Heydenreich earning his way in Lucas Oil Speedway USRA B-Mod class
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July 7, 2016  |  by Lyndal Scranton

Robert Heydenreich, a 20-year-old from Bolivar, is fifth in Ozark Golf Cars USRA B-Mod points. The USRA B-Mods are featured on Saturday night at Lucas Oil Speedway. (Chris Bork photo)

WHEATLAND, Mo.—He's only been driving a race car for two years and isn't afraid to ask questions—and soak up knowledge—from more-experienced drivers in the ultra-competitive Ozark Golf Cars USRA B-Mod division.

Like a good student paying attention in class, Robert Heydenreich is passing his tests at Lucas Oil Speedway. After a career-best fifth-place finish in last week's USRA B-Mod feature, the 20-year-old from Bolivar is a solid fifth in the points chase.

"Hopefully the wins come, but... my goal this year was top-five, getting more seat time and getting better," said Heydenreich, who is the Tailgate Guys Radio Show Spotlight Driver of the Week for Lucas Oil Speedway. "I just want to keep learning as much as I can."

The USRA B-Mods will be featured when action resumes Saturday night with a 25-lap, $500-to-win main event. Look for Heydenreich and his sharp red-and-white No. 134 car to be in the mix, like last week when he won his heat and started on the front row of the feature alongside points leader J.C. Morton.


The Double H Motorsports team is comprised of Robert Heydenreich Sr. and Robert "Hollywood" Heydenreich Jr. behind the wheel. (Chris Bork photo)

The Double H Motorsports team—formed by Heydenreich and his dad, Robert Heydenreich Sr.—is a relative newcomer to the scene. Certainly, Double H is one of the hardest-working race teams around with the elder Heydenreich working three jobs—including on the safety and EMS crew at Lucas on race nights—and Heydenreich Jr. working 10-hour days as a pipe welder.

"We love what we do and we are having a great time," said Heydenreich Sr., who raced drag cars for a time in the 1980s and '90s.

Father and son work on the race car late at night, usually after 9 p.m., following long days at their jobs.

"My dad doesn't get near as much credit as he should," Heydenreich Jr. said. "Not only does he work as full-time job Monday-through-Friday, he works a part-time job after that job and he works at the race track on weekends. We love the sport. I'd spend every last penny I have on the race car if I had to."

Heydenreich Jr., a 2014 Bolivar High School graduate, said he always wanted to drive a race car "since I was a little kid and my parents put me on a four-wheeler and I went wide-open. Anything with four wheels and an engine, I wanted to drive fast."

His parents gave him encouragement to chase the dream, as did grandparents Vernie and Verla Heydenreich.



Robert Heydenreich Jr. took a wild ride earlier this season, rolling his car and landing atop Tyler Brown's USRA B-Mod. (Chris Bork photo)

Even a mishap earlier this season, when Heydenreich rolled his car after hitting a rut in turn one while contending for a heat-race win, did not shake the young driver's confidence. More than anything, it led to a new nickname.

Heydenreich said he's always gone by "Lil' Bert" to differentiate himself from his dad. But after rolling his car, he removed his helmet, unhooked the window netting and looked at track photographer Chris Bork who was clicking away.

"The first thing I said was, 'Chris, did you get that?' He started calling me 'Hollywood' after that. Now (track announcer) Kevin Fletcher is calling me 'Hollywood.' I don't know if it'll stick, but I can't be 'Lil' Bert' forever."

Whatever he's called, Heydenreich said he strives to earn respect from the more-proven USRA B-Mod drivers like Morton and Kris Jackson.

"I'm new to this and always asking questions. They're super cool about it," Heydenreich said. "If I'm trying to keep my car underneath me and be a clean driver.

"My goal is to drive professionally. I know that sounds crazy. Some of these kids have been driving since they started little in go-karts. This is the first thing I've driven. But my goal is to drive a race car (full time) and be able to pay the bills."

Double H Motorsports' major sponsor are Big Slice Pizza, Boone's BBQ and Discount Cigarettes and Liquor. More support comes from Team Cocktail Apparel, Yeoman Race Engines, Hot Mama Racing Club, My Oil Depot, Get Right Graphics, Midwest Sheet Metal, Hood's Machine and Welding and Hoffman Race Cars.

Saturday at Lucas Oil Speedway, KQFX Fox 22 Presents a Special Kids' night with ages 15 and under admitted free. Frogs Jr Fan Club members will be eligible to be in a drawing for free bicycles, donated by areas businesses and Lucas Oil Speedway drivers, to be awarded during intermission.

The ALPS Food Store ULMA Late Models, Pitts Homes USRA Modifieds and Carson's Corner NAPA Street Stocks also will be in action as gates open at 5 p.m. with hot laps at 7 and racing at 7:30 p.m.

To purchase tickets or to inquire about the availability of suites, contact admissions director Nichole McMillan at (417) 282-5984 or via email at nichole@lucasoilspeedway.com.

The Tailgate Guys Radio Show airs each Saturday from 11:05 a.m.-noon on AM 1340 KICK and online at 1340BigTalker.com. Co-hosts Lyndal Scranton and Steve Koehler talk barbecue and sports with an array of guests. The show's Facebook page is Facebook.com/TailgateGuysRadio.

Lucas Oil Speedway is located at Highways 83 and 54 in Wheatland, Missouri. A campground with shower and bathroom facilities is also available. With it's 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 www.LucasOilSpeedway.com for more information and detailed directions to the speedway or call the Track Hotline at (417) 282-5984.
 
In addition, fans can get social with Lucas Oil Speedway by following @LucasSpeedway on Twitter, clicking "Like" at www.facebook.com/LucasOilSpeedway and on www.youtube.com/LucasOilSpeedway.



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