Dan Vanden Heuvel Wins PRO-2WD Championship Maxxis Tires' First PRO Full-Size Truck Championship Appleton, WI (September 3, 2008) - Dan Vanden Heuvel Sr. and his ...
Dan Vanden Heuvel Wins PRO-2WD Championship
Maxxis Tires' First PRO Full-Size Truck Championship
Appleton, WI (September 3, 2008) - Dan Vanden Heuvel Sr. and his #77 Flying Dutchman Auto Trans Design AMSOIL Maxxis Tire Chevy Silverado entered the final weekend of the World Series of Off-Road Racing with a thirty-two point lead over second place. The Flying Dutchman could claim the championship on Saturday, if the team finished in sixth place or better, in Round XI. The veteran off-road racer did exactly that, and came home with his first championship since 1994.
The weekend started out with Friday afternoon time trials, for the BorgWarner Shootout. The #77 ATD Chevy stopped the clocks with a lap time of 1:27.31. This was the fifth fastest time in PRO-2WD, and tenth overall in the twenty six truck field. The lap time would put Dan in the second row of the PRO-2WD grid for the "Big Show."
Saturday - Round XI
Dan knew this could be one of the most important rounds of racing in his career. The businessman side of Dan wanted to run well, stay out of trouble and just finish in the top five positions. The racer side of Dan wanted to go out and win the race. Well, the #77 Auto Trans Design AMSOIL Maxxis Tire Chevy Silverado ran a competitive race, stayed away from any heavy contact, and finished the race in fourth place.
Dan Vanden Heuvel Sr., the Flying Dutchman, is the 2008 World Series of Off- Road Racing PRO-2WD Champion.
There was little celebration afterwards. Now with the championship clinched, the Flying Dutchman could let out all the stops for Round XII and the BorgWarner Shootout. In an effort to gain an advantage in Sunday's races, Dan decided to try a new tire groove, one he had put a lot of thought into, so with nothing to loose, the Maxxis Tire guys gave him the opportunity to try it.
Sunday - Round XII
Almost immediately after the start of the season final race, realized the cut, on the tires was not the hot setup. The entire race the #77 AMSOIL Chevy struggled with traction issues, nonetheless, Dan stayed clear of any serious contact and finished sixth in the sixteen truck field.
After the results were finalized, Dan Vanden Heuvel finished thirty-three points ahead of second place in the 2008 PRO-2WD championship. This is truly an awesome feat.
BorgWarner Heavy Metal Shootout
The start had the #77 Maxxis Tire Silverado move quickly into third place behind #21Hoek and #8 Taylor. The top three stayed in that order for the first few laps, then #17 Renezeder challenged Dan and the made the pass for the position. Undaunted, Dan took the position back, a lap later. As the laps wound down, the field of four wheel drive trucks dwindled in the carnage behind the leaders. With two laps to go, Dan noticed the second place truck of #21Hoek, had a tire going down. This really made Dan push his truck to the limits. The #77 Auto Trans Design Chevy was making up ground on Hoek, but ran out of laps to challenge for the second spot. At the finish it was Scott Taylor first, Ross Hoek second, and Dan Vanden Heuvel in third. This was the first time, in the fourteen year history of the BorgWarner Shootout, that the top three finishers were all two-wheel drive trucks.
"That was a great way to finish a season," exclaimed Dan Vanden Heuvel. "We knew we were a little short on horsepower, but these Maxxis Tires really made a difference out there today. I know now to leave the tire grooving to the experts. We a engine temperature issue halfway through the race, so I backed off a bit. Then with two to go, I saw Ross had a tire going down. At that point, I thought, all gloves are off and I'm going for it. I got to his rear bumper going into the final turn, but we needed one more lap to get the position. What a year. To race .all year as a true independent, on a very limited budget, and win the championship, that's awesome. A special thanks goes out to my wife, my kids, and all the friends that came out to give us a hand at every race. Thanks go out to Charlie from ATD, Creighton from Maxxis, AMSOIL, Fox Racing Shox, Motive Gear, Mastercraft, Catco Parts, MSD Ignition, Miller Electric, AirGas, and Jaz Products."
Dan Vanden Heuvel, the WSORR PRO-2WD Champions, finished the season with nine podium finishes, including three wins, and one runner-up finish in twelve rounds of racing.
Dan wasn't the only family member to win a championship. His son, Mike Vanden Heuvel, won the 1600 Light Buggy Championship. His body of work in 2008 included ten podium finishes, including seven wins and three runner-up finishes in twelve rounds of racing.
Don't forget, the entire WSORR PRO-2WD season will be broadcast on SPEED, beginning later is fall.
Both Vanden Heuvels are building new race vehicles for the 2009 season and have their Championship winning PRO-2WD and 1600 Light Buggy for sale.