Van Dam Advances From Eighth to Earn First Career Win in Yakima

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YAKIMA, Wash. (Sept. 26, 2016) – Henry Van Dam has been racing at Central Washington State Fair Raceway for approximately a decade.

In most years his visit is only one weekend in September as the season concludes.

“You don’t have a big notebook and it doesn’t transfer over from other tracks we run,” he said. “We go over there as a one-off race. We have a lot of seconds and thirds. To put a full night together and end up on top is a great deal.”

Van Dam scored his first career victory at the big track last Saturday to cap the Summer Thunder Sprint Series season. It marked the third different track in Van Dam’s home state – and sixth overall – where he has won.

While the weekend ended in Victory Lane, it started with a bit of bad luck.

The opening round of the doubleheader kicked off on Friday with Van Dam qualifying third quickest. He then placed second in a heat race to make the feature redraw, where he pulled the highest number – eight – to start the main event on the outside of the fourth row.

“On the start of the main a car ahead of me started bouncing,” he said. “I checked up and as soon as I did that I started bouncing and got up in the wall and tipped over. It caught the right front and flipped me over front to back.”

The incident occurred in turns three and four on the opening lap. Van Dam was unable to restart the race following the flip.

His team repaired the car prior to Saturday’s event, which began with Van Dam timing in sixth quickest during qualifying before he ended third in a heat race. That was good enough to advance Van Dam into the feature redraw. However, he got the No. 8 for the second straight night.

“That seems to be our number for some reason,” he said. “We got a good start and were up to sixth on the first lap. We started picking a couple of them off over the first 10 laps and got up to third. The second-place guy ended up pulling into the infield and then the leader got a flat tire so I inherited the lead on Lap 13.”

Van Dam took advantage of the opportunity as he led the remainder of the feature to score his second win of the season.

“I had a car capable of competing with them,” he said. “It would have been fun to mix it up. I’ve been on the other end of that when I’m leading and have had something happen to me. It worked out in my favor on Saturday.”

Van Dam will return to action Oct. 20-22 at Thunderbowl Raceway in Tulare, Calif., for the 23rd annual Trophy Cup, which will be his final event of the season.


Sept. 23 – Central Washington State Fair Raceway in Yakima, Wash. – Qualifying: 3; Heat race: 2 (4); Feature: DNF (8).

Sept. 24 – Central Washington State Fair Raceway in Yakima, Wash. – Qualifying: 6; Heat race: 3 (3); Feature: 1 (8).


25 races, 2 wins, 9 top fives, 15 top 10s, 16 top 15s, 17 top 20s


Oct. 20-22 at Thunderbowl Raceway in Tulare, Calif., for the 23rd annual Trophy Cup





Van Dam has t-shirts available for sale at his race trailer and at Enumclaw Xpress Lube.

SPONSOR SPOTLIGHT – Les Schwab Tire of Enumclaw

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“Les Schwab Tire of Enumclaw came on board the last couple of years,” Van Dam said. “They take care of me from my car to the hauler and trailer to make sure we get down the road.”

Van Dam would also like to thank Kovash Logging, Johansen Excavating, Highmark Concrete Contractors, Northwest Welding & Fabrication, Enumclaw Xpress Lube, Clems Enumclaw Powersports, A.R.T. Speed Equipment, Van Dam Dairy, Village Green Resort, Factory Kahne, D&L Equipment Repair, Zender Equipment, Big Bob’s Flooring Outlet, Bob and Joan Shumway, Kellan and Kelsey Hall, Foothills Auto Supply, American Powder Coating, Pete Vos, Char’s Barber Shop, Wesmar Race Engines, SpeedMart, Van Dam Farms and Rich Van Dam Dairy for their continued support.


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