Colby Lane Wins Battle; Jason Atkinson Repeats As Titlist; Adds CRA Late Model Sportsman Title For Two In One NightCRA_admin
Career night for New Castle, Indiana veteran Atkinson who leaves Winchester with two Championships
Winchester, Indiana (Saturday, October 10, 2015): The 2015 Stealth Trailers CRA Street Stock Series Powered by JEGS Championship was decided during the prestigious 44th Running of the Winchester 400 Weekend on Saturday, October 9-10th. The Winchester 50 was at the famed 1/2 (0.500) mile high-banked paved oval of Winchester Speedway (IN), located east of Muncie and west of the Indiana / Ohio state line in Winchester, Indiana. The most visited track in the series’ 11-year history would see the CRA Street Stock contingent on hand for the 42nd time.
A series championship was on the line and for one driver; a career night would be had at the end of the second night of the prestigious race weekend in Eastern Indiana. At the end of 50 laps, Jason Atkinson, who only a couple of hours before, clinched his first career CRA Late Model Sportsman Series Championship, went out and defended his CRA Street Stock Series title from a year ago by repeating as champion. He finished second to race winner, Colby Lane who went to victory lane for the third time in 2015 in his #44 Second Amendment Supply / Ed Martin Automotive Group / Chevrolet as Lane took the lead on lap 18 and the Knightstown, Indiana driver held off Atkinson for the victory.
“If we didn’t have some bad luck there during the middle part of the season, we’d have been battling Jason (Atkinson) and Josh (Poore) for the title tonight. The beginning of the year and the end of the year were great, but the middle part of the season got us,” Explained the 24-year-old driver after his third victory of the season with all of his checkered flags coming at three different facilities. “We really did have a good season and this will give us some momentum going into next year when we go after the title again.” Lane added. With his finish, Lane will finish third in the final standings.
As for Atkinson, the 38-year-old driver from New Castle, Indiana completed a career night by becoming the first driver in Champion Racing Association (CRA) Powered by JEGS history to win two championships in one season. “I just can’t say enough about everybody on both teams for helping in making all of this happen.” Stated Atkinson after climbing out of his #73 Oak Motors / Accelerator Racecars / Chevrolet to the second standing ovation of the night for him in appreciation of his accolades. “We wanted the Late Model Sportsman title first, and then after we got that, I had to readjust my mind to go after a second title tonight and second in a row in Street Stocks. We did it and I just can’t believe this. This is truly a night that myself, my family and everyone involved will ever forget.” He added.
After Lane won his sixth Allstar Performance Fast Qualifier award of the season, he then drew a nine for an inversion which places Brandon Mefford and Jake McElfresh on the front row for the 50-lap main that closed out Night II of the Winchester 400 Race Weekend. McElfresh would beat Mefford to the first corner to grab the early lead as the rest of the field would scramble for position at the start. Lane took over the lead from McElfresh on lap 18 and set sail from there.
Going into the race, Atkinson led Josh Poore by just three points so every position mattered and things got hectic for Atkinson lap 27 when a lapped car made contact with Atkinson, cutting a right front tire and forcing him pit side. After quick repairs, Atkinson came back out and began his charge towards the front. The pivotal moment of the race and of the entire season came with five laps to go when on a restart; Poore was drilled from behind by another car sending him sideways and Atkinson, who was right behind him, scurrying out of the way, which was the AR Bodies Cool Move of the Race award. Poore was then tagged again after bouncing off the inside backstretch wall and his night, as well as his championship hopes were over.
On the final restart, it would be Lane and Atkinson starting side by side in double file formation and it would be Lane getting out ahead of a still ailing Atkinson and Lane would, in the end, keep Atkinson at a safe distance behind him en route to the victory and the bonus winner’s award from Van Hoy Oil. Atkinson claimed second and his second straight CRA Street Stock Series Championship and his second overall title of the night for a grand total of three CRA Championships for Atkinson.
