(R&S Racing Photos)
The 44th Running of the Winchester 400 to close out the 19th season of ARCA/CRA Super Series racing
Brownsburg, Indiana (Sunday, September 27, 2015): The ARCA/CRA Super Series Powered by JEGS returned to action with the first of two major season ending special events to cap off the 2015 racing season. On Saturday-Sunday, September 26-27th the 13th race of the year, the EDCO Welding & Hydraulics 100 Presented by Quarter Master was at the immaculate 0.686 mile semi-banked paved oval of Lucas Oil Raceway. The 2015 McGunegill Engine Performance CRA Fall Brawl would see the ARCA/CRA contingent headline the weekend at the famed Brownsburg, Indiana speed plant located west of Indianapolis.
Their counterparts within the JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour, Vore’s Welding CRA Late Model Sportsman Series and Stealth Trailers CRA Street Stock Series were also on the grounds throughout the weekend. As for the headlining event within the CRA Fall Brawl in the Circle City, standing in victory lane at the end of 100 laps would be Brian Campbell crossing the stripe first for the fourth time in 2015 and the 18th time in his ARCA/CRA Super Series career. With the victory, his second pair of boxing gloves, the 36-year-old moves into a three-way tie for third all-time in career wins with Canadian Legend, Junior Hanley and Three-Time Series Champion, Johnny VanDoorn.
“We’ve had a really good season with four wins in CRA and another five at Berlin (Raceway in the tracks Boyne Machine Company Super Late Model Series). This Lakeshore Motorsports Team is just clicking right now. It helps thought that this is another one of my favorite race tracks,” Smiled the driver of the #47 Merritt Speedway / Enterprise Iron & Metal / Ford after climbing from the car to a rousing ovation. “She (Runner-Up Dominique Van Wieringen) never let me rest at all and I wanted to make sure I had enough track between us so that we didn’t have to push the car too hard and it all worked out. Real happy to take another pair of boxing gloves back home to Michigan.” He added.
After EDCO Welding Fast Qualifier, 17-year-old Blaine Rocha drew a six for an inversion; it would be Chad Finley and Campbell leading the field down to the Green Flag of Chief Starter, Scott Menlen. As the green waved, Finley suddenly slowed and the first caution would come out. Finley’s motor would go sour and he would be done before a lap was completed. This moved the inside row up and put 19-year-old Cody Coughlin into the P1 spot. Coughlin paced the field for the first three laps before Campbell got by on lap four. Coughlin regrouped and took the lead back the next lap.
Campbell trailed Coughlin until lap 13 when he drove by to reclaim the lead. Not long afterwards, Van Wieringen, who started 10th, had worked her way through the field and soon found herself in second spot with sights set on Campbell. With the last 71 laps going caution free, Van Wieringen would not be able to catch Campbell to make a charge at the lead as Campbell would keep plenty of real estate and lapped traffic between them to cruise to his fourth win of the year. For leading twice for a total of 89 laps, he also collected the VanDoorn Racing Development Lap Leader award.
Van Wieringen scored a career high second place finish in her #5 DuroByte Incorporated / Chevrolet to give the Van Wieringen family a clean sweep of the runner-up finishes in both ARCA/CRA and the JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour. Her young brother, 17-year-old Tristan Van Wieringen also finished second in the companion JEGS/CRA race. As for Dominique, the 20-year-old who is originally from Amherstburg, Ontario but now calls Charlotte, North Carolina home also earned the AR Bodies Cool Move of the Race award with a daring three-wide pass through the field on her way to second.
Rocha, the SRL Spears Southwest Tour regular making his ARCA/CRA Super Series debut, came away with a third place effort in his #21 NTS Motorsports / Chevrolet. the 17-year-old teenager who made the long haul from Oakdale, California was sporting a new Port City Racecars chassis and stopped in at the Circle City speed plant on the way back west to debut his new ride. In addition to the EDCO Welding Fast Qualifier award and sweeping both Practice Sessions, which earned him the VanDoorn Racing Development Fastest Practice Lap award, Rocha also scored the FLUIDYNE High Performance Cool Under Pressure award.
Grant Quinlan, the 16-year-old Overall and Rookie of the Year point’s leader moved one step closer to history within the ARCA/CRA Super Series. The Harrison, Michigan rising star finished fourth to earn his sixth Senneker Performance Rookie of the Race award of the season. In addition, the driver of the #28 International Tool & Mold / Chevrolet grabbed the C.V. Racing Products Hard-Charger award as well as the first Hoosier Racing Tire Performance award. Quinlan has a nearly insurmountable lead in both the overall and freshman points’ standings and merely needs to only start the 44th Running of the Winchester 400 to become the third rookie in the series’ 19-year history to win the overall title. He would join Scott Hantz (2000) and Derrick Griffin (2011) on that coveted list.
Coughlin completed the top five in his #1 JEGS.com / Toyota after leading twice for a total of 11 laps. The 19-year-old driver, who has made limited appearances in the ARCA/CRA Super Series as well as the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series and ARCA Racing Series Presented by Menards moved up to the inside of the front row after pole-sitter, Finley’s engine woes. Despite missing some ARCA/CRA events, he is now 10th in the season long points standings with only the Winchester 400 remaining.
