Vanden Heuvel Takes Podium in Final Round
Fifth Place in TORC PRO-2WD Championship
Dan Vanden Heuvel and his Flying Dutchman Team continued his incredible season with a third place podium finish in the final round of the Traxxas TORC Series presented by AMSOIL. The performance at the Dirt Track at Las Vegas Motor Speedway allowed the #77 Maxxis Tire Chevy to move up in standings, to finish the year in fifth place.
The .8-mile track was a typical Ricky Johnson designed short track, with a series of jumps down the backstretch, an infield tabletop jump and rhythm section, as well as high-speed sections. The great track design was expected, but the dusty conditions that occurred on Friday night, were not.
Friday - Round 15
Dan Vanden Heuvel lined up his #77 Maxxis Tire Chevy on the pole position. The fastest independent racer on the TORC tour put all his Wegner Engine power to his Maxxis Tires and held a solid second place after the first lap. The Maxxis Tires really handled the adverse track conditions very well. The arid hard desert ground would dry out almost immediately, no matter how much water was applied. In the meantime, the moisture would create a very slippery track in the clay portions. Regardless, Dan applied pressure to the championship leaders, finishing just behind Todd Leduc in fifth place.
Overnight, the TORC track worked around the clock to prepare the track like a farm field with a continuous combination of discing and watering. When the racing began Saturday night, all the work was successful as spectators and drivers enjoyed a great night of racing.
Saturday - Round 16
The final round of PRO-2WD racing heard many competitors use the term "checkers or wreckers" to describe the pace of the race. The bright red #77 Chevy had the final pole position of the year and with the damp track conditions, it was a definite advantage to Dan. The fourteen-lap event saw several position changes for the Maxxis Chevy, while never running below fifth place.
With three laps to go, Dan found himself in a great struggle with Todd Leduc. Every time Leduc would get close, Dan would find a way to pull away. As MacCachern and Johnson battled for the win and the championship, Dan and Todd Leduc dueled it out for the last spot on the podium. When the Flying Dutchman came out of the final turn heading for the checkered flag, Leduc made one last charge. Dan Vanden Heuvel and the Maxxis Tires used every bit of power the Wegner engine could muster and managed to come across the line in third place.
The podium spot also allowed Dan to move up to fifth place in the final PRO- 2WD Championship standings.
"Wow, this truck is just incredible," exclaimed Dan Vanden Heuvel. "Tonight I gave everything I had to get on the podium. Maxxis Tires is the reason we're on the Box. We ran all year on a shoestring budget and we accomplished the impossible. My son, Mikey, my all volunteer crew, and everyone that helped us out along the way, deserve a huge amount thanks."
For the year, the Flying Dutchman Off-Road team had eight top-5 finishes, including one win, one runner-up finish, and two third place finishes in sixteen rounds of racing.
In the coming week Dan and Mike will take the team transporter to the Las Vegas Convention Center as the red #77 will be on display for Maxxis Tires at the annual Specialty Equipment Manufacturers Association convention. Over 100,000 industry attendees will attend the three day event.
You can watch all the final round of TORC racing, including the PRO-2WD race, Sunday, November 8, at 1:30pm eastern on ABC Sports.