WSORR ROUND V: FAMILY TIES AND UPSETS ABOUND AT BARK RIVER BARK RIVER, Mich. (July 12, 2008) - The focus was on the family in Round V of the Lucas Oil World Series of Off-Road Racing (WSORR) as fathers watched their sons follow them to the ...
WSORR ROUND V: FAMILY TIES AND UPSETS ABOUND AT BARK RIVER
BARK RIVER, Mich. (July 12, 2008) - The focus was on the family in Round V of the Lucas Oil World Series of Off-Road Racing (WSORR) as fathers watched their sons follow them to the winner's circle during action at Bark River International Raceway in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. The other major headline of the day was the number of startling upsets in many of the World Series class battles.
The happiest off-road family following Round V had to be the Vanden Heuvel's of Appleton, Wisc., as Dan won the PRO 2WD race and son Mike won both the 1600 Light Buggy and 1600 Buggy races. In the featured PRO 2WD battle, Vanden Heuvel, in his Maxxis Chevy, grabbed the lead in turn one and pulled away from the rest of the fast field. Behind him, Kevin Probst who was tied with Vanden Heuvel in the points race entering this round, was busy fending off a talented group of challengers in his E3 Sparkplugs Lucas Oil Toyo Chevrolet. Evan Evans in his Potawatomi BFG Chevy, Dave Waldvogel in the Bendix Toyo Chevy, and Rhonda Konitzer in her Goodyear Chevy all diced back and forth for position. Probst held the second spot for most of the race but a fuel pump issue sidelined him on the final lap and Evans and Waldvogel finished second and third. Konitzer, who is the only woman to ever manage a PRO podium finish at a short-course off-road race nearly pulled the feat off again but had to settle for fourth. Vanden Heuvel now has a streak of five straight podium finishes.
The other big family story of the day featured the first win and podium ever by 22-year-old Mitch Dorr in the SRT Stock Truck class in only his fifth race. Dorr, of Rockford, Ill., is the son of former off-road truck champion Geoff Dorr who serves as the team's crew chief. Dorr, in a BFG Ford, tucked in behind Stock Truck points leader Craig Metz in his BFG Ford for the first three laps but then raced around him and led the Stock Truck field to the finish line. Eric Ruppel, in a BFG Ford came right up on his bumper on the race's final turn but Dorr held him off for the win. Scott Beauchamp, of Bark River, finished third in his Goodyear Chevy. It was just one of a number of significant upsets on the day.
The biggest surprise was the PRO Light Pickup race featuring five-time class champion and WSORR Tour 2008 undefeated driver Jeff Kincaid against last year's World Series class champion and local favorite Chad Hord. Steve Federico, of Wilmette, Ill., in his Invisible Glass P F Changs Sticker Dude Hankook Toyota grabbed the hole shot and held the lead for the first two laps. Kincaid, in his Potawatomi Traxxas( BFG Toyota, and Hord, in his Boss Snowplows Amsoil Kumho Mazda, both worked their way around Federico with some great door-to door racing but both also suffered rear flat tires and finished well back in the pack after heading to the hot pits. Federico was joined on the podium by another surprise driver, Jon Probst, who enjoyed his best finish ever in the E3 Sparkplugs Toyo Nissan. Federico's teammate Lee O'Donnell in the Invisible Glass Sticker Dude Hankook Toyota finished third.
The most exciting race of WSORR Round V was the "shootout style" race featuring the SRT Super Trucks and the PRO 4x4's. The Super Trucks were green-flagged first and received about a half-lap lead over the faster PRO 4x4's in a matchup that was scored as both an individual class race and as a shootout contest. Don Williams, in the Revtek BFG Ford took the hole shot and led the first lap but pulled over with mechanical issues. Ben Wandahsega, in his Potawatomi Toyo Chevy, Dan Baudoux in the Mole Lake Casino and Resort BFG Ford and Keith Steele in the Monster Energy Drink Goodyear Chevy ran nose-to-tail for all ten laps. Meanwhile, Jerry Daugherty in his JD Construction Mastercraft Goodyear Chevy and Kent Brascho in the Lucas Oil Goodyear Chevy were reeling the speedy Super Trucks in a little bit each lap. Brascho passed Daugherty on lap 7 and then set his sights on the leaders. Wandahsega held the overall race lead just ahead of Steele and Baudoux. Just a few hundred yards from the finish line, Brascho got by Baudoux and Steele but spun and collected Steele in the process. The result was an overall and Super Truck win for Wandahsega of Bark River, Mich., followed to the podium by Baudoux and Steele. Daugherty, from Henderson, Nev., pounced on the opportunity and grabbed his first-ever WSORR PRO 4x4 victory with Brascho second and Al Drews in a Ford third.
In the PRO Super Buggy race, last year's class champion Gary Nierop was first through turn one and led for nine of the ten laps in his Goodyear Toyota until he and fellow Canadian Corry Heynen got tangled up on the final lap in a rough collision that left Heynen's BFG Toyota on its lid and pushed Nierop off the podium. An opportunistic John Mason of Laona, Wisc., sped his Mendeola Goodyear Honda to the checkered flag first followed by class points leader Tim Lemons also on Goodyears and Scott Schwalbe in a BFG Toyota.
In other WSORR SRT, or Sportsman Division action, as mentioned earlier, the star of the day was Mike Vanden Heuvel, who first piloted his Toyo Tires 1600 Light Buggy through the crowded field of 26 buggies to the win ahead of Chad Dewall and Greg Stingle both on Goodyears. Then he jumped into the 1600 Buggy of John Huven and pulled a major upset by dethroning Mark Steinhardt in his BFG buggy who had won three WSORR races in a row. This time Vanden Heuvel brought the win home for Goodyear tires. Mike Seefeldt finished third on BFGs.
Tim Moeller of Hastings, Minn., took his second Formula 4x4 win in a row in his Goodyear Ford ahead of defending class champion Dave DeMaegd in a Goodyear Jeep and Bob Sayers in a Goodyear Ford. Jim Van Rixel was the Enduro Truck winner ahead of Matt Ives in a Goodyear GMC and Marc Rogaczewski. Shane Degroot was the Classix winner in a Kumho Chevy with Rob Weiland in his Goodyear Chevy second and Kurt Schuch third. WSORR Round VI will wrap-up the weekend's action at Bark River International Raceway and is scheduled for Sunday, July 13th.