It took Eric Biehn 12 years to win his first modified feature at Grandview Speedway. What made it more surprising? He wrecked his 10-year-old car the week before, a Bicknell chassis with more than 180 races on it.
“A car spun out and I was in the middle of a pileup seven days before my win,” Biehn, of Barto, Pennsylvania, said. “Someone got into the back of me for the brunt of the accident, and I got into the car in front of me, The left-rear rim, brake caliper, and the front axle was bent. We had to repair the frame. If you told me I would win a week later, I would have thought you were crazy.”
Biehn’s father, Tom, uncles Bill and Rich, worked late every night after the wreck to repair the damage. When the team arrived at the Bechtelsville, Pennsylvania, they still had work to do.
“We had spongy brakes after warmups,” said Biehn. “A front coil-over spring was hitting the frame. We made the repairs, but we didn”t think it would be a good night. The car was tight, so we made it more loose. We took a big swing to make it better.”
Their strategy seemed to work. Eric Biehn won his heat race by a large margin, which placed him to start the feature in fourth.
“My car was balanced and handled well,” Biehn said. “The last five laps were wild — there were four of us battling for the lead. I saw a nose and thought it was Brett Kressley under me, but it was Ryan Grim. Jeff Strunk was right in the mix. I had my hands full.”
For the feature, Biehn’s car continued to be fast, and he went on to win the feature, a victory that was 12 years in the making.
“Having a positive attitude is absolutely crucial,” said Biehn of his win drought. “I think of the racers driving for 20, 30, and 40 years — it’s a heck of a grind. You have to look at every week as a new week. A week earlier I never thought I would win. With a new week, things changed, and I won.”
Outside Groove Note of Transparency: Corrected the name for Ryan Grimm (2023-05-24).
This year marks the Outside Groove Director of Photography’s 51st year of covering auto racing. Adaskaveg got his start working for track photographer Lloyd Burnham at Connecticut’s Stafford Motor Speedway in 1970. Since then, he’s been a columnist, writer, and photographer, in racing and in mainstream media, for several outlets, including the Journal Inquirer, Boston Herald, Stock Car Racing, and Speedway Illustrated. Among Adaskaveg’s many awards are the 1992 Eastern Motorsport Press Association (EMPA) Ace Lane Photographer of the Year and the 2019 National Motorsports Press Association (NMPA) George Cunningham Writer of the Year.