Barnes Jr. Wins the Vore’s Welding & Steel 150 Four Crown Event at Anderson SpeedwayZach Hiser
Salem, IN (August 15, 2021) – After years of trying Louisville, Kentucky driver Chuck Barnes Jr. finally recorded a victory at Anderson Speedway. Barnes led the final 48 laps of the Vore’s Welding & Steel 150 Saturday on T-Mobile night at Anderson Speedway to claim the win in the Van Hoy Oil CRA Street Stocks Four Crown Championship event.
“I raced at a lot of tracks and have raced here in late models and street stocks,” Barnes Jr. said in the Riley & Sons Victory Lane, “but never won at Anderson. Now I can mark that off my bucket list!”
New Castle, Indiana driver Jason Atkinson, looking to sweep the Four Crown events, led the first two laps as a result of the inversion that Allstar Performance Fast Qualifier Josh Poore drew.
But it was Andrew Teepe that took the lead on the third circuit as the front runners all ran in tight quarters.
Atkinson reclaimed the lead on lap 35 on a restart with Teepe losing seven positions after being caught in the second groove following a caution on lap 51.
For the next 51 laps Barnes chased Atkinson with Dalton Conner and Brett Hudson close behind.
The race was red flagged for a three-car tangle that saw Marcus Elliott make hard contact with the turn three wall bringing out the events only red flag on lap 100, 25 laps after the lap 75 halfway break. The cars of Brian Hopkins and Jordan Hahn were also involved and were done for the night.
On the restart, Barnes Jr. used the high groove to take the lead from Atkinson with Hudson moving into the second position on lap 123 with an outside pass of Atkinson.
Barnes Jr. went on to win by 1.5-seconds over Hudson with the last 50 laps of the event going caution free. Barnes Jr. picked up the KRJ Race Products Sweet Move of the Race Award for his winning pass of Atkinson and he claimed the $3,000 first place money. The win was Barnes Jr.’s second series win in 2021.
“It was hard racing tonight for sure,” Barnes continued. “I was biding my time to take the lead, but on the that last restart I got a good run off turn four and was able to pull away and get the win.”
Hudson said his car was better on long runs and was hoping for a final caution after passing Atkinson for second where he would finish.
“The field was so close as it always is with these big CRA races,” Hudson said. “It was hard to pass tonight, you almost had to put a bumper on someone to get around them. I needed a long run and just couldn’t get it.”
Atkinson would finish in third, his worse finish of the 2021 season with the series that has seen him win five- races and a second-place finish so far this season. With his third-place finish Atkinson claimed his fifth Four Crown Championship, he also won the Mini-series in 2015, 2016, 2019 and 2020. Atkinson said his car got tight in the corners following the break but was pleased with the run.
“I was doing all I could to hold off Chuck (Barnes),” he said. “His car was pretty strong on the restarts.”
With his strong finishes in 2021, Atkinson is the Van Hoy Oil CRA Street Stocks Regular Season Champion heading into the series 2021 Chase for the Championship.
James Kirby III recovered from a spin on lap 62 to come home in fourth and was the fastest car on the track in the last half of the event. Teepe would fight back and get a fifth-place finish.
Dalton Conner finished in sixth in his first ever Van Hoy Oil CRA Street Stocks event, running in the top of the field throughout the event. Series rookie Dawson Phillips would finish in seventh after starting 16th and earned the AR Bodies Cool Move of the Race Award and the TCI Products Hardcharger Award.
Poore battled throughout the event close to the top five and would finish in eighth. Fellow series rookie Blaine Akin would finish in ninth with Alan Williams Jr. rounding out the top ten. The Van Hoy Oil CRA Street Stocks will start their 2021 Chase for the Championship in their next event on September 4th on the famous High Banks of Winchester Speedway . More information on all the CRA series is available at www.cra-racing.com.
Photos – John Lund