Cap Henry is coming off a memorable racing season in 2013. He was able to make his first Knoxville Nationals Saturday night main event and found victory lane a couple times as well. Last month he ran in Australia where he was very competitive. For 2014 in the US though, the young racer is looking for help to continue building on his racing career.
Henry spent two weeks racing down under for Dave and Jen Whell in their Toowoomba Car Wreckers sprinter. They were able to finish second in their first night out and picked up a couple more top ten finishes in his time there. Henry really enjoyed the experience.
“Dave and Jen Whell were great friends and people to drive for,” Henry said. “The racing was really good, every night we kept getting the car better.”
In the US the CHR 54 Sprint Car team has been a regular on the All Stars tour for the past four seasons. The team finished fourth in National Series points last year. This year the team will not be following the series and due to financial restrictions will not be racing much this season.
“Anyone that has been around racing knows how tough it is financially,” Henry said. “I have great product sponsors that make it a lot easier, but it’s still hard to do it without some money backing. We will only get the 54 car out for a few shows this year, but we are working on things for next year. I’ve talked to a few teams about this year, but unfortunately nothing has come about yet.”
Those product sponsors include FK Rod Ends, K&N Air Filters, Champion Oil, OC Shocks, Simpson, TSR, Keizer Wheels, GME, Wings Unlimited, Maxim, GME, Kistler Engines and Racing Products.
With the 54 team taking some time off this year Henry has had to part ways with two guys he was been friends with and on the road with for the past few years.
“AJ Havens and Andrew Barman were my long time crew guys, but this year they are both doing different things since my car isn’t being raced full time,” Henry said. “AJ was a big influence on my career, he’s been with me on and off for every year I’ve done the All Stars, and taught me a lot over the years.”
Henry was able to pick up two wins last season. One of his wins came at Fremont Speedway and it was a special one for the Bellevue, Ohio racer and for Havens.
“It was pretty special, as the day we won was my crew chief’s uncle, John Wisbon’s, birthday and he passed away a few years ago,” Henry said. “You don’t get opportunities for special wins like that very often, and even rarer do you get to capitalize on the moments. I had to run a really hard non-stop race, but to be able to do it for my crew chief and their family was a great feeling.”
The other win came at Lernerville Speedway when he was able to pass Danny Holtgraver on the final lap of the race.
Another special part of last season was the Knoxville Nationals. The team used the Friday night qualifier to their advantage. Henry started fourth, but fell back to sixth and out of a spot that would put him in Saturday’s main event. The 23 year old battled back into the top four and was able to make some late race passes to finish second and secured one of the four guaranteed starting spots available for Saturday night’s main event.
“It was a very satisfied feeling to run that good,” Henry said. “AJ and I always kind of clicked at Knoxville, but always had mechanical failures that never let us show our true potential there.”
|Henry Getting Around the Bottom Lane at Knoxville.|
Henry started 18thin Saturday’s main event and was able to move up through the field in the 50 lap race to finish 10th.
“There is nothing like the four-wide lap at Knoxville,” Henry said. “We had a pretty good car, I just sat back and rode for awhile to keep from burning the tires off, but to run top 10 in my first nationals was awesome.”
While 2013 had some high moments, 2014 currently has uncertainty and adversity. The 54 team has been through some tough times before. One of their toughest moments came in 2011 on their way home after a night of racing at the KC Raceway when their hauler was involved in an unfortunate accident.
“That was a crazy night,” Henry said. “A drunk driver crossed the median and hit my semi, flipping the cab into the ditch and spinning the trailer sideways across the road. One crew member, Greg K, broke his neck, my dad tore his rotator cuffs, and Andrew B had to get some staples in his head. It totaled the truck and trailer.”
The racing community as it does so well stepped up to help the CHR team through that difficult time.
“An injured drivers fund helped Greg K with his medical bills,” Henry said. “Tony Stewart Racing and Jessica Zemken let me run her spare car for three races to keep my points going with the All Stars, CH Motorsports also loaned me a set of wings and Danny Holtgraver let me borrow a radiator. Everyone was really supportive, it showed how the racing community always comes together to help.”
The team did not miss a single race on the All Stars tour after the accident.
With the talent and perseverance Henry has, don’t expect it to be too long before someone gets him in a car for 2014.