Van Hal Racing Who We Are

We are the 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.”

Van Hal Racing Team at sunset
Corrina checking on Jordan

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.”

Jess gets last minute advice from Todd
Changing tires on the Late Model

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.

The Drivers

Van Hal racing has always been about family. The tradition continues as Jordan and Jess, brother and sister, represent the team out on the track. Together, they encourage and support each other to reach higher, and drive faster, as they master their machines.

Jordan in his driving suit

Jordan Van Hal

Late Model #06

Jordan got his first taste of driving a race car when he was 15. He bought his sister’s daily driver and, along with his dad, built up a bomber car. From there, Jordan has driven Mini-Mods and transitioned to Late Models two years ago.

“From the time I was 14,” says Jordan, “I was either out in the driveway or the garage working. I went to work, got home, and then worked on the cars.”

Jessica in her driving suit

Jess Van Hal

Mini-Mod #06

Jess is still fairly new to driving. Racing is about going fast, and right now it’s about going as fast as she can while she learns the car, the track, and how to let the pit crew know what she needs changed.

“Dad and Jordan are always watching. So sometimes they go ‘this is what we are changing.’ Ok, you change it. I’ll just drive it and see how it goes. I’m still learning.”

The Cars

 

Mini-Mod waiting to get on track

Mini-Mod #06

Mini Mods are purpose-built race cars that you can find on tracks all across North America.  They are uniquely suited to provide experience for drivers and teams to expand their knowledge of set-ups and racecraft.  Our car is custom built in our shop.  With narrow tires and a smaller engine than some of the other classes, the Mini Mods get up to 78 MPH at Southern Ontario Motor Speedway.

Specs:

  • Engine: 2.3 L Ford 4-Cylinder
  • Weight: 1,950 lbs (ours tops out near 2,300 lbs)
  • Chassis: Masterbuilt Modified to meet Mini Mod rules
  • Tires:  Hoosier 13″x8″ 235 or 215
Van Hal Racing Late Model

Dirt Late Model #06

Dirt Late Models are at the ultimate class for “stock car” based cars. They are lightweight, highly adjustable beasts that provide an aggressive and fun driving experience. With wide Hoosier Tires and a little help from a couple of inches of stagger, Late Models have been clocked at 107 MPH at Southern Ontario Motor Speedway.

Specs:

  • Engine: 360 Chevy SB2/Dart 421  V8
  • Weight: 2350 lbs
  • Chassis: Late Model Rocket Chassis
  • Tires: Hoosier LM 92-20 or 90-20