What happens when you add equal parts hard work and grit? Stir in a bunch of well-past their expiration date parts. Fold in fanatic volunteers. Sprinkle undeniable skill backed by humbleness. Reduce with no budget and baste with a brand new and unproven tire…. Well, I guess you get a Pro 2 Championship!
The final two races of the 2018 Pro 2 season were held on Labor Day weekend at the storied Crandon International Off-Road Raceway. The "Big House" as it's known celebrated its 49th race weekend and as the originator of the sport the track is famous for its big crowds, big names and even bigger racing action. The hotly contested and razor close points race for the 2018 championship was to be decided on the same track as legends like Walker Evans, Robby Gordan and Jimmy Johnson fought for victory.
With a huge crowd on hand to cheer him on, Vanden Heuvel entered the weekend with the hope of repeating his spring win here. This entire season Mikey has campaigned the new Kenda Klever R/T KR601 this street legal DOT tire is the exact same one that Kenda sells through their nationwide dealer network. The tires have been put up to the ultimate test against competitor brands from BFGoodrich, Maxxis, Goodyear, Cooper. After a difficult and competitive race, Vanden Heuvel was able to bring the red Flying Dutchman Off-Road across the line in 4th place just 9 points ahead of 2nd place No. 9 Chad Hord and clinched the 2018 championship.
"Kenda is very proud of Mike, the Flying Dutchman team and how the tires performed this season," stated Brandon Stotsenburg, VP of Automotive at Kenda Tire. The R/T tire is one of Kenda’s newer tires breaking into the rough terrain segment, which allows for the durable grip in tough terrains like a M/T tire, yet a smooth and quiet ride you’d find in an A/T tire. The tread pattern is aggressive to handle dirt and rocks but there is minimal road noise. The R/T is equipped with Kenda’s T3 triple thread 3-ply sidewall protection, which is perfect for navigating any terrain where there is the risk of a sidewall being punctured since it offers added protection. The tire took several years to develop and perfect and was thoroughly tested in real-world terrain before hitting the consumer market.
"Myself and the entire Flying Dutchman team are thrilled with how this season turned out and we’re happy to have Kenda as a partner and sponsor with us every step of the way," shared Mikey Vanden Heuvel. "The DOT Kenda tires were a big factor adapting to the different terrains – we couldn’t have won without them!"
When asked his thoughts on this year’s season, Kenda’s Mike Higgs had this to say: "It’s hard to put this season into words. I have run the gamut of emotions this year watching this team perform at this high a level against these other great drivers and teams with just a fraction of their budgets. I will say this though, it was a wonderful feeling I got when I saw how proud Mikey’s father, Dan, was when he knew his son had won the championship. This is blood, sweat and gears underdog racing! Now go out a by some of our great tires."
Races can be viewed on Lucas Oil Off-road TV or MAVTV.