16-Year-Old Rookie Grant Quinlan Grabs Pivotal First Career ARCA/CRA Super Series Victory At Baer Field SpeedwayCRA_admin
First appearance in Fort Wayne, Indiana in four seasons sees thrilling 100-lap main in front of standing room only crowd
Fort Wayne, Indiana (Saturday, August 22, 2015): For the first time since the 2011 racing season, the fast 1/2 (0.500) mile semi-banked paved oval of Baer Field Speedway located in Fort Wayne, Indiana hosted the ARCA/CRA Super Series Powered by JEGS. The Summit City 100 Presented by Trucking Fort Wayne was on Saturday, August 22nd. The thrilling 100-lap main saw an overflow standing room only crowd pack the grandstands to see the return of Champion Racing Association’s (CRA) Powered by JEGS for the first time since May 22nd, 2011.
After 100 laps of exciting racing action which saw the huge crowd on their feet for the majority of the race, it would be 16-year-old Grant Quinlan, The Overall and Senneker Performance Rookie of the Year points leader breaking through with his first career ARCA/CRA Super Series victory. the Harrison, Michigan teenager, who was the Howie Lettow Memorial Rookie of the Year in the JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour one season ago, started on the outside of the front row and swept past pole-sitter, Dan Leeck from the drop of the green flag and throughout the entire race, kept the rest of the field a safe distance behind him en route to the pivotal points lead.
“This has truly been a long time coming. We’ve been so close so many times. We’ve been consistent all year long with holding the point’s leads, but hadn’t been able to get the checkered flag, until now,” The Great Lakes State teenager smiled after climbing out of his #28 International Tool & Mold / Superior Tool & Mold / Chevrolet. “This win is so big, for a bunch of reasons. I hated to see Hunter (Baize) drop out, but that gave us a nice cushion in both points. It’s been a lot of hard work coming and achieving what we have here today. So much goes on behind the scenes and this really opens the door for us, getting this win feels really good.” He added.
After EDCO Welding Fast Qualifier, Ali Kern drew the minimum of a five for an inversion; it would be Leeck, the 2014 JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour Champion and Quinlan, the 2014 JEGS/CRA top freshman bringing the field to Chief Starter, Weo Schweyer’s green flag. Quinlan was able to get the jump on Leeck who struggled on the initial green flag and Quinlan would complete the pass for the race lead in the early going, earning the Great Lakes State teenager the AR Bodies Cool Move of the Race award.
Quinlan would get a big early lead on the rest of the field as the race would only be slowed by two quick cautions, both on lap 31. When the race resumed, three-time ARCA/CRA Super Series Champion, Scott Hantz would eventually climb his way up to the second spot and tried diligently to chase down the streaking Quinlan. As the laps continued to click off, Quinlan would have trouble dealing with lapped traffic which allowed Hantz to close the gap on the race leader. With Quinlan’s difficulties with traffic, Hantz would be able to get through with ease and continue to hound the teenager.
As the laps continued to click off, Hantz was still trying to chase down Quinlan but would also have a new challenger in Kern who fought her way up to the podium and started to pressure Hantz. Together they teamed up for one final charge at Quinlan, but the Michigan teen wasn’t to be denied and led all 100 laps, scoring the VanDoorn Racing Development Lap Leader award in the process, and scored his first career ARCA/CRA Super Series victory in his freshman season. He also grabbed the Senneker Performance Rookie of the Race award as well as the checkered flag, trophy and earnings.
Hantz, the all-time career statistical leader in nearly every major category in the ARCA/CRA Super Series 19-year history, came home with a season high second place finish in his #72 South Pointe Radiator / Chevrolet. The 52-year-old veteran from Angola, Indiana started seventh and steadily climbed his way to the runner-up spot, earning the FLUIDYNE High Performance Cool Under Pressure award. He would catch Quinlan utilizing lapped traffic, but once Quinlan got into clear air, Hantz couldn’t get close enough to challenge the teenager and would settle for second.
Kern, who just 10 days prior became the second female driver in ARCA/CRA history to win an event, joined Kenzie Ruston on another list earlier in the day after winning her first career Fast Qualifier award. The 22-year-old driver from Fremont, Ohio in his #4 Crown Battery / Ford would start fifth and climbed her up to third applying pressure to eventual runner-up, Hantz before rounding out the podium finishers in third. She also snagged the VanDoorn Racing Development Fastest Practice Lap award earlier in the afternoon as well.
