The late Tim Slavens’ legacy will carry on this season, as Team Wolverine announced Wednesday that Slaven’s longtime friend and crew chief, Mark “Tydo” Werdehausen, will take over the driving duties of the twin-turbocharged “Wolverine II” ’69 Camaro Pro Mod formerly driven by Slavens. The team plans to compete in Stroud Pro Mod in the Summit Racing Equipment Mid-West Drag Racing Series presented by J&A Service.
The announcement was made on the Wolverine II Facebook page after the team spent a couple days testing at South Georgia Motorsports Park with Werdehausen in the driver’s seat. Werdehausen, tuner Joe Oplawski, and Slavens’ son, Tyler, discussed the move and the team’s plans for the 2022 season.
“I couldn’t imagine anybody else driving this car after my dad, but Mark Werdehausen here, they’ve been buddies and working together on race cars for 25-plus years,” Slavens said. “I’d like to pass the torch over to him.”
The team debuted the new Matt and Anita Zimmerman-owned Camaro at the 50th annual Snowbird Outlaw Nationals at Bradenton Motorsports Park last December. The beloved small-tire racing veteran later caught COVID and fought the virus for weeks. Slavens passed away on January 7.
Werdehausen used to drive as well, as he and Slavens raced together in 10.5-tire classes around their home base in Missouri for years. He then focused on the mechanical side of racing, building and working on customers’ cars at his TYDO Race Cars shop and serving as Slavens’ crew chief. Werdehausen quickly got back up to speed as a driver during the test session.
“We got him in the car and he made nine passes today,” Oplawski said. “Three full eighth-mile hits. He went 3.77 at 215 and did it like a champ. We’ll see what we can do in Mid-West Pro Mod.”
After the successful test session at SGMP, Werdehausen and Team Wolverine will move on to the MWDRS season opener March 18-19 at Xtreme Raceway Park in Ferris, Texas,
“There’s some big shoes to fill, but myself and Tyler and the whole team agreed that this is the best thing for us to do and it’s what Tim would want to do,” Werdehausen said. “We’re going to try to start off our racing career, I guess you could say, in the Mid-West Pro Mod series coming up in a couple weeks. Joe’s going to stay on board. All of our crew guys are going to stay on board. We’re going to try to keep moving on forward as best we can without Tim. We’re going to try our best to make him proud this year.”