Special from Horsepower Happenings – Sterling Heights, MI (Wednesday, July 15, 2020) – Saturday night from the Indianapolis Speedrome another part of Champion Racing Association history was written when Dryden, Michigan’s Katelyn Hettinger found Victory Lane with the Victory Custom Trailers CRA Junior Late Model Series. In the second full season of the Series and just the second event of 2020, Hettinger became the fifth different female to go into the win column with CRA.
Junior Late Models teams participated in one practice session on Saturday before heavy rains hit the facility resulting in an almost three-hour delay. The teams then hit the track for a last practice/group qualifying session Hettinger was fourth quick, just under two-tenths-of-a-second behind Kody King’s 13.293 second fast time.
After the five-car inverted start, 12-year-old Dawson Knaul was on the pole for the feature event that was extended to 30 laps after heat races were cancelled because of the rain. Knaul grabbed the early lead at the drop of the green flag with Hettinger on his outside, the pair raced side by side for the first lap before Knaul pulled out front. Hettinger dropped in behind Knaul and immediately went to work to find a way around. Hettinger would make that move and grab the lead with an inside pass in turn two to lead lap four. Hettinger would go on to win by over six seconds and picked up the AR Bodies Cool Move of the Race Award for her pass for the lead and eventually the win.
“This is awesome to get my first Victory Custom Trailers CRA Junior Late Models win,” remarked a very happy Hettinger in victory lane. “I have to thank my crew for working so hard to give me a great car tonight. I also have to thank my parents for their support of all my racing. I also have to thank all my sponsors, without their support I wouldn’t be able to do this and get this win!”
Hettinger joins drivers Kenzie Ruston (October 5, 2011 – Lucas Oil Raceway) and Ali Kern (August 12, 2015 – Kalamazoo Speedway) as female winners with Champion Racing Association. Hettinger will go down in the record books as the first-ever female to win a CRA Junior Late Model race. The Victory Custom Trailers CRA Junior Late Models are next scheduled to compete on Sunday, August 2nd in Xenia, Ohio at Kil-Kare Raceway.
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Story by – Zach Hiser, Motor City Racing Promotions
Photo – John Lund