In the Spotlight: "Hollywood" Heydenreich basks in first Lucas Oil Speedway feature win
Wheatland, Missouri (April 26, 2018) - Several days after his first career victory at Lucas Oil Speedway, Robert "Hollywood" Heydenreich still was in a partial state of smiling disbelief.
Heydenreich, a 21-year-old from Bolivar, captured the season opening Ozark Golf Cars USRA B-Mod feature last Saturday night. A pair of former track champions - JC Morton and Kris Jackson - were right behind and applying heat all the way until the checkers waved.
"There were some heavy hitters right behind me," Heydenreich said. "Never in a million years did I think I was going to win that race. But I'm sure happy that I did."
Following the biggest moment of his young racing career, Heydenreich is the Lucas Oil Speedway Tailgate Guys Radio Spotlight Driver of the Week. He looks to follow it up with another strong showing when the Big Adventure RV Weekly Racing Series resumes this Saturday with $5 Night Presented by KY3.
Beginning just his fourth season of racing, Heydenreich said he did his best to remain calm while leading as the laps clicked away. The pulse rate was rising as he took the white flag with Morton - the 2016 USRA B-Mod National Champion - on his rear.
"More than anything, I tried not to overthink it," Heydenreich said. "I used to really overthink things bad and I'd end up costing myself and would loop it or miss my mark or jump the cushion. I did jump the cushion one time in the race, but luckily I was able to hold on and maintain the lead. It's just all mental and trying to keep yourself calm.
"JC had a couple of chances where he could have got me, but JC is a good guy. He ran me clean the whole time. I was just focused on trying to hit my marks and be nice and smooth and not have any hiccups. It ended up paying off."
Heydenreich's previous claim to racing fame came two years ago, when he rolled his car while battling for the lead in a heat race. He emerged from the upside-down car with photographers clicking away and track announcer Kevin Fletcher immediately gave him the nickname "Hollywood," which stuck.
The small, family owned team that includes his dad, Robert Heydenreich Sr., as the crew chief and occasional driver of his own Double H Motorsports B-Mod, has made strides. "Hollywood" credits Late Model driver Jason Sivils and USRA Modified veterans Eric Turner and Jeff Cutshaw with graciously offering guidance and knowledge.
"They've helped me come a long way and get my car super fast," the younger Heydenreich said. "Eric shook it down for me a little bit at test and tune day. He said I had an easy top-five car all year. I thought he was a little crazy, considering who we race against every week. We have the best B-Mod racers in the country week in and week out."
Heydenreich said his dad prepares the car as he spends six days a week working in Kansas.
"I come home on race night, jump into it and go racing," he said. "My dad does all the wrenching with Jason Sivils alongside him. I can't thank him enough."
Robert Heydenreich Sr. was busting with pride after the win.
"Robert has been racing a very short time and he races with the best guys in the business who have been doing it for years," Heydenreich Sr. said. "Some of these guys have already run more races this year than Robert will get the chance to run all year, but that's just part of it.
"He's only going to get better with seat time. We do what we can afford to do and that's it. None of this would be possible without Robert working out of state to make money to race on. But we definitely couldn't be successful like this without friends, family and sponsors."
Sponsors include Big Slice Pizzeria, Cullum and Brown of Kansas City and Springfield, Boone's BBQ Barn in Bolivar, My Oil Depot of Oklahoma City, Midwest Sheet Metal, G&S Stanek Photography, Rod End Supply, Get Right Graphics, Wehr's Machine and Racing Products, Ultra-Force Spring Machine, Hood's Machine and Welding, Hot Mama Racing Club, Dickson Racing Shocks, Bud's Tire and Wheel, Foxies Race Car Bodies and Yeoman Race Engines.
The Tailgate Guys Radio Show airs each Saturday from 11:05 a.m.-noon on KICK 92.3 FM, 1340 AM and can be heard online at 923kick.com. Co-hosts Lyndal Scranton and Steve Koehler talk barbecue and sports with a news and notes segment on Lucas Oil Speedway included.
This week's Big Adventure RV Weekly Racing Series will kick off with the Pitts Homes USRA Modified feature, rained out last week, right after hot laps and opening ceremonies at 7 p.m. The regular program, including all four classes, will follow.
Gates open at 4 p.m. and all tickets are $5. Kids 5-and-under, as always, are FREE. Featured on the midway will be the Clinton Cruisers car club, showing off their classic vehicles. KY3 sports anchor Chad Plein also will be on hand to meet fans.
Fans who really want to make it a full day can come early and take in the first Level 5 Off Road UTV/Side by Side Racing program on the off road track next door. Practice starts at 10 a.m. with heat races at 11:30 a.m. and features about 3:15. Those purchasing tickets to the off road races will be admitted free to the dirt track.
Dirt track ticket prices:
Adults, senior, military and youth $5
Kids (5 and under) FREE
Family pass $25
Pitt pass $30
Off road ticket prices (all include FREE admission to dirt track):
Seniors (ages 62 and over) and Military $17
Youth (ages 6-15) $5
Kids (5 and under) FREE
For ticket information for any event in 2018, including general admission or three-day reserved seats for the 26th annual Show-Me 100 Presented by ProtecttheHarvest.com, contact Admissions Director Nichole McMillan at (417) 282-5984 or via email at Nichole@lucasoilspeedway.com. Tickets also can be purchased online for any event during the 2018 season.
Complete Lucas Oil Speedway event information, archived stories, ticket information and 2018 schedule can be found by visiting LucasOilSpeedway.com. Fans also can purchase general admission tickets for any 2018 event on the web.
Lucas Oil Speedway is located at Highways 83 and 54 in Wheatland, Missouri. A campground with shower and bathroom facilities is also available. With its entrance located just outside the pit gate this sprawling scenic camping facility will continue to enhance the racing experience at the Diamond of Dirt Tracks.
Click LucasOilSpeedway.com for more information and detailed directions to the speedway or call the Track Hotline at (417) 282-5984.