Flying Dutchman Overcomes Adversity to Make the Show
Ends Cup Race Early Avoiding Serious Contact
Lake Elsinore, CA (December 21, 2009) - After Mother Nature caused the inaugural Lucas Oil Off-Road Racing Rockstar Challenge to be delayed for a week, Dan Vanden Heuvel and his Maxxis Tire Racing Plus Chevy Unlimited 2 was looking to bring some holiday cheer back to Appleton, Wisconsin. The Flying Dutchman looked to have the speed, early on, to make a serious challenge for the win, only to have a mishap on the track end his day early.
The Saturday only event actually started on Friday with practice and qualifying. The morning practice saw the red #77 turn in some competitive lap times while preparing for the afternoon qualifying session. When Dan roared into the ten minute qualifying session, the team figured a top eight qualifying time, and an automatic spot in the Saturday Main Event was well within reach. Then on lap three of the session, the Flying Dutchman pulled off the track as the engine lost much of its power. The couple of laps that the Maxxis Chevy completed weren?t quick enough to make the starting grid; therefore, the only way into the Saturday showdown was through the Last Chance Qualifier on Saturday morning.
Instead of burning the midnight oil with an engine swap, Dan and the team prepped the backup truck for the next morning?s Last Chance Qualifier (LCQ). The Flying Dutchman team had the truck ready before the sun went down behind the mountains.
The next morning, the LCQ went according to plan. The Maxxis Tire Racing Plus Chevy easily won the Unlimited 2 LCQ and secured a starting spot in the fifth row of the Rockstar Challenge Cup.
The final event of year saw twenty-six of the fastest Unlimited 2 and Unlimited 4 race trucks line up at the Lake Elsinore Motorsports Complex, looking to capture the inaugural Rockstar Challenge Cup. The two truck classes were on the track together and were each racing for their own class big payout of $30,000. While the overall winner would get the big prize, the three foot tall Rockstar Cup.
The beginning of the race saw the red #77 starting on the inside of row five. When the green flag fell, Dan was quickly gaining positions on the track. Then on lap two, Dan made a sudden move to avoid crashing with a rolling Greg Adler; while another competitor made contact with the Maxxis Chevy, avoiding the same wreck, and severely bent the right side tie rod, rendering the truck unable to turn. The remaining laps had Dan sitting with his truck watching the rest of the race unfold.
Afterwards, Dan had summed up his weekend; ?We came to Elsinore looking to finish the year on a high note. Friday our Wegner power plant, after running twenty rounds of racing, ultimately gave up. Wegner builds the best motors on the planet, but we were really running on borrowed time. Fortunately, our backup truck was ready with another Wegner power plant. We went out this morning and won the LCQ, and our confidence was really at an all-time high. During the Cup race we really had our truck hooked up. I thought I came through the Adler wreck in good shape, but another competitor got into me while avoiding the same crash; it was nobody?s fault, it was just racing. You know I look back on this year and I didn?t know if I would make it until the end of the TORC series, but we added the final weekend and the Rockstar Cup of the Lucas Oil series as well. This year has been one heck of a ride, and with the right marketing partner, I can keep the ride going in 2010.?