For many years Jack Smith had tried to win at Indiana’s Winchester Speedway. And many times he had failed. But on Sunday night, Smith finally rolled into victory lane at the Fastest Half Mile and was called a Winchester Speedway winner after dominating the 100-lap feature for the JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour.
Smith started up front and quickly made his way to second as Dalton Armstrong began to fall backwards after starting the race from the first position. Smith followed Winchester rookie Bret Holmes into the top two and rode there for a few laps.
On a restart with about 15 laps complete, Smith powered by Holmes to take over the lead. From there it was all Jack Smith as he held off everyone behind him to take his first ever JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour win.
“I’ve wanted to win here for so long,” said Smith. “I’ve been close so many times, but just couldn’t get it done. This is like a dream come true.”
Even as Smith dominated at the front of the field, there was plenty of action behind him. With 40 laps complete, points leader Armstrong spun on the backstretch and a chain-reaction crash ensued. When all was said and done about six cars took heavy damage, including Armstrong and Colin Nickolai.
Armstrong was able to continue, but with no front end on his no. 4 machine. He finished 13th, many laps down.
Rookie driver Tristan Van Wieringen set fast time in qualifying earlier in the day and was working his way through the field before the crash happened. He gained a few spots as a result and restarted in the fourth position.
The Canadian driver worked his way into third on the restart, but that was as high as he could get before trouble struck for Van Wieringen.
Van Wieringen was chasing down Smith and Holmes when he got too high in turn two and flattened the right side of his black no. 81 with 16 laps to go. His car suffered too much damage to continue.
That set up a 15-lap shootout between Smith and Holmes for the win. Both drivers got a great restart and stayed side-by-side for two laps as they fought for the lead.
Smith proved to be too strong for Holmes as he eventually took back sole control of the top spot and held on for the win.
Holmes, Travis Braden, Kody Evans and Rick Turner completed the top five.
An on-demand replay of today’s Trackside Now coverage from Winchester Speedway can be found here: http://speed51.com/trackside-now-world-stock-car-festival-sunday-at-winchester/
Speed51.com will be live on Monday morning with Trackside Now coverage of the final day of the World Stock Car Festival.
Highlights and more from tonight’s JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour 100 will be available soon on the 51 Network.
-By Rob Blount, Speed51.com Northeast Editor – Twitter: @RobBlount
-Photo Credit: Speed51.com
JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour Winchester 100
Winchester Speedway, Winchester, Indiana