Sometimes in racing you need to take a step back in order to take a step forward. That's been the strategy for Ada, Ohio native Jon Henry this season. After years of waging an all-out war on both modified and dirt late model racers throughout the Midwest, Henry decided this year should be about fun, and the results are showing early.
Jon Henry wins American Late Model Series Race at Attica Raceway Park
Henry already has wins in both his dirt modified and his American Late Model Series dirt late model, and the trophies keep piling up, making Henry an early favorite as the annual $100,000 Dream at the world famous Eldora Speedway approaches.
American Late Model Series Racer Jon Henry
"Success has come early in both classes," Henry said. "This season is about having fun and less about structure."
One win in particular stands out to Henry as being a moment when he realized that this season was truly going to be fun.
"Winning the ALMS race at Attica by outdueling late model standout Jeep Van Wormer," Henry said when asked what the best moment of the year has been so far. "It was a side-by-side, up-on-the-wheel battle for 25 laps and we gave the fans their money's worth. People won't forget that race and are still buzzing about it a month later.
"Those are the type of races you want to win."
Things haven't been completely glamorous for Henry this season. After returning to his home track, Limaland Motorsports Park, with a second place and a win in his first two modified races, round 3 was a disaster. After a rough heat race, Henry was disqualified in the B Main for debris.
But the rough night helped him appreciate the good ones.
"The worst part about that night was the debris didn't even come off of our car," Henry said. "It was an awful night, but those nights make you appreciate it when you have a good one."
Henry is also battling an ill-handling late model on slick tracks, something he says the team is working hard at fixing before the heat of the summer.
Still, after winning a modified feature at Eldora in early May, mixed with his past success at Eldora, Henry and his team are geared up for a strong showing at the Dream.
And if Henry makes it to victory lane, K&N Filters will be right there with him.
"The reason K&N is so successful is because their products truly work," Henry said. "Our engine builder is always amazed on how clean our engines are during a rebuild. Thanks to the washable air filters, when cleaned with the K&N Power Clean and then re-oiled with the K&N Oil, it's like having a brand new filter every night."