What A Weekend!
Topeka, Kan. ~ The only
thing hotter than the 95° Kansas heat this past
weekend was the AMSOIL Kumho Tires Super Team of
Steve McCrossan (Pro 4), Dan Vanden Heuvel (Pro
2) and Mike Oberg (Sportsman 2). With a total of
six podium finishes up for grabs at the
Heartland Park Off Road Championships, the
AMSOIL/Kumho Tires Super Team brought home five.
Under the lights at C.O.R.R.'s
only nighttime race the AMSOIL/Kumho Tires Super
Team showed their competitors what true
champions are made of. When the green flag flew
for round seven of Mike Oberg's Sportsman 2
race, the Eagle River, Wis.native powered his
two-wheel drive Chevrolet into the lead and
steadily pulled away from the pack. It wasn't
until a yellow flag came out for a rolled over
competitor that the rest of the field could get
close to the #280 truck. After the incident was
cleared, Oberg continued to lead until a
competitor slipped by and stole the win. Oberg
crossed the finish line in second and grabbed
the Super Team's first podium of the weekend.
When the Pro 2 trucks came out
Friday night for round seven of the CORR Series,
no one knew they were about to witness CORR
racing history and probably the most spectacular
Pro 2 race ever staged.
At any given time throughout
this year's Pro 2 CORR season Dan "The Flying
Dutchman" Vanden Heuvel has been a powerful
force to capture a Pro 2 win, and Friday night
proved to be his mid-season wake-up call.
When Vanden Heuvel lined up
with the other nine trucks on the starting line,
no one was aware of the specially built Kumho
Tires that he was about to use for the very
first time. The new treads were developed by
Kumho and had been a last minute venture to even
out the traction issue between some of Kumho's
rival tire companies. When the green flag
dropped, it was apparent that Kumho engineers
had done their homework. "The Dutchman" quickly
powered his way into second on the tight,
technical three-quarter mile clay track. With
the top five trucks in a fierce battle for
position Vanden Heuvel continued to press the
leaders. On lap 10, he had to make a spectacular
save to keep the truck on all four wheels. The
move dropped him down to third, but he would
move back up into second just three laps later.
With his sights set on the race leader, he made
a smooth pass into first place just after the
halfway mark of the race. From there, the
Appleton, Wis.native piloted the AMSOIL/Kumho
Tires Chevy into a comfortable lead to capture
the "Super Team's" first win.
"The new tires were a big part
of why we won," said Vanden Heuvel. "It's great
that Kumho stepped up big in the middle of the
year like they did. The difference between these
new tires and the old ones are like driving on
blacktop to driving on snow and ice."
When Steve McCrossan pulled
his the AMSOIL/Kumho Tires Chevrolet onto the
track Friday night, the pressure was on to get a
third Super Team truck onto the podium. The wily
Canadian quickly moved into the second spot. As
the race wore on, McCrossan's tires slowly began
to lose traction, and he slipped back two
positions before a competitor drove into his
left rear tire, causing a flat. After a quick
tire change he brought the four-wheel drive
Chevy back to the track and finished the race in
seventh, and his sights on a podium finish the
Round eight of the Sportsman 2
event couldn't have gotten much more exciting as
Oberg went from second to eighth during the
first few laps of the race. Oberg battled hard
and fought his way through the field into third.
As the race wore on, Oberg powered the race
truck toward the front of the pack. The laps ran
out, however, and he finished the race in third
position, giving Oberg two-podium finishes for
the weekend. The strong weekend also vaulted him
into sixth place in the overall standings.
As the Pro 2 field lined up
under the lights for Saturday's event, "The
Flying Dutchman" had to start in third due to
CORR's rule that inverts the field based on the
previous night's race results. When the green
flag dropped, Vanden Heuvel once again
capitalized on the improved traction to propel
him into fourth. During the next eight laps, he
maneuvered into third and started to gain on the
leaders, while still dealing with lapped
traffic. After moving into second, Vanden Heuvel
had his sights set on the leader and was gaining
ground until a lapped competitor and teammate of
the front-runner blocked the Vanden Heuvel's
#77, preventing him from capturing a second
straight win. Taking the checkered in second
place, the Dutchman moved into third in the
overall standings and is only one point out of
When McCrossan's new Kumho
Tires finally arrived at the track, no one could
have been happier than the McCrossan Motor
"After watching Dan dominate
the Pro 2 Class we had to have the new tires for
Saturday's race," said McCrossan.
When the green flag came out
for Saturday's Pro 4 race, everyone knew the new
setup was the answer for the traction problems
the team had been experiencing in past races.
McCrossan shot into second, just inches behind
the leader. Two laps later, he would find an
opening and passed the front-runner. After a few
laps of battling with the second place truck,
McCrossan got caught in a huge rut and was
forced back into second spot. Only one lap
later, he moved alongside the leader in the
front straight-away and made an unbelievable
pass while flying over the huge jump into the
backstretch. Little did he know that when he
made the pass, his competitor got crossed up on
the jump and landed on the rear bumper of
McCrossan's Chevy. After the dust settled, the
Toronto-native realized the incident had severed
his brake lines and he was now racing with no
brakes. Still in second, he managed to make his
way around the tight twisting track using the
transmission to slow the truck in the corners.
