Henriksen reflects on first podium placement

June 11, 2014

Henriksen reflects on first podium placement

(Team Release) A.J. Henriksen is the team owner that fields the #44 TA2 Camaro that Adam Andretti has been winning races and pole awards with. A.J. is also an accomplished race car driver in his own right. At New Jersey Motorsports Park, Henriksen drove his own #74 to a 3rd place finish and his first time to step onto the Trans Am podium.

From the season outset the focus has always been on his teammate, Andretti. A.J. would race his Camaro when it made sense. He has many years of racing at a high level including stock cars in the ARCA Series. Racing a part time schedule is a challenge, but for every Trans Am Series race this season, his first responsibility is to manage Andretti's entry and make sure the #44 is ready for each session. It's not unusually to see Henriksen buried up to his neck in Andretti's Camaro while wearing his firesuit with his car waiting for him.

Henriksen raced in two of the series first four races of 2014. His best finish was a 6th at Homestead Motor Speedway. He challenged for a podium in that race before a late mechanical issue slowed him down. At NJMP the dedication paid off.

"It feels great. The ECC Team needed that," Henriksen said. "I ran 4th or 5th most of the race. On the last lap I was 4th until the #73 went off the track in turn 5." That pass moved Henriksen into 3rd and onto the podium.

"I got lucky. Most of the guys were out of tires at the end of the race." It's been said that "Luck is when preparation meets opportunity."
This would be a prime example of that. The #74 was fast from the start and left A.J. time to spend on the team car without neglecting his own entry. "The car was awesome out of the trailer. I mainly worked on my driving in all the practice sessions."

While Andretti won the pole for the race and set a new track record, Henriksen put down a solid qualifying lap. He followed that with a steady drive that ended with spraying bottles of champagne on the podium.

Andretti was excited too. He had finished 2nd and with that two team cars were there together for the first time. "We were able to do it in front of our families that showed up to support us," said Andretti. "The look of joy and pride in Arne(Henriksen) not only for his team, but to watch his son put on that incredible drive to third was special to see."

Both Andretti and Henriksen are entered for Trans Am race #6 at Road America on June 21. "Maybe one, two finish the next time we are both on the podium," Henriksen says with a wink.

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