17-year-old rookie, Hunter Baize finished in sixth while 18-year-old Paul Shafer Jr., returned to competition after taking a couple of races off to post a seventh place effort. Outlaw Super Late Model standout, Terry Senneker Jr., finished eighth and collected the second Hoosier Racing Tire Performance award as well as the Hedman Hedders Husler award after starting in 18th. Ali Kern finished ninth in the rundown as a third rookie; Mark Lambert completed the top 10.
Prior to the headlining event of the 2015 CRA Fall Brawl and the day before in EDCO Welding Qualifying, Rocha’s fast time was a 21.548. The eight-year-old ARCA/CRA Super Series Track Record of a 21.284 still belongs to Evan Jackson who turned the mark at an average speed of 116.031mph back on September 22nd, 2007.
The entire motorsports world will have all eyes on the legendary high-banks of Winchester Speedway (IN) located east of Muncie and west of the Indiana / Ohio state line in Winchester, Indiana for the 44th Running of the Winchester 400 on Friday-Sunday, October 9-11th. NASCAR Camping World Truck Series point’s leader and Six-Time Truck Winner as well as two-time NASCAR Xfinity Series Winner, Erik Jones will have the entire auto racing industry focused squarely on him as the only driver eligible for the $100,000 JEGS/CRA Super Late Model Triple Crown Series bonus.
The 19-year-old driver from Byron, Michigan put himself into position to capture the mammoth bonus after winning the Battle at Berlin 251 Presented by Primera Plastics at Berlin Raceway (MI) on June 16th and then going to victory lane in the Stoops Freightliner Redbud 300 at Anderson Speedway (IN) on July 18th. Jones comes into the race as the Two-Time Defending Winchester 400 Winner and will get the unprecedented $100,000 payday if he completes the clean sweep of the three ARCA/CRA Super Series Triple Crown Series events.
There is a $10,000 bonus already in his back pocket for winning the first two races of the Triple Crown Series and at the minimum, Jones has already clinched the 2015 JEGS/CRA Super Late Model Triple Crown Series Championship. The 44th Running of the Winchester 400 will be the 42nd all-time appearance at the famed high-banks and 11th Winchester 400 under the Champion Racing Association (CRA) Powered by JEGS banner.
Three-Time Series Champion (2012, 2010 & 2009), Johnny VanDoorn leads the way with four of his 18 career triumphs coming at Winchester. Another Three-Time Series titlist (2008, 2006 & 2000), Scott Hantz (2006 Winchester 400) as well as Two-Time Series Champion (2001 & 1999), Brian Ross (Plus the 1999 Winchester 400, in a non-CRA sanctioned race) both have three ARCA/CRA sanctioned victories and so does Bull Baker. Jones leads the parade of two-time victors at Winchester with both of his trips to victory lane coming in the last two Winchester 400’s (2014 & 2013).
Canadian legend, Junior Hanley as well as Jeff Fultz, Ross Kenseth (2012 Winchester 400) and Tommy St. John also have recorded two checkered flags. A whopping 18 drivers have at least one win at Winchester and are led by Two-Time Reigning Series Champion (2014 & 2013), Travis Braden who won his first career ARCA/CRA race at the famed facility back on June 29th, 2013. 2007 Series Champion, Chris Gabehart, 2005 Series Champion, Jeff Lane, 2004 Series Champion, Chuck Barnes Jr., and 2003 Series Champion, Bobby Parsley (2003 Winchester 400) also have one win each.
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series star, Kyle Busch (2009 Winchester 400) also has one win and so does 2014 NASCAR Xfinity Series Champion, Chase Elliott (2010 Winchester 400) and former NASCAR competitor, David Stremme (2008 Winchester 400). Christopher Bell is the most recent winner at Winchester having taken the checkered flag in the Labor Day Holiday Weekend World Stock Car Festival on Monday, September 7th. Also scoring single victories over the years includes; Cody Coughlin, Peter Cozzolino, Chet Fillip, Matt Hagans, Evan Jackson, Boris Jurkovic (2011 Winchester 400), Ryan Lawler (2007 Winchester 400), Brian Rievely and Rick Turner.
For more information about the rest of the 2015 racing season within all four touring series’ of Champion Racing Association Powered by JEGS, go to the series website located at: www.cra-racing.com You can also follow along with all of CRA’s touring series’ on Facebook at: www.facebook.com/ChampionRacingAssociation and on Twitter at: www.twitter.com/CRAracing Finally, for more information about Winchester Speedway, the host track for the 14th and final race of the season within the ARCA/CRA Super Series, go to the track website at: www.winchesterspeedway.com.
The Automobile Racing Club of America (ARCA) is among the leading auto racing sanctioning bodies in the country. Founded in 1953 by John and Mildred Marcum, the organization administers more than 100 events each year in multiple racing series, including the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards, the ARCA/CRA Super Series, the ARCA Truck Series and the ARCA Midwest Tour, plus weekly racing at Toledo and Flat Rock Speedways.