The event was postponed and the TVMRS will be back again at Lee for double 100-lap features at the Oktoberfest weekend next month.
TRUE VALUE MODIFIED LEFTOVERS: LEE by Denise DuPont
The Race Was Rained Out, But We Still Have Our Leftovers
MOTHER NATURE WINS AT LEE
The ground pounding rolling thunder on Sunday, September 24th, was the weather again and not the True Value Modified Racing Series 100 event at Lee USA Speedway (NH). The rain and wind rolled in early afternoon as the Late Model division was on the track for their heat races. After 30 minutes of heavy rain the track crew came out to dry the track. The sun came out and the sky turned blue to assist the crew in their efforts.
Racing though was cancelled for the day when weather reports threatened more rain.
Dwight Jarvis (Jim DuPont Photo)
Track drying is underway at Lee. (Jim DuPont Photo)
JARVIS WISHES TO HAVE RACED
The leader in points Dwight Jarvis was busy helping his crew pack the #28 TVMRS car in the hauler before the pending second storm came.
“We were looking forward to racing today,” Said Jarvis. “We did quite a bit of work on the car. We changed the setup for today. The car felt really good in practice. We want to race right to the end. Now there is just Seekonk and then back here at Lee left. We will just keep our fingers crossed and hope for the best.”
OWEN QUICK IN PRACTICE
Todd Owen was helping his crew dismount the tires from the rims for storage in the TVMRS trailers. TVMRS officials have made the decision to confiscate the tires that were bought at Lee. Todd Owen was third fastest on the Lee track in the #07 car.
Owen's #07 (Jim DuPont Photo)
“We are definitely disappointed with the cancellation,” said Owen. “We came all the way up here (from Connecticut). We ran third in the speed charts. I am very happy about the way we were running.”
This was his second time in a TVMRS car for the 2006 season. At Thompson’s Modified Mania show, Owen also drove the #07 car in the TVMRS race.
“At the Thompson race, I do not think that they showed their capabilities. I watched them at Monadnock a couple of times and they ran really good so. I was really excited about today. We are going to go to Seekonk next and then back to Lee as long as rainouts do not affect Stafford for the racing. Right now it is looking we can run Stafford, Seekonk, World Series, and Lee’s Oktoberfest.”
Todd has been busy racing Friday night at Stafford Speedway driving on the Late Models and SK Divisions.
“I definitely have plenty of laps this year. We are keeping really busy. We may go to the North South Shootout. I am kind of burning my guys out here and there is only so much money to go around. I have tired out my guys.”
SEUSS TEAM COVERS A LOT OF GROUND
In the old days of Modified racing, it was nothing for teams to race in multiple places on one weekend – towing through the night to make the next show even if it was several states away. Modified heroes like Richie
Evans and Jerry Cook won championships by doing just that. Ed Flemke even headed up a group known as the “Eastern Bandits,” who toured throughout the land chasing checkered flags.
These days, things like that aren’t nearly as common as racecars and teams become more specialized and the costs of traveling have gone through the roof. But occasionally, you’ll still see some of that old sprit shine through and that is exactly what the #70 Rockingham Boat/Manchester Urology team of Andy Seuss set out to do this weekend.
On Friday morning, Seuss’ team of family and friends realized that their racecar was ready to go for a race or two, so they decided on a whim to head to Saturday night’s NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour event at Caraway Speedway (NC). By Friday evening, they were loaded up and headed south from their New Hampshire shop.
...and in New Hampshire on Sunday. (Jim DuPont Photo)
“The overheating is now the second in a week with the new motor. We changed it. Joey Caraccia builds great engines and power plants and he has been working with us. We are thinking that there is something wrong with the cooling system in the car itself not the motor. We are going to through it this week and see what we can find. Then hopefully we will have it all set. “
Seuss finished 19th at Caraway.
“It was a shame that we did not get the finish we wanted. We were pleased with the way that the car handled and the impression that we left down South.”
But the weekend was only half over. The team was now focused on making it back to New Hampshire and running Sunday’s True Value Modified Racing Series event at Lee USA Speedway (NH).
The team drove overnight and the #70 hauler pulled into the pits at Lee Speedway just ahead of the planned heat races. The crew rolled the car out of the hauler and went to work getting the car ready for racing. Seuss had little time to rest since he was scheduled for the third heat race.
But before that race came around, the rain clouds did. The Lee event was rained out and rescheduled for Lee’s Oktoberfest weekend on October 21st-22nd.
To just be in the pits before the rains came was quite an accomplishment for the #70 team.
“I have a great group of dedicated guys,” said Seuss. “Only a few of us can drive the hauler. We had another chase vehicle with the other crew guys. They let me sleep the whole way down. They knew that I had to be focused for the race. I thank them for that. Coming home we were tired from the night before so there were more frequent shift changes. At one point we thought about stopping and sleeping, but we just couldn’t do that. I feel bad, but I pushed the guys and told them we really needed to keep going, and they agreed. Unfortunately, it was all for naught. We are really disappointed that we are not racing today.”
After such a busy weekend, what is in store next for the #70 team?
“We do not know when our next race is. We really enjoy running those Whelen South races. There is Hickory, North Carolina next weekend and we are planning on going to the Motor Mile because we ran there in the beginning of the year as well. And of course finish out the True Value points deal [The True Value Modifieds return to action on October 8th at Seekonk Speedway]. So we’ll find a place to race.“
Seuss' #70 in North Carolina on Saturday... (51 Photo)
“We did not plan on going down to Caraway until 11:00am on Friday,” said Seuss. “To convert the car to NASCAR rules, we had to change the body, change the headers, change the lead [weights] and a whole bunch of other stuff before we left. We also had real work to do. I did not get out of work [as a boat technician] until after 3:00 PM. A lot of the guys were not over there until 5:00 PM or so. We worked real hard and got the car ready.”
When they first got the Caraway, things looked bleak. Practice didn’t go so well.
“We got down there and we had some older tires that we had run down at Caraway in the spring,” said Seuss.
“We were going to run them in practice. The tires were probably too old to be practicing on, so we did not get a really good feel for the car. We were really slow, especially compared to some of the laps of the other guys like Junior Miller and Tim Brown were putting down. We were kind of frustrated. My dad and the crew did an awesome job and made some good calls setting the car up for qualifying.”
Those calls really did pay off. In qualifying Seuss had the second-fastest time, but the team’s hope for a good finish came to an end when the car overheated on lap 56.
“The car was just a rocket ship. It turned right up on the bottom. It came up just a little short of the pole, but I never thought that I was going down to shoot for a NASCAR Whelen Modified South pole. We redrew third. I started there and was running third until Tim Brown and Burt Myers were getting into it a little bit. I tried to get around both of them and they came down on the track on me and I went back to fifth. That was fine with me, because I was really saving the car. This was one of the best cars that I have ever driven. That car was unbelievable. It is too bad that it overheated. We had to come in. The guys worked real hard.