|*PHOTO BY ROB KOCAK PHOTOS* |
Inside Line Promotions - KNOXVILLE, Iowa (June 9, 2020) - Mike Sandvig Racing kicked off the 2020 campaign as a regular at Knoxville Raceway last Saturday when Justin Henderson guided the team to an 11th-place finish.
Not only was the race a welcome dose of familiarity for Henderson and Sandvig, but it also represented a return of fans after regular competition was delayed for multiple months due to COVID-19.
"It was a bit of a bummer coming off the success with the All Stars to not run better, but overall I think we had a better car than the results show," Henderson said. "But it was nice to be back to normalcy with fans in the stands and just to be at Knoxville is always a great night."
Henderson began the night battling mechanical woes in qualifying. He timed in with a fastest lap of 17.784 seconds, good enough for 24th quickest among 32 drivers. The team found a broken spark plug before starting on the pole of a heat race. Henderson won the heat to lock the team into the main event.
"We knew something wasn't right before time trials and we kind of guessed on what it might've been and it ended up being a spark plug issue," he said. "We got it replaced afterwards and honestly I think we probably had one of the fastest cars in the heats."
Henderson, who lined up 17th for the A Main, knew he had his work cut out for him against a stout field of cars. With the leader setting a quick pace and hitting traffic on Lap 6, Henderson did his best to capitalize when he could. The only caution fell on Lap 16 and five laps later, Henderson took the checkered flag in the 11th position.
The six spots gained were the second most of any driver in the field and the top-15 finish was the third of the season for Henderson in the Sandvig sprint car.
"We were moving pretty well and going forward early before the track took rubber," he said. "We were actually better before that caution and we just couldn't get back going there late. If we catch the spark plug problem before time trials we are talking about a much better run, but that's the way things go sometimes."
Henderson will return to Knoxville Raceway this weekend for a doubleheader with the World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series on Friday and Saturday. This will be the second time this season he will compete against the series at 'The Sprint Car Capital of the World' and he believes his team is ready to better his first finish of 24th.
"We learned some things that really translated to performance on opening night so we're coming in with a full head of steam," he said. "When we raced against the Outlaws earlier this season at Knoxville everyone was kind of shaking off the cobwebs. Since then we have been able to get some momentum going and have a few good runs, so I think we'll definitely be better this time around."
QUICK RESULTS -
June 6 - Knoxville Raceway in Knoxville, Iowa - Qualifying: 24; Heat race: 1 (1); Feature: 11 (17).
SEASON STATS -
5 races, 0 wins, 1 top five, 1 top 10, 3 top 15s, 3 top 20s
UP NEXT -
Friday and Saturday at Knoxville Raceway in Knoxville, Iowa, for the Brownells Big Guns Bash with the World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series
MEDIA LINKS -
SPONSOR SPOTLIGHT - GRP Motorsports
GRP Motorsports, owned and managed by sprint car racing super fan Greg Parent, supports cars, drivers and racing events throughout the Midwest.
"Greg has been a long-time supporter of mine in my own deal for years and he's coming on board to help with Mike's deal for 2020," Henderson said. "He's done a lot for the sport and my career. That will make it even more special when Mike and I get that first win having him along for the ride."
Sandvig would also like to thank Morton Buildings, Eszlinger Electric, Deberg Concrete, DeBerg Flooring, R2 Enterprise, Rider Racing Engines, Winters Performance, Schoenfeld Headers, BK Racing TI Components, Triple X Race Co., Wings Unlimited, Keizer Aluminum Wheels, SBS FK Shocks, Hinchman Racewear, Heartland Kitchen Solutions, Blud Lubricants, Boji Custom Metal Works and Simpson Race Products 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 by joining Team ILP, contact Shawn at 541-510-3663 or Shawn@InsideLinePromotions.com . For more information on Inside Line Promotions, visit http://www.InsideLinePromotions.com.