Inside Line Promotions – COTTAGE GROVE, Ore. (June 1, 2014) – Henry Van Dam has a new decorative piece to adorn his living room.
Van Dam is the first-ever recipient of the Marvin Smith Memorial rotating trophy after he picked up his first victory of the season last Saturday at Cottage Grove Speedway during the inaugural event.
“It’s definitely going to go in my living room,” he said. “I’m going to cherish it for the year I get it and hopefully bring it home again next year.”
The trophy, which will go to the feature winner each year until the next event, was joined by a $4,100 check – the most money Van Dam has ever earned in a single win.
“Heather Boyce and everybody there did an awesome job,” he said. “It was really humbling. They packed the grandstands. To see how many fans came out and supported that deal and to be able to put a show on for them was even better. They’ve knocked it out of the park with that one.”
Van Dam opened the event – which honors former Cottage Grove Speedway track champion and Northwest sprint car great Marvin Smith, who passed away last year – by setting quick time during qualifying. He then maneuvered from sixth to second place in his heat race to lock into the dash, which included the top six in qualifying who advanced through their heat race.
The drivers each held a balloon with a random number that no one could see. Drivers could then trade their balloon before opening and it worked out in Van Dam’s favor.
“Originally I held the five and traded it away and got the No. 1,” he said.
That started Van Dam on the pole of the six-lap dash, which he won to start on the inside of the front row for the 41-lap main event.
“The top (groove) was pretty treacherous, but it was faster in turn one,” he said. “For me the bottom was faster in turns three and four so I used that line. We took off and we got to lapped traffic in two or three laps. It got really dicey because there were a lot of cars in one spot. You were trying to push your way through and make sure you didn’t make a mistake at the same time.”
Van Dam methodically maneuvered throughout traffic until a moment with about 10 laps remaining.
“Later in the race I got held up enough times that Kyle Hirst was able to throw a slider at me,” he said. “We went back and forth throwing really close sliders. We were able to come out of there every time and I finally cleared him coming out of turn four.”
Van Dam reclaimed the lead for good with a handful of laps remaining and he powered to the monumental win, which was his first at Cottage Grove Speedway since 2011.
This Saturday Van Dam will tackle Grays Harbor Raceway in Elma, Wash., for the Summer Thunder Series event.
QUICK RESULTS –
May 31 – Cottage Grove Speedway in Cottage Grove, Ore. – Qualifying: 1; Heat race: 2 (6); Dash: 1 (1); Feature: 1 (1).
SEASON STATS –
10 races, 1 win, 2 top fives, 5 top 10s, 7 top 15s, 7 top 20s
UP NEXT –
Saturday at Grays Harbor Raceway in Elma, Wash., for the Summer Thunder Series
MEDIA LINKS –
SPONSOR SPOTLIGHT – Clems Enumclaw Powersports
Located in Enumclaw, Wash., Clems Enumclaw Powersports has been family owned and operated since 1974. Clems has been a one-stop shop for all powersports needs for nearly 40 years. For more information, visit http://www.EnumclawSuzuki.com.
“Clems Enumclaw Powersports makes sure our needs are taken care of getting around the pit area,” Van Dam said. “I’m very grateful for their support for the race team.”
Van Dam would also like to thank Kovash Logging, Johansen Excavating, Enumclaw Xpress Lube, Les Schwab Tire of Enumclaw, 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, 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.