Mike Vanden Heuvel – TORC Crandon I Race Report

mike vanden heuvel
Mikey V. Wins Round 3 @ Crandon – Leads Limited 2 Championship Chase

Appleton, WI (June 23, 2010) –  The ‘Big House” in Crandon, Wisconsin can create highs and lows for even the most veteran racer. Mikey and his #299 Flanagan Stop n’ Shop Independent Off-Road Goodyear Chevy were no exception during TORC’S rounds 3 and 4. Regardless, valuable lessons were learned by the youngest member of the Vanden Heuvel racing family.

The addition of the high clay banking to four of Crandon’s infamous corners really play into Mike’s hard charging, racing on the edge style that fans and competitors alike are quickly getting to know. After watching his dad rim ride his way to the podium several times during the 2009 TORC PRO-2 season, Mike has emulated that style with a few extra touches of his own.

Saturday’s Round 3 action saw Mike keep leader #217 Baudoux within his sights leading up to the mandatory caution. Then with four laps to go, the proprietor of Independent Off-Road really let the Wegner powerplant breathe. The red #299 confidently moved around the outside of Baudoux and quickly put a rather larger piece of real estate between the two. The convincing victory saw the Vanden Heuvel clan celebrating feverously during the podium presentation.

In Round 4, Mikey looked to repeat his performance of the day before. Dan Baudoux again grabbed the early lead with Mike deep in the field after being hit in dangerous Turn One. Knowing there would be a competition caution, Mike kept his patience and was into the top three by lap two. Just before the caution, Mikey pulled off a daring move for second place in Crandon’s “Gravel Pit” corner, the same spot where his dad, “The Flying Dutchman” himself, crashed the day before in Pro 2.

At the restart, It was again Baudoux first, Vanden Heuvel second. The crowd was ready for a duel. “I knew someone would try the inside on the restart, so I changed my entrance line to beat them on the exit,” noted Mikey V.

The third place truck did go inside as Mike expected, but came in way too fast and slammed Baudoux. Mikey was ready and quickly turned inside of the two trucks and easily gained the lead.  As the rest of the field regained control, Mike stretched out a huge lead. Unfortunately, the weekend sweep was cancelled as a driveline failure ended the “Flanagan Flyer” two laps before the checkered flag was waved.

“My dad always said this place can really bite you,” remarked Mike Vanden Heuvel. “Dad and Charlie (Automatic Transmission Design) warned me to take it easy on the high speed areas, there are times when you can really push it and times when you can’t. I’m still learning how to manage the truck during the race, but this weekend really backed up the win in Antigo. ”

A big thanks goes out to Kris from ISP Seats and Aaron from Safety Solutions for coming to Crandon and helping our team as well as every other driver.  “ISP is the new standard for off road seats.” Mike said, “Everything else is obsolete.”

Another big thanks to Charlie from Automatic Transmission Design. “ATD’s continued support of our sport makes them the easy choice for our team.”

After Round Four, Mike Vanden Heuvel still leads the race for the 2010 TORC Limited 2 Championship.

Mike’s next race is July 11-12 in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula at Bark River International Off-Road Raceway, Mike’s stomping grounds from the buggy ranks.

You can watch all the TORC racing action on the internet, live or at a later time, @www.usacracing.com/usac_live/usac_live_main

Mike Vanden Heuvel couldn’t go racing without the support of his loyal sponsors including:

Flanagan’s Stop n Shop – Appleton, WI
Independent Off-Road
Goodyear Tires
Automatic Transmission Design
Innovative Safety Products
Catco Parts and Services
Phil’s Inc.

For more information about Mike Vanden Heuvel contact via email: racermike177@yahoo.com