Mike Kugler started back in the pack and moved up through the field before nearly spinning and saving it and then coming back to win the CRA Super Series, EMF Corp 125 Saturday night at Angola Motor Speedway. Scott Hantz took the lead from early race leader Aaron Pierce on the 47th lap but fell back at the end as his tires wore. Kugler moved past Hantz on the 101st lap on his way to his first CRA Super Series victory in a race that featured strong racing throughout the field. Jack Landis finished second, Derek Bischak third, Hantz fourth and Jason Shivley fifth.
"I didn't think we would win tonight, my goal was for a Top 10 finish, and to win is awesome." A very happy Kugler said. "We did not buy practice tires, so we suffered a little in hot laps, but I told the guys we were looking good, and it really worked out well."
Pierce grabbed the lead from his pole position starting position but behind him the racing was furious for second. Eventually Hantz moved into second and followed Pierce for several laps until slipping by on the 46th lap to take the lead. The racing for second was still tight with Boris Jurkovic and Jack Landis coming together when Landis could not get slowed in time spinning Jurkovic on the 82nd lap, sending both to the rear of the field. “I am really sorry I got in Boris, it was my mistake.” Landis said after the race. Jurkovic retired from the race due to rear end problems following the spin.
John VanDoorn, who had to restart at the tail on the 12th lap due to contact with another car, assumed second on the restart. He then dropped back as drivers racing for second through tenth were constantly changing position. Eventually Kugler moved into second and worked his way under Hantz pulling other cars with him.
Landis meanwhile moved from the tail on the restart at the 82nd lap to finish second. Derek Bischak moved up from his 16th starting position to finish third, earning him the Lane Automotive/ISKY Racing Cams Hard Charger Award and a Hoosier Racing Tire Performance Award. Jason Dietsch took the other Hoosier Racing Tire Award. Kugler earned the ARP Bodies Cool Move of the Race Award for saving his car when he had it got completely sideways on the track before making a great save to gain control without spinning.
Boris Jurkovic took the EDCO Welding Fast Qualifier Award. Hantz took the RaceTrailerSales.com Halfway Leader Award. Rick Turner took the VDL Fuel Systems Hot Lap of the Race Award with a lap of 14.446 seconds during the race. Kenny Tweedy received the Leaf Racewear Hard Luck Award when brake issues forced him out early. Hantz was the RaceTrailerSales.com Halfway Leader.
Tyler Roahrig took his first K&N Filters Rookie of the Race Award, and the VDL Fuel Systems Top Rookie Award making the fourth driver to win the award in four races in the very tight Rookie of the year race with only 30 points separating the top four rookies.
With his Top 5 finish Hantz moved back into a tie with VanDoorn for first in the CRA Super Series points race, only 30 points ahead of Pierce in third. This is the fourth Top 5 for Hantz this year in only 4 outings.
The next CRA Super Series event will be Sunday, July 12 at Plymouth Speedway in Plymouth, IN. NASCAR star David Stremme will challenge the CRA stars on his home track in the Summer Championship 200. The CRA Street Stocks and Vore’s Welding and Steel CRA FWD Compacts will also be racing at Plymouth. For more information see www.craracing.net