Wheeling, West Virginia — It’s very simple for Defending ARCA/CRA Super Series Powered by JEGS Champion and current points leader, Travis Braden; Finish 13th or better in the 43rd running of the Winchester 400 and a second straight championship is his. Of course there are Qualifying points to consider which could make the task easier or harder depending on what second place in points, Ross Kenseth does when the ARCA/CRA teams begin setting the field for the marathon 400-lap event on the legendary 1/2 (0.500) mile high-banked paved oval in Eastern Indiana.
“I think if we do what we have been doing since May 31st at Berlin Raceway (MI), we’ll have no problem wrapping up the championship, but more importantly I think we will be a huge threat to win our first Winchester 400.” The Wheeling, West Virginia driver stated as he and his Travis Braden Motorsports team prepare for the return trip to the famed high-banks. “I believe the biggest factor will just be survival. With so many other cars on a treacherous race track, it is sometimes very difficult to stay away from the many dangers that will arise throughout the long day.” He added.
“My goal is to be on the lead lap with 125 to go. If we can do that, then we can get our last set of tires and then start driving to the front.” Continued the 20-year-old. “Honestly I don’t think there’s much more to it than that. Execution is our sole focus. I’m ready. We have a lot on the line this weekend and to be able to potentially join Johnny VanDoorn as the only drivers to repeat as champion in the series would really be a great accomplishment.” Braden remarked.
Heading into the Winchester 400, Braden’s lead over Kenseth is 25 points (1213-1188). A potential for as many as 10 bonus points are up for grabs in Winchester 400 Pole Qualifying. If neither driver earns any additional points after qualifying, then Braden needs to either stay ahead of Kenseth or finish 13th in the 400 no matter what Kenseth does and the title is his. So far in 2014, Braden has visited victory lane twice with those triumphs coming at Columbus Motor Speedway (OH) on August 2nd and again at Flat Rock Speedway (MI) on August 16th. Those wins go with his 10 consecutive top fives as they also account for his 10 top 10 finishes.
In his last race at the 0.686 mile semi-banked paved oval of Lucas Oil Raceway (IN) located west of Indianapolis in Brownsburg, Indiana. The EDCO Welding 100 Presented by Quartermaster for the ARCA/CRA Super Series headlined the entire weekend in the Circle City and Braden would leave the Circle City with a fifth place finish. His 10th consecutive top five finish. Only three away from the all-time record set by Fred Campbell and four away from the all-time consecutive top 10 streak currently held by Eddie Hoffman.
“LOR was an oddly satisfying/disappointing day. We brought our brand new car, which had only maybe 60 total laps on a racetrack. Right off of the trailer it was like I was in a dream. When qualifying came around we honestly should have gotten our first pole of the year but I under drove the car a ton, expecting the track to have much less grip than what it ended up having.” He explained. “To make matters more frustrating, we were only 0.01 seconds from P4, but ended up P6 which was a four point swing.”
“I wasn’t too worried though, because I felt like we were going to be the car to beat on long runs in the race, which I think showed true in the 100 lapper.” The West Virginia University Engineering student offered. “The only problem was track position. It was all a matter of terrible timing all day long. We passed Rick Turner for P2 but immediately the caution came out which put us back to P3 on the inside lane on the restart. As typical at LOR, the outside lane went on the restart and out us back in fourth. We would eventually pass Turner back to get into third, but then found struggles trying to work over (Paul) Shafer (Jr.).”
“I did everything within my power to get by him cleanly I felt like it was truly the difference in the race for us because if we could have gotten to second we had a plenty fast enough car to get to (Daniel) Hemric who I knew would race me hard, but fair, for the lead position.” He added. “On the late race caution we would again get trapped on the inside lane, forcing us back to fifth as the outside lane rolled right by us. The car tightened up a little bit and there was nothing I could do but ride back to a P5 finish.” He ended.
For the Winchester 400, Braden’s widely popular #01 West Virginia University / Chevrolet will also carry additional sponsorship support and decals from; Braden’s A-1 Towing & Collision as well as RememberTheMiners.org, Matheson Valley Gases, Stoney Hollow Tire, Elms Grove Eagles #1891, A.D. Baker Construction, M.P.H. Promotions, and Travis Braden Motorsports.
-Travis Braden Motorsports Press Release