Dakota's Plans for 2013
Austin McCarl and Steve Fitzpatrick Discuss Setups
Saturday, March 30, 2013
Former World of Outlaws mechanic and crew chief, Steve Fitzpatrick has formed a new race team that will field cars for Dakota Hendrickson this season. Scent elimination specialists, Dead Down Wind return as primary sponsor for the team. In addition, Legends Outlet Mall in Kansas City and the new Nebraska Crossings Outlet Mall in Gretna, NE will join web application Smarty Pig as associate sponsors. Fitzpatrick said, “We have additional sponsorship from Morris Automotive, Wreck Amended Collision Center, Manarin Investment Counsel, Downs Duplex, Cox Business, Cyclone Technologies, Vortex Racing Products, Schoenfeld, R&L, HRP, and DMI.”
After several years of turning wrenches for Terry McCarl, Fitzpatrick teamed up with Hendrickson last year in the 305 Sprint Car Class. Dakota said, “Most of our success last season can be attributed to Steve’s work and car setup.” Last year was Hendrickson’s first time in a Sprint Car having just turned 16 last June. The team will focus its 410 Sprint Car efforts at Knoxville Raceway where they will compete in the Knoxville Champion Cup Series on Saturday nights in Knoxville, IA. Additionally, the team plans to run a number of other 410 races along with many 360 Sprint Car races, in the region.
Fitzpatrick commented on the decision to move to the 410 Sprint Car class saying, “At the end of the season last year we had several races, that due to a variety of circumstances, we had to start at the back of the feature. Dakota was able to drive to the front in each of those races, a couple of them at Knoxville. I told Dakota’s dad, ‘either you can drive a race car or you can’t, and this kid can drive a race car!’ So I convinced them it was time to go big and see what Dakota can do. I never met a driver yet that learned sitting in the stands.” Fitzpatrick continued, “We know this will be a big learning experience for a 16 year-old teenager, but I think he can do it. We put a team together with a lot of experienced hands in an effort to give him every opportunity to succeed.”
The team’s focus will be to garner as much ‘seat time’ as possible for their young driver. In addition to Fitzpatrick as Crew Chief and co-owner, the team will include seasoned sprint car veteran mechanic, Jeff Morris as car chief, Josh Lampkin as head crew member, and crew members Rick Bryant and Joel Hassebreck. Finally, former Sprint Car driver, sponsor, and race promoter, Bill McCroskey will provide key advice and serve as team mentor.
Dakota said, “I have a lot to learn, but I am really happy that Steve and the rest of the team is there to give me every opportunity. I am very excited for the season to start.”