Barnes Jr. Wins Last Lap Battle at The Last Great ColosseumScott Menlen
Salem, IN (May 21, 2017) – Deemed The Last Great Colosseum, Bristol Motor Speedway provided the back drop for an epic last lap battle, as two Lawrence Towing CRA Street Stocks Powered by JEGS drivers battled it out to be crowned the first Short Track U.S. Nationals Street Stock Champion, in a huge night of Saturday night racing on the World’s Fastest Half Mile.
Allstar Performance Fast Qualifier Brett Hudson looked to be well on his way to grabbing his first series victory of the season when a lap 44 caution changed the entire aspect of the race, bringing the rest of the field to Hudson’s back bumper, a scene all too familiar to Hudson, who had a similar large lead in the series last event on May 13th at Anderson Speedway when Josh Poore got a round Hudson on late restart to get the win.
On the lap 44 restart Hudson grabbed the lead again, with two time 2017 series winner Chuck Barnes Jr. in tow, both wanting to be winners at Bristol. The two made contact on lap 48 with Barnes Jr. backing off, but as the two entered turn two after taking the white flag, Hudson got loose slowing just enough for Barnes Jr. to get to Hudson’s bumper, resulting in contact, which was enough for Barnes Jr. to get around and grab the lead down the backstretch, with Barnes Jr. going on and getting his third series win of the season in the three events he has raced.
“On the last lap, he started slowing getting into turns one and two and I was going full steam and I started to look outside and he came up. I just stayed in the gas and we just got lucky in the end,” remarked a joyous Barnes Jr. in victory lane.
Barnes Jr. further discussed the contact with Hudson, who was visibly discouraged and upset with what happened on the final lap at the Last Great Colosseum.
“I didn’t wreck him; I just got into him a little bit, so I’m pretty happy with it and it’s going to be a tough season ahead because we race side-by-side often,” Barnes explained. “I know payback is going to come, so I guess I’ll take it when it comes, but it was an awesome win for sure.”
With the win, Barnes Jr. joins his father Chuck Barnes Sr. as a winner at Bristol Motor Speedway. Chuck Sr. won a Frank Kimmel Street Stock Nationals event at Bristol in 2010.
Dan Banker grabbed the early lead from his outside pole starting position, after Hudson drew a ten for the event’s invert, after two failed starts from cars spinning. Hudson quickly moved from his 10th place starting position to grab the lead on lap 3. A 44 lap green run gave Hudson the huge lead before hard contact from a car into the turn two outside wall created the lap 44 caution, the only caution in the event other than the two before an official lap was completed. Barnes Jr. took a little longer to work through the field from his ninth place starting position.
Series point’s leader Colby Lane finished in third. His father Jeff Lane finished in fourth. Anderson winner Josh Poore finished in fifth place. Shawn Smith finished in sixth. Tony Conway was the last car on the lead lap in seventh.
Ronnie Basham had a good weekend, he won the B Feature to advance into the A Main, then drove from his 33rd A Main starting position to finish in eighth in the 50 lap feature, earning the AR Bodies Cool Move of the Race Award and the T.C.I. Hardcharger Award. Trenton Vogts was the winner of the 20 lap C Feature. There was a series record 82 Street Stocks on hand for the historic event.
The series next event will be on the High Banks of Salem Speedway in the GAS/CRA Challenge on Saturday, June 4th. For more information on all the CRA series go to www.cra-racing.com.