With the series taking to the track for the first time since June 26 this weekend at Anderson Speedway, Atkinson looks to do something no driver has done with the series – sweep the CRA Street Stock Four Crown mini-series.
He won the Four Crown opener at Shadybowl Speedway on May 1 after passing Brett Hudson with five laps to go, in which later a lapped car admitted to changing the outcome of the race in Atkinson’s favor.
“It was a wild race. We got some help with that one but we’ve also finished second there three or four times,” Atkinson said of the race on Speed51’s “The Bullring.” “It was good to finally get the win there.”
While he was the recipient of good fortune during the Four Crown opener, no luck was needed in the next two Four Crown races. Atkinson won races at Winchester Speedway and Anderson in convincing fashion, holding a commanding points lead in both the Four Crown standings and the overall points standings.
And what spells trouble for the field is his success at the quarter-mile. In 50 starts at Anderson, he has won 14 races between CRA Street Stocks and CRA Late Model Sportsman. He pulled out an old Dick Trickle quote to describe racing at the Indiana bullring.
“It’s kind of like flying a fighter plane in a gymnasium. It’s a lot of fun, Anderson is fast, high-banked. It’s a lot of fun, I really like it.”
Atkinson started off his CRA career mainly in the Late Model Sportsman while dabbling with the Street Stocks in the early years. However, he started running with the Street Stocks more and more before going full-time in both back in 2013, becoming the first driver to win two championships within CRA in the same calendar year in 2015.
Since winning both the LM Sportsman and Street Stock titles in 2015, his sole focus has been on the Street Stocks. For the 2021 season, he and the team decided to change a few things up, with massive success.
“Usually, you’ve got way too much motor for the tire that you’re on. We’ve went to the smaller motor this year to try and help that and it seems like it has. They’re heavy, no tire, you just don’t have a lot of grip.”
Saturday’s CRA Late Model Sportsman and Street Stock races will be live on Speed51.TV. Click here to watch live.
-Story by: Koty Geyer, Speed51 National Correspondent – Twitter: @kgeyer3
-Photo Credit: Speed51 Photo