(Photo by Malcolm White Photography)
Inside Line Promotions – ALGER, Wash. (June 30, 2014) – Henry Van Dam fought off the rainy weather and the tough competition to capture his best career Dirt Cup finish last weekend.
Van Dam scored an eighth-place result in both his preliminary night and the finale during the 43rd annual Jim Raper Memorial Dirt Cup at Skagit Speedway, where nasty weather plagued the $20,000-to-win event.
Thursday hosted the first of two scheduled preliminary nights at the 3/10-mile oval. Van Dam qualified sixth quickest to open the night before he finished where he started – third – in his heat race to lock himself into the feature.
With the top 16 being inverted for the 30-lap main event, Van Dam lined up on the outside of the sixth row.
“From the initial start I fell back a bit,” he said. “I fell to 14th or 15th and we were able to work ourselves back up from there. The main thing was not getting too excited. On the restarts you could get to the outside of a guy and make a pass just because everybody wasn’t up to speed. It seemed like every restart I was able to get one spot and then you had to get back to the bottom.”
Following the slow start, Van Dam picked off approximately a half-dozen positions to earn his best result in a Dirt Cup preliminary night.
“Our main objective was to make sure we got through the night clean,” he said. “We were able to do that and to go forward. The track was pretty difficult to make passes. You had to pick your spots to pass. The biggest thing was to make sure to finish.”
Rain began to hamper the area overnight and throughout Friday, when the second night of preliminary action was postponed to Saturday afternoon. However, rain continued to dampen the track on Saturday and it forced the afternoon program to be cancelled.
With Van Dam eighth in overall points from Thursday’s program, he was locked into Saturday’s 40-lap feature, which he started on the outside of the fourth row.
“I was pretty disappointed with our feature,” he said. “I went aggressive with the setup just hoping to do something a little different from everybody else. It really bit me. I was way too tight and just was holding on.”
Van Dam maintained a top 10 throughout the first 24 laps before rain ended the race early. Van Dam’s eighth-place result marked his 10th top 10 – all in the last 11 races – of the season.
He will return to competition this Friday and Saturday at Cottage Grove Speedway in Cottage Grove, Ore., during the ASCS Northwest Region Speedweek.
QUICK RESULTS –
June 26 – Skagit Speedway in Alger, Wash. – Qualifying: 6; Heat race: 3 (3); Feature: 8 (12).
June 28 – Skagit Speedway in Alger, Wash. – Feature: 8 (8).
SEASON STATS –
16 races, 3 wins, 5 top fives, 10 top 10s, 13 top 15s, 13 top 20s
UP NEXT –
Friday and Saturday at Cottage Grove Speedway in Cottage Grove, Ore., for the ASCS Northwest Region Speedweek
MEDIA LINKS –
Here is a link to a video by ARRacing of Van Dam winning the Summer Thunder Sprint Series event at Grays Harbor Raceway in Elma, Wash., on June 7: http://youtu.be/a2sBRaf5l1c
Van Dam has t-shirts and sweatshirts available for sale at his race trailer.
SPONSOR SPOTLIGHT – Johansen Excavating
Based in Buckley, Wash., Johansen Excavating specializes in civil construction. For more information, visit http://www.JohansenExcavating.com.
“Johansen Excavating has been a partner for the past few years,” Van Dam said. “They’ve been a great sponsor, but have been even better friends.”
Van Dam would also like to thank Kovash Logging, Enumclaw Xpress Lube, Les Schwab Tire of Enumclaw, Clems Enumclaw Powersports, Factory Kahne, A.R.T. Speed Equipment, Van Dam Dairy, Village Green Resort, D&L Equipment Repair, Zender Equipment, 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, 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.