Henderson Is Looking Forward To Running Pa. Sprints in 2010 With Sorokach Motorsports MINERSVILLE, Pa., March 1 - Justin Henderson hails from Sioux Falls, S.D., but he's hoping to become a popular adopted member of the Pennsylvania Posse in ...
Henderson Is Looking Forward To Running Pa. Sprints in 2010 With Sorokach Motorsports
MINERSVILLE, Pa., March 1 - Justin Henderson hails from Sioux Falls, S.D., but he's hoping to become a popular adopted member of the Pennsylvania Posse in 2010.
Henderson has been chosen by Dawn and Charlie Sorokach (pronounced soar-ROW-catch) of Minersville, Pa. to drive Sorokach Motorsports' Char-Pac Coal Co. No. 35 on the tough Central Pennsylvania sprint car trail for the new season, which is scheduled to start this Saturday, March 6 at Lincoln Speedway in Abbottstown, Pa.
"Pennsylvania Posse" is a term coined to describe sprint car drivers who compete regularly in Pennsylvania, long a hotbed for this type of auto racing. It differentiates them from drivers competing in other regions or series, especially those who race in a traveling series called the World of Outlaws (WoO) Sprint Car Series.
A sprint car is a purpose-built, open-wheel race car that weighs about 1,375 pounds with the driver in the car. WoO and many Pennsylvania Posse sprint cars use 410-cubic-inch engines that are fueled by methanol and produce approximately 850 horsepower. They have far more horsepower than an Indy car does and they have about the same horsepower as a NASCAR Sprint Cup stock car, which is about 2,275 pounds heavier.
Most sprint car races are held on clay ovals about one-half mile in length.
Henderson said Sorokach Motorsports plans to enter approximately 85 races this year. He will have two cars at his disposal. Both are JEI chassis powered by Garrett Race Engines. Other companies that will help the team this year include Jerry Mack Tools, Butler Built Seats, Bell Helmets, Hinchman Uniforms and Oakley Safety Equipment.
The team's regular weekly schedule is expected to be Williams Grove Speedway in Mechanicsburg, Pa. on Friday nights and Port Royal Speedway in Port Royal, Pa. on Saturday nights. Port Royal's 2010 season opener is Sunday, March 14 (see portroyalspeedway.com), while Williams Grove opens Friday, March 19 (see williamsgrove.com).
The team hopes to compete in special sprint car shows at Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio too, as well as make occasional appearances with the O'Reilly All-Star Circuit of Champions sprint car series and the WoO as the schedule and budget permit.
Shane Stout of Bloomsburg, Pa. is the chief mechanic for the cars, which are painted blue. Car owner Charlie Sorokach also serves as a mechanic on the team. Other members of the pit crew include Lanny Lyons of Bloomsburg, Pa. (tire specialist) and Frank Muscara of Pottsville, Pa. (chief of maintenance). Fans will recognize Lyons' name, as he raced late models in Pennsylvania for many years.
Henderson's German Shepherd, Zeus, is the team's mascot.
"I'm looking forward to entertaining the most hard-core sprint car fans in the world, and I hope they'll adopt me as one of their own," Henderson said. "I ran in Pennsylvania occasionally when I was on the WoO circuit and I quickly learned how important sprint cars are to Pennsylvanians. That means we already have a lot in common!
"I'm grateful that the Sorokachs have chosen me as their driver," Henderson added. "I'm sure they would like to have more help as far as sponsors go, so if anyone is interested in that please see me at the track or contact me through my Web site."
That Web site is located at justinhenderson.com. Henderson's complete schedule and updates will be posted there throughout the season.
Henderson finished seventh in the WoO series in 2006 as a rookie. He had four top-five finishes with the WoO in 2007. He raced primarily at Knoxville Raceway in Knoxville, Iowa in 2008, running 53 events including nine WoO shows. He had a top-10 finish at the Knoxville Nationals that year, set the 20-lap track record there on May 24, 2008 with a time of 5:30.5, and won the season opener and the week afterwards. He had four victories in all that season. In 2009 he competed in 49 races throughout the nation, including some in Pennsylvania, and recorded five top-five finishes and 17 top-10s.
Henderson started racing karts at the age of 5 and drove his first sprint car at 16. He is a two-time track champion at Huset's Speedway in Brandon, S.D., and he is also a former track champion at Lake County Speedway in Madison, S.D. He won the national Cheater's Day event in both 2003 and 2005 at Huset's Speedway. He was Rookie of the Year and the runner-up in the International Motor Contest Association (IMCA) national sprint car point standings in 1996.
-source: restart communications