Salem, Indiana (June 14, 2020): The Victory Custom Trailers CRA Junior Late Models finally kicked off their 2020 season Saturday night at Anderson Speedway after COVID-19 pandemic caused several series events to be postponed or cancelled and the young drivers did not disappoint. 14-year-old series VanDoorn Racing Development rookie Jordan Riddick from Sellersburg, Indiana got the win in the series 25 lap feature on the first night fans got to witness racing live in 2020 in the state of Indiana.
The Victory Custom Trailers CRA Junior Late Models is in their second season focusing on a youth movement for short track stock car racing that saw 10 to 15-year-old drivers compete amongst themselves for both experience and recognition in full size late models with an economical drive train and suspension alternatives. Saturday nights event was the first of nine currently scheduled events for the 2020 season.
The Victory Custom Trailers CRA Junior Late Models teams participated in two practice sessions on Saturday, 12-year-old Katie Hettinger was the fastest in both practice sessions. Hettinger claimed her first MPM Marketing Fast Qualifier Award in style by setting a new track record in the group qualifying session, even while nursing a foot injury suffered this week.
14-year-old series rookie Mason Surgener got his first ever series victory in the first 8 lap heat race. 12-year-old Zack Wilhelm got the win in the second heat race, Wilhelm is competing in his second season with the series.
Wilhelm would start on the pole for the 25 lap feature after the five car inverted start. Wilhelm would grab the lead over outside pole sitter Riddick, but Riddick didn’t waste anytime in staying with Wilhelm and immediately looking for a way around. After trying the inside groove to pass with no success, Riddick power his way on the outside of Wilhelm to make the pass on lap six. Riddick would continue to lead with Wilhelm and Hettinger in tow, with a tight group of young racers battling for the top five positions lap after lap.
The features only caution flew on lap 20 when 13-year-old Nash Engdahl cut down a left rear tire. That set up Riddick’s first ever restart with the series as a leader. Riddick did a great job keeping the lead over Wilhelm and Hettinger leading the last five laps to grab his first ever win in a late model.
“Wow this is great,” remarked Riddick in victory lane. “I have to thank Bill and Will Kimmel for giving me a great car and working with me so hard in getting me ready to race this late model. I also have to thank my parents for their support of all my racing. It’s pretty cool to get the win in my first ever late model feature!”
Wilhelm would finish in second with Hettinger in third. 14-year-old second year series racer Evan Varney would finish in fourth. 11-year-old series rookie Carson Lucas would finish in fifth in his first series feature. Lucas is the youngest competitor with the series. 13-year-old series rookie Kody King finished in sixth, 12-year-old Keegan Sobilo finished in seventh, 12-year-old Dawson Knaul finished eighth, with Engdahl ninth. Surgener was unable to start the feature. The next Victory Custom Trailers CRA Junior Late Models event will be Saturday, July 11th at the Indianapolis Speedrome. More information on the Victory Custom Trailers CRA Junior Late Models is available at www.cra-racing.com.