By MIKE MALLETT
Billy VanInwegen has experienced both the highs and lows of competing at the Volusia Speedway Park. The Sparrowbush, N.Y., driver struggled on opening night with mechanical issues and failed to make the first feature event. In the second main, VanInwegen drove to a 10th place finish.
“It’s been up and down,” stated VanInwegen. “My first night was pretty bad. We had some carburetor problems and things like that. That put us behind in time trials. We got it figured out in the B-Main, but then we never got a chance to work on the car all night. We were just on the motor deal. We didn’t make it the first night, but we turned it around last night with a good car. The guys dug in and really worked hard all day and unloaded right on day two. It paid off and we had a solid run.”
VanInwegen was in the middle of a hornet’s nest in the second feature. VanInwegen ran as high as seventh before settling for a top ten. At times he was three-wide battling with the likes of Ryan Watt and Pat Ward.
“I think at one point we were up to seventh,” said VanInwegen. “We got some good restarts and things like that. That was the key. You had to get good restarts and be in the right lane at the right time. We had a good car. I think we were a little better than 10th, but we’ll try again today.”
VanInwegen, who runs predominately at the Orange County Fair Speedway, was forced to adjust to the tough track conditions at Volusia Speedway Park. He doesn’t have a lot of opportunities to run on a track that is wide-open with a large cushion on the top.
“I think that’s a little bit of the reason we struggled a little bit,” mentioned VanInwegen. “It takes a night or two because we don’t get to do this deal as much as some of the guys that run Upstate (New York). I actually think running the Sprint Car last year and getting Upstate and running the tracks that had a cushion and get slippery, I think that helps.”
Unfortunately things didn’t get better for VanInwegen on Friday night as he just missed qualifying in his heat and was forced into the consolation. From there he missed transferring after Tim Fuller passed him on the final lap in the last corner. He used a provisional to make the feature where he finished in 22nd.