Salem, IN — Columbiaville, Michigan teenager Chase Burda has clearly shown that he is the one to beat in the Victory Custom Trailers CRA Junior Late Models inaugural season after getting his third straight feature win in the four events the series has had to date. It was the second feature win for Burda on the 3/8’s mile track at Baer Field, but this time his car showed no marks or damage unlike his last win at Indianapolis Speedrome.
“I was just more patient and took my time and made sure I made clean passes,” remarked Burda in victory lane. “My dad told me he was tired of replacing fenders, so I was determined this was going to be a clean race and I was going to stay out of any trouble. This track is really racy, I really enjoy it and look forward to the rest of the season with this series!”
The Victory Custom Trailers CRA Junior Late Models is a new racing series in 2019 to focus on a youth movement for short track stock car racing that will see 10 to 15-year-old drivers compete amongst themselves for both experience and recognition in full size late models with an economical drive train and suspension alternatives. Saturday’s race was the fourth of eight scheduled events for the series in 2019.
The Victory Custom Trailers CRA Junior Late Models teams participated in two practice sessions on Saturday, Burda was the fastest in both practice sessions. In the series third session, which was also their group qualifying, Burda claimed his fourth straight MPM Marketing Fast Qualifier Award, just beating Luke Wilhelm. From there the first of two heat races rolled off as the skies began to cloud up with some pop-up showers. Evan Varney got the early lead and pulled away to get the win in the first heat race, it was his first heat race victory with the series and first ever win in a Late Model. Burda got the win in the second heat after it was checkered on lap five when raindrops begin to fall on the racing surface. Burda now has four heat wins on the season.
Charlie Keeven got the early lead in the 25 lap feature from his outside pole starting position after the four car inverted start, leading laps for the second time in a series feature. Burda had quickly worked his way to second from his fourth place starting position and pulled even with Keeven on lap two, then made the pass on lap three to grab the lead. Burda would have to fight off challengers on two restarts when the race was slowed for two cautions, but no one had anything for Burda at the end. Burda picked up the AR Bodies Cool Move of the Race for his pass of Keeven to get the lead on lap three.
For the second straight series feature, Zach Wilhelm finished in second, beating his brother Luke Wilhelm, winner of the series inaugural feature on May 18th. Luke Wilhelm finished in third. Katelyn Hettinger finished in fourth with Keeven in fifth place. With their victories this season, Burda and Luke Wilhelm are both locked into the series 2019 Chase for the Championship, which begins on August 16th at Corrigan Oil Speedway.
The next Victory Custom Trailers CRA Junior Late Models event will be the rescheduled event at Anderson Speedway on Saturday, August 10th. More information on the Victory Custom Trailers CRA Junior Late Models is available at www.cra-racing
CRA Junior Late Models Baer Field Results:
- Chase Burda
- Zack Wilhelm
- Luke Wilhelm
- Katie Hettinger
- Charlie Keeven
- Dawson Knaul
- Evan Varney
-Champion Racing Association Press Release
-Photo Credit: CRA