MARION, Ohio – To say 2020 has been a strange season for the motorsports industry would be a massive understatement, to say the very least.
The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic have played a large role in everything Americans have done for the last seven months, with everyday life seeing its challenges, and many still trying to find a way back to what most would call normal.
One thing the pandemic has not changed, at least in the world of sprint car racing in Northern Ohio is the spirits of the racers, track promoters, loyal sponsors and fans.
Most people had to take a step back, and a late start to the season was met with frustration, but those frustrations eased somewhat as the season got going at traditional tracks like Attica Raceway Park, Wayne County Speedway, and Fremont Speedway.
Meanwhile, tracks like Waynesfield Raceway Park and Eldora Speedway sat silent.
When a stressful time of regulations and change of everyday life comes about, the racing world is most people’s release of stress, providing both a form of reality and a getaway.
That getaway, despite it being one of the most bizarre and stressful sprint car seasons in recent memory, has ended well for Cap Henry and the Lane Racing No. 4 team.
A season of uncertainty morphed into a season of championships for the “Dragon Wagon” team.
Henry wrapped up the track championship at Attica Raceway Park on Sept. 11 and backed it up Sept. 12 when he put the polish on the Attica Fremont 410 Championship Series at Fremont Speedway.
“2020 has easily been one of my most successful seasons,” noted Henry, “From the beginning, things just went our way. The late season start hindered our plans; a lot of things we had on our schedule had to be cancelled, so a lot of what we wanted to do hasn’t happened. But because of the late start, we were definitely ready to go when the season did start. It did affect our schedule, we had some plans to go race in Michigan that didn’t happen, and we just haven’t been able to race as much in general, but it has been a super satisfying season so far.
“We’ve won more races then we have any other season, and our ultimate goal was to win (both) the Attica track title and the AFCS points title. We’ve successfully done that now.”
Henry admitted that it wasn’t necessarily a rise in his own confidence this year that led to success, but rather a belief in Lane Racing that led both parties to even greater heights.
“My confidence in myself isn’t any higher than normal this year; if you get too confident you will make dumb mistakes. I have been, however, super confident in my team,” Henry noted. “They do a great job night in and night out. I simply just want to race and win. Nothing compares to the feeling of ending the night with your team in victory lane.
“I just race everyone how they race me, and so far nothing crazy has happened. I have made some mistakes this year and I’m always the first one to admit what I did wrong. After that, I can only hope others will always do the same.”
Any time a race is to be run, it takes not only a driver but behind the scenes a crew of special people to keep it all in place. Parts and pieces have to be quality, and the folks that turn the wrenches need to know how to make adjustments as the night and track changes.
It is something that is far from easy, and takes a lot of dedication, not just at the track. But no one ever said winning a championship, or two, would be easy.
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