NASCAR star Kyle Busch and 13 year old Chase Elliott, son of NASCAR Legend Bill Elliott, top a very strong list of competitors entered for this Sunday's CRA Budweiser 150 Presented By The Kyle Busch Foundation at the historic Fairgrounds Speedway/Nashville. The CRA Super Series has been competing at the Fairgrounds track in Nashville since 2003 and has been sanctioning the Nashville All American 400 event since 2004. The CRA Nashville events have become famous for continuing the Nashville tradition of bringing the best talent from the North against the best talent in the South and Sunday's race will be no different.
Busch is coming off a very disappointing 23rd place finish in last Friday's CRA Super Series event at Toledo Speedway. Bush was working his way to the front when his car suddenly made contact with the backstretch wall after something in the suspension broke ending his day after flying over in a helicopter from Michigan International Speedway to compete in the event. Sunday's event will be the fourth series event he has raced in this season, he won the July 27th Redbud 300 at Anderson Speedway.
Up and coming driver Brian Ickler will practice and qualify Busch's car on Saturday while Busch is racing in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Bristol Motor Speedway trying to get into the Chase. Per CRA rules if Ickler qualifies in the top 20, Busch will have to start 20th, if he qualifies out of the top 20, Busch will have to start on the tail of the field when he arrives on Sunday. Busch will also compete in the NASCAR Nationwide Series race on Friday night at Bristol were he is the current points leader.
After a strong career in Legends, Chase Elliott has already begun to make a name for himself in his first year in a late model. The Dawsonville, Georgia teenager has won two events with the GAS Series pro late models this season and took over the series points lead after a second place finish last Saturday night at Lanier National Speedway, Elliott's home track. Elliott won an ASA Southeast Series race at Anderson Motor Speedway in Anderson South Carolina on August 10th. Sunday will be Elliott's first race in a Super Late Model and first CRA Super Series event. Elliott's teammate Casey Roderick lead the first half of the 200 lap CRA SpeedFest event at Lanier in January before falling out with mechanical problems. Elliott's Crew Chief is former late model star Ricky Turner.
There are four former CRA Nashville event winners entered so far for the CRA Budweiser 150 including current CRA Super Series point's leader John VanDoorn who won the CRA Nashville All American 400 event in 2007. Also Boris Jurkovic who won the same event in 2006, three time series Champion Scott Hantz who won last season's CRA Budweiser 150, and 2007 series Champion Chris Gabehart who won the CRA All American 400 event last November. All four got to play the famous Copley Guitar Trophy in Nashville's victory lane, a trophy that is one of the most coveted in all of Motorsports.
Other top CRA drivers entered include multi-time series winner Rick Turner, 2008 Rookie of the Year Aaron Pierce, Terry Fisher Jr., Jim Crabtree Jr., Kenny Tweedy, and a strong group of CRA K&N Filters Rookie of the Year candidates including current rookie points leader Tyler Roahrig also Nick Lay, Brandon Fagin and 16 year old Damon Ecoff.
A great group of South late model drivers have entered including 16 year old Johanna Long from Pensacola, Florida. Long captured several Pro Late Model wins last season along with the Pro Late Model Championship at Five Flags Speedway. Long won her first Super Late Model event in the Blizzard Series season opener at Five Flags on April 10th and won a second Blizzard event on June 29th. Long has competed in a handful of CRA events including both series events last season at Nashville were she was running in the top ten in the CRA Budweiser 150 before getting involved in an accident and finished 11th in the CRA All American 400 event last November.
Other South drivers entered include top Florida racers Scott Carlson, Justin Drawdy, Tim Russell and Jeremy Colangelo, Alabama's Stanley Smith, Ken McFarland, Johnny Brazier, John Bolen, Ricky Wilkinson and Danny Bagwell, Kentucky's Jared Smith, Sammy Sanders and Martin Belcher, North Carolina's Jeff Fultz, Arkansas's Dennis Schoenfeld, Tennessee's Heath Hindman and Tony Ponkauskas, Georgia's Ryan Sieg and Alan Karnes and Oklahoma's Donnie Wilson.
The Nashville Fairgrounds track is famous all over the country, which is evident by some of the other drivers who will make long hauls to come to this weekend's event including Brandon Loverock and Rickey McCray Jr. who will come all the way from California to race with CRA in Nashville this weekend. Also Josh Vadnais who will make the long haul from Minnesota to race at one of his favorite tracks in the country. Vadnais finished second in the CRA Budweiser 150 in 2007 to Nathan Haseleu, Vadnais loves the Nashville track and wants a Copley Guitar Trophy!
In all there are 39 drivers pre-entered to date from 14 different states, that list is expected to continue to grow as the event draws nearer. The event pays $5000 to win, but more importantly the top three finishers of the CRA Budweiser 150 get guaranteed starting positions in the prestigious CRA sanctioned Nashville All American 400 event on November 1st.
More information on this weekend's event and the Fairgrounds Speedway at Nashville is available at www.fairgroundsspeedwayatnashville.com. More information on the CRA Super Series is available at www.craracing.net.