Former Salem winners Kenny Tweedy, Bull Baker and Jeff Lane head up a great list of competitors entered for Saturday's Hoosier Hills 100. Two-time series Champion Scott Hantz comes into the Salem event on an early season roll scoring two consecutive wins in the series first two events at Winchester Speedway and Baer Field Speedway. Hantz is now second on the series all time wins list with 20, he is in pursuit of Brian Ross who has 22 series wins to lead the series in all time wins. Scott is also looking to become the first driver to win three series Championships, he is currently tied with Ross with two series Championships.
Second place in series points Jason Dietsch is only 14 points behind Hantz after second and third place finishes in the series first two events of 2008. Boris Jurkovic is currently third in series points followed by Lane, K & N Filters Rookie Of The Year points leader Zach Taylor is currently fifth in points followed by veteran JR Roahrig in sixth, Terry Fisher Jr. in seventh, Tweedy in eighth, the Y-Town Hustler Rick Turner in ninth and John VanDoorn and Jason Shively tied for tenth. All the top ten in points are entered to compete along with series regular competitors Sean Matthuis, A.J. Ganino, John Heck and Rich Segvich. Series part-time competitors Tony Ponkauskas and Don Young have also entered Saturday's event.
Zach Taylor leads a strong group of K & N Filters Rookie Of The Year competitors entered for Saturday. Rookie competitor Aaron Pierce is a rookie with the series, but is not a rookie to the High Banks of Salem Speedway. Pierce dominated the Calvin Gilstrap Classic on Saturday, May 17th winged Sprint Car event, lapping the entire field except second place in getting his second consecutive win at Salem Speedway with the HOSS Outlaw Sprint Series. Pierce is currently second in K & N Filters Rookie points. The other rookie drivers entered to compete Saturday include Tommy Cook, Robert Maynor, Adam Purdy, Donald Karr Jr. and Al Longtin.
Multi-time Salem Speedway Late Model Series Champion Keith Gardner has filed an
entry for Saturday's event along with former Salem late model competitors Jeff Berg
and Blake Hillard. Mitch Cobb will be looking to make his first ever start with the CRA
Super Series and his first ever start at Salem Speedway. The Edwards, Colorado native
is a Development Driver for NASCAR legend Bill Elliott with the team based out of his
Dawsonville, Georgia shop. Former top Southern late model competitor Ricky Turner is
the Crew Chief, Cobb has already turned some heads with several great runs in some
late model events in the spring in the Southeast. The team is looking to get experience
on the High Banks with a possible move to the ARCA RE/MAX Series in 2009.
Speaking of the ARCA RE/MAX Series, Salem race fans will remember the car owner
of the #16 HS Motorsports team of CRA Super Series competitor John VanDoorn, three
time ARCA RE/MAX Series Champion Tim Steele, who had several awesome battles in
ARCA races with nine-time series Champion Frank Kimmel on the High Banks of Salem
Speedway. Steele had 41 total ARCA wins in 145 career starts, including four wins at Salem Speedway. After a hard practice crash in May of 2007 in an outlaw late model at Toledo Speedway, Steele decided to retire as a racecar driver and became a full-time car owner, eventually buying the VanDoorn CRA team last July, bringing in the talented VanDoorn to be the driver for HS Motorsports team. VanDoorn was the 2007 series Rookie Of The Year and got a wins in the Budweiser 150 at Anderson Speedway and the prestigious All American 400 in Nashville.
The Vore's Welding & Steel CRA FWD Compacts will make their first ever appearance at Salem Speedway on Saturday night. Bill Charles is the current points leader after three series events. Brian Redmond is second with Rex Zimmerman and Justin Kelly tied for third and Michael Myers in fifth. Charles, Redmond and 2007 series Champion Greg De St. Jean have all picked up victories so far in 2008. The event will also feature competitors from the newly formed Salem Speedway McDonald's FWD Stocks.
Pit gates will open on Saturday at 1pm, practice will begin at 3:30pm, with qualifying at 5:30pm. The race program will begin at 7pm and will include the Hoosier Hills 100 for the CRA Super Series and a 20-lap feature for the Vore's Welding & Steel CRA FWD Compacts. More information on Salem Speedway is available at www.salemspeedway.com. More information on the CRA Super Series and Vore's Welding & Steel CRA FWD Compacts is available at www.craracing.net.
A total of 19 CRA Super Series events have been contested at Salem, since Kenny Tweedy won a 100-lap race in May of 1997, the second event in the series inaugural season. Bull Baker won the series last event at Salem Speedway, which was a 125-lap event, held on October 24th, 2004. Baker led all 125 laps of the Spray Power 125 after taking the lead from his outside front row starting position. Scott Hantz finished in second and Keith Gardner finished in third. Chris Gabehart finished in fourth on his way to claiming the 2004 CRA Super Series Rookie Of The Year Award. Chuck Barnes Jr. finished in fifth to claim the 2004 CRA Super Series Season Points Championship.
Brian Ross and Junior Hanley are tied with the most series wins at Salem Speedway, both have four wins a piece, while Tweedy and Matt Hagans are tied for third with two wins apiece. There are seven drivers who have gotten one win including NASCAR competitor David Stremme, Open Wheel veteran Chet Fillip, former Late Model great Jim Cooper, along with series veterans Dave Jackson, Jeff Lane, Bull Baker and current ASA Late Model Series competitor Peter Cozzolino.