Sitting behind his pitbox following the first CRA Super Series practice session, it was evident that Johnny VanDoorn was quite relaxed. Coming into Sunday's Winchester 400, he has won the first two legs of the JEGS Triple Crown which is a new incentive for this year. If a driver can win all three midwest long-distance events, a cool $100,000 will be awarded to that competitor.
VanDoorn won initially at the Battle at Berlin, a track in Michigan which he never seemed to have much luck at in the past. Then in July, the team survived 300 laps at the quarter-mile Anderson Speedway in Indiana. Now what is it going to take to be up front after 400 laps?
"I haven't even been telling my crew to think about that," VanDoorn told SB Nation on Friday. "If we focus on preparation and give it 100 percent then we'll see what happens. This track is very hard on equipment, and if we win it that will be great and if we don't we'll just try it again next year."
Johnny is no stranger to winning at Winchester as he won the most recent CRA Super Series race here on Labor Day Weekend. Despite his realistic expectations and relaxed attitude, the Port City race car was fast in practice and could be one of the cars to beat come Sunday even with the increased competition.
"This race is heavy on attrition," VanDoorn said. "If we are there at the end we will have a very good shot. If you would have told me five years ago that I would have this opportunity I wouldn't have believed you. This could be the only time in my career that I'll have this opportunity."