The ARCA/CRA Super Series champion will be decided Sunday in the Winchester 400, with four drivers vying for the title. This year’s championship four features three of the previous four ARCA/CRA Super Series champions and a former ARCA Menards Series and Outlaw Super Late Model veteran. As with the previous three years, the highest-finishing driver out of the four will be crowned series champion.
Defending champion Greg Van Alst is looking to become just the third driver to go back-to-back as ARCA/CRA Super Series champion, joining Travis Braden and Johnny VanDoorn. The Anderson, Indiana driver is coming off a career run in a Super Late Model, finishing second in the Pinty’s U.S. Short Track Nationals at Bristol Motor Speedway two weeks ago.
After coming up car lengths short from a second-straight series title, Josh Brock will look to put a stamp on his second championship in three years on a weekend he will also be chasing the JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour title. The ARCA/CRA Super Series regular season champion has finished eighth in both his Winchester 400 starts.
Out of the four drivers competing for the championship, 2016 series champion Cody Coughlin has had the most success in the Winchester 400. In five starts, he has finished outside the top-five just once while holding a best finish of second back in 2015. He has won twice this year, with both races coming at Anderson.
Michael Simko finds himself in the same role Van Alst was in last year – the underdog out of the group. The Michigan racer earned a career-best runner-up finish at Lebanon I-44 Speedway on Labor Day weekend, while adding another top-five and three top-tens on the season. He enters the Winchester 400 as the only one out of the four that has yet to win a series title.
The first CRA-sanctioned Winchester 400 took place back in 1999, with former series champion Brian Ross taking the win over brother Scott. Bobby Parsley scored a clutch win that would also give him the series title over race and series runner-up Scott Hantz in 2003. After a two year hiatus, Hantz would find redemption by winning his only 400 and his second of three ARCA/CRA Super Series titles.
Hantz has since added a third series title in the event, while Johnny VanDoorn has also won three ARCA/CRA Super Series championships in that time. Reigning Snowball Derby champion Travis Braden has a pair of series titles, while NASCAR Cup Series Crew Chief Chris Gabehart scored a title in 2007. Other champions crowned in the event include Brock, Coughlin, Van Alst, Derrick Griffin, Grant Quinlan, and Logan Runyon.
The Winchester 400 weekend is scheduled for three action-packed days of racing at the “Fastest Half Mile” on October 9-11. More tickets have just been released and are available at winchesterspeedway.com/tickets.
Teams and fans wanting to purchase pit passes early to help expedite their entry to the infield can do so at pitpay.com or download the Pit Pay App wherever you obtain App for your mobile device.
Fans unable to make the trip to Winchester, Indiana will be able to watch all three days of racing via a pay-per-view broadcast on Speed51.TV. For more information and to order your video ticket today, click here.
Be sure to follow Winchester Speedway’s social media channels for the latest updates on upcoming events. “Like” the Winchester Speedway Facebook page, follow @FastestHalfMile on Twitter and Instagram.
-Story by: Koty Geyer, Speed51 National Correspondent – Twitter: @kgeyer3
-Photo Credit: Speed51 Photo