Barnes Jr. Wins the GAS/CRA Challenge at Salem SpeedwayZach Hiser
Salem, IN (May 17, 2021) – Louisville, Kentucky’s Chuck Barnes Jr. muscled his way around New Castle, Indiana’s Jason Atkinson to grab the lead on a lap 18 restart and went on to get the win in the third addition of the GAS/CRA Challenge, which pitted the Van Hoy Oil CRA Street Stocks against the Salem Speedway Lucas Oil Great American Stocks in a 75-lap feature Saturday night on the famous High Banks of Salem Speedway. The win was Barnes Jr.’s 12th all-time series win and his first in the GAS/CRA Challenge.
“I had a goal to win this event and we got it tonight!”, remarked Chuck Barnes Jr. in victory lane. “It feels great to get this win against this tough field of drivers, I want to dedicate this win to my Papa who passed away exactly year ago today. The 73 car Atkinson made me work hard to get around him, then I had to hold him off on several restarts, but we got it done. I have to thank my car owner Scotty Holbert and this whole team that gave me a great car!”
Jason Atkinson grabbed the lead at the drop of the green flag from his outside pole starting position after Allstar Performance Fast Qualifier Barnes Jr. drew a five for the events invert. Atkinson held on to the lead after several early cautions forced several restarts while Barnes Jr. worked his way to the front of the lead back to take second and start trying to pass Atkinson.
Barnes Jr. make a pass and went to the lead on lap 17, but a caution flew before the lap was completed giving the lead back to Atkinson. Barnes Jr. then used the low groove in turn four on the next restart to get the lead and went on to hold off Atkinson on several more restarts, winning by almost two seconds as the race ended on a long green flag run. Barnes Jr. received a $500 bonus as the highest finishing CRA car. For his pass of Atkinson Barnes Jr. picked up the AR Bodies Cool Move of the Race Award. Barnes Jr. joined his dad as a 2021 CRA winner, Barnes Sr. won the series special non-points event at Salem Speedway on April 25th.
Atkinson would finish in second and added to his series points lead, in the series three-point races to date, Atkinson has two wins and now a second-place finish. Skeeter Crum finished in third place and received a $500 bonus as the highest finishing GAS car. Former GAS/CRA Challenge winner Brett Hudson finished in fourth place with GAS regular Heath Helton coming from his 12th place starting position to finish in fifth.
CRA regular Andrew Teepe made a great charge to the front, coming from his 14th place starting position to finish in 6th earning the KRJ Race Products Sweet Move of the Race Award. GAS regulars Brain Bayer, Mike Sharp and Jamie Goodman finished 6th through 9th. Van Hoy Oil CRA Street Stocks Rookie Dawson Phillips finished in 10th place in his first ever start at Salem Speedway. GAS regular Justin Pirtle picked up the TCI Hardcharger Award, coming from the 32nd starting spot to finish in 11th. In all 36 cars showed up to race in the event, with 35 starting the event.
The next Van Hoy Oil CRA Street Stocks event will be the Hoosier Daddy 100 at Winchester Speedway, the second Four Crown event of the season, on Saturday, June 5th. More information on all the CRA Series is available at www.cra-racing.com.