Flying Dutchman Gets Grounded in Vegas Appleton, WI (March 10, 2010) - At the "11th Hour" veteran off-road racer Dan Vanden Heuvel made the decision to bring his Maxxis Tire PRO Unlimited 2 Chevy race truck to Las...
Flying Dutchman Gets Grounded in Vegas
Appleton, WI (March 10, 2010) - At the "11th Hour" veteran off-road racer Dan Vanden Heuvel made the decision to bring his Maxxis Tire PRO Unlimited 2 Chevy race truck to Las Vegas for the opening weekend of racing of the Lucas Oil Off-Road Series presented by Geico Powersports. Quickly the Flying Dutchman team prepped his secondary truck and made arrangements to make the trek across the country hauling his race truck and a load of fiberglass panels to Las Vegas for body part manufacturer Boatec.
The opening round of the Lucas Oil Off-Road Series was held at the south entrance to Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The 1.1 mile permanent off-road track was created in just a few short weeks and was big hit for racer and spectator alike. The layout had the look and feel of a Supercross track built for trucks and buggies.
The last minute decision to go racing caused the Flying Dutchman Off-Road Team to miss Thursday's and Friday's practice session. This meant Dan would have to use the 10-minute qualifying session to learn the fast way around the track. Ultimately, the #77 Maxxis Tire Chevy qualified eighteenth out of the twenty-four PRO Unlimited-2 entries.
Saturday morning saw Dan making very few adjustments as the last minute race decision limited the size of his crew. Undaunted, the Flying Dutchman knew his Independent Off-Road built truck could handle anything the track would throw at him.
When the green flag fell, the Maxxis Tire Chevy began to move up the field very quickly. Just past the halfway mark of the fourteen lap event, one side of Dan's head and neck restraint came loose. At the same time, he was challenging for the seventh position, with a Top-5 finish a real possibility. Somehow Dan was able to reconnect the one side, but a lap later it can undone again. The loose restraint really created a strain on Dan's neck. With three laps to go, the Flying Dutchman couldn't handle the abuse, and reduced his race pace to finish the round in tenth place.
"I just couldn't take the abuse anymore," noted a very sore Dan Vanden Heuvel. "I don't know why the one side came loose, but it did. Before things when downhill, my Maxxis Tires were really working the track great. I just don't know why my head and neck restrain came undone."
Later than night, Dan headed to a local Emergency Care Center to have a doctor examine his neck. The visit determined that Dan had a severely sprained neck, and getting back into the race truck for Sunday's race was not an option.
The next day, Dan with help from a couple friends, loaded up the race truck and dropped it off at a local area race shop.
"In a week or two, when I'm feeling better, I come back to Jerry Daughtery's shop and either prep it for the next race or just keep the for sale sign on it," noted Dan Vanden Heuvel. "Somehow we came of Saturday's race without losing any body panels, so it looks as good as it races."