Leftovers: 39th Annual Winchester 400
Records, Tough Luck and Back-to-Back Championships
By Elgin Traylor
The 2010 Winchester 400 at Winchester Speedway (IN) was filled with stories of all types. Check out our 51 Video leftovers and other stories from this historic Super Late Model / Pro Late Model event.
Chase Elliott takes the Winchester 400, Johnny VanDoorn wins the CRA Championship and others talk about their days and Chase's win.
No Longer a Bridesmaid
There was some talk about Chase Elliott’s success from members of the media, fans, officials and fellow racers. That talk was the uncertainty of him being able to win a big race. Most of his 11 wins this season have been 100 lappers. He was in the hunt at the Rattler 250, the Rowdy’s Revenge 251 and the All American 400, but none of those ended with trips to victory lane. Now after his Winchester 400 win it’s clear that there is nothing that he can’t do in the short track world expect drive to the track. He still doesn’t even have his learner’s permit.
Elliott Family Record
1985 was the year of Bill Elliott. He won 11 races and the Million Dollar Bonus by winning three of the big four races in NASCAR. Chase Elliott surpassed his father’s one-season win total at Winchester by taking his 12th win of the season. Now Elliott could perform the same big-race feat if he wins the World Crown and the Snowball Derby. That would give him three of the big four Super Late Model races.
Short Day For Kenseth
Ross Kenseth had lots of eyes on him as he won the season opening Super Late Model event at the Winchester Speedway in April. Kenseth never got to 100 lap mark as a blown tire left him in the wall early in the race. Kenseth then stuck around to watch the rest of the event which only fueled his anticipation for the World Crown 300.
Reaid and Lang Tangle Big Time
TJ Reaid was carrying the torch for Kyle Busch Motorsports as they looked to win their fourth straight “Major” of the Super Late Model world. KBM had won last year’s 400 at Winchester, the Snowball Derby, and the Super Late Model portion of the All American 400.
With all that on the line, Reaid was well in contention until he went up over the side of former CRA Champion Jeff Lane. After Reaid launched up over the side of the 11 car and backed his Hamke Race Car hard into the outside wall things weren’t over. Reaid and Lang had a few words for each with ended with a hand gesture and Reaid walking away. Both were ok, but the tempers did flare for a second as they lost out on their Winchester 400 dreams.
Mingus Making Noise
Have you heard of Mason Mingus? Keep your ears open. The young upstart Late Model driver won the Ken Ten Late Model Series this year and had a solid runner-up finish in the Pro Late Model portion of the All American 400. Throw in a top five at Winchester and you got yourself one to watch in 2011.
Wilson’s Good Run of Bad Luck
If racing were a game of Texas Hold ‘Em poker then Donnie Wilson would have pocket kings while his opposing player would have a pair of aces. The season has just been unkind to Donnie Wilson as he has watch several races slip through his fingers including the Winchester 400. After a tire change, he was coming back to the front when the leaders tangled and he rear-ended Rick Turner, ending his day. After the race he shook his head once again and said, “They knew we were here.”
Wait Till Next Year Rick Turner
Early in the weekend we asked Rick Turner if this was the year. He told us he would let us know after
300 laps. Turns out he was well in the hunt after 300 laps only to bend a valve in his motor and eventually he got swept up in a wreck while leading. After the race a mature Turner (see videos for more) said he might have been more fired up a few years ago, but was calm after having one of the best cars he’s ever had a Winchester. He’s already waiting for the 2011 running of the event.
Johnny VanDoorn Champion Again
For the second year in a row Johnny VanDoorn was crowned the champion for the CRA Super Series. It was almost an afterthought because VanDoorn had such a good season and lots of focus went to the race winner Chase Elliott.
VanDoorn’s rap sheet is very impressive as he became the first driver in series history to win back-to-back titles in the CRA series. The race also marked the second time that VanDoorn was the runner-up in the 400. He did the same thing back in 2007.
The Growth of The 400
Winchester track owner Charlie Shaw addressed the capacity crowd before the race and he thanked them for their patients as the campground was completely full and cars had to be parked miles away in order to keep things in order. Shaw then got choked up when he looked up and saw the size of the entourage that had shown up for the Winchester 400. Growth is hard to find in short track racing and
Winchester has done it with their 400.
Numbers were up in terms of car counts, fans, campers and excitement and the Winchester 400 has put distance on the pack and is one of the few events that rivals the Derby.
Chase Elliot works his way to the front after starting ninth. (Jamie Williams Photo)
Chuck Barnes Jr, Rick Turner, and Donnie Wilson all tangle late in the race while going for the lead late in the Winchester 400.
TJ Reaid takes our GPS on a ride at Winchester Speedway (IN).
Ross Kenseth looks over the damage to his car after a blown tire. (Jamie Williams Photo)
TJ Reaid's day ends on the wrecker. (Jamie Williams Photo)
A full capacity crowd packed Winchester. (Jamie Willams Photo)
Johnny VanDoorn hoists the championship trophy for the second consecutive year. (Jamie Willams Photo)
Donnie Wilson ran strong in the early stages of the race. Unfortunately, a wreck ended his day. (Jamie Willams Photo)