VandenBerg on a roll in USMTS action
OSKALOOSA, Iowa (Oct. 21, 2002) - Oskaloosa's John VandenBerg has had a couple weeks many race car drivers only dream of. The United States Modified Touring Series (USMTS) made their final 2002 appearance at the Southern Iowa Speedway October 10th -12th. The best in Modified racing, show cased at arguably the toughest track the touring series visits, The Southern Iowa Speedway. The best of the best came to take their part of the $90,000 purse. The driver known by many as the "Flying Dutchman" took his share by picking up the Friday night portion of the Fall Jamboree.
With lady luck on his side, VandenBerg and his Team Jimmy's Racing Team headed south last weekend to Winston Mo. site of yet another USMTS event. VandenBerg like many had to compete at a facility were he had not turned many laps. Track conditions were different, but the stiff competition was the same. Drivers like Kelly Shryock, IMCA Regional Champ Brad Pinkerton, Johhny the "Jet" Saathoff and Steve Kosiski were on hand to try and take home the $5,000 payday.
VandenBerg took his Hart to Hart Photography number 10 to the out side the second row starting spot in his heat. With hopes of getting out in the early lead, that all changed at the drop of the green flag. Going into turn one, another car collided with VandenBerg sending him into the retaining wall and rolling his Randy's Race mart FR-1 / Conger Powered modified. With heavy damage to the front of his racer, VandenBerg and crew went to work on the car during the red flag. With lady Luck hanging on by a thread, The TEAM Jimmy's crew thrashed to fix the bent and battered modified.
By the time safety crews and track officials fixed the guard rail that was torn down, John VandenBerg was ready to resume racing. When they said… "It's hard to keep a Dutchman down", they were right. John rejoined the pack on the tail. With no laps down, the green flag resumed. John came from the tail to win his qualifying heat.
When the field lined up for the feature, the Black and Orange #10 was starting outside row # 2. Determined and ready, VandenBerg knew patience would be key. At the drop of the green John VandenBerg looked to the front and was challenged race long by the tough USMTS front runners. But there was no denying VandenBerg as he went on to win the $5,000 to win USMTS Feature.
Also picking up wins on the weekend were Oskaloosa's Howard Gordon Jr., Kris Walker, and New Sharon's Brad Pinkerton.