Inside Line Promotions - BRANDON, S.D. (June 3, 2021) - Justin Henderson scored a weekend-best third-place finish aboard the Mike Sandvig Racing No. 7 on Monday night during the Ben Nothdurft Memorial at Huset's Speedway.
The podium finish capped a three-race weekend filled with bad luck that saw the team finish 16th at Knoxville Raceway in Knoxville, Iowa, on Saturday before a disappointing DNF on Sunday at Huset's Speedway.
"I was already kind of bummed as I planned to race my 360 on Friday and it rained and it kind of seemed to steamroll from there," Henderson said. "Things just didn't go our way all weekend and luckily we came out of it with a podium. With how well we've been running I guess we were due for a weekend like this, but overall it was just disappointing."
Henderson kicked off the weekend on Saturday at Knoxville Raceway, where he qualified 16th quickest out of 31 drivers with a lap of 15.573 seconds. As a result of a dropped cylinder, the team changed the engine following time trials. Henderson then won a heat race from the pole position to lock himself into the A Main.
He lined up for the feature in the 11th starting position and after a caution on Lap 6 he was running seventh. Following a return to green-flag action, Henderson was battling for fifth when he and another driver made contact. The result was a blown left rear tire. Henderson rejoined the field and was able to climb back to 16th.
"We burned down a motor in qualifying and it really didn't do us any favors in time trials," he said. "We luckily got it changed and got the heat win and we were actually moving forward until we got taken out. We worked our tails off to be in that position and to see it go away like that really was a bummer."
Henderson, who was looking to earn his third consecutive victory at Huset's Speedway on Sunday, began the night by timing in third quickest in his time trial flight with a lap of 10.829 seconds. He then finished fourth in a heat race to earn a spot into the feature redraw.
Henderson drew the No. 7 starting spot for the feature and looked to be in line for another solid finish when he hit a rut in turn three and crashed to end his night early. The DNF was his first of the 2021 racing season.
"I felt like if I hadn't crashed we had a car that was capable of contending for the win," he said. "We were not the only car who hit that rut, but ultimately it ended our night early and cost us a shot at a win and that's never fun."
Henderson returned to the South Dakota oval on Monday with a back-up car looking for redemption. He qualified eighth quickest in his group with a lap of 12.778 seconds. Henderson then won a heat race from the pole position to earn a spot in the redraw for the second consecutive night.
This time he pulled the No. 2 and lined up on the outside of the front row for the feature. Henderson jumped to the lead at the drop of the green flag. He led the opening 20 laps of the feature before dropping a spot following a restart. He fell one more position to round out the podium for his sixth top-five finish of the season.
"The car we rolled out isn't exactly suited for Huset's in terms of setup and such, so to be in contention like that was really a surprise and a good thing," he said. "On the other hand, when you lead that many laps and see a win slip away it's tough to be happy with a third-place finish. We made do with what we had and turned a difficult weekend into a small positive."
Henderson and Sandvig will again head to Knoxville Raceway this Saturday and Huset's Speedway on Sunday for two nights of racing this weekend. He enters the weekend second in the points standings at Knoxville Raceway by only 17 markers and sits third at Huset's Speedway by a mere 14 points.
"The weather forecast is calling for a hot weekend and I love racing when it's like that," he said. "You've really got to be prepared for when the weather gets hot like that for late in the night as it can really take a toll on you in the cockpit. I keep myself in good shape and condition for nights like this and I'm looking forward to making it count and getting our points leads back after a rough weekend."
QUICK RESULTS -
May 29 - Knoxville Raceway in Knoxville, Iowa - Qualifying: 16; Heat race: 1 (1); Feature: 16 (11).
May 30 - Huset's Speedway in Brandon, S.D. - Qualifying: 3; Heat race: 4 (3); Feature: DNF (7)
May 31 - Huset's Speedway in Brandon, S.D. - Qualifying: 8; Heat race: 1 (1); Feature: 3 (2).
SEASON STATS -
14 races, 2 wins, 6 top fives, 8 top 10s, 12 top 15s, 13 top 20s
UP NEXT -
Saturday at Knoxville Raceway in Knoxville, Iowa, and Sunday at Huset's Speedway in Brandon, S.D.
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. For 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 Powersports.com, Morton Buildings, Mamma's Pizza of Wellsville, Emory Transmission, Heartland Kitchen Solutions DeBerg Flooring, R2 Enterprise, GRP Motorsports, Winters Performance, Schoenfeld Headers, BK Racing TI Components, SBS FK Shocks, Wings Unlimited, Keizer Aluminum Wheels, Hinchman Racewear, Rider Racing Engines, 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 TYLAN PORATH PHOTOGRAPHY*
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