RPW Column By: MIKE TRAVERSE / RPW – MONTGOMERY, NY – Sometimes, a racer and their racing team just want to try something different. Roger Henion Jr. and his team are doing just that in 2020.
Henion will be racing his self-owned #19JR Bicknell Chassis car in the Modified division at Fonda Speedway this coming season.
“We went to Fonda several times in 2019,” Henion said. “It was always a fun experience for the team and I. We are looking forward to racing there weekly in 2020. It was not an easy decision to move on, but we feel it’s the right one for our team.”
Roger’s family has long been involved in motorsports in different ways. His father, Roger Sr., raced in the mid-2000’s and again in 2010. His uncle, Brian, raced at OCFS in the early 90’s.
Roger Jr. honored his uncle with a throwback scheme this past season. Roger’s mom, Amy Congleton, is a two-time Ms. OCFS. Roger’s aunt, Wendy Nicholson, is a former Ms. Dirt Motorsports and his sister, Angie, is also a former Ms. OCFS.
Henion got his start in racing in the Orange County Rookie Sportsman division in 2015. After grabbing a win in the division the year after taht, he moved into the regular Sportsman in 2017.
Since 2018, though, he’s run the 358-Modified division. At Fonda, even though he will be running a 358 against Big Blocks, Henion is thinking positive about 2020.
“I think we’ll do okay with our motor program up there,” he said. “We should be ready.”
Henion also stated that all of his team’s sponsors are all good with the move to Fonda.
“They are all on board with us,” he said. “They just want us to do well.”
Also included in the team’s 2020 plans are as many Short Track Super Series races as they can do. Many are planned in the North Region and Henion also has desires on racing Port Royal and Delaware in the South Region.
To say he has a dedicated crew is an understatement. Back in 2017, Roger destroyed his chassis in a crash. After a trip to Vermont to pick up another chassis and some long hours in the garage, somehow, he was back on the track the following week.
His crew chief is Roger Henion Sr. Crew members are Tom Gutkaiss, Will Robb Jr., Chris Jennings, Kayla Ofeldt, Rick Merring, Ashleigh Slingerland, Chase Henion, Angie Henion and Amy Congleton.
The 19JR has sponsorship from Interstate Batteries of Goshen, County Waste, Creative Touch Landscape, Mac Tools and Creative Nail Salon.