Lucas Oil Speedway Offseason Spotlight: 12 questions with Robert "Hollywood" Heydenreich
WHEATLAND, Missouri (January 24, 2019) - Robert "Hollywood" Heydenreich is another young driver who continued to make strides in his career last season at Lucas Oil Speedway. The 22-year-old from Bolivar, driving for the family owned Double H Motorsports Team, finished a career-best fourth in the Ozark Golf Cars USRA B-Mod points chase.
Heydenreich also picked up his first career feature victory, on opening night, when he held off a past USRA B-Mod National Champion (JC Morton) and the eventual (2018) National Champion (Kris Jackson).
Lucas Oil Speedway PR Director Lyndal Scranton caught up with Heydenreich for this week's edition of Offseason Spotlight 12 questions:
You finished fourth in points and picked up your first feature win at Lucas Oil Speedway, what stood out to you about the 2018 season?
"We just have some good people on board with us. Jason Sivils helps us a lot with our set-up. It was a good year. We had a good maintenance program and the car worked flawlessly all year. To go out opening night and win that race, it was just awesome. It's hard for anybody to get a win considering we race against some of the best in the country every week in the B-Mod class. Kris Jackson, JC Morton, Andy Bryant ... all of those guys are top-notch drivers."
What was the most-satisfying part of your first feature win?
"I ran the best guys in the country to get that win. Granted, I started on the front row, but I had to stay ahead of those guys for 25 laps. It was definitely hard to do. I just tried to stay focused and hit my marks and make sure I didn't have any hiccups. JC Morton was right on my tail. If I made one little hiccup, he was going to get around me. Another thing that made it special, we've been going to Lucas forever. I used to work there, my dad has worked there. We've been there 12 years-plus. It was just cool to get a win there."
In what ways did you improve as a driver last season?
"Really just trying to stay calm and not overdrive the car. That was the main thing. You have to stay calm and not upset the car. Now that I'm getting more experience, I'm staying calmer and learning how the car reacts. Just staying calm more than anything."
Is there another driver who has been instrumental in helping you improve?
"Jason Sivils from Bolivar is a big part of it. He has helped me a ton, not only to calm down driving wise, but he's helped our car set-up and has helped our program all around. Also, Jeff Cutshaw, also from Bolivar. He's been another person who's helped me as far as being calmer."
You drove Cutshaw's backup car during the USRA Modified portion of the Show-Me 100 last year. What was it like to drive in a higher Modified division?
"I had only driven a B-Mod, but we know Jeff really well. He had his new MB Customs that he was driving and I made him a deal to see if he'd let me drive his GRT all three nights at the Show-Me. I have to thank him for giving me a chance to do that. My big thing was throttle control. After that (weekend) I got back in my (B-Mod) and I felt like we were in slow motion. Night two of the Show-Me weekend, I went from ninth to win my heat race over some big names and started front row of the show and finished fourth. I learned a lot about throttle control. Those cars work a little different and I was able to take it back to my car and help me there a lot more."
You were given the nickname of "Hollywood" by track announcer Kevin Fletcher a couple of years ago when you rolled your car and climbed right out, smiling for the cameras. What do you think of the nickname?
"It honestly kind of fits me. Anytime there is an interview or a spotlight or a camera, I like trying to get in front of it. The more interviews, the better I will get at giving them and presenting myself well. But it also helps with getting my name out there to help better my program."
You travel a lot for work, with I understand are some seven-day weeks with a lot of 12-hour shifts. What do you do and what does that travel consist of?
"I have sponsors that really help me a ton and I wouldn't be able to race without them. But I'd say three-quarters of the funding for the race team comes from my pocket. I'm a pipe welder. I travel around to a lot of nuclear power plants, ethanol plans or refineries. I go in and weld pipe. The good thing about it is, being a traveling pipe welder, you are gone from home a lot but they do pay pretty well. Also, I work from September to the beginning of April when race season starts. So I'm able to help work on the race car during the week and race on the weekends."
What is a passion for you besides racing?
"Just cars, in general. Driving fast, cars and motors. I drive a '17 (Ford) Mustang daily and it stays wide open wherever I go."
Has that led to any speeding tickets?
"I've had a few (laughs). But luckily, a little money and a good lawyer helps get rid of those."
Your family seems pretty close, always at the races with you. What does their support mean to you?
"It means the world to me. My parents (Robert Sr. and Patti) are always trying to support me the best they can. My Dad runs all the social media - Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube - and my Mom does what she can to get my name out there. She makes hero cars and we had rally towels one year. They just really back me in what I do and they believe in me as a race-car driver."
Who helps you work on the race car?
"Really it's just me and my Dad. Jason Sivils is a big help too, but as far as wrenching goes I have to give all the credit to my Dad. I'm not a huge fan of turning wrenches. I like driving the wheels off it and I like doing tire work and work on the body and chassis. But when it comes to turning wrenches, my Dad is the man. He puts in countless hours on that car so that it will be ready to race."
What are your goals for the 2019 racing season and even long-term?
"We'd like to be top 10 again in points. We're not going to try for top-five or track champion. I want to travel around a little more and hit some big-money shows late in the year. I would love to drive an A Mod some more and even a USMTS car. Everybody would like to run with the Lucas Oil Late Models. That would be awesome. But you have to put your time in, in this sport."
Double H Motorsports has a lengthy sponsor list: Boone's BBQ, Big Slice Pizza, Cullum and Brown, Yeoman Race Engines, Lucas Oil, Midwest Sheet Metal, Wehr's Machine, Ultra Force Spring Machine, Dickson Racing Shocks, Custom Land Works, Top Notch Horse Training, G&S Stanek Photography, Rod End Supply, Get Right Graphics, Oil and Octane Shop, Bud's Tire & Wheel, Hood's Machine and Welding and Swift Springs.
Action kicks off March 30 at Lucas Oil Speedway with an open test and tune. The Big Adventure RV Weekly Racing Series begins April 6 with action in all four of the weekly divisions - Pitts Homes USRA Modifieds, Ozark Golf Cars USRA B-Mods, Warsaw Auto Marine & RV ULMA Late Models and O'Reilly Auto Parts Street Stocks.
Season passes for the 2019 Lucas Oil Speedway season are available. Contact Admissions Director Nichole McMillan at (417) 282-5984 or email her at Nichole@lucasoilspeedway.com to purchase a gift card or season pass. Individual-event tickets go on sale Feb. 1.
Lucas Oil Speedway General Manager
Office: (417) 282-5984