One year ago, Carson Hocevar shook the short track racing world by winning a Super Late Model feature at Berlin Raceway at just 13 years old. However, the party was short lived as NASCAR ruled him ineligible to compete at the 7/16-mile speed plant in Michigan because he was too young.
One year later, Hocevar came back with a vengeance as he picked up the Berlin Raceway track championship in the Super Late Model division with his fourth-place finish in Saturday night’s Battle at Berlin 251.
“KBR Development gave me a good car for tonight, and we thought we had a good shot to win going into the last stage,” Hocevar recalled Saturday night. “I’m not sure what happened; we loosened it up but we got even tighter. It kind of stinks that we kind of gave one away, or at least a shot of it away, but I thought we had a solid fourth-place car and ended up fourth, so it was a really good run. And we came home with the championship.”
Hocevar picked up two feature wins in 2017, but it was his consistency that kept him at the top of the points standings throughout the year. Berlin Raceway used a chase system similar to the one used in NASCAR and in the ARCA/CRA Super Series. The title hunt came down to Hocevar, Joe Bush, Jordan Dahlke, and defending champion Terry Vanhaitsma. Whoever had the best finish in the Battle at Berlin 251 would be crowned the 2017 champion.
Hocevar raced in the top five all night and was able to win the track championship with a fourth-place finish.
The 14-year old out of Portage, Michigan became the youngest Super Late Model champion in the division’s history, adding to an already impressive resume which includes two JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour victories this season, where he currently leads points, as well as being the all-time winningest driver in USAC Quarter Midget history. He is also taking part in the first ever JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour chase, which he has led the points in for much of the season.
“It gives us confidence because I obviously haven’t raced in this chase format and it’s the first time in both series,” Hocevar said about going after the JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour crown. “It gives us the confidence boost so we can run good week in and week out and be there at the end of the season and take another one, so we’ll take this one and get ready for the JEGS series.”
The first race of the JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour Chase begins Sunday at Winchester Speedway (IN) during the World Stock Car Festival.
-By Koty Geyer, Speed51.com Midwest Correspondent
-Photo credit: Tom De Vette Photography