Andy Seuss Comes Out on Top at Lee by Denise DuPont
Make-A-Wish Guests Share Victory Lane
Running their last laps for the 2007 season, the True Value Modified Racing Series were the premier division at Lee USA Speedway for Oktoberfest Weekend of October 20th - 21st. A field of 27 cars qualified and all took the green flag.
Some special guests helped flag the race (top) and then joined Andy Seuss in victory lane. (Jim DuPont Photos)
Andy Seuss won the last TVMRS race of the season at Lee, his home turf and track.
This hopefully brought to an end to the bad luck part of the #70 race team’s roller coaster season.
“After a season of wrecking cars and motors and just bad luck, I was not counting on it (the win) until I did a couple of victory laps and they didn’t take the checkered flag away from me,” joked Seuss. “Just the way that this season has gone, it has not been the greatest.”
In addition to Sunday’s series finale, Andy’s Mom Bobbi Seuss and the #70 Race Team welcomed three families from the Make-A-Wish Foundation on Sunday before racing festivities began at Lee. The Make-A-Wish family members received a “goodie bag” that included a signed checkered flag from the series drivers. They then waved the green flag to start the feature from the starters stand.
The biggest treat of the day for the three Make-A-Wish families though was when Andy crossed the finish line first. They leaped for joy knowing they could be with him in victory lane. The smiles on their faces captured the rays of hope and love of life that the three small girls portrayed sharing Andy’s victory.
The winners of the qualifying heat races, which were held on Saturday, were Chris Pasteryak, Ed Dachenhausen and Rob Goodenough. Tommy Cravenho won the 15 lap consi race. The last race winner at Seekonk, Vinnie Annarummo, started the Lee 100 lap race at the back of the pack in the 27th position.
Ed Dachenhausen jumped to the lead as he piloted past polesitter Chris Pasteryak. The bright pink car of Dauchenhausen would lead as Hinckley and Alexander were working their way forward from their fifth and fourteenth starting positions. Hinckley would be the first to catch Dachenhausen and pass him. Alexander would make his way to third. Alexander then picked off Dachenhausen and set his sights on Hinckley.
After a side by side battle, Alexander came out the winner in first. It looked to be fitting that this year’s two top drivers battled for the final checker of the season.
But that would not quite to be. Alexander was on cruise control from there forward, while Hinckley started falling back through the field as did pole sitter Pasteryak. Both would pit for handling problems. They raced back to the front along with Douglas and Seuss.
The #70 team had some troubles early in the Lee race.
Alexander developed a flat tire on his #43 late. He was able to ride it out for two yellows until lap 97 when it came off the rim in turn three. Seuss who had also pitted to cool a hot engine had made it back to second place at this point and took over the lead after Alexnader had his troubles.
The race took a toll on veteran drivers. Vinnie Annarummo lost his top five spot when he tried to make it three wide out of turn one with a lapped car and Seuss.
Alexander developed a flat tire which came off the rim with only three laps to go in the race.
Dwight and Peter Jarvis were out next when they were involved in a late race incident when cars backed up during a race restart
There were ten cautions during the race which proved to be one too many for Series founder Jack Bateman.
Bateman, who was running third on lap 95, ran out of gas and lost his opportunity to finish in the top five. He did salvage the race though by finishing in tenth.
So in the blink of an eye the race went from a pack of veteran drivers leading the race to a pack of young guns taking the race to the end. Lee’s former Hobby Stock Champion Mike Douglas finished the race in second followed by Chris Pasteryak then next was hard charger Les Hinckley and rounding off the top five ‘Tenacious” Todd Owen.
The TVMRS has grown much over its first four year of existence and will continue to expand next year as the tour will be adding Thunder Road to the schedule. Modified cars have not been to Thunder Road to race for a lot of years so it will be great to hear the roar of Thunder there next season.
The race at Lee wasn’t the only event for the winning team this weekend. After qualifying heats at Lee Saturday afternoon, the #70 team of Seuss decided to go to All-Star Speedway to race.
The racing season is winding down and the Rockingham Boat/Stuart Automotive Team have looked for every opportunity to race and work the bugs out of their car. The team packed up, got to the track, made adjustments, switched tires and made it out for a few practice laps before qualifying heats. SDeuss barely squeezed by with a sixth place finish in his heat race. Then bad luck reared its ugly head on lap 19 of the race when the car developed suspension issues during a caution.
It turned out that the car had a bad left rear shock which if they had not made the trip to All-Star they would have not shaken out until Lee Speedway’s TVMRS feature race. Lady luck must have been on the team’s side. The team had an opportunity to work late into the night to fix the car before Lee Speedway’s main race.
“We wrecked last night at All-Star Speedway these guys stayed up passed midnight and worked ever minute until we had to go across the scale to get the car perfect,” said Seuss. “In the long run it really was. I am just happy for them (his crew). They stuck with me through this year. It has not been the greatest but I cannot thank them and my sponsors enough.”
Les Hinckley (#06) and Kirk Alexander (#43) battled early on, but Alexander had a flat tire late, which took away any chance of winning the race. (Bottom)