET on FloRacing).

RELATED: New Hampshire entry list | Race preview

The two-time NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour champion doesn’t race often these days due to his work schedule, but he couldn’t pass up the opportunity to race on the big stage at New Hampshire.

“At a young age I fell in love with Modified racing,” Seuss said. “It was always a dream, even racing go karts not far from there, to one day run the Modified at Loudon. I guess that excitement has never really left me. It’s still important to me. It’s huge. It’s a big deal.”

Seuss has gotten to do that 24 times during his racing career, with a best finish of fourth at the 1.058-mile speedway. He earned his lone NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour pole at New Hampshire in 2020 and he led 30 laps during that event before finishing sixth.

Andy Seuss, driver of the #70 Rockingham Boat/TDS Chevrolet, had the fasting qualifying time during the Musket 200 Presented by Whelen for the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, New Hampshire on September 11, 2020. (Maddie Malhotra/NASCAR)
Andy Seuss, driver of the #70 Rockingham Boat/TDS Chevrolet, had the fasting qualifying time during the Musket 200 Presented by Whelen for the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, New Hampshire on September 11, 2020. (Maddie Malhotra/NASCAR)

His attempts at New Hampshire make up nearly half of Seuss’ career NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour starts. Why is New Hampshire so important to Seuss?

“It’s always still been our Daytona 500, personally, and I feel like a lot of people feel that way about the Modifieds,” Seuss said of racing at New Hampshire.

The car the 35-year-old will be driving Saturday is owned by his father, Steve Seuss, and will have sponsorship from Rockingham Boat and Acacia Energy. The father-son duo have worked together to race at New Hampshire since 2006 and have built a notebook the younger Seuss thinks is good enough to make them contenders.

However, Seuss will be at a unique deficit before he even takes the green flag Saturday afternoon.

Because of his responsibilities with Kaulig Racing, Seuss says he doesn’t expect to practice in his No. 70 Modified on Friday afternoon. In fact, he may not even get to qualify.

“I won’t be able to practice the car. I’ll be doing my day job in the Cup Series garage,” Seuss said. “Hopefully if we pass tech in time maybe I’ll get to qualify it, but if not, we’ll be starting in the back.”

So can Seuss win the race starting from the back? It’s not impossible.

Four times a winner at New Hampshire has started 29th or worse, with Mike Stefanik winning one of his record eight races at New Hampshire from the 40th position in 1998.

With 26 cars entered Saturday, Seuss won’t need to pass nearly as many cars as Stefanik did in 1998 if he hopes to win his first NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour race.

Regardless of where he finishes, Seuss said the goal will be to have fun and enjoy a weekend back in his home state with many of the crew members who have helped him race through the years.

“We know that it’s an uphill battle,” Seuss said. “Maybe we’re not as likely to have the success that we’ve had in the past by putting ourselves behind, but it’s really about going and having fun this year. We’re just looking forward to having a weekend together. Racing a Modified just happens to be one of the things we all enjoy the most.”

Preece back to battle Mod Squad in Loudon

Ryan Preece loves his Modified racing roots, and he loves New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

These are big reasons why Preece is entered in Saturday’s Manufactured in America 100 at the 1.058-mile asphalt oval, where he happens to be the defending race winner.

Preece scored his first New Hampshire Motor Speedway victory last fall in a thrilling finish that saw him go from third to first in the final two corners.

As Ron Silk and Justin Bonsignore were battling for the lead, Preece made a hard left in Turns 3-4 to go underneath both competitors to take the lead and steal the victory in thrilling fashion.

Unlike last year, when Preece was driving the No. 6 Modified for the Partridge family, this time around he’ll be in his own No. 40 Modified that he recently began campaigning.

Saturday’s race will be Preece’s 26th NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour start at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. In his previous 25 starts, he has earned the aforementioned victory as well as eight top-five and 13 top-10 finishes. He’s also fourth in laps led at the track among active drivers.

Veterans Coby, Silk look for another Magic Mile trophy

Among those entered in Saturday’s Manufactured in America 100, no one has made more NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour starts at New Hampshire Motor Speedway than Doug Coby and Ron Silk.

Coby has competed in 35 races at the track, and Silk has competed in 34. The two have combined for seven victories, with Coby owning four New Hampshire trophies and Silk having collected three.

Silk enters Saturday’s race on top of the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour championship standings. He’s the only driver to finish inside the top 10 in every race so far this year, but he’s failed to visit Victory Lane thus far.

A trip to New Hampshire, where he has 16 top-five and 24 top-10 finishes, could be exactly what the doctor ordered as he continues his quest for his second series championship and first since 2011.

Coby, on the other hand, has already made two visits to Victory Lane this season. He earned wins at New York’s Riverhead Raceway and New Hampshire’s Lee USA Speedway aboard Tommy Baldwin Jr.’s No. 7NY, the same car he’ll be wheeling this weekend at New Hampshire.

While Coby may have more victories at New Hampshire than Silk, he hasn’t been as consistent. He has 13 top-five and 20 top-1o finishes, just a little shy of the numbers Silk has put together in one fewer start.

Baldwin’s team has earned four victories this year, two with Coby as well as wins with Mike Christopher Jr. and Jimmy Blewett. New Hampshire Motor Speedway would be an ideal place for victory No. 5.

Notes:

  • Anthony Nocella returns to the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour for his second attempt of the season this weekend. He had planned to race at Richmond Raceway in April, but a mechanical failure during practice forced him to withdraw from the event.

  • Six previous New Hampshire Motor Speedway winners are entered in Saturday’s race. They include the aforementioned Ryan Preece, Ron Silk and Doug Coby, as well as Donny Lia, Bobby Santos III and Justin Bonsignore.

  • Kyle Ebersole returns to the Tour for his fourth start of the year Saturday at New Hampshire. He’s made two previous starts at the track known as “The Magic Mile,” earning a best finish of 14th in 2017.