Indiana Drivers Duel For Win in CRA Sportsman Opener

Special from Speed51.com

Just one week after three of the four CRA divisions opened their 2020 seasons at Lebanon I-44 Speedway, it was the CRA Late Model Sportsman’s turn to take the spotlight at Anderson Speedway on Saturday night.  The season opener saw one of the bigger CRA LM Sportsman fields in recent memory with a strong Northeast Indiana contingent, two of which battled late for the race win.

It was veteran Tommy Cook taking the win while leading the most laps, but he had to earn it with 17-year-old Tanner Jack breathing down his neck for the final 15 laps.  Jack used the bumper on Cook several times in the last 10 laps, but the multi-time Angola and Baer Field track champion held off the teenager in the closing laps.

“My spotter would say clear by three, and then would all the sudden say clear by a half, clear by one.  I knew he was coming and he gave me the horn a couple times,” Cook told Speed51. “The Jack family, I’ve raced with both them boys for a long time and I know I don’t have to worry about them guys taking me out.  They might move me but they won’t take me out.  He’s a good kid, I love racing with them.”

The triumph marked Cook’s fifth-career CRA Late Model Sportsman win, and first since a victory at Baer Field in June 2018.  Saturday’s event at Anderson could not come soon enough for the Fort Wayne drover, who had been ready to go for the week leading up to the event.

“This couldn’t get here soon enough.  When we made the decision to come here on Monday, it was the longest week ever before Saturday got here.  I was trying to load stuff up Thursday night just to get ready to come.”

Nearly one year after older brother Hunter scored his first JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour win at the quarter-mile, Tanner Jack nearly took his maiden CRA Late Model Sportsman win.  It still serves as his career-best finish with the series, giving him momentum as he chases the series crown in 2020.

“I was pushing my car as hard as I could, giving it all I’ve got.  The car was perfect tonight,” Jack said.  “Tommy ran a really good race, we raced really hard.  I’m just glad we didn’t wreck it.”

Northeast Indiana swept the next two spots as well, with Austin Coe and Tony Dager claiming third and fourth.  Vore’s Compact Touring Series regular Chris Jennings rounded out the top-five.

Click here to watch a replay of Saturday’s CRA Late Model Sportsman season opener on Speed51.

-Story by: Koty Geyer, Speed51 National Correspondent – Twitter: @kgeyer3

CRA Late Model Sportsman – Anderson Speedway Unofficial Results:

  1. Tommy Cook
  2. Tanner Jack
  3. Austin Coe
  4. Tony Dager
  5. Chris Jennings
  6. Chris Shannon
  7. TJ Flynn
  8. Kent Carson
  9. Danny Adams
  10. Mike Sargent
  11. James Butler
  12. Jeff Marcum
  13. James Kirby III
  14. Kevin Gross
  15. Billy Hutson
  16. Brian Janes
  17. Clay Curts
  18. Cory Adams
  19. Cassten Everidge
  20. Nick Kronenberg
  21. Cory Setser
  22. Brian Demland
  23. Buddy Davis
  24. Ronnie Rose
  25. Tanner Ballard
  26. Chad Richardson