Hayden Goldberg | November 18th 2016, 1:11 pm
But the two drivers and their respective teams persevered to come home with top-15 finishes in Saturday’s Drive for Safety 300 NASCAR XFINITY Series race atChicagoland Speedway and clinched spots in the series’ inaugural Chase.
Sieg wound up 12th while Koch battled to a 15th-place finish in the 200-lap race.
"We're going to have to be top 15 or better each race, be on our game and make no mistakes," said Sieg, driver of the No. 39 Chevrolet for RSS Racing. "If some other people make mistakes, we can benefit from that and make it to the next round.
"You've got to race hard and get everything out of everybody; it's going to be a struggle but we're ready for it."
Sieg, 29, will enter the seven-race playoff seeded ninth, 12 points behind Saturday's race winner, top-seeded Erik Jones (Joe Gibbs Racing). Sieg is not alone – nine of the 12 drivers in the field qualified for the Chase on points, and will begin with 2,000-point total after the reset.
It's a daunting task for Sieg's group, as well as for Koch and others who have seenSprint Cup-affiliated teams dominate the competition this season.
But they'll all be racing for the same hardware come next week, and to be among the handful in that position is a win in itself.
"This is huge," Sieg said. "It's like a race within a race – the Cup affiliated teams and the smaller teams. We're one of the top two smaller car teams. This is like our little championship here. It's exciting; I'm ready to go to the next three."
For Koch, it was a stressful event at Chicagoland, in part brought on by a season spent on the Chase bubble. The vibration in the No. 11 Kaulig Racing Chevrolet only made matters worse.
The concern in his voice as the race wound down wasn't anything new.
"How about a little concern in my voice all race long?" said Koch, who called the event "the biggest XFINITY race I've ever been a part of.
"I had this little vibration that just scared me. When you're in this tight of a points battle you want everything to feel perfect and I had a vibration through my shifter; I don't know where it was. It never went away, it never got worse."
It was not the first time the issue had cropped up; the last time it did, Koch said, he failed to finish the race.
"So it just had my stomach in knots," the 31-year-old said. “Chris (Rice, crew chief) was able to use his psychology and get my head off of it and just race the race."
The XFINITY Chase format consists of seven races and three rounds, with four drivers eliminated at the conclusion of each of the first two rounds. The drivers in the Championship 4 will go to Homestead-Miami Speedway to determine the champion.
The Round of 12 will consist of stops at Kentucky, Dover and Charlotte while Kansas, Texas and Phoenix make up the Round of 8 races.
"I feel like I've been points racing all year, like I've been the guy on the bubble every single race," Koch said. “You're going to have to be smart at Kentucky and get through there with a solid finish but then I think you can go to Dover and let it all hang out."
If you’re ever trying to spot Rod Sieg in the Xfinity Series garage, just look for the man full of energy and radiating positivity.
Sieg is the owner of Ryan Sieg Racing and the No. 39 car, driven by his son, Ryan. The family-owned business has been successful in NASCAR, moving from the Camping World Truck to Xfinity Series. They are one race away from qualifying for the inaugural Xfinity Series Chase.
Ryan sits 12th on the Chase grid entering Chicago this weekend. As for Rod, whether the team makes the playoffs, one would be hard-pressed to find him not having fun.
“Nobody comes to the racetrack to finish last, do they?” Sieg asks NBC Sports. “Life has been good. I’ve had fun, and everywhere I go I have fun. I don’t want to be in a bad mood. Even after Bristol (where Ryan finished 37th) I didn’t get upset – we just left early, and it was a quiet ride home.”
Sieg’s life in business started in 1982 when he and his father-in-law, Colie Wilson, co-founded S&W Towing. Based out of Tucker, Georgia, where the family originates, Wilson was the one who had an affinity for racing, which rubbed off on Sieg.
“We’d race go-karts and all that stuff, and then we bought some Late Models and got into those then decided to go Truck racing,” Sieg said. “We were going to run Trucks and Xfinity, and heck we ran so good we were like, ‘Why are we going to go Truck racing when we can go over here?’ That’s how it just goes, and it’s been an easy progression.”
Sieg has fielded entries in NASCAR since 2009. And just like the sport, he admits he lives his life at full-throttle.
“That’s the only way to live, isn’t it?”