As the race wore on McCrossan moved back to
fourth spot but kept a steady pace and ran with
the race leaders. When the second and third
place trucks crashed while battling for
position, McCrossan seized the moment and
quickly maneuvered the AMSOIL/Kumho Tires truck
into second. McCrossan would cross the finish
line just a couple of truck lengths behind the
With a well-deserved rest ahead, the AMSOIL/Kumho
Tires Super Team will be more than ready to
dominate the podium again at Bark River Off Road
Raceway in Bark River, Wis. on August 13 and 14.
The Leader Returns To Action
Cincinnati, Ohio ~
Terry Rinker has steered his AMSOIL/Rinker
Racing boat to an impressive start in 2005. With
wins in three of the first four races, Rinker
holds a sizable lead in the 2005 ChampBoat
Series. The 2003 champion will be back on the
water this weekend as the ChampBoat Series moves
to the Great Cincinnati Grand Prix event to
start the second half of the season. The race
will take part on the Ohio River on the Newport,
Ky. side. More than 50 drivers from close to 20
states are expected in all three classes.
A Revved Up Rider
New Berlin, NY ~ Team
AMSOIL/Chaparral/Honda's Kevin Windham is more
than fired up to get back to the winner's circle
this weekend. The Mississippi-native showed
great determination and fury after getting
dumped off his bike by James Stewart at the AMA
Outdoor National two weeks ago in Buchanan,
Mich. Windham, along with the AMSOIL 125cc team
of Josh Grant, Billy Laninovich, Tommy Hahn and
Juaqium Rodrigues, will be in upstate New York
this Saturday and Sunday. The AMA brings its
show to New Berlin, NY and the Unadilla Sports
On The Road Again
Solon Springs, Wis. ~
Brady Smith had a tiring Fourth of July holiday.
The young late model driver from Solon Springs,
Wis. hit the road for an unprecedented seven
straight nights of racing, and eight of the
first nine days of July were spent behind the
wheel of his AMSOIL Chevy Monte Carlo.
Things have settled down a
little bit for "The Deuce" this past week.
Thursday, July 7, Smith headed to the UMP
Summernationals event at the Lawrenceburg
Speedway in Lawrenceburg, Ind. He was able to
qualify for the $6,000 to win feature, but
finished the race in 12th.
Saturday moved the action east
for the Brady Smith Racing Team. Smith brought
the #2 car to the NARA-sanctioned event at the
K-C Raceway in Chillicothe, Ohio. He was once
again able to bring the car into the main event,
where he finished in 13th.
Smith will be home this
weekend at the Superior Speedway in Superior,
Wis. on Friday night. He will then head two
hours south to take part in the Saturday show at
the Cedar Lake Speedway in New Richmond, Wis.
AMSOIL is the "Official Oil" of the Cedar Lake
Come From Behind
Portland, Ind. ~ The "XPLEX"
in Portland, Indiana was the site of latest
professional event in the United Rockcrawling
and Off-Road Challenge's (UROC) 2005 series. The
sun was hot, the humidity was high and the
courses were tough.
"They put together a great
course for us," said Roger Lovell, spotter for
team #232, AMSOIL/Lovell Rock Racing. "Every new
obstacle brought on different challenges, and we
all had to work hard to stay at the top of our
Day one of the competition
proved to be difficult, as the Lovell brothers
rolled over on their very first course of the
day. Some skillful driving and a little luck
landed the vehicle back on its tires and the
team finished the course within the time limit.
The excitement followed the Lovell brothers into
to their second course of the day, a six-foot
vertical stair step. Loose gravel at the top
caused the front end to swing around, resulting
in a pirouette on the tailgate of the vehicle,
followed by another roll over. Miraculously, the
vehicle again landed upright.
"I lost radio communication
with Roger and, with only 40 seconds left on the
clock, all I could do was go full throttle and
try to finish before time ran out," said Brad
Lovell, driver for team #232. "I think I pulled
through the final set of gates with five seconds
Three more courses followed
and, fortunately, these were met with much less
excitement than the first two.
"We got our heads back in the
game after the first two courses and, finally,
by the third, we were able to really compete the
way we should have been all along," said Roger.
"We are grateful to have ended the day in third
After a rocky start on the
first day of competition, the Lovell team went
into day two with only three courses left,
making it harder to gain ground on the
competition. Every opportunity to bring the
point-spread closer was taken, including a
spotter-ride on the first course. The risk paid
off, as Lovell Rock Racing scored a -17,
bringing them well within site of second place.
Day two also presented Lovell
Rock Racing with "The Wall", a vertical incline
rumored to be three stories tall at a 75-degree
"On an obstacle like this,
there is really nothing the spotter can do from
the ground to get that vehicle up and over,"
said Roger. "So I jumped in the passenger seat,
strapped myself in and held my breath."
"The only real option is to
just floor it," continues Brad. "Coming off the
back side is the scary part. All you feel is the
back end sliding, you can't see the ground and
you've pretty much lost control of the vehicle
by that point."
After all was said and done, the Lovells pulled
out of day two with a hard-earned second place.
"Once again, we were neck and
neck with Dean Bulloch and the On Track Krawler
team," said Brad. "It all came down to the main
event and Dean finished a course that no one
else in the Modified class did. They gave us a
run for our money, but they really deserve this
This second place finish puts Lovell Rock Racing
in a tie with Rock Runner Racing for first place
in the series. The final event of the series is
scheduled for August 12-13 in Vernal, Utah.