For many racers, it is an incredible feat to win a handful of races in a season or to even find their way to victory lane at all. For Kres VanDyke, he is closing in on the quarter-century mark this season as he recently collected his 24th Late Model victory of the year.
So far he has one win at the historic Hickory Motor Speedway (NC), nine at Kingsport Speedway (TN) and 14 at Lonesome Pine Raceway (VA). Two weeks ago, he won four times over the weekend to bring his total to 24 victories. He has already surpassed his career-best 2015 season in which he collected 19 features wins that season.
“We are usually pretty decent every year. I think we had 13 wins last year, 19 the year before and 10 before that,” VanDyke told Speed51.com powered by JEGS.
“We run a lot there but everyone that we race against we have ran against for the last couple years,” he said of the two Tennessee race tracks. “We test and experiment and try and reinvent the wheel from time-to-time and try to make the car better than it has been.”
The team effort has put VanDyke on the quick path to success as he has won 24 of the 34 races that he has entered so far this season.
“If you’re ever just satisfied then you’re never going to go faster,” he stated. “We have been very blessed with the knowledge we have been given and the ideas and the crew and chassis builder. Everyone has their stuff together and we have just been a lot better thanks to them. “
VanDyke currently sits fourth in the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series National points standings. He sits at 568 points while current points leader Trevor Huddleston sits at 650 points with only 26 starts and 16 wins.
“Its frustrating but we have to take the cards that we are dealt and work with what we have. Its all based on car count and everyone knows how the national points roll. You don’t know what the other guys are doing or how they are doing it or where they are racing.”
In order to have car count there must be sponsorship or some sort of money in-flow and right now times are tough around the area that VanDyke runs.
“The area that we are in used to be the coal mining area and the mining has slowed down and so the money is just not there to race which makes cars hard to find,” VanDyke explained. “We just have to do what we can, win as many as we can and travel when we can to make up as much ground to keep up with what they are doing. “
With three-quarters of the season over, VanDyke is keeping realistic expectations on a season that has already surpassed his goals for the season.
“My goal for the rest of the year, I really don’t know. We are just going to take what we can get; not because we have low expectations, but because we don’t want to set a limit on anything. We try to go for limitless. There is no limit for how long we work on the car. There is no start time or no quit time; it’s always just whatever it takes to get the job done.”
At the end of the day VanDyke continued to express how grateful he was for the season he’s already experienced, saying it can only get better from this point forward.
“If I don’t win another race the rest of the year then I am okay with that. The lord has blessed us with the season we have had and its been an incredible one and its been an outstanding year for the guys and us.”
Story by: Hannah Newhouse- Southeast Correspondent Twitter: @hannahnewhouse
Photo by: Chad Fletcher Photography