Sieg hopes third at Vegas sets tone for season

Photo By: Rachel Schuoler / Kickin' the Tires

By Tim Packman

LAS VEGAS – Ryan Sieg wheeled his No. 39 RSS Racing Chevrolet to an impressive third-place finish in the rain-delayed NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Sunday evening.

When the race started on Saturday, and was halted 50 laps in because of rains, Sieg was lined up way back in 32nd place. Starting back there isn’t a wanted ingredient in a recipe for success.

When the final practice ended on Friday, the Tucker, Ga. team was a satisfying 13th on the speed chart. When it came to race time, driver and team knew they had their work cut out for them.

Through the use of tire management, pit strategy and hard racing; Sieg started an assault to the front.

It wasn’t until the end of Stage 2 when the scoring pylon showed the No. 39 CMR Roofing Chevrolet in the top 10. He would then enter the top five through some steady driving and pit calls by Crew Chief Kevin “Cowboy” Starland in the final stage.

As race winner Chase Briscoe and second-place driver Austin Cindric battled for and swapped the lead, Sieg just bided his time. If the leaders were going to experience some bad luck, he was ready to take advantage.

“Before the caution came out with 14 laps to go, our car was just getting good,” Sieg said on pit road, as fellow drivers and crew members congratulated him on his good finish. “We were really good off the corners and had a lot of grip on exit.

“I just have to thank all the guys at the shop. Cowboy, Big Mike and thell worked really hard on our cars this off season. We are really trying to get everything where we need to be

“The car was just awesome to drive all night.”

This was Sieg’s sixth career top-five finish and second top 10 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

Regarding the aforementioned off season, the team without an affiliation like Cindric’s Team Penske and Briscoe’s Stewart-Haas Racing had to overcome some adversity before Daytona.

Shane Wilson had been a top the pit box for the last two seasons, but was hired by another team leaving Sieg without a Crew Chief. Located hours away from the Charlotte, N.C. area, where so many other teams are located, already has them at a small disadvantage.

However, the team consists of crew members with years of experience at larger teams that work to their advantage. Getting horsepower from ECR Engines helps, as well.

Through determination, budgeting and hard work; Sieg and RSS Racing show up each week ready to compete. If Sunday night’s efforts and results are any indication of what lies ahead, look for Sieg to add a seventh career top-five finish – or more – very soon.

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