(Photo by Malcolm White Photography)
Inside Line Promotions – COTTAGE GROVE, Ore. (May 26, 2014) – Henry Van Dam captured a trio of top-six results during a busy weekend in Oregon.
“I would say it was a fair weekend,” he said. “Overall we kept it clean all three nights of racing and were able to put on a show. To get three nights of racing in and to come off clean on the other end is always a plus.”
The weekend started last Friday on a heavy Willamette Speedway in Lebanon, where Van Dam advanced from seventh to sixth place in his heat race on the damp track.
“It was pretty much all about survival,” he said. “We drew in the back of our heat race. I just played it safe and made sure I took care of my stuff. That kind of relegated us to the B Main.”
After maneuvering from seventh to fourth place in the B Main, Van Dam started the main event on the outside of the 10th row.
“We did our best to keep our nose clean,” he said. “It was one of those nights where you had to first finish to do well. We went a lap down and were able to keep with the leader. The back markers were so slow that the leader would catch lapped traffic in about two or three laps.”
Despite going down a lap, Van Dam stayed close to the leader and he passed cars soon after they went a lap down. Van Dam ended with a sixth-place result, which earned him the Hard Charger Award for passing the most cars.
On Saturday, Van Dam tackled Cottage Grove Speedway for the first of two straight nights of racing at the quarter-mile track.
“Saturday was a lot better,” he said. “We had a really nice race track all night. In the heat race we were able to dodge a couple of cars who collided and then pass for a spot on the restart.”
Van Dam’s drive from fifth to second place in his heat race earned him a spot in the feature redraw. He then pulled the No. 4 in the random draw to start on the outside of the second row for the main event.
“I got a good start and raced up to second,” he said. “Seth (Bergman) and Kyle (Hirst) had better cars than I did and got by later in the race. I’m a little disappointed we didn’t have the speed they did, but I’m happy we got a podium.”
After spending most of the first 10 laps in the runner-up position, Van Dam ended with a third-place result. It marked his first podium finish of the season.
The weekend wrapped up on Sunday at Cottage Grove Speedway, where Van Dam won his heat race after starting on the outside of the front row. That earned him another trip to the feature redraw and he plucked the No. 6 to start the feature on the outside of the third row.
“It was starting to rain on us the hour before our feature,” he said. “I was really baffled on what to do with the race car and really just made some bad decisions on the setup before we went out. I also made a couple of bad decisions in traffic that cost us some spots. I left the car a little too free and just did what we could to hang on.”
Van Dam battled for a top five throughout the main event before finishing with a sixth-place result.
“We gained momentum each night, but the end of the last night was kind of a letdown,” he said. “We learned some things and I’m excited to go back for the Marvin Smith Memorial.”
Van Dam is set to return to Cottage Grove Speedway this Saturday for the inaugural Marvin Smith Memorial.
QUICK RESULTS –
May 23 – Willamette Speedway in Lebanon, Ore. – Heat race: 6 (7); B Main: 4 (7); Feature: 6 (20).
May 24 – Cottage Grove Speedway in Cottage Grove, Ore. – Heat race: 2 (5); Feature: 3 (4).
May 25 – Cottage Grove Speedway in Cottage Grove, Ore. – Heat race: 1 (2); Feature: 6 (6).
SEASON STATS –
9 races, 0 wins, 1 top five, 4 top 10s, 6 top 15s, 6 top 20s
UP NEXT –
Saturday at Cottage Grove Speedway in Cottage Grove, Ore., for the Marvin Smith Memorial
MEDIA LINKS –
SPONSOR SPOTLIGHT – Les Schwab Tire of Enumclaw
Les Schwab Tire of Enumclaw is a leading tire store that also services brakes, shocks and struts, batteries, wheels and more. For more information, visit http://www.LesSchwab.com.
“Les Schwab Tire of Enumclaw just came on board the last couple of years,” Van Dam said. “They take care of me from my car to the hauler and trailer to make sure we get down the road.”
Van Dam would also like to thank Kovash Logging, Johansen Excavating, Enumclaw Xpress Lube, Van Dam Dairy, Village Green Resort, Big Bob’s Flooring Outlet, Bob and Joan Shumway, Kellan and Kelsey Hall, Foothills Auto Supply, American Powder Coating, Pete Vos, Clems Enumclaw Powersports, Char’s Barber Shop, Wesmar Race Engines, Factory Kahne, A.R.T. Speed Equipment, SpeedMart, Van Dam Farms and Rich Van Dam Dairy for their continued support.
INSIDE LINE PROMOTIONS –
Inside Line Promotions specializes in affordable public relations and media management for motor sports drivers, teams, sponsors, tracks, series, events, organizations and manufacturers. ILP Founder Shawn Miller leverages professional journalism with new media technologies and social networking to improve your exposure and the return on investment for your sponsors.
To meet the media relations needs of your program and to join Team ILP, contact Shawn at 541-510-3663 or InsideLinePromotions@gmail.com. For more information on Inside Line Promotions, visit http://www.InsideLinePromotions.com.