15-year-old Mason Keller finished in third after a spin late in the race in his #29 Steve Keller Tri-Axle Trucking / Chevrolet. The Plainfield, Indiana teenager beat out J.J. Schafer, who started 11th and finished fourth in his #68 Silver Trucking / Chevrolet. Schafer, from Bremen, Indiana was making only his second start of the season after spending the last four seasons as a full-time competitor in the CRA Street Stock Series. Trent Gossar made the most of his CRA Street Stock Series debut by completing the top five in his #71 Gossar Towing / Chevrolet. The Markleville, Indiana driver collected the first Van Hoy Oil First Timers award and also finished third in the New Stars race the night before to give the 22-year-old two top fives on the weekend.
Rookie Danny Adams finished in sixth and earned the T.C.I. Automotive Hard-Charger award after starting in 20th. Gordon Watson Jr., was seventh in the final rundown as CRA Late Model Sportsman Series regular, J.P. Crabtree made a rare CRA Street Stocks Series appearance and was shown eighth. 16-year-old Andrew Teepe scored a ninth place finish which was good enough to clinch the 2015 CRA Street Stock Series Rookie of the Year title in his #84 Peters Auto Service / Chevrolet. The Indianapolis, Indiana teenager started 21st on the grid and with his finish, he also would bring home a sixth place showing in the overall final points. Poore completed the top 10 and will finish second in the final points rundown. Paris Swallows Jr., and Martin Belcher collected the second and third Van Hoy Oil First Timers award for their 16th and 18th place finishes.
Earlier in the day in Allstar Performance Qualifying, Lane won his sixth award of the season over a 28-car field as he turned an 18.654 which measures out to 96.494mph. In addition and the night before on Friday, October 9th, the traditional New Stars 25 would start 400 weekend off and it was Tyler Marsh going to victory lane in his #31 Cardinal Construction / Chevrolet. The Muncie, Indiana driver took the lead with seven laps to go from Joe Coffin and the 21-year-old driver went on to score the win. Coffin finished second as Trent Gossar, Gordon Watson Jr., Brian Janes finished off the top five. Earlier on Friday in Allstar Performance Qualifying for the special non-points event, Josh Sage won the award with a 19.165 = 93.921mph.
While the CRA point’s portion of the 2015 racing season decided, there is still one more Stealth Trailers CRA Street Stock Series Powered by JEGS event and it’s at Lucas Oil Raceway (IN) on Sunday, October 18th. The Budweiser King of the Track Championship Sunday will serve as the LOR Stock Car Series Presented by Visit Hendricks County Championship events for both the CRA Street Stock Series and the CRA Late Model Sportsman Series.
In 14 overall races in the Circle City, 2012 Series Champion, Jimmy Kirby has three total wins while Jason Atkinson (One win in 2015), 2011 Series Champion, Jeff Lane and Dave Bice have two victories apiece. In addition to Chuck Barnes Jr., and Colby Lane who have grabbed trophies in 2015, Frank Kimmel II, Rick Erwin and Beau Mitchell all have single trips to the winners circle as well at the immaculate facility.
The 2015 Champion Racing Association Powered by JEGS Awards Banquet will officially close the 2015 racing season on Friday, January 8th, 2016 at the Crowne Plaza Indianapolis Downtown at Union Station in Indianapolis, Indiana. The gala event will honor the champions and top freshman as well as the top 10 teams in final 2015 points from the Stealth Trailers CRA Street Stock Series Powered by JEGS as well as the ARCA/CRA Super Series Powered by JEGS, the JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour Presented by Chevrolet Performance and the Vore’s Welding CRA Late Model Sportsman Series Powered by JEGS. In addition, the Lucas Oil Raceway Stock Car Series Presented by Visit Hendricks County Champions within the CRA Late Model Sportsman and CRA Street Stocks will also be honored throughout the night.
For more information about the 2015 CRA Awards Banquet as well as the fast approaching 2016 racing season within all four touring series’ of Champion Racing Association Powered by JEGS, go to the series website at: www.cra-racing.com You can also follow along on Facebook at: www.facebook.com/ChampionRacingAssociation and on Twitter at: www.twitter.com/CRAracing. Finally for more information about Lucas Oil Raceway, the host track for the final CRA sanctioned race of the 2015 racing season, go to the track website at: www.lucasoilraceway.com.