Van Hal Racing Team
Todd Van Hal is a former driver who stepped away from driving in 2012. When his son continued to show interest in racing, Van Hal Racing was reborn. Today, Todd finds himself the crew chief of two cars: one Dirt Late Model and one Mini Mod. Operating the team from a garage behind the house, he is responsible for much of the engine building, bodywork and graphics of the race cars.
Todd says, “I get way more out of it watching the kids drive than when I drove. You always want to see your kids excel. When Jess comes off the track, she’s just beaming. She’s grinning from ear to ear and says ‘that was fun!’ You can’t put a price tag on that.
“There is so much to racing, Like learning how to set the cars up and building things. But, there is also the business aspect of it.”
Corrina–mom–is the heart of the operation. At the track and in the shop she makes sure that everyone has what they need. She is often the one who picks up the parts that have been ordered. On race nights, she’s the one making sure everyone is drinking enough water and picking up the lineups. It may sound like little things, but having someone to mind the little things makes the racing a lot easier.
In some ways, she has the toughest position on the team. “It’s very hard watching your babies. They are enjoying it, and it’s a family thing. But there are nerves being a mom.”
Once the season starts, family friend Dillon Buchanan makes the drive from London each weekend to help round out the crew. He shows up, faithfully, to help out in the shop and at the track.
The Van Hal Racing team is committed to developing their drivers into better racers, but while having fun and spending time together. Sometimes, it’s not always about finishing first. Todd says, “The focus for Jess on the first year was to learn everything; control the car, hold a steady line, and learn track presence. She’s done an amazing job at it.”
Jordan, who has been at it a little longer, has managed to put a few wins under his belt. Working together, he and Todd continue to develop their knowledge of Dirt Late Model setup. “From my days of racing Sport Stocks,” says Todd, “these have more horsepower. The adjustability of the late model is a lot greater, too.”
As they head into the racing season, the team is committed to sharing their passion and excitement for this sport with each other, their friends, and the fans in the stands.