WSORR "Showdown in the Show-Me State" Race Report
RHM Finishes Season with a Win & a Runner-Up Spot
Holland, MI (September 25, 2007) - After a solid TOP 5 finish in Crandon, RHM looked to Dan Vanden Heuvel Sr., to finish the 2007 WSORR season for the injured team owner and driver, Ross Hoek. The #27 Herculiner Toyo Tires Royal Purple Ford F-150 made major strides at the Labor Day Weekend event; and with Vanden Heuvel Sr.'s continued input and driving talents, a podium finish would be at hand.
The Wheatland, Missouri race facility, is one of the premier short-track dirt ovals in the country. The stadium-like facility offers completely paved pit area, a permanent Jumbotron with leader board, concrete bleachers, and two levels of skyboxes. The .8-mile off-road course ran through the.5 mile high banked dirt oval, with an additional loop that had the off-road racers leap out of the oval, and later jump back in. The track designers threw in a rhythm section and a couple of switchbacks to keep the drivers on edge.
The two Friday afternoon practice sessions saw Ross Hoek Motorsports make several chassis adjustments, looking to get a better handle on WSORR's newest and most technical race venue.
Saturday - Round 12
The start saw Vandenhuvel Sr. drive a conservative route through Turn One. By the end of the first lap, the #27 Herculiner Royal Purple Toyo Tires Ford F-150 had moved into fifth place. Lap by lap, Vanden Heuvel Sr. steered clear of all the mayhem and by lap 5, had grabbed the second spot behind leader #5 Evans. With only two laps to go, in the fourteen lap feature, the Ross Hoek Motorsports #27 grabbed the lead as Evan lost his motor. At the finish it was Dan Vanden Heuvel Sr. - 1st, Hinman-2nd, and Steele-3rd.
This was Ross Hoek Motorsports first win of their career at the PROFESSIONAL level of off-road competition.
"After Crandon, I new our truck really had the potential to compete up front," commented team owner, Ross Hoek. "Dan coming out here and driving a great race for us shows we can compete at the highest level."
After the usual Saturday night prep, and without any damage to repair, the Herculiner Ford was ready for the final race of the year.
Sunday - Round 13
The start saw Vanden Heuvel Sr. stay clear of any contact as he followed #8 Taylor through the first turn. The two trucks worked their way to the front of the field. By lap eight, the #27 Herculiner Ford worked its way into second place. Dan drove hard but conservative making sure the truck finished the race; Vanden Heuvel crossed the finish line right on the rear bumper of the winner, Scott Taylor.
Afterwards Dan Vanden Heuvel Sr. commented, "There was more left in the truck. I wanted to make sure we came home with a podium finish. Thanks again to Ross for this opportunity."
"We were late getting this truck built and never had the opportunity to spend the time to test it, before we went racing," stated team owner, Ross Hoek. "As the season went on we kept getting closer with the setup. It had already been a hectic year, and then I broke my foot. I thought that would really put us behind on the development. The input we got from Dan Vanden Heuvel Sr., Brendan Gaughan, and Charlie Schleevy, at Crandon, were major steps. This put the truck, with Dan at the wheel, in the position to win and he did!"
"I have to thank Herculiner for their continued support throughout the year, especially after the rough start to our season. Thanks to Royal Purple for their awesome synthetic oil and lubricants that kept our engine running cool, and ATD Transmissions and Gear Vendors for getting all our Pro Power horsepower to the Toyo Tires.. I can't forget to thank my crew and my family for all their support as well. We started behind the eight ball, back in May, but we came home with a win in September."