Salem, IN — The name Y-Town Hustler has been a racer nickname that race fans in Central Indiana have known for many years, it’s the nick name for veteran racer Rick Turner from Yorktown, Indiana. Turner has decided that the 46th Annual Winchester 400 on Sunday, October 8th will be his last race in a touring late model, what a fitting event and place for Turner to end his driving career.
“It just feels like it’s the right time and the right thing for me to do,” remarked Turner. “I started my racing career at Winchester, and now I’m going to basically end my career as a driver at that same track”.
Turner first jumped in a racecar in 1978, competing in an ASA sanctioned Sportsman event at Winchester. Turner spent his early racing years competing in a late model at Winchester Speedway, Anderson Speedway and the now closed Muncie Speedway, as well as being a regular with the old Magnum Oil Late Models in the early 1990’s.
Turner has been a mainstay of the ARCA/CRA Super Series Powered by JEGS since its inaugural event at Anderson Speedway on Saturday, April 26, 1997. Since that time Turner has raced in 243 series events, he is the all-time leader in series starts by 15 starts over second place Scott Hantz and 19 more than third place Kenny Tweedy. With today’s late model racing scene, Turner’s record isn’t likely to be broken, unless Hantz or Tweedy would decide to come back and race more series events in the near future.
Turner ran all the eight series events that first season, finishing seventh in Championship points. Turner claimed his first series victory at Anderson Speedway in 2005, leading 96 laps after starting fifth.
Turner’s best season with the series was in 2008 when he won his second series event at Anderson Speedway, then backed that up with a win at Winchester Speedway on Labor Day Weekend. Turner led 143 laps that season, the most he ever led in a season including all 100 laps of the win at Winchester and led 27 laps of the Winchester 400 that year. Turner finished second in points to Hantz that season, the highest he ever finished in series points, with seven top five finishes and 10 to ten finishes.
Turner’s favorite track has always been the High Banks of Winchester Speedway, and his finishes reflect that, with most of his best series finishes there. Turner sat on the pole of the 2012 Winchester 400. Next week’s 400 will be Turner’s 17th overall start in that prestigious event and his 13th ARCA/CRA Super Series sanctioned 400.
“There would be no better way for me to end my driving career, then to win the Winchester 400,” added Turner. “To me that is the top late model event in the country, to have been able to watch and race against the best drivers in the country like Mark Martin, Rusty Wallace, the Senneker’s, and more recently Kyle Busch, Chase Elliott, and Erik Jones, I could list names all day of the great drivers who raced in that event. When you walk into Winchester, you’re on hallowed ground, look at the history that track has, it means a lot to me to be a small part of that history!”
While Turner is retiring as a driver, he will still be a car owner, which he has been with his own cars for his entire career. He has recently started a Driver Development Team with the JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour that has competed with that series in selected events since the 2015 season. Florida racer Stephen Nasse, the 2017 Southern Super Series Champion, has been behind the wheel of Turner’s JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour car at several events over the past two seasons. The pair picked up a win at the Baby Rattler Pro Late Motel event at South Alabama Speedway in March of 2016 and just this past weekend picked up a runner up finish in the Pro Late Model portion of the All American 400 weekend in Nashville.
Turner added, “I still want to work on race cars and want to be at the track. I will have a car at selected ARCA/CRA Super Series and JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour events in 2018. We will announce more about that in the near future. I have a lot of people to thank, first of all my wife and my family who have been by my side all these years, supported me though all the ups and downs, and sacrificed a lot so I could race. I’ve had great support from a lot of people, I can’t name them all, but want to tell all of them thanks, but three very important people who helped me to race as long as I did were Jim Mougette, Dewaine McGunegill and Harley Boeve, I have to say a special thanks to those three guys. I also have to thank CRA, I don’t know what would have happened with late model racing in our area if CRA had not come along and started when it did, it’s been a pleasure to race for those guys and I look forward to continue to work with them as a car owner!”
“I’ve been fortunate to know Rick before there ever was a CRA,” remarked R.J. Scott, Managing Partner with CRA. “He has always had an infectious smile and laugh, which permeated through the pit area…back then and even still today! He has truly been the essence of what CRA has been through the years. While we’re sad that his driving career is coming to an end, we’re thrilled to know that he will still have a presence in CRA for years to come as a car owner. With his record as the career starts leader and being a part of the first ever CRA race, he will always hold a special place in our hearts. For me personally, I’m the lucky one…because not only did I get to call him a CRA racer…I get to call him a friend!”
“Rick has been one of the racers that people will always associate with the name CRA,” commented Glenn Luckett, Managing Partner with CRA. “He is always ready to offer sound advice on any topic and his support on anything we have asked of him. We will miss Rick as a race car driver, but look forward to continuing to work with him as a respected CRA car owner. CRA is a better place because of Rick Turner!”
Activities begin for the Winchester 400 Weekend with an optional load in, hauler parking and pit pass purchases on Thursday, October 5th from 3 to 7pm. Pits open on Friday, October 6th at 9am with rotating practice for all divisions beginning at 1pm. The ARCA/CRA Super Series teams will have a one hour practice session at 2pm and a 45 minute practice session at 4:40pm on Friday. Pits open on Saturday, October 7th at 8:30am, rotating practice for all divisions will begin at 11am. The ARCA/CRA Super Series teams will have a 45 minute practice session beginning at 11am and a 45 minute final practice session at 1:15pm on Saturday. EDCO Welding Pole Qualifying for the Winchester 400 for the ARCA/CRA Super Series will begin at 4:15pm on Saturday.
On Sunday, October 8th the pits will open at 9am. There will be an on track autograph session with all the Winchester 400 drivers starting at 12:30. Opening ceremonies will begin at 1:30 pm with the 46th Annual Winchester 400 taking the green flag at 2pm.
Additional track and event information can be found at www.winchesterspeedway.com.
More information on the ARCA/CRA Super Series is available at www.cra-racing.com.
-CRA Press Release
-Photo Credit: CRA