Inside Line Promotions - BRANDON, S.D. (May 18, 2021) - After a heartbreaking incident cost them a win a week ago at Huset's Speedway, Justin Henderson earned some redemption for the Mike Sandvig Racing team when he scored a victory Sunday night for their first win of 2021.
The triumph backed up a solid fifth-place finish on Friday at Jackson Motorplex in Jackson, Minn., for the duo and gives them a victory in consecutive seasons racing together.
"We made a few adjustments on the car to start the week off and we made a few more changes on Sunday and the car was just outstanding to drive," Henderson said. "We've been looking for a good baseline all year and we've definitely got things dialed in to where we felt like we were going to win and I'm so glad we did."
Henderson kicked off the weekend on Friday by tackling the Jackson Motorplex season opener featuring the Northern Outlaw Sprint Association. He began the night by laying down a lap of 13.102 seconds, which was good enough for third quickest in his time trial flight. He then finished where he started - third - in a heat race.
Henderson lined up on the outside of the sixth row for the feature and at the conclusion of the 25-lap A Main he had advanced seven positions to finish fifth. The top-five run was the second of the season for Henderson.
"Early on in the race we were really moving forward and we were capitalizing on the other guys' mistakes," he said. "The track was just so darn fast and toward the end it was just kind of follow the leader. It would've been interesting to see what would've happened if it slicked off, but it just never really did."
Henderson headed to Knoxville Raceway in Knoxville, Iowa, on Saturday and he started the night by qualifying fourth quickest in time trials with a lap of 15.008 seconds. He won a heat race from the fifth starting position and was scheduled to start fifth in the A Main before rain washed out the rest of the event.
"I think we are really on the right track at Knoxville and I wish we could've let things play out to really see how good we were," he said. "Mike and his guys have been working so hard and it's nice to see that work paying off with a fast race car."
To finish out the weekend, Henderson and Sandvig headed to Huset's Speedway on Sunday to join the NOSA Series for the second time of the weekend. He was second quickest in his time trial flight with a lap of 11.034 seconds and then advanced two positions in a heat race to finish second.
The No. 8 in the feature redraw placed Henderson on the outside of the fourth row to start the A Main, but he was on the move early as he advanced to second on the opening lap. He used the outside of the track to take the lead one lap later and he took advantage of multiple cautions during the event to avoid traffic and mostly stay in clean air. The final caution of the event fell with eight laps to go and Henderson was able to capture the checkered flag by a margin of .942 seconds.
"The line that was available up top was really good, but there really wasn't anyone willing to go up there except us," he said. "I told the guys I was going to get all four wheels above the cushion to start the feature and they all kind looked at me like I was crazy, so I don't know if I'm just that crazy or smart.
"Once we got to second I was closing on the leader and from the driver's seat it looked like the leader was going 10 miles per hour slower than us. I knew if he didn't take the top it was over. Any time you can win it's a great feeling, but after last week's heartbreak I was so happy for Mike and his family as they deserve to win more than just about anyone."
Next up for Henderson will be a pair of features on Saturday at Knoxville Raceway and a return to Huset's Speedway on Sunday.
"I'm as confident as I ever have been behind the wheel of Mike's cars and I feel like this is the best we've ever been as a team," he said. "Obviously luck plays into things sometimes, but I'm at a point now where we pull into the track expecting to be up front and that makes racing a lot of fun. I can't wait to try and get a couple more wins."
QUICK RESULTS -
May 14 - Jackson Motorplex in Jackson, Minn. - Qualifying: 3; Heat race: 3 (3); Feature: 5 (12).
May 15 - Knoxville Raceway in Knoxville, Iowa - Qualifying: 4; Heat race: 1 (5); Feature: Rained Out (5).
May 16 - Huset's Speedway in Brandon, S.D. - Qualifying: 2; Heat race: 2 (4); Feature: 1 (8).
SEASON STATS -
8 races, 1 win, 3 top fives, 4 top 10s, 8 top 15s, 8 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 - Rider Racing Engines
Rider Racing Engines has been building high performance engines in Central Pennsylvania for more than 20 years. No matter whether you're racing a street stock or a World of Outlaws sprint car, Rider Racing Engines can put you in Victory Lane. For more information, visit http://www.RiderRacingEngines.com .
"We can't do this without great partners and they certainly make us fast night in and night out," Henderson said. "I always feel reassured knowing we have Rider power under the hood and I'm thankful for their help."
Sandvig would also like to thank Powersports.com, Morton Buildings, Mamma's Pizza of Wellsville, Emory Transmission, Eszlinger Electric, DeBerg Flooring, R2 Enterprise, GRP Motorsports, Winters Performance, Schoenfeld Headers, BK Racing TI Components, SBS FK Shocks, Wings Unlimited, Keizer Aluminum Wheels, 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 ROB KOCAK PHOTOS*