Jon Henry Snatches First ALMS Win and Sews Up Eldora Championship

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Henry followed up his ALMS win by winning the Eldora Speedway Championship the next day.
Henry followed up his ALMS win by winning the Eldora Speedway Championship the next day.
Jon Henry recently had the sort of stellar weekend that makes all those late hours in the garage totally worth it. On Saturday the K&N sponsored driver raced at Oakshade Raceway in Wauseon, Ohio, in the Sunoco American Late Model Series (ALMS), 43 entries prepped to win the race, but 28 laps later it was all Henry, holding on to clinch his first ALMS title of the season.
Jon Henry Racing got their first ALMS victory of the season at Oakshade Raceway.
Jon Henry Racing got their first ALMS victory of the season at Oakshade Raceway.

"The racing surface was to my liking, smooth and slick, but a little bit of moisture on the bottom. To win a race in the ALMS series everything always has to go right," explained Henry. "Oakshade Raceway has been a good track for me, it really fits my driving style. With a long green flag run I was able to hit my marks and just stay focused on being smooth."

Without much time for celebration Henry packed it up and headed to Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio, for two races on Sunday. The first race at Eldora was another ALMS event.
K&N sponsored driver Jon Henry has now won four championships in four years.
K&N sponsored driver Jon Henry has now won four championships in four years.

"With the race track so fast at the top it made passing difficult and I wasn't able to advance a position and would have to run the B-main," remarked Henry.

He started second in the B, but after a quick 12 laps he would later say that his car was just really not there. "I fell back to third and missed the show by one spot."

Perhaps it's safe to speculate that Henry also had his focus on the bigger picture for Sunday, the second race of the day, which was a Modified class contest. There were 51 cars in attendance, Henry drew a 60 which put him eighth in the third heat race.

"I had one mission in mind, to be smooth and consistent and bring home my first Eldora championship."

Henry wasted little time getting after it, on the first lap he shot into third, and was all over on the leaders.

"I played it conservative, with a second place finish I was locked into the A-main. Eldora has bitten me hard the last several races, which has put me in this pressure situation of being one point out of the points lead. Starting in eighth in the main my one goal was just to finish the race," commented the Ada, Ohio resident.

Henry went on to finish a solid sixth place and locked up his very first Eldora Speedway Championship. The icing on the cake for Jon Henry Racing is that makes it four years with four straight championships, on three different tracks.

In 2007 he won the Modified Championship at Waynesfield Raceway Park, in 2008 it was the Modified Championship at Limaland Motorsports Park, and in 2009 it was the Sunoco American Late Model Series Champion. And now the 2010 Eldora Speedway Modified Championship.

"My racing career wouldn't feel complete without an Eldora Speedway Championship. It is one of the greatest dirt tracks in the country and it really means a lot to me. I couldn't be happier to be a part of their history."

We wondered what sort of challenges Henry faced switching from a Late Model to Modified in one day.

"The biggest difference is how you attack the corner. With such a wide tire on the Late model you really have to drive these cars into the corner, where the Modified has to be more controlled with the throttle. The other big difference is that the Late Model is 100 pounds lighter with about 200 more horsepower, which gives you a huge speed adjustment. When I jump from one car to another I really try to focus on which car I'm in. It's really easy to over drive the Modified after being in the Late Model because everything slows down so much. It takes time but it helps to be mentally prepared."

Henry thanked K&N and all his sponsors for their continuing support. Up next for John Henry Racing is the World 100.

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