The following Q&A has been edited and condensed.
NBC Sports: Is the team shop still based in Georgia at the S&W Towing location?
Sieg: It was until this last year. I could walk out back from my office and go to the garage and work right in the garage. But it got too small. We’ve moved to a different location and run a business out of there that is a towing service, but we built a big warehouse up there. It’s pretty nice now.
NBC Sports: How much did your father-in-law influence your decision to get into racing?
Sieg: My wife’s dad raced dirt, and I worked for a guy named Randy Couch when I was like 16, 17, 18 and he was an All-Pro champion. Ever since then we’ve been racing, and he even came over to the shop and helped us work on our Late Model cars when we ran around the Southeast. I actually tried to deter Ryan from racing; I sent him down to a guy named Wayne Anderson in Florida and said go with him. I called Wayne and said ‘I want you to be as brutal as you can on him,’ and Wayne treated him awful. Ryan would say, ‘We worked on Wayne’s cars all day, and we’d push mine out for 30 minutes, and I’d have to race Wayne.’ He’d follow him to the track, and that’s how he really got into it. He actually did good as Wayne told him, just follow me around.
Wayne Anderson raced for a long time and he was in Late Models out of Florida and Ryan would drive back and forth from Florida to our house every week, and did it by himself. I was wanting him to quit because people don’t understand how hard racing is from week to week, and he was determined to do it. I was trying to be mean as I could, I really was.
NBC Sports: Is it difficult to be both the owner of the race team and the father of the driver?
Sieg: I treat him like I would any other driver. I don’t cut him any slack, but I don’t really say much. We’ve been racing so long you don’t get real high or real low. Daytona (when Ryan finished third) I got real high! That was a high point. When you get through Daytona, and you can finish it, it’s always a good day because we’ve had two bad years of bad luck down there. Running good, but just got caught up in a wreck. Boy, when you can finish one, it just tickles you to death.
NBC Sports: Do you just oversee the operation when you come to the track or do you get involved?
Sieg: I’ll do anything they ask me. I’ll jump in and pick up tires and put them on if that’s what I need to do. I want everybody to be in a good mood because you know what, one gets in a bad mood, everybody gets in a bad mood.
NBC Sports: What is your approach or philosophy for business, seeing that you run two different ones?
Sieg: I just treat everybody the way I want to be treated. I mean, we got a guy that does nothing but polish the car, and I treat him the same way I treat the crew chief.
NBC Sports: Is the current business model in the Xfinity Series sustainable to a small team like yours?
Sieg: We’ll have to see. We haven’t got that far yet. I take it a year at a time, a race at a time. We prepare our car a week in advance, and some of these guys have their cars prepared months in advance. We haven’t mapped out anything for the future.
NBC Sports: With as outgoing and energetic as you are, do you have any other hobbies besides racing?
Sieg: We go up to the lake house all the time, I have a lake house in Georgia. We have jet skis and boats and all that and I’m constantly doing things that nearly kill me. (Crew chief Kevin Starland) rented a campsite once and we have two jet skis that are real fast, and I came in about 70 miles-per-hour and wide open. There were rocks there on the coast, and I turned the wheel real hard, and I flipped about five times. I was hiding under the water cause the jet ski flipped and they’re all running out screaming, ‘Rod, Rod, Rod!’ and I jumped out saying, I’m all right!
Sugar Hill, GA (August 29, 2016) - RSS Racing is pleased to announce that Tri County Landscape will return as a primary sponsor for three more races in 2016 starting at Darlington Raceway. In addition to Darlington, TCL will be on the #39 car at Richmond and Charlotte.
At Darlington, the team will run a special throwback paint scheme resembling the famous colors that Dale Jarrett ran in the late 90s. Ryan Sieg commented, “I’m thrilled to have TCL back for three more races and I’m honored to drive this special color scheme at Darlington. Growing up, our family always stayed at the same condo in Daytona as Robert Yates, Dale Jarrett, and their team. He was always one of my favorites and I think I even got tossed in the pool by DJ a few times one year! Needless to say this will be a fun weekend for everyone involved.”
Sieg continues to hold down the 12th spot in points with three races left before the Chase begins for XFINITY Series. The RSS team will have two practices on Friday before qualifying and racing Saturday at Darlington.
