WSORR ROUND VII: VANDEN HEUVEL'S PACK THE PODIUM AS OSHKOSH CROWD WELCOMES THE RETURN OF OFF-ROAD RACING OSHKOSH, Wisc., (July 25, 2008) - OSHKOSH, Wisc., (July 25, 2008) - It was a great homecoming for the Vanden Heuvel family of Appleton, ...
WSORR ROUND VII: VANDEN HEUVEL'S PACK THE PODIUM AS OSHKOSH CROWD WELCOMES THE RETURN OF OFF-ROAD RACING
OSHKOSH, Wisc., (July 25, 2008) - OSHKOSH, Wisc., (July 25, 2008) - It was a great homecoming for the Vanden Heuvel family of Appleton, Wisc., as the Lucas Oil World Series of Off-Road Racing (WSORR) paid a visit to their backyard for Round VII of the 2008 Tour and father and sons marched to the podium three times. Dan Vanden Heuvel won the PRO 2WD race and was joined in winner's circle by Dan, Jr., who finished third, while youngest son Mike won his third 1600 Light Buggy race in a row on the World Series tour. The family was obviously energized by the second largest crowd to ever attend an event in the four-year history of Oshkosh Speedzone Raceway, primarily a dirt track racing facility. The track was temporarily re-designed to accommodate the first off-road racing visit to this community in 12 years for the Potawatomi Casino "Off-Road Nights of Thunder" presented by Traxxas(RC Cars).
Dan "The Flying Dutchman" Vanden Heuvel made the most of the moment by putting on a great show in his Maxxis Chevrolet with another veteran of the sport, Kevin Probst, in the E3 Sparkplugs Lucas Oil Toyo Chevy, and his son Dan, Jr., who was driving the Potawatomi BFG Chevy of Evan Evans. There was considerable fender-to-fender contact on the tight, technical Oshkosh Speedzone layout and the result was a cut tire for Probst who managed to nurse his truck to the finish line only three and half seconds behind Vanden Heuvel after waging a great back-and forth race that delighted the big crowd. It was also a terrific performance for Dan, Jr., who kept truck owner Evan Evans season points chase alive with his third place finish. Evans asked "Junior" to drive because of his extensive motocross experience. Evans' truck is operated with hand controls due to a motorcycle accident he suffered years ago and Junior adapted quickly to the challenge and pressured his father and Probst all the way to the checkered flag.
There was a similar back-and-forth battle waged in the PRO Light Pickup race between teammates Steve Federico and Lee O'Donnell, both in Invisible Glass P F Changs Sticker Dude Hankook Toyota's. They were joined at the front of the pack by Josh Hintz in his Toyo Nissan as the race unfolded. Federico led the first four laps but then O'Donnell, of Lebanon, New Jersey, worked his way around him and held on for the 1.5 second margin of victory to take his first-ever win on the World Series tour with Federico in second and Hintz third.
PRO Super Buggy racer John Mason made it three wins in a row in his Mendeola Goodyear Honda, but he had to work very hard for this one. Mason, of Plymouth, Wisc., carefully worked his way through the field from the seventh position to chase down race leader Ryan Mulder in his Nokian VW who set a blistering pace and led for most of the race. Mulder had his hands full holding off the repeated challenges of Scott Schwalbe in his BFG Toyota. Finally, with only two laps to go, Mason, who earlier had passed Schwalbe, set his sights on Mulder and nosed ahead of him beating him to the checkered flag by less than a second with Schwalbe holding on to third.
In the final World Series PRO class, Kent Brascho, of Pell City, Ala., won his second PRO 4x4 class race in a row in his Lucas Oil Goodyear Chevrolet. Jim Ridderbush filled in for teammate Jerry Daugherty in the Racin' Dirty Goodyear Chevy, and took advantage of a late flat tire of Al Drews' Ford to grab the second spot ahead of Drews.
In the World Series SRT (Sportsman) Division, it was another fantastic finish for the Super Trucks. Ron Schreiner in the UWeld truck led the first couple of laps but then gave way to Ben Wandahsega in the Potawatomi Toyo Chevrolet. Wandahsega then diced back and forth with old rival Dan Baudoux before finally giving way to Baudoux's Mole Lake Casino BFG Ford. Keith Steele, of Madison, Wisc., worked his way to the front and went fender-to-fender with Baudoux for five full laps finally getting around him in his Monster Energy Goodyear Chevy. Baudoux pushed Steele hard the rest of the race but couldn't make a pass stick and Steele won his fourth race on the 2008 World Series circuit. Wandahsega followed them in to finish third.
There was a similar story in the Stock Truck race, as Jim Van Rixel held off the entire field for the first six laps in his Goodyear Chevy although trucks were lined-up nose to tail and were battling ferociously right behind him. At the halfway point of the race, 22-year old Mitch Dorr in a BFG Ford grabbed the lead looking for the second win of his young career but seasoned veteran and defending class champion Scott Beauchamp, of Bark River, Mich., in a Goodyear Chevy raced ahead of him for his first win of 2008. Eric Ruppel in the Phil's Inc., BFG Ford passed Dorr with only a couple of laps to go to grab the second spot with Dorr finishing third.
Mike Seefeldt, of Sussex, Wisc., steered his BFG buggy to his first win of 2008 and pushed himself to the top of the 1600 Buggy points chase in the process. Early race leader Jeff Villemure finished second with Bob Blaney third making the class a clean sweep for BFG. As mentioned earlier, 1600 Light Buggy class points leader Mike Vanden Heuvel, of Appleton, Wisc., picked up his fourth win of the season in his Toyo machine finishing ahead of Beau Ambos and Todd Lemke in a BFG buggy.
Defending Formula 4x4 class champion Dave DeMaegd, of Mishawaka, Ind., in a Goodyear Jeep made it seven for seven in podium finishes in 2008 on the way to the win ahead of Jim Ridderbush in a BFG Chevy with Bob Sayers limping a damaged Goodyear Ford home for third. Rob Weiland in his Goodyear Chevy led the Classix class to the checkered flag followed by Dale Chestnut in a Goodyear Ford and Shane Degroot in a Goodyear Chevy. At release time, the Enduro Truck order of finish is still being reviewed by WSORR race officials pending a raceteam protest and those results will be posted when available.
The big race weekend in Oshkosh continues on Saturday evening, July 26th, with gates opening at 3 P.M. and racing slated for 5 P.M. More information about the Oshkosh event and the World Series is available at www.wsorr.com.