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August 14, 2019

Lucas Oil Speedway Spotlight: Heydenreich optimistic that season of transition finishes on upswing in USRA Mod

Robert Heydenreich (134) looks to continue his progress in the Pitts Homes USRA Modified division on Saturday at Lucas Oil Speedway's Fan Appreciation Night. (Kenny Shaw photo)
WHEATLAND, Missouri (August 14, 2019) - It's been a racing season of doubt, change, challenge and optimism for Robert "Hollywood" Heydenreich. Roll it all together, and 2019 has been anything but dull for the 23-year-old Modified driver from Bolivar.

But as the home stretch of the schedule awaits at Lucas Oil Speedway, Heydenreich is confident that he's finding his way in the Pitts Homes USRA Modified division after stepping up from the Ozark Golf Cars USRA B-Mod class a few weeks ago.

"I don't know that we're looking for top-five or top-10 finishes," Heydenreich said. "Mostly, I'm looking for experience. I'm just lacking seat time in this new car."

Heydenreich resumes his Modified education on Saturday night when the Big Adventure RV Weekly Racing Series picks back up with Fan Appreciation Night Presented by Ozarks CW/Ozarks Sports Zone. The Pitts Homes USRA Modifieds will headline the program with a 25-lap, $1,000-to-win main event.

When the season began, Heydenreich didn't envision himself winding up in the top Modified division. He finished fourth in Ozark Golf Cars USRA B-Mod points in 2018 with a feature win and figured to be a top contender in that class again this year. But he had only two top-10 finishes the first part of the season before an accident bent the front stub of his car.

"I was mad," Heydenreich recalled of the drive home from the track. "I had spent the majority of my money for the summer and I told my dad that I was done for the year. We got home about 1:30 a.m. and one of our new sponsors, Dwight Brown from Tri-Lakes RV and Parish Tire and Alignment called and said, 'What do you need?'

"Long story short, Robbie Reed had a 2015 GRT by Phillips for sale. It was fully set-up to go A-Mod racing."

After a conversation with fellow Bolivar resident Jeff Cutshaw, a multi-time Lucas Oil Speedway Modified champion who retired after last season, Heydenreich took up Brown on his offer and put together a deal to buy the car from Reed and a motor from Cutshaw.

Five starts since debuting in the car, Heydenreich doesn't have a lot to show for his efforts in terms of final results. But he's been fast at times and did make the show for the recent USMTS Slick Mist Show-Me Shootout.

"I started on the pole of the B feature and finished third behind Rodney Sanders and Jason Hughes and made it into the show," Heydenreich said. "I started making my way up in the feature a little bit, but ended up smoking my brakes on lap 27 and pulled in.

"Hey, I was happy as could be. I got to do my first USMTS four-wide salute and hold the USMTS flag on the parade lap. I learned a lot. Those dudes are on another level. They are quick and smooth and built for endurance."

Heydenreich said he continues to adjust to the higher-powered motors and the differences in steering ratios.

"You go from 450 horsepower to between 650 and 700," he said. "Throttle control is a big thing, along with being smooth."

Having Cutshaw advising him on set-up has been valuable. He drove Cutshaw's backup car at the 2018 Show-Me 100 under card - his first time in a USRA Modified - and made the starting field.

"Jason Sivils helps me out with set-up as well, but Jeff has been a huge help because had had a GRT like this one and it was his motor that's in the car," Heydenreich said. "I can't thank him enough.

"A year like this will really kill your confidence. We've had a tough time and I debated a million times about racing. It wears on you. But I have some really good people helping me out and they boost me up each week. Their support keeps my going."

At the top of his list is his dad, Robert Heydenreich Sr., who serves on the Lucas Oil Speedway safety crew on nights "Hollywood" does not compete.

"I need to give a ton of credit to my dad," Heydenreich said. "He works harder than anybody I know. I would not be able to do what I do without him. I hope one day that I'll be able to repay him."

 

Team sponsors include Dwight Brown's Tri-Lakes RV and Parish Tire along with Big Slice Pizza, Boone's BBQ, Midwest Sheet Metal, Cullum & Brown, Custom Landworks, Lucas Oil, G&S Photography, Wehr's Machine, Ultra Force Spring Machines, Dickson Racing Shocks, Rod End Supply, Swift Springs and Top Notch Horse Tanning.

 

"I also want to thank my mom (Patti), girlfriend (Brooke Kissinger), my grandparents, Jason Sivils, Jeff Cutshaw and the fans," Heydenreich said. "We look forward to seeing everyone Saturday."

 

Gates open at 4 p.m. Saturday with hot laps at 6:30 and opening ceremonies at 7. The Ozark Golf Cars USRA B-Mods, Warsaw Auto Marine & RV Late Models and O'Reilly Auto Parts Street Stocks continue points chases - and there's a lot more happening as well.

 

Pure Stocks also will be a special guest class and the Show-Me Vintage Racing Club  will return after a popular appearance a year ago. The club, which features a wide variance of years, makes and models, will display their cars on the midway before putting on a 10-lap vintage race.

The Pure Stock drivers won't have to pay any type of track registration fee or entry fee, just for pit passes. Feature payouts will go through 24th place with first in the feature worth $300.

In the next-to-last Big Adventure RV Weekly Racing Series program of 2019, fans will be treated to food and drink specials throughout the evening including $1 nachos & cheese, $2 hot dogs and $2 soft drinks or waters. There also will be specials in the Track Treasures Gift Shop and Diamond Bar during the evening and the first 500 fans through the spectator gates will receive gift bags courtesy of GEICO and Lucas Oil Speedway.

Admission prices:
Adults (16 and over) $12
Seniors (62 and over) $9
Youth (6-15) $5
Kids (5 and under) FREE
Family Pass $30
Pit pass $30

 

For questions about tickets or camping for any event at Lucas Oil Speedway, contact Admissions Director Nichole McMillan at (417) 282-5984 or via email at Nichole@LucasOilSpeedway.com.

 

CONTACT:
Danny Lorton
Lucas Oil Speedway General Manager
Office: (417) 282-5984