There was tight racing throughout the field with several cars crossing the line side by side but Ross Kenseth had no such worries as he out ran the field to win the CRA Super Series, Welch and Wilson Motorsports Rock and Race 100 at O’Reilly Raceway Park Saturday night. The Howe CRA Late Model Sportsman Welch and Wilson Motorsports Rock and Race 50 also featured close racing throughout the field while the leader took off for the win.
In Super Series action Josh Hamner finished second with a hard charging Evan Jackson moving up and challenging him as the race wound down. Jackson was fighting off a challenge or challenging someone else all night as he beat back Scott Hantz for the first half of the race, working hard to get by Chuck Barnes, Jr. and then working on fast qualifier Griffin McGrath for many laps before passing him for third place. McGrath finished fourth and Hantz finished fifth.
"This is a fast track, and I love it." Kenseth exclaimed. "I really like racing at these fast tracks, and my car was really working well. I could put in anywhere on the track and it would go."
McGrath set fast time with a lap of 21.564 seconds qualifying ninth in a field of 40 cars giving 31 more drivers a number to shoot for. His time seemed safe with no one else coming close until Barnes, who pulled out next to last and turned a lap of 21.565 only .001 seconds behind McGrath. As the EDCO Welding Fast Qualifier McGrath drew a four for the invert putting Hamner on the pole with Kenseth on the outside of the front row.
Hamner grabbed the early lead and took off with Kenseth following closely in his tracks. Kenseth took the lead when Hamner got caught up trying to lap cars racing for postion on lap 16 and held the lead until the end as no one could stay with him. For leading the most laps in the race he received the Turn One Lap Leader Award. By leading the 50th lap Kenseth takes home the Kingen Interstate Express Halfway Leader Award.
Boris Jurkovic started the race in 19th and quickly made his way up through the field getting into the top ten in the first half of the race and worked on Michael Bilderback for several laps, looking high and low as Bilderback effectively blocked him from getting up beside him. Jurkovic slid past him on the bottom on a strong move after dropping back and building up momentum to pass Builderback on the front stretch. Jurkovic then moved up to sixth passing current point leader, Johnny VanDoorn in the last couple of laps. These moves earned Jurkovic the AR Bodies Cool Move of the Race Award and one of the Hoosier Racing Tires Performance Awards. Scott Hantz took home the other Hoosier Racing Tires Performance Award.
The Lane Automotive/ISKY Racing Cams Hardcharger Award went to Curt Tillman who started 33rd as an additional starter and finished 17th for a gain of 16 positions, edging out Jurkovic who gained 13. The VDL Fuel Systems hot Lap of the Race Award went to Hamner for turning the fastest lap under green flag conditions. Nick Gullata took home his fourth Perfect Circle Racecars Rookie of the Race Award in a row as the highest finishing rookie contender.
In the Howe CRA Late Model Sportsman feature the 195 of Derrick Griffin stole the show with a 2.828 margin of victory. Griffin was an obvious contender when he had the fastest practice lap of 24.555 during the first session. And then shattered the track record by .175 of a second by turning a lap of 24.175 seconds to win the AllStar Performance Fast Qualifier Award. He continued his mastery of the track by taking the lead on the 18th lap and never looking back.
Griffin said after race, “ This deal just came together Thursday night, my dad and Bobby put the motor together, I go to school at IUPUI so I could not help.” Griffin continued to say, “I have not always had this kind of success here, but this worked out much better than my last trip here.”
The last five laps of the fifty lap feature gave the second place finisher, Scott Neal, problems when his engine started missing but he finished just ahead of Damon Ecoff. Terry Fisher Sr. came out of retirement to finish fourth, and Josh Timmerman finished fifth.
The next event for the CRA Super Series will be the All American 400 Weekend at the Fairgrounds Speedway at Nashville on October 1-2. The race will be a 200 lap event with a halfway break. This will be the CRA Super Series 11th race at the historic speedway, including the seventh race as part of the All American 400 Weekend. For more information about the Fairgrounds Speedway at Nashville go to www.fairgroundsspeedwaynashville.com. For more about the CRA Super Series see www.craracing.net.
The Howe CRA Late Model Sportsman will be action at the Toledo Speedway on October 2nd in the R & M Recycling 50 as part of the big Glass City 200 weekend. This will be the first visit to Toledo for the Howe CRA Late Model Sportsman. For more information about the Toledo Speedway visit http://www.arcaracing.com/news_toledo.php. For more about the Howe CRA Late Model Sportsman go to www.craracing.net.