Pollard, Wallace, Coughlin, Hoffman, Williams Top List of First Mercy “Masters of the Pros” 144 EntriesCRA_admin
Salem, Indiana (Wednesday, May 13, 2015): Champion Racing Association Powered by JEGS Officials have announced the first group of entries that have arrived for the Mercy “Masters of the Pros” 144 event that will be held at Lebanon I-44 Speedway, located in Lebanon, Missouri on Saturday, May 30th, for the JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour Presented by Chevrolet Performance. The 144 lap event will pay $8000 to win plus bonuses, making it one of the highest paying crate late model events in the country, plus the winner will be awarded a signature green jacket, similar to the one that is known for adorning the champion of golf’s Masters event.
Topping the list of the first group of entries is Georgia hot shoe Bubba Pollard, one of the top late model racers in the country, who looks to keep the signature green jacket in Georgia, the home state of the inaugural event winner Chase Elliott in 2013 and last year’s winner Anderson Bowen. Pollard had a sensational 2014 season that included 14 wins in Super Late Models and Pro Late Models and he was the 2014 Southern Super Series Champion. Pollard has continued his hot streak into 2015 getting the win in the Red Eye 100 at New Smyrna Speedway on January 3rd, winning the $25,000 to win Winter Showdown on February 28th in California and getting the win in the Pro Late Model Rattler 125 at South Alabama Speedway on March 14th. Pollard has one series win to his credit last season at Berlin Raceway.
Also entered is Matt Wallace, son of NASCAR Racer Mike Wallace and nephew of NASCAR greats Rusty and Kenny Wallace. The Concord, North Carolina native came from his 17th starting position in last year’s Masters of the Pros to get a hard fought third place finish. Wallace is a multi-time feature winner at Lebanon I-44 Speedway. Wallace just announced he will make his ARCA Racing Presented by Menards Series debut this Sunday at Toledo Speedway.
2013 JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour Champion Cody Coughlin is also entered. The Delaware, Ohio native is a two time winner with the series at Dixie Motor Speedway and at Salem Speedway and has one ARCA/CRA Super Series win, which he picked up at Winchester Speedway last Labor Day Weekend. Coughlin has competed part-time with the ARCA Racing Series the last two years and won the pole at the series Talladega event on May 1st and finished a career high second in that event.
Wheaton, Illinois veteran Eddie Hoffman is entered driving the potent TK Racing entry. The nine time ARCA/CRA Super Series winner and two time JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour winner is also a multi-time Champion at Grundy County Speedway in Illinois and Illiana Motor Speedway in Indiana.
2013 Lebanon I-44 Speedway NASCAR Champion Cole Williams has also entered. The Sellersburg, Indiana native took the lead on lap 18 and led until the break at lap 100 of last year’s event before a flat tire ended his day. Williams was the Pro Late Model Champion at Fairgrounds Speedway Nashville last year.
There are also several JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour regulars already entered including current series points leader Dalton Armstrong, who picked up his first series win at the series season opener at Springport Motor Speedway on May 3rd. The Indiana native was the Pro Late Model Champion at New Smyrna Speedway during Speedweeks this past February. Also entered are series Canadian brothers Marc and Jaxson Jacobs. Marc came from 27th to finish 12th in last year’s event while Jaxson came from 24th to finish 16th. Ohio series regular Kody Evans is entered as are series VanDoorn Racing Development rookie drivers Austin Kunert from Illinois and Quinnton Bear from Indiana.
There are several top Southern racers already entered for the event including Alabama racers Justin South, a series winner at Memphis International Raceway in 2013, and Bret Holmes, a top local dirt racer starting to make headway on asphalt with a Pro Late Model victory at Montgomery Motor Speedway on March 28. Young Georgia racers Chandler Smith, who got a PASS Pro Late Model win at Anderson Motor Speedway on March 28, and Riley Thorton are also entered.
Quincy, Illinois racer Jake Griffin is also entered. Griffin went to victory lane in a Pro Late Model at I-44 last season and finished second in a feature this season on May 2nd. The 16 year old driver made his NASCAR Camping World Truck Series debut on March 28th at Martinsville Speedway where he was passing for positions from his 24th starting spot when transmission problems ended his day.
Additional entries for the Mercy “Masters of the Pros” 144 are expected to continue to arrive over the next two weeks leading up to the event. The advanced entry deadline for this event is May 16th, entries received after that date will have to pay an additional $25 late entry fee.
More information on Lebanon I-44 Speedway is available at the facility’s official website at www.i44speedway.net. More information on the JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour Presented by Chevrolet Performance is available at www.cra-racing.com.