Inside Line Promotions - PORT ROYAL, Pa. (March 29, 2021) - Justin Henderson and car owner Mike Sandvig opened their 2021 racing season with two nights of racing in Central Pennsylvania last weekend.
Henderson picked up a 14th-place finish at Williams Grove Speedway in Mechanicsburg on Friday and a 12th-place result on Saturday at Port Royal Speedway. The duo planned to race on Sunday at Selinsgrove Speedway in Selinsgrove, but rain cancelled the racing activities.
"We kind of fought through adversity all weekend and we had to hurry and change motors with a crew of folks who came on board just for the trip," Henderson said. "Ultimately I was really proud of our team and everything we overcame, and we can't be that upset about the results."
Henderson began the weekend on Friday at 'The Grove' and he finished where he started - third - in a heat race. That earned the 11th place starting spot for the A Main and with only a handful of laps remaining Henderson was running comfortably in ninth. However, he sustained a mechanical problem with one lap to go and slipped to 14th in the final results.
"We were hoping for different track conditions to maybe learn a bit more for later this year, but ultimately it was just tough to pass on," he said. "We had good speed in the heat race, but track position is key on a track like that and it really hurt us."
Mechanical woes plagued the team on Saturday at Port Royal Speedway during group time trials. Henderson's one completed lap was good enough for 16 th overall out of 30 cars in attendance with a time of 15.783 seconds.
The team changed engines before Henderson advanced two positions in a heat race to finish fifth, which locked the team into the feature in the 14 th starting spot. The feature was riddled early with cautions and Henderson advanced as high as eighth. However, a blinding sun came out after the halfway point and the track conditions changed drastically, relegating Henderson to a 12th-place finish at the completion of the 25-lap event.
"I think we had a top-10 car for Port Royal, but ultimately we probably needed those extra laps in time trials to really be set up to succeed," he said. "We missed the setup a bit in the feature, but I know exactly what to do for the next time when we come back. With everything we went through with the engine change, we were not as aggressive setup-wise as we needed to be, but ultimately it was a good learning night."
While Henderson and Sandvig were hoping for better results, the ability to get early season laps under their belt against stout competition will serve as beneficial in what will be a busy 2021 racing season for the team. They also were able to put together a notebook and get a baseline as the team plans to return to Central Pennsylvania later this season.
"To be able to get some competitive racing laps and to just get out and see people I know was a great trip in itself," Henderson said. "I think I got about 100 hugs and I have so many friends in Pennsylvania that just took us in and made us feel like home and it made it worthwhile. We got a lot of notes for the fall and I'm really looking forward to getting back to Pennsylvania later this year."
QUICK RESULTS -
March 26 - Williams Grove Speedway in Mechanicsburg, Pa. - Heat race: 3 (3); Feature: 14 (11).
March 27 - Port Royal Speedway in Port Royal, Pa. - Qualifying: 16; Heat race: 5 (7); Feature: 12 (14).
SEASON STATS -
2 races, 0 wins, 0 top five, 0 top 10s, 2 top 15s, 2 top 20s
UP NEXT -
MEDIA LINKS -
SPONSOR SPOTLIGHT - Eszlinger Electric
Eszlinger Electric, founded in 1984, provides residential electrical services in the Sioux Falls, S.D. area. They offer free estimates, accept credit cards and are a licensed, bonded and insured company. To find out more information, call 605-271-8488 or 605-941-5087.
"Eszlinger Electric has been a great friend of the team and we're grateful for their support for the past two seasons," Team Owner Mike Sandvig said. "We could not do this without supporters like them and I'm glad to have them apart of our team."
Sandvig would also like to thank Morton Buildings, Mamma's Pizza of Wellsville, Emory Transmission, DeBerg Flooring, R2 Enterprise, GRP Motorsports, Winters Performance, Schoenfeld Headers, BK Racing TI Components, SBS FK Shocks, Wings Unlimited, Keizer Aluminum Wheels, Rider Racing Engines, Hinchman Racewear, Heartland Kitchen Solutions, Triple X Race Co., 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.
*PHOTO BY RICK RARER*