Jake “The Snake” Crum Slithers In To Victory Lane In 100th UARA-STARS Race by Jason Buckley
Young Racer Scores Second Victory In Series On A Special Night At Dillon Motor Speedway
In the entertainment scene during the month of May, the buzz has surrounded the fourth installment of the Indiana Jones movie series featuring Harrison Ford. The star actor has stolen headlines across the country for his acting over the years, playing a character that has a fear of snakes.
At the end of May, another star emerged, slithering his way onto the scene and stealing headlines in the motorsports industry at Dillon Motor Speedway (SC) by winning the UARA-STARS Late Model Stock Car Series 100th racing event – Jake “The Snake” Crum.
While Ford’s character shares few commonalities with Crum, the two yearn to succeed in every adventure they tackle. For Crum, the mission at Dillon was simple: enter, dominate and win the Wallace Industrial Technologies 150-lap event. Just like a typical adventure for Indiana Jones, the mission was filled with obstacles.
His first obstacle occurred at the start of the event as Crum, who was fast throughout all practice sessions, started from the second position alongside Richard Boswell. He succeeded in taking over the top spot on the start of the event, but just 30 laps in, he suffered a setback from within the car.
Jake Crum was fast all weekend at Dillon Motor Speedway. (51 Sports Photos)
“About 30 laps into it I was out of water,” said Crum. “I was just getting drops.”
Without liquid refreshment, Crum continued to pace the field until just before halfway when B.J. Mackey decided it was time to take over the top spot.
“I rode behind Jake there for the first 40 or 50 laps,” said Mackey. “I knew we had an awesome car. I was just riding really. I decided to take the lead before lap 75 so I could lead the most laps. We got out there in front around lap 67.”
While Mackey and Crum ran out ahead of the field, drivers like points leader Alex Yontz, Thomas Hartensveld and Ross Furr were snake bit as each had problems during the race that put them at the back of the finishing order. Meanwhile, up front, Crum was moving in on Mackey while battling grip with the track.
Points leader Alex Yontz ended up on the hook.
“The tires get so hot. It wears them out so fast,” said Crum. “When this track gets greasy you just slide everywhere. You are either tight or really, really loose. We were pretty good actually at the end. The car was starting to turn in the center like we were at the beginning of the race and everybody else started falling off a bit.”
Jamie Yelton came up one position short at the end of the race. (51 Sports Photo)
With just 15 laps remaining in the event, Crum closed in on Mackey for the top spot and made the move with just 12 laps to go as Mackey’s power plant started to fail.
“We think it broke a valve spring or something like that,” explained Mackey after the race. “It just wouldn’t go down the straightaway. We still finished fifth and I think we ran 10 laps under green with it skipping like that, so that tells you how good of a car we had.
“I felt it losing power before I heard it starting to sputter. I don’t know if it started giving up before it broke or what. We had an awesome car, but it happens to the best of them.”
With Mackey out of the picture and Boswell off the track after moving around Mackey for second before being involved in a turn-four incident, Crum had to survive a green-white-checkered finish with Jamie Yelton on his bumper. Yelton tried to steal the win from Crum, but got caught looking backwards and not forwards during the final laps.
“I messed up on the restart a little bit,” said Yelton. “I was worried about (Jamey) Caudill being behind me. I don’t like being beat and I put a little bit of that on myself.”
For Crum, the final restart kept him on his toes knowing that the top prize was just two laps away.
“I seen Jamie running third and I knew B.J. had problems, so I thought B.J. would pull down and let Jamie go,” explained Crum. “We went into turn one and Jamie gave me a little love tap, and that is just racing. I think he got a little loose coming off turn four and we won the race from there.”
Crossing the finish line first, Crum’s adventure came to an end as he won the event, besting 26 competitors on a hot night at Dillon Motor Speedway, earning his second career series victory. Sure, he might not have saved the day or discovered an ancient relic like the Hollywood adventure star Indiana Jones does on the big screen, but Crum did claim a check, a trophy and more importantly etched his name in the record books as the winner of the UARA-Stars 100th Late Model Stock Car Series event.
“I didn’t know that,” said Crum of the 100th series race. “That is pretty cool.”