INDIANAPOLIS – Andrew Layser’s move to Tucker-Boat Motorsports for the 2020 NOS Energy Drink USAC National Midget Series season was one that caught many onlookers off guard.
After all, after a successful first year with Clauson/Marshall Racing that netted rookie-of-the-year honors, Layser seemed comfortable and set to contend in his second year on tour.
But the Collegeville, Pa., teenager was looking for a slightly-different fit in his quest to break into victory lane during the new season, and he found it with team co-owners Chad Boat and Corey Tucker.
Layser spoke exclusively to Sprint Car & Midget on Saturday following the initial reveal of his move to TBM for 2020, noting that he struggled with the decision to make a change but ultimately found peace with the decision in the end.
“It certainly wasn’t an easy decision, by any means, but I think it’s the right decision for me,” Layser said. “I can’t thank Tim (Clauson), Richard and Jennifer (Marshall) and all the CMR folks enough for what they did for me in 2019 and giving me a good first year on the road. We achieved a lot of our goals, and I got my first full midget win with them, so that memory will always be special.
“Moving forward, though, I think Tucker/Boat Motorsports is definitely the right place for me and I couldn’t be more excited to be working with Chad and the whole team … and that’s the main reason I felt like going there was the right decision, is being able to work with Chad. I’ve got great respect for him as a driver, as a crew chief, as a car owner and more importantly as a person.
“I couldn’t be more excited to be working with him and I think we can achieve great things together. This is a move that just felt right.”
Layser noted that Boat’s status as an owner who has driven on the NOS Energy Drink USAC National Midget Series as recently as September’s Driven2SaveLives BC39 at The Dirt Track at IMS is something that spoke to him as he was looking for a new home in the series for the upcoming campaign.
“Chad’s fresh out of the seat and he knows exactly what those cars need to do to go fast,” explained Layser. “He’s a great driver himself, so it’s huge being able to work with somebody like that.
“I was telling my parents last night that I really think that, with watching Chad and being able to race with him, I think we have similar driving styles, so I really think it’s going to be a good fit all the way around.”
With a new situation, but a familiar teammate alongside him in Chris Windom, Layser believes he and Tucker/Boat are primed for success.
Their first mission together? Checking off what would be Layser’s first USAC national midget victory.
“I want to get some wins. I think it’s something this team is certainly capable of,” said Layser. “Tucker/Boat Motorsports has proven that they’re capable of winning, not only at USAC races but big races. And for me, I feel like as the year went on, I got more comfortable and I think I put myself in good positions. I think I can continue to do that, and do that even more, with the help of Chad and the rest of the team and hopefully cross off some wins in 2020.
“The goal is just to run consistent, you know?” he added. “The USAC schedule, it’s tough. You’re racing with the best drivers in the world and it’s 39 races next year, so you have to stay consistent. I’m not necessarily thinking about points to start, though. Whenever you’re challenging for points, you want to be able to get wins and race for a championship, but that’s not specifically on my mind. I want to go out there and win races and just perform like we know we can perform.
“As the old saying goes, if you go out there and win races, the points will fall into place and take care of themselves.”