HAMPSTEAD - Andy Seuss is moving up in the world of NASCAR modified racing.
The 20-year-old will be at the wheel for Riggs Racing for the Whelen Southern Modified 2008 Tour, replacing well-known Junior Miller, who is scaling back his schedule.
Being handed the keys to Advance Auto Parts car No. 47 is a dream come true, Seuss said.
"The Riggs Racing team is the best team down South, where I have run part time the last few years. ... They are a winning outfit and hopefully that won't change," he said. "There are 13 races in the season and it starts on March 22."
Seuss will be doing a lot of driving off the track, too. He said he plans to make the 1,000-mile commute for races, continue working at the family business - Rockingham Boat in Hampstead - and continue his studies at New Hampshire Technical Institute in Manchester.
The Pinkerton Academy graduate caught the racing bug early on, starting with go-karts, and his whole family is part of the scene, serving as sponsors, publicists and pit crew for Number 70, his 1997 Troyer modified race car.
Moving over to the Riggs' team is "awesome," Seuss said.
The team has won nearly 100 modified races through the years, with a series of well-known drivers. Miller won so many races he earned the title "King of the Southern Modifieds."
And it was Miller who brought Seuss to the attention of the Riggs Racing team.
"Andy had run some Southern races since 2005 and I paid a little attention to him, but it was really Junior Miller who got us to really watch him," said Jeff Riggs, who operates the team with his father, David. "Junior told me to watch whoever was driving the No. 70 car because that driver knew what it was all about."
Seuss said the Riggs team has dominated down South and is always a threat to win.
"It was a big deal just to be considered for this ride," he said. "To get it was just amazing. Now, I am looking forward to seeing what we can do together. We're shooting for the Rookie of the Year title and to win some races together."
Seuss already won a NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour race at Music City Motorplex in Nashville, driving his own car. He also was the 2006 Modified champion of New Smyrna Speedway's World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing and won the DAV Memorial at Seekonk Speedway.