Andy Seuss added his name to the list of winners of the John Blewett III North-South Shootout Saturday at Concord Speedway (NC). The win wasn’t easy for the Hampstead, N.H. driver, but to add his name to the list of winners of this event is something that Seuss will never forget.
“Words cannot describe what it means to win this race,” Seuss said. “I didn’t know if I’d ever do it. You need to have every base covered, good car, good engine, setup, pit crew, strategy and discipline in the car. To know we covered all of that the best of any team, even through adversity, is pretty amazing.”
Seuss qualified seventh for the 125-lap event and worked his way towards the front right away. On an early caution many cars came down pit road, but Seuss chose to stay out. Fresher tires got the best of the No. 11 machine and Seuss found himself slipping back through the field.
On lap 69 the 29-year-old driver was then involved in an on-track incident, which led to slight damage on the No. 11 machine and a starting spot near the rear of the field when the race went back to green.
“I knew we had a car capable of winning,” Seuss stated. “The long run before the first caution proved to me we were solid. Going through the dogleg backwards at that speed, I figured our day was over, but I fired up and rolled to the pits and the guys said they could fix it. There were a lot of bent parts they didn’t even tell me about, but they got the car really close and it handled just as good, just with some vibration.”
When the green flag flew again, Seuss began to work his way back towards the front. A caution on lap 91 gave Seuss the chance to gain some track position. While everyone else pitted, he once again stayed out, and found himself in third and then used another restart three laps later to take the lead.
Seuss put some distance between himself and the field, but as the laps wound down a hard-charging Matt Hirschman looked to be a threat. Hirschman closed to the back bumper of Seuss with two laps to go, but the New Hampshire driver held off the challenge to take the checkered flag.
“You don’t have to be nervous when Matt Hirschman is in second,” Seuss said in victory lane. “You have to be nervous when Matt Hirschman is in the field. He got into second and I didn’t know how lapped traffic was going to play. It screwed me up. I don’t know if it helped him or hurt him, but the race was 125 laps and we beat him to the checkered flag in 125 laps.”
The day full of ups and downs proved to all be worth it at the end of 125 laps when Seuss celebrated with his team, wife and newborn son in Victory Lane.
“I don’t know how we got here,” said Seuss. “We went from being in the wall to a different strategy to here. We were just trying to save as many tires as we could and then that wreck on the backstretch changed our strategy for us. I was awful upset about it at the time, but I’m not going to be upset about it now. But the toe was knocked out of it, the wheels were beat off of it. These guys worked their butts off under caution and just gave me a fabulous car.”
The North-South Shootout was the final race of the 2016 season for Seuss. More information regarding his 2017 plans are expected to be announced during the offseason. Visit www.andyseuss.com for more information.