By Seth Eggert, NASCAR Correspondent
A top-five finish at Richmond Raceway was more like a win for Ryan Sieg and his family-owned RSS Racing team.
The NASCAR Xfinity Series veteran held his own in the No 39 Larry’s Hard Lemonade Chevrolet Camaro SS. Throughout the final run to the finish, Sieg battled with Tyler Reddick, Zane Smith, among other drivers from the ‘super teams’ of the series.
Sieg, whose worst finish this season is 12th at Bristol, raced inside the top-10 throughout the race. When the checkered flag waved for the ToyotaCare 250, he was fifth, one position shy of qualifying for the Xfinity Dash 4 Cash at Talladega Superspeedway in two weeks.
Sieg explained the stellar night before his crew interrupted the interview to celebrate and sprayed him with Larry’s Hard Lemonade.
“It was great. The Larry’s Hard Lemonade car was great all night. We leaned on a lot of experience, Shane Wilson, ‘Cowboy’ (Kevin Starland), and myself. We don’t have all of the resources or all of the tools to get a good car here and get it dialed in.
“This is like a win for us. At a short track, a top-five is huge for us. We had only done that at a superspeedway. It’s pretty exciting. We’re getting better and better each week.”
The improvement in performance for the Tucker, GA native is in part due to new equipment and engines. During the offseason, Sieg and his team purchased chassis and engines from Richard Childress Racing.
After qualifying was rained out, Sieg started 13th. He slipped backward and ended the first stage in 17th. Sieg then proceeded to drive up through the field in the second stage. He took the green and white checkered flag in fifth.
The fifth-place finish is just the second top-five this season for Sieg, and the fifth of his career. This is also the first time Sieg has earned two top-five finishes in a single season.
The top-five allowed Sieg to jump from 11thto ninth in the championship standings. He is 109-points behind Reddick, the points leader. Sieg is also just 26-points ahead of the cutoff for the playoffs, held by Brandon Jones.