With just six races on the TUNDRA Super Late Model Series schedule, drivers have little time to state their case as a contender for the championship. Those races in 2020 have helped rookie Brock Heinrich thrust himself into the conversation of rising stars in the Super Late Model ranks in the Badger State.
The Wausau, Wisconsin native enters Friday night’s TUNDRA finale at Golden Sands Speedway seventh in series points, having all but locked up the Rookie of the Year honors with a 64-point edge over the next closest rookie contender, Kody Hubred. In his first full season, his best finish is a fourth in the most recent race at Wisconsin International Raceway, while having finished outside the top-ten just once.
After a two-week hiatus behind the wheel, Heinrich is ready for Friday night’s rescheduled TUNDRA feature at the 1/3-mile.
“I’ve been pretty excited about it, just been trying to get through the past couple days. I’ve been on second shift so there’s been a lot going on and my sleep is kind of messed up. I’m excited to get back to the track and get back in the car,” Heinrich told Speed51.
“I don’t like sitting for two weeks without a whole lot to do, I’ve been spending my time in the shop and organizing and making sure everything is ready.”
The multi-time State Park Speedway Limited Late Model champion has enjoyed a breakout season in 2020. While gunning after the TUNDRA Rookie of the Year honors, he also earned his first-career Super Late Model win at State Park while finishing second in track points to Justin Mondeik. He also added a third-place run in just his second ARCA Midwest Tour start at Wausau in the Larry Detjens Memorial.
As racing season in the Upper Midwest begins to wind down, Heinrich looked back on what’s been a strong 2020.
“It’s definitely been a learning season for me with the new car and a new structure with the team. I think we’ve done exceptionally well being I’ve had to figure out the car and we’ve kind of backtracked on a lot of adjustments that we made earlier in the season.
“With where we are now and the consistency we’ve formed, I think we’re doing quite well and I’m pleased with where we’re at. I’m happy with where we’re at in the TUNDRA standings, as well as where we finished in the State Park standings. The wins will come. It’s hard to get to where (Justin) Mondeik is right now, but I know we’ve got speed and consistency and a strong team and we’ll have our year as well.”
Next season will see Heinrich run a similar schedule as he did in 2020, with the possible addition of ARCA Midwest Tour races away from State Park to his schedule. His main focus in 2021 will be with the TUNDRA Super Late Model Series, where he will go after the series title.
“I think we’re going to try to hit a couple more (ARCA Midwest) Tour races next season. I think we’re still going to race at State Park full-time next year because that’s where a lot of our hometown sponsor support and we want to put on a show for the ones that keep us moving. I think we’re going to shoot for a TUNDRA championship next year, we just have to keep building off what we left with this year.”
With a Super Late Model win already under his belt, Heinrich hopes number two will come against the state’s best Friday night in Plover, WI.
“It would a huge sigh of relief for us because we’ve really been busting our butts to make sure this thing is perfect each and every week. My guys work very hard and I work hard as well, there’s more going on behind the scenes than what goes on at the shop and we all have high hopes. It’ll for sure be a party but it’s just a big sigh of relief for us and it’ll build more confidence.
“They say the first win is one of the hardest ones to get, the rest come easier because you get to know what you’re doing and you can have a plan going forward,” he added. “I think it’s going to be a big confidence booster if we were able to get to that stage.”
-Story by: Koty Geyer, Speed51 National Correspondent – Twitter: @kgeyer3
-Photo Credit: Ricky Bassman