Van Strydonk making waves in oval racing
Young racer eyeing World Championship
Story by Snowmobile.com Staff, Apr. 01, 2008Email a friend Print Friendly RSS
Just 17-years-old, Van Strydonk was recently named ‘Driver of the Year’ for the United States Snowmobile Association (USSA). He rode his Polaris to season points titles in the Pro Champ 440, Pro Sprint 600 and Semi-Pro Champ classes this season and was the overall High Point Driver of the season.
Despite all Van Strydonk’s success in just his second season of competing in any Pro classes, one major goal still eludes him - a World Championship at the Eagle River Snowmobile Derby.
“Nick really wanted to be the youngest kid ever to qualify for the World Championship, and he wanted so bad to win it this year,” says his father Alan Van Strydonk. “He also wanted to be the youngest kid to ever win a Pro Champ race, which he did this season.”
Though he qualified for the World Championship at the 2008 Derby, Van Strydonk finished 10th in his first try for oval racing’s Holy Grail.
“I was confident enough that I would make the race at Eagle and pretty confident that we would finish in the top three, but that was short-lived,” says Van Strydonk. “It was because of the cold weather. It was the coldest day of the season so far, and I have trouble finding gloves to keep my hands warm… My hands got so cold I couldn’t feel them anymore and I hit a rut in Turn 1 and my handlebars broke right off.”
Van Strydonk has every intention of returning to the World Championship year after year. In fact, he hopes to one day surpass the current record of three career World Championship wins.
“To win an Eagle River World Championship was always my ultimate goal,” says Van Strydonk.