---- — By Shawn Wood
For The Daily Item
HAMBURG -- The year that Andy Haus was born, 1986, his legendary father, Scott Haus, had finished sixth in the Selinsgrove Speedway 410 sprint car point standings.
In his sixth year of racing and third in the late model, Andy Haus is still keeping the family name in the Selinsgrove record books.
A Penn State University graduate with a degree in design engineering, his regular job is designing medical devices.
"If I had my choice, I'd rather be working in the racing industry," he said.
He began his racing career in a 305 sprint car and had early success.
"I raced for Dave Best, who was my high school teacher, and we are still close to this day," he said.
Haus spent two seasons in the 305 division and won the track title at Heston before moving to the 410 sprint car ranks at Port Royal.
His father is the all-time late model career winner at the speedway with 96 wins and has eight track titles, including five in a row from 2007-2011. He won the 1983 late model championship at Selinsgrove and is 10th on the track's all-time win list with 29.
"We had a lot of engine trouble in the 410s," Andy Haus said. "We blew up four or five engines and then we decided to go late model racing."
Haus has six career wins, three in the sprint cars and three late model wins (two at Port Royal and at Bedford Speedway). He had no prior racing experience before he got in a sprint car.
"My dad asked Dave if he was sure that he wanted to put me in the car and Dave said yes," Andy Haus said.
While Haus doesn't have an early recollection of seeing his dad race, he does remember getting thrown out of the pits a few times as, back then, you had to be 16 to enter the pits. He would sneak in with the race trailer. To this day, the Hauses still use an open-trailer to tow the cars to the track.
"Dad didn't say too much to me in terms of advice when I got into racing," Haus said. "If I ask him a question, he'll answer it."
Scott Haus noted that he was doing better since his early-season crash at Port Royal.
"I had a bad wreck in the sprint cars in the same spot back in 1987 as I did with the late model this year," he said.
Andy received a call from a family member about the crash.
"I got a call just before our late model feature and when we found out that it was not life-threatening, we decided to run the feature," Andy said. "Selinsgrove was very nice and stopped the show to let us out to go be with dad."
This season, Selinsgrove Speedway promoter Charlie Paige has increased the late model division purse to the same as the headline division, the 358 sprint cars.
"We are at Selinsgrove over Port since they increased the pay and they were the first ones to do it, so we are going to try and support them," Andy said.
He said he is surprised that, with the increase in payout for the late models at Selinsgrove, the car counts have been low.
"Port upped their purse a little bit, but, still not enough through to back of the field. I don't know why folks don't want to run at Selinsgrove. It does seem to be hard on equipment, but, at Selinsgrove, you have a chance to leave with $200 to $300."
Andy is 15th in the late model points at Selinsgrove.
He drives a MasterSbilt by Huey chassis and is sponsored by CKC Trucking (owned by Mike and Lynn Gaw of Herndon), Miller Racing Engines, The Fastener Place, Penske Racing Shocks, Eibach Springs, Buck Rubs Gentleman, Hoosier Tire Mid-Atlantic and Schaeffer's Racing Oil.
Andy said 2013 season is off to a slow start.
"Over the past few weeks, we found some speed," he said. "We can run with anybody, but we can't finish."
Haus' car is owned by Ed Powell and the team is looking to run 30 to 40 races this year, including some with the World of Outlaws late model series and then some Three States Flyers races.
"I'm never going to be an Outlaw driver; I am just trying to have fun and I enjoy spending time with my dad," he said. "Racing is in my blood. I don't know what else to do and I don't see myself being more than a weekly racer."