Brandon, SD – May 11, 2022
by Justin Snyder, Addicted2Dirt PR & Media Management
Feature Photo Credit: Chuck Stowe Images
Justin Henderson and Mike Sandvig Motorsports took part in two events last weekend with a trip to Knoxville Raceway on Saturday and Huset’s Speedway on Sunday.
The two-race weekend netted the duo a season-best third-place finish at Knoxville on Saturday and a seventh-place finish at Huset’s on Sunday.
“For the first weekend with two races, it was not a bad weekend at all,” said Henderson. “We’ve got a lot of racing ahead of us this season and weekends like this will go a long way in preparing us for a busy race season.”
As result of multiple rainouts across the country, a whopping 43 drivers made the trek to Knoxville on Saturday. Undeterred by the added competition, Henderson began the evening by timing in second quickest in a qualifying flight with a fastest lap of 15.915 seconds. This marked the third consecutive week that Henderson has been among the top two fastest qualifiers to start the night at the Sprint Car Capital of the World.
“When you can qualify well, it makes the night a lot easier” he said. “It might as well have been an Outlaw show with all the drivers there, but I say bring them all as that’s really the only way you’ll ever know how you stack up truly.”
He backed up the impressive qualifying performance by advancing three positions in a heat race to finish third and lock himself into the A-main.
“We got a good start on the heat race and the starts are so important at Knoxville with their format,” said Henderson. “We got by a car early and that means so much as you don’t want to get stretched out early or you’ll ruin your night just like that.”
Lining up from the inside-second row for the feature, Henderson quickly moved into the runner-up position by the completion of lap three. Staying glued to the bottom of the Speedway, he took over the top spot on lap six and led the next ten laps of the event maneuvering in and out of lapped traffic with ease. With five laps remaining, he had to break his momentum to avoid making contact with a fast closing Carson Macedo and as a result he fell to second. He settled into the runner-up spot over the next four laps before falling to third on the final circuit.
“I honestly didn’t even know Carson was there as we had been going so well in traffic, but it definitely made me checkup and I broke my momentum,” he said. “It wasn’t a dirty move or anything like that and he did what he was supposed to do. I thought I might be able to get back to him, but I didn’t make a great decision on getting past a few lapped cars and it cost me a shot at the win and ultimately second.”
They next headed to Huset’s Speedway on Sunday, where Henderson entered the night as the defending track champion in the 410 Sprint Car division. He kicked of their 2022 Opening Day program by qualifying fourth quickest out of 27 cars in attendance with a fastest lap of 10.784 seconds before finishing where he started – third – in a heat race,
He lined up fifth for the 25-lap feature event but struggled to make gains during the A-main and took the checkered flag in the seventh position. The top ten was Henderson’s third in four starts to begin the 2022 racing season.
“The car was good, but it was just a bunch of misfortunate events all night,” he said. “We made some bad moves on the track that kind of kept us scrambling, but I think the car was pretty good.”
Next up for Henderson and Sandvig will be another weekend doubleheader at Knoxville Raceway on Saturday and Huset’s Speedway on Sunday. While Henderson currently sits on top of the 410 Sprint Car point standings at Knoxville and the team has been consistent with speed to kick off 2022, he’s not focused on the point lead and instead looking to find victory lane.
“To be leading the points now says we are good and have speed, but right now we are focused on finding victory lane and I think we’re really already looking towards the Knoxville Nationals,” said Henderson. “I think every time you pull into Knoxville you need to be working on your program for that weekend and to this point, we’re making gains and building towards that. We’ve got early speed and we’ve got a good car, which will be huge come Nationals weekend. Now we just need to find ourselves a win to back it up.”
May 8 – Knoxville Raceway in Knoxville, Iowa – Qualifying: 2; Heat race: 3 (6); Feature: 3 (3)
May 9 – Huset’s Speedway in Brandon, D.D – Qualifying: 4; Heat race: 3 (3); Feature: 7 (5)
4 races, 0 wins, 2 top 5s, 3 top 10s, 4 top 15s, 4 top 20s
Saturday, May 15th, at Knoxville Raceway in Knoxville, Iowa and Sunday, May 16th, at Huset’s Speedway in Brandon, S.D.
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 car for years and he’s come on board with Mike’s deal the last few years,” said Henderson. “He’s done a lot for me and this sport and that makes it even more special when we can provide him results and show our appreciation.”
Sandvig would also like to thank http://www.powersports.com, Morton Buildings, Eszlinger Electric, Heartland Kitchen Solutions DeBerg Flooring, R2 Enterprise, GRP Motorsports, Team Enterprise Metal Fabrication and Powder Coating, Winters Performance, Schoenfeld Headers, BK Racing TI Components, SBS FK Shocks, Wings Unlimited, Keizer Aluminum Wheels, Hinchman Racewear, Rider Racing Engines, Maxim Racing Inc. and Simpson Race Products for their continued support.
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Kyle Johnson Trucking
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