Champion Racing Association (CRA) officials announced today the formation of a new Late Model Tour that will utilize crate engines and be sanctioned by CRA with support from marketing partners JEGS and GM Performance Parts.
“The JEGS/CRA All-Star Tour Presented by GM Performance Parts is the culmination of significant work by several people that started discussions in late September,” remarked CRA Managing Partner R.J. Scott. “We are very excited to be able to launch this tour with the help of JEGS and GM Performance Parts. This tour will be a total separate entity from the CRA Super Series for Super Late Models, which remains the heart and soul of CRA.”
“This Tour will be a great addition to the other successful series that we have developed,” stated Glenn Luckett, CRA Managing Partner. “We have continually established series where we thought there was a need, and everyone has been pleased with their successes. We felt there was a need for a new premier crate late model tour, and we were lucky enough to find partners who felt the same need. They have provided us with the support to give crate late model racers a great place to compete!”
JEGS and GM Performance Parts are two companies with substantial histories in Motorsports. JEGS has been primarily involved with drag racing, but recently expanded their focus into circle track racing. GM Performance Parts has been involved with all types of Motorsports since the earliest days of racing and has been at the forefront of the development of economical, crate late model engines.
“Everyone at JEGS is very excited to be a part of the new JEGS/CRA All-Star Tour Presented by GM Performance Parts,” remarked Todd Iden, Director of Merchandising/Marketing with JEGS High Performance. “We look forward to working with CRA and GM Performance Parts to create a very competitive, yet cost effective touring series utilizing crate engines. The JEGS name has been well known in the drag racing industry for years. We want to use that success and experience to focus attention on providing more products and services to circle track racing at the grass roots level.”
As one of the most recognized names in motorsports, GM Performance Parts’ role as a presenting series sponsor is more proof of their commitment to short track racing. “We are extremely proud and excited to be part of the new JEGS/CRA All-Star Tour Presented by GM Performance Parts for 2011 and beyond", said Bill Martens, Special Programs Manager for GM Performance Parts. "We expect to see the same results for asphalt late models, using the CT400 GMPP engine, which dirt track racers around the country have experienced for the past eight years. We are very glad to provide a reliable, powerful racing engine while keeping the engine very affordable for grassroots racers. Our motivation is really pretty simple: GM Performance Parts is trying to help contain the ever-rising costs of racing, so that our sport will survive and thrive! With racing partners like JEGS and CRA, we know going in that this program will be a huge success."
One of the most popular and successful engines used in this type of racing has been GM Performance Parts’ CT400, also known as, and commonly referred to by racers, as a “604,” ...the final three digits of its catalog part number. "The CT400 racing engine from GM Performance Parts is based on the famous 350 Chevrolet engine that has been, and still is, the overwhelming favorite of circle track racers on both dirt and asphalt. Using all new components, the CT400 engine develops slightly more than 400 horsepower right out of the box. Starting with a 4-bolt iron block, GMPP adds a forged steel crankshaft, steel hydraulic roller cam, high-low Fast-Burn aluminum heads, roller rocker arms and tops it off with a single-plenum high-rise intake manifold. The engine is closed up with left-turn-only valve cover breathers and a heavy gauge steel oil pan. By starting with a production-based foundation, we can keep the engine cost much lower than a custom built engine with a similar power output. The CT400 is in stock and ready to ship today from JEGS huge inventory," according to Martens.
For the race tracks in the Midwest, there is already great anticipation for the new series. The first track to commit to host an event, even before the formal announcement, was Anderson Speedway. Track owner/promoter Rick Dawson commented, “Anderson Speedway is excited to be the first track to commit to an event in 2011. We have a history of being a launching pad for great series, with Anderson Speedway being the birthplace of the legendary American Speed Association in 1968 and Champion Racing Association in 1997. We feel like this will be another quality series for tracks, fans, and racers alike!”
The JEGS/CRA All Star Tour Presented by GM Performance Products will have 10 to 12 events in 2011 at race tracks from ¼ of a mile up to ¾ of a mile in length. Events will generally be 100 to 125 laps depending on the track size, using less than one tank of fuel and only four tires. CRA will be developing the complete rules package, event purses and schedule for the Tour over the next several weeks. All series information will be published on the CRA web site at www.craracing.net.