The 38th Annual Winchester 400 Weekend is coming up this Friday, Saturday and Sunday on the famous High Banks of Winchester Speedway. This prestigious event will feature three action packed days of on track activities as well as parties in the campground and Saturday night in the turn four Pavilion celebrating one of the top stock car racing events in the country. NASCAR stars Kyle Busch and David Reutimann will join a strong list of some of the best short track drivers in the country racing to get their name on the winner’s shirt and take home the special Winchester Rifle Trophy for winning the Winchester 400. Over 150 racecars are expected to be at Winchester this weekend with racing in five divisions along with the Winchester 400.
Four CRA Championships will be decided this weekend starting on Friday night with the 25 lap season Championship event for the Vore’s Welding & Steel CRA FWD Compacts were Tim Dilg holds a commanding 75 point lead over 2008 Champion Rex Zimmerman. Brian Redmond is currently third in series points, 36 points behind Zimmerman. Leading series rookie Justin Brown is in fourth place, only four points behind Redmond. Rookie Jeff Williams is in fifth place, 20 points behind Brown. Other racing action on Friday night includes heat races for the FWD Compacts plus 15 lap All Star Dash’s and 25 lap New Star Features for the Howe CRA Late Model Sportsman Series and the CRA Street Stocks. There will also be a 25 lap Rookie Feature for the CRA Outlaw Late Models.
The CRA Street Stocks will have their 50 lap Season Championship event on Saturday night, that division has the tightest points race going into this weekend. Two-time series Driver Champion Joe Beaver comes in as the series points leader for car owner Tim Bennett by only 17 points over Rich Boyer and Josh Burton who are tied for second place. Jason Thompson is in fourth, he is 40 points out of the lead. Larry Matillo is in fifth place in points, he is 93 points behind Thompson. Boyer is currently on a roll with two straight series wins at Winchester Speedway after getting his first ever victory at Winchester on Labor Day Weekend.
Charlie Hanna will go into Saturday’s 50 lap Season Championship for the Howe CRA Late Model Sportsman Series with a 57 point lead over leading series rookie Steve Stacy, both drivers had bad luck at the series last event at Winchester Speedway that allowed the #17 car owned by John Marshall and driven primarily this season by Keith Sterkowitz to close within three points of Stacy. Ric Pfiefer is currently in fourth place, he is 84 points behind the #17. Mark Lambert is fifth, he is 25 points behind Pfiefer. Terry Fisher Jr. got the last series win at Winchester Speedway driving for Neal Richardson.
Also in action Saturday will be the O’Reilly USA Modified Series in the traditional Run for The Gun 50 lapper. The event will be the season Championship event for that series were Scott Tomasik is the current points leader by 33 points over Steve Foster. Those two have battled back and forth all season for the points lead. Brian Nester got the win in the series last event at Winchester on Labor Day Weekend. Ross Klingelhofer, last year’s winner of the Run for the Gun finished second in that event, both of those drivers will have plenty of competition as the top Modified Drivers from all over the region are expected to compete for the win Saturday night.
Saturday’s racing action will also include a 50 lap feature event for the CRA Outlaw Super Late Models. The Outlaw Late Models last competed at Winchester Speedway on 400 Weekend in 2006 were Brent Jack got the win over Scott Hantz and Eddie Van Meter. Jack and Hantz are both entered for Saturday’s event, other drivers entered include Brian Ross, Mike Stacy, David Stacy, Kyle Jones, Mike Horvath, Drew Charlson, Jay Sommers, Zach Hulvey, Rich Segvich and CRA Super Series veteran Rick Turner in the #95 Jimmerson Motorsports car.
The grand finale for the weekend will be the 38th Annual Winchester 400 were the 2009 CRA Super Series points Champion will also be crowned. John VanDoorn comes into this weekends event has the series points leader by 34 points over three time and defending series Champion Scott Hantz. VanDoorn is looking to win his first CRA Championship and the first for his Kaos Motorsports team. VanDoorn has two series victories this season, including the season opener at Anderson Speedway and the series event at Salem Speedway. Hantz has a series leading four victories this season including the May event at Winchester Speedway and wins at Toledo Speedway, the Fairgrounds Speedway in Nashville and at Baer Field Speedway. Hantz won the 2006 Winchester 400 and won his second series Championship that same season. Hantz is looking to become the first ever driver to win back to back Championships with the series.
Aaron Pierce and Rick Turner are in a tight battle for third and fourth in series points. Pierce comes into his weekend’s event in third place with Turner in fourth, only 13 points behind. Terry Fisher Jr. is in fifth place, but only 10 points a head of K & N Filters Rookie point’s leader Tyler Roahrig in sixth place. Other top series drivers who are entered include former series Champions Kenny Tweedy, Brian Rievley and Chris Gabehart along with Boris Jurkovic, Jim Crabtree Jr., Jason Dietsch, Brent Jack, Danny Jackson, Nick Lay, Damon Ecoff, Brandon Fagin, John Heck and Eddie Van Meter.
There is a strong group of non-series regulars entered including Jeff Fultz winner of the Labor Day Weekend CRA Super Series event. Also 13-year-old Chase Elliott, son of NASCAR Legend Bill Elliott and 17-year-old Johanna Long the Blizzard Series Champion at Five Flags Speedway in Pensacola, Florida. Other non-regulars who will make the long haul to Winchester this weekend include Florida’s Justin Drawdy, Alabama’s Stanley Smith, Oklahoma’s Donnie Wilson and Wisconsin racers Robert Maynor, Trent Snyder and Kevin Eggert. Ohio racer Tyler Nuckles will make his CRA Super Series debut, he is the son of Jeff Nuckles, of the Columbus Motor Speedway Knuckles family, and he was the 2009 Super Cup Stock Car Series Champion.
Pits will open on Friday at 11am, spectator gates at 1:30pm. Practice for all divisions will begin at 2pm, qualifying will begin at 6:15, the race program will begin at 7pm. Pit gates open on Saturday at 8am, spectator gates at 10:30am. Practice will begin at 10:30am with support divisions qualifying at 3:15pm. The race program will begin at 5pm with Winchester 400 pole qualifying. There will be live music in the Pavilion after the races. Pit gates open on Sunday at 9am, spectator gates at 10:30am. There will be an autograph session with all the drivers competing in the 400 on the racetrack starting at 11:30am. The green flag for the 38th Annual Winchester 400 will drop at 1pm. Advance reserved seat tickets can be purchased on line at www.winchesterspeedway.com. Information on all the CRA Series is available at www.craracing.net.