Andy Seuss might have a new team to lead into battle for the 2011 NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour season, but the situation is one that will be anything but unfamiliar to him.
Seuss, who has contended for the past two Southern Modified Tour championships, will be the new driver for the #44 Fishel Racing Modified.
“One big reason for this decision was how much potential there is with this team, but even more important is that this is just a great group of people to work with,” said Seuss. “I just spent last week working in the shop with them and really enjoyed it. Last year, we always parked next to each other at the track. We've always helped each other out and shared laughs too. So to be able to work with a team like this and go to the races to have fun is the most important thing.”
“We are really excited about Andy joining us this year,” said Tony White of Fishel Racing. “We have basically been unofficial teammates with him and the Riggs Racing team anyways, so this makes sense. We would pit next to each other, share food with each other, help each other out and enjoy everyone's company.”
Seuss and the #44 team found their ways to each other after circumstances left both parties at a crossroads this past winter. The Riggs Racing team that Seuss won seven races for over the past three seasons was disbanding after team patriarch David Riggs' retirement. Meanwhile, the #44 team was looking for a driver of their own.
"Since Brandon Hire has some off track commitments, and he wouldn't be able to put forth the effort that this tour requires, he decided to step out of the seat for the 2011 campaign" said White. “The Riggs team wasn't going to race this year, so we were all looking for something new. You couldn't have asked for a better fit.”
The new pairing will have some extra familiarity to it as well. Jim Hire, father of the #44 team's previous driver Brandon, will return as the team's crew chief. David Riggs isn't completely ready to retire after all and will serve as a consultant. Longtime Riggs Racing crew chief Reggie Newman and Riggs crew members will also be working with the #44 team. Even the late Jeff Riggs, Seuss' most recent car owner, planned to join this new team. Seuss and Jeff Riggs discussed the new situation just two days before Riggs passed away suddenly over the winter.
The team will rely on support from a patchwork of loyal sponsors to get the season started. Clemmons Speed Shop, Kooks Custom Headers, Goodridge Fluid Transfer Systems , Crane & Rigging Corp, C&R Racing, Pro-System Brakes, Shell Racing Solutions, Hire's Automotive, Konnoak Giant Service, Hank Thomas Performance, Piedmont Fence inc. Leaf Racewear, Racing Electronics, FRAM/Autolite, the Joie of Seating ,Rockingham Boat, Ram Printing, MUA and Motor Racing Outreach are all helping the operation with a combination of sponsorship, products and emotional support. Still, more help is needed to chase the 2011 championship.
“We are going to the first five races of the season and taking it from there,” said Seuss. “We hope to build on what we start out with and find the sponsorship to run for the championship. We have a few things in the works already and are very optimistic about this coming year.”
For more information on Andy Seuss, please contact Mike Twist at (207) 499-2047 and be sure to check out Andy's website at www.andyseuss.net., Join Andy Seuss, Fishel Racing, Riggs Racing on Facebook and Twitter.