Veteran Indianapolis, Indiana driver, Eddie Van Meter scored the C.V. Racing Products Hard-Charger award as well as the first Hoosier Racing Tire Performance award with his 12th to fourth place run in his #23 EDCO Welding / Chevrolet. The 45-year-old driver also got himself closer to second overall in points after Hunter Baize dropped out on lap 38 due to a cracked oil pan. Leeck, the pole-sitter, in his #12 Mr. Asphalt / Toyota completed the top five for his second straight top five finish. The 25-year-old Birch Run, Michigan native, the 2014 JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour Champion is making select starts in ARCA/CRA before embarking on a full run in 2016.
Rookie Jordan Pruitt backed up his fifth place finish in the previous event in Flat Rock, Michigan just a week ago with a solid sixth place effort as hometown favorite, Terry Fisher Jr., who earlier in the evening won his eighth weekly Late Model Sportsman Feature of the year, finished seventh in his first ARCA/CRA start of 2015. Veteran Rick Turner collected both the Hedman Hedders Husler award and the second Hoosier Racing Tire Performance award by finishing eighth after starting 14th and bringing out the first caution flag. Jason Dietsch, in the final race of his career, went out with a ninth place finish as 15-year-old Tyler Dippel, in his ARCA/CRA Super Series debut, rounded out the top 10.
Earlier in the evening in EDCO Welding Qualifying, it was Kern becoming the second female driver in the series’ 19-year history to win the Fast Qualifier award as she went a 17.578. Her lap measured out to 102.401mph. The all-time ARCA/CRA Super Series Track Record in Fort Wayne, Indiana will remain with the three-time series champion, Hantz who, back on May 20th, 2007 turned a 17.229.
After three races in a 10-day span, the ARCA/CRA Super Series Powered by JEGS will take a well deserved break before embarking on the remaining four events of the 2015 racing season. It all starts with the traditional Labor Day Holiday Weekend World Stock Car Festival on Sunday-Monday. September 6-7th. The legendary 1/2 (0.500) mile high-banked paved oval of Winchester Speedway (IN) in Winchester, Indiana will host the one and only tune-up for the prestigious 44th Running of the Winchester 400 on October 9-11th. The Winchester 100 will highlight the Labor Day Holiday Weekend in Eastern Indiana.
This event will be the 41st all-time appearance at the famed high-banks as Cody Coughlin is the defending race winner after a classic dual one season ago with veteran Rick Turner that would see Coughlin hang on for his first and thus far, only ARCA/CRA Super Series victory of his career. Three-time series champion Johnny VanDoorn leads the way with four of his 18 career triumphs coming at Winchester. Another three-time series titlist, Scott Hantz as well as two-time champion, Brian Ross both have three victories and so does Bull Baker.
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series title contender, Erik 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. Canadian legend, Junior Hanley as well as Jeff Fultz, Ross Kenseth and Tommy St. John also have recorded two checkered flags. A whopping 17 drivers have at least one win at Winchester and they are led by two-time reigning series champion, Travis Braden who won his first career ARCA/CRA race at the famed facility back on June 29th, 2013.
2007 champion, Chris Gabehart, 2005 champion, Jeff Lane, 2004 champion, Chuck Barnes Jr., and 2003 champion, Bobby Parsley also have one win each. NASCAR Sprint Cup Series star, Kyle Busch also has one win and so does 2014 NASCAR Xfinity Series Champion, Chase Elliott and former NASCAR competitor, David Stremme. Also scoring victories includes; Peter Cozzolino, Chet Fillip, Matt Hagans, Evan Jackson, Boris Jurkovic, Ryan Lawler, Brian Rievely and Rick Turner.
In addition to the ARCA/CRA Super Series, the JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour Presented by Chevrolet Performance will highlight the Sunday, September 6th portion of the weekend with the Winchester 100 Presented by JEGS.com. Also on Monday, September 7th, the Vore’s Welding CRA Late Model Sportsman Series Powered by JEGS and Stealth Trailers CRA Street Stock Series Powered by JEGS will also be in action. The Broaster Chicken ICAR Top Speed Modified Tour Southern Division joins in and will run their main on Monday while the Vore’s Compact Touring Series supports the show on Sunday. There is an optional practice day schedule for Saturday, September 5th from 1:00-5:00p.m.
For more information about the remainder 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 Baer Field Speedway, the host track for the 11th race of the season for 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.