Salem, IN -- 14-year-old Columbviaville, Michigan native Chase Burda swept the day at Anderson Speedway on Saturday, first collecting his seventh MPM Marketing Fast Qualifier Award in eight series events in 2019, then led all 25 laps to claim his sixth series feature win of the season and by being the highest finisher of the final three Chase for the Championship drivers, claimed the inaugural Victory Custom Trailers CRA Junior Late Models Championship, capping off a brilliant season.
“Wow, what a relief to get the win and the Championship tonight,” remarked Burda in victory lane. “This was our goal for the season, and we did it. We were all nervous all day, but things worked out just like we hoped. It’s an honor to be this great series first Champion. I have to thank my mom and dad for all their support, all my sponsors and all the people that have helped us all year, it took everyone’s effort to be able to compete like we did this season. I have to thank Victory Custom Trailers and JEGS for sponsoring this series and CRA for putting this series together, it’s been a great season!”
The Victory Custom Trailers CRA Junior Late Models was a new racing series in 2019 to focus on a youth movement for short track stock car racing that saw 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 eighth and final event of the season.
The two-car invert for the five-car field in the feature placed Charlie Keeven on the pole for the feature with Burda on the outside pole. Keeven and Burda raced side by side at the drop of the green flag until Burda was able to get the jump on the outside and pull away to get the lead on lap one. The field had spread out with the closest battle for position between Zach Wilhelm and Katie Hettinger for third place.
The only caution of the event flew on lap 19 when Hettinger spun in the back stretch by herself, bunching the field back up for a restart.
Burda used the inside groove to grab the lead again at the drop of the green flag on the restart. From there it was smooth sailing for Burda who won by almost two seconds over Keeven. Burda picked up the AR Bodies Cool Move of the Race award for the outside pass of Keeven to grab the lead at the start of the race.
Burda will be officially crowned the 2019 Victory Custom Trailers CRA Junior Late Models Champion at the 2019 Champion Racing Association Powered by JEGS Awards Banquet Presented by Shepherd Insurance on Friday, January 3rd, 2020 at the Crowne Plaza Indianapolis Downtown at Union Station.
With his second-place finish on Saturday, Keeven, one of the three final Chase for the Championship drivers, finished second in 2019 Chase for the Championship for the series. Zach Wilhelm finished in third in the race, he was the third final Chase for the Championship driver and finished third in the 2019 Chase for the Championship for the series.
Luke Wilhem finished in fourth in Saturday night’s feature event and he won the series eight lap heat race. Katie Hettinger finished in fifth place in Saturday night’s feature, she finished fourth in series final Championship points.
Plans are already underway for the 2020 season for the Victory Custom Trailers CRA Junior Late Models, more information on the series and CRA is available at www.cra-racing.com.
-CRA Press Release
-Photo Credit: CRA