TORC: Flying Dutchman team Bark River summary

Vanden Heuvel Takes Round 7 at Bark River Appleton, WI (July 14, 2009) - After two impressive podium finishes already in the 2009 Traxxas TORC Series sponsored by AMSOIL, would a victory be far off? Well, the Flying Dutchman Off-Road Race Team...

Vanden Heuvel Takes Round 7 at Bark River

Appleton, WI (July 14, 2009) - After two impressive podium finishes already in the 2009 Traxxas TORC Series sponsored by AMSOIL, would a victory be far off? Well, the Flying Dutchman Off-Road Race Team answered that question with a win in Round 7. The well-documented season of the currently independent PRO team keeps performing beyond expectations.

The legendary Bark River Off-Road Raceway had a slightly different look for the first time in several years. Ricky Johnson applied his track design talents and had some of the jumps made taller, a new rhythm section and the hot pits were moved in front of the fans, a couple of the turns were banked and the land rush start was replaced with a rolling start. All in all, the majority of the competitors thought that the changes improved the quality of racing for the fans and competitors.

Saturday Round 7

What can you say? Dan Vanden Heuvel Sr. and his #77 Flying Dutchman Maxxis Tire Auto Trans Design Independent Fab Chevy were on the pole for the start, immediately grabbed the lead, and held off all comers the entire nine lap event. This was the first win for Maxxis Tires in the high horsepower, high profile, and best off-road racers in the world, PRO-2WD division.

"Wow, how about this new truck, it's incredible. The changes to the track were ideal for our Maxxis Tires," remarked Dan Vanden Heuvel Sr. "Having that cushion back by the Cemetery Turn, and the big berm at the finish line corner, really let's these Maxxis tires eat. Earlier in the week I didn't even know if I'd have an engine in time to run this weekend. We got the engine back from Wegner Automotive, Wednesday, installed it, loaded up the hauler, and arrived just in time for Friday's practice. Again without all the help from family and friends we wouldn't be racing."

Sunday Round 8

The first half of the race was almost a carbon copy of Round 7. The red #77 Chevy truck gets the holeshot, leads right up to the mandatory caution lap, when disaster struck. The left rear tire was flat and running on its inner liner. McGrath had made contact with the tire cutting the sidewall and breaking four of the beadlock bolts, so Mike radioed to his dad to bring it in for a tire change. This would relinquish the lead, but in theory, still had time to get back in line before going back to green flag racing. Unfortunately, the theory didn't pan out. The flat left rear tire built up enough heat that everything expanded, making the tire change difficult and time consuming. When the field went back to racing, Dan was still about a half lap in back of the pack. Then to make matters more difficult, the transmission was stuck in third gear. When the checker flag waved, Dan Vanden Heuvel Sr. crossed the finish in eleventh place.

"We had another great run going," noted Dan Vanden Heuvel Sr. "We were pushed harder today that's why we lost a tire. Once again we proved what a great chassis my son, Mike at Independent Off-Road, builds. This hot rod is very easy to work on. We can make wholesale changes as well fine tune this truck very quickly. Now we have some extra time to get this awesome truck ready for our second visit to Bark River."

The next PRO race is back at Bark River Off-Road Raceway on August 8 -9.

The Flying Dutchman Off-Road Race Team will also attend the TORC Sportsman event at the Oshkosh Speedzone, July 24-25, in Oshkosh, Wisconsin.

Mike Vanden Heuvel will be behind the wheel of 2008 Championship winning PRO-2WD truck that is currently for sale.

You can see all the exciting Bark River Round 8 PRO action this coming Sunday, July 19, at 11:30am on ESPN 2.

-credit: flyingdutchman

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series Offroad
Drivers Ricky Johnson