About RSS Racing:
RSS Racing fields the No. 39 and No. 93 Chevrolet Camaros in the NASCAR XFINITY Series for drivers Ryan Sieg and David Starr. RSS Racing has competed in NASCAR events since 2009 from its headquarters in Sugar Hill, GA. For more information on RSS Racing and Ryan Sieg, please visit ryansiegracing.com
RSS Racing is pleased to welcome Midstate Basement Authorities as the primary sponsor for Ryan Sieg for the NASCAR XFINITY race at Watkins Glen. Midstate Basement Authorities, located in Ithaca, New York, is the area’s leading foundation contractor specializing in basement waterproofing, crawl space encapsulation and foundation concrete repair.
“This will be my third trip to Watkins Glen and I am thrilled to have Midstate on our car as I continue to improve making right and left turns. We actually came away with a top 15 last year at Watkins Glen and that felt like a win. Hopefully we can back that up and have another strong run for Midstate Basement Authorites.” Commented Ryan Sieg.
Sieg continues to hold down the 11th spot in the XFINITY Chase standings as the series makes three stops at road courses in the month of August. Sieg has completed a remarkable 99% of the laps run in the XFINITY Series, fourth best of all drivers in the XFINITY Series.
RSS Racing is pleased to welcome Ritchie Industries, Inc. as a primary sponsor for Ryan Sieg for the race at Iowa Speedway Saturday night. Since 1921, Ritchie Industries has manufactured durable, dependable automatic fountains for many species of livestock, including beef, dairy, equine, swine, sheep and goats.
The distinct Ritchie design has been the standard bearer of quality. Ritchie fountains continue to serve all sizes of operations in the livestock industry with equipment designed to provide years of trouble-free use.
“I am eager to welcome Ritchie Industries to NASCAR this weekend. Iowa Speedway is one of my favorite stops on the schedule. It’s really exciting to have a company based out of Iowa come on board for their home race.” Commented Ryan Sieg.
Sieg and the 39 team are currently 11th in the standings following the race at Indianapolis. Sieg had a solid run going in the first race at Iowa Speedway this season before problems on pit road cost him multiple laps to the leaders. The XFINITY Series will have two practices on Friday before qualifying Saturday afternoon followed by the race that night.
For more information about Ritchie automatic waterers, visit http://www.ritchiefount.com.
360 TREESTANDS WITH SIEG AT CHARLOTTE
RSS Racing is excited to welcome 360 Treestands as a primary sponsor for the NASCAR XFINITY race at Charlotte this Saturday. 360 Treestands are made with US steel by US military veterans in Rincon, GA. The stand not only gives the user the ultimate 360-degree view from 7, 13, or 18 feet but it also doubles as its own transport system with the use of the detachable transport wheel section.
Ryan Sieg currently sits 12th in the standings heading into the Charlotte race. “I am thrilled to have 360 Treestands on board with us this weekend. It’s really awesome that they are based out of Georgia and they make their stands in the US. It’s not only a great fit for our team but it’s a great fit for NASCAR. I am looking forward to a strong run in Charlotte.” commented Sieg.
The RSS Racing team led by Mike Ford and Cowboy Starland have shown great improvement the last month. The #39 team put on a tremendous performance in Dover highlighted by a 3rd place finish in the heat race but ultimately lost multiple laps to the leaders due to an untimely caution. The team will utilize the same car it raced at Texas earlier this season to a top 10 finish.
About RSS Racing
RSS Racing fields the #39 and #93 Chevrolet Camaros in the NASCAR XFINITY Series for drivers Ryan Sieg, Josh Wise, and Josh Reaume. RSS Racing has competed in NASCAR events since 2009 from its headquarters in Sugar Hill, GA. For more information on RSS Racing and Ryan Sieg, please visit ryansiegracing.com.
Sieg ended the year 11th in points and the highest-ranked driver who did not have any kind of affiliation with a Cup operation. The team he raced for was his own. The family owned and operated race team did a lot with a little and Sieg impressed on a weekly basis. He consistently ran inside the top 15 and top 20 and finished as high as eighth in a race at Kansas. The numbers may not be stunning, but the results that he was able to consistently attain with the equipment he had is what earned him a place on this list.
From Motorsport.com Click here for the whole article.