This Date in CRA History – April 14, 2013Scott Menlen
Jason Atkinson and Dave Bice Score Cabin Fever Championship Wins At Lucas Oil Raceway
2013 Season Starts for CRA Late Model Sportsman and CRA Street Stocks
Clermont, IN (April 14, 2013) – The 2013 racing season for both the Top Speed Fabrication CRA Late Model Sportsman Series Powered by JEGS and the Stealth Trailers CRA Street Stocks Series Powered by JEGS began at the immaculate Lucas Oil Raceway located west of Indianapolis in Clermont, Indiana on Sunday, April 14th with the running of the 4th annual Cabin Fever Championships at the fast 0.686 mile semi-banked paved oval.
The first event of the 2013 season for Champion Racing Association Powered by JEGS would be the 40-Lap Feature for the Stealth Trailers CRA Street Stocks Series Powered by JEGS as a massive 32-car field took the green flag with Jeff Shelmadine and Larry Lathan leading the freight train of cars into turns one and two. Shelmadine, the last ever Champion in the old CRA Front Wheel Driver Compacts Tour set sail for the first four laps until veteran Dave Bice, who started fifth, powered by on lap five.
Bice, who was the 2012 Fall Brawl Winner at LOR, set a torrid pace throughout the rest of the event as Shelmadine tried in vain to keep up with the crafty veteran. With 15 laps to go, Bret Miles Jr., finally got by Shelmadine and set his sights on Bice as the two drivers would pull away to battle. Soon they were joined by 2012 Rookie of the Year, Tyler Marsh and the trio proceeded to check out on the rest of the field.
All the while, Bice kept Miles Jr., Marsh, Shelmadine and the rest of the field at a safe distance behind him and in the end, and despite tell-tale puffs of smoke coming from the back end of his machine late in the event, the Fort Wayne, Indiana veteran in his #71 Pawnbrokers / Chevrolet would see the checkered flag first and would go on to win the Cabin Fever 40.
Miles Jr., fought off Marsh to claim the runner-up spot while Marsh finished third ahead of Shelmadine and Jacob McElfresh, who finished off the top five. Fast Qualifier Jeff Lane regrouped from an early race pit stop to finish sixth while Dustin Burge, Jim Crabtree Jr., Kyle Hadley and J.J. Haley who started 30th, wrapped up the top 10. Lane’s fast qualifying time over the 32-car field was a 26.950 which measures out to 91.636mph.
The 40-Lap Feature for the Top Speed Fabrication CRA Late Model Sportsman Series Powered by JEGS began their eighth season of competition with Rookie Jacob Will and veteran Tommy Cook leading the 27-car field to Chief Starter, Brian Duncan’s green flag and it would be Cook diving into the first corner to grab the early lead while the rest of the field jockeyed for position.
2012 Runner-Up in the points, Jason Atkinson quickly worked his way up the front from his fifth starting spot and would take over the lead on lap six. The 2012 Fall Brawl Winner at LOR would then try to pull away from the rest of the field with a slew of drivers trying to keep pace including Cook as well as Josh Cave, Eddie VanMeter and Damon Ecoff who were all fighting to stay in the top five.
Mark Lambert soon joined the contingent out front and late in the race, Greg VanAlst, who started 24th, also clawed his way into the top five. All the while, Atkinson continued to show the way as the New Castle, Indiana driver, the winningest competitor in 2012 in the series with three event wins, continued his winning ways by steering his #7 Oak Motors / Ford into victory lane by winning the Cabin Fever 40.
Lambert settled for second while VanAlst picked up an impressive podium position in third. VanMeter and Ecoff completed the top five. Danny Trent finished sixth as Defending Series Champion K.C. Spillers was seventh while Rookie T.K. Whitman, Cave and Cook finished off the top 10. Trey Craig blistered the field in Qualifying with a lap measured at a 23.440 which equals out to 105.358mph.