Salem, IN — Champion Racing Association (CRA) officials announced today that they will introduce a new racing series in 2019 to focus on a youth movement for short track stock car racing. The CRA Junior Late Model Series powered by JEGS will see 10 to 15-year-old drivers compete amongst themselves for both experience and recognition in full size late models with economical drive train and suspension alternatives. The inaugural schedule is expected to feature 8-10 races in the Midwest, with most expected to coincide with existing events on the CRA schedules.
The new series for junior racers will have a parental advisory committee to assist CRA with the development and guidance of the series. Experienced Michigan racer Chris Hettinger will chair the advisory committee.
“Myself and many others are excited about this new series,” Hettinger commented. “We’ve seen what they are doing with similar junior racing in California, and are excited that CRA will oversee the development and growth of this in the Midwest. CRA is the leading short track pavement sanctioning body for late models, and having them take the leading role with this gives it instant credibility. My phone has been ringing of the wall with people wanting this to happen and wanting to be a part of it all. It’s going to be a great first season!”
From CRA’s perspective, this is just another step in trying to secure and improve the future of stock car racing. According to CRA’s R. J. Scott, “It is absolutely time for something like this. Honestly, it’s probably past time. Our industry has had a gap in the progression for talented young racers that have raced quarter midgets or go karts and want to go into stock car racing. This new series will help bridge that gap, and give young racers the chance to race against each other and hone their skills before heading into top-tier late model racing like the JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour and the ARCA/CRA Super Series. We are looking forward to crowning our first ever Junior Late Model Champion next year!”
Many specific details will be coming out in the following weeks. A key component in the cost savings area will be the mandated use of the $3,900 factory sealed Chevrolet 602 crate engine. All new engines will be purchased from JEGS through the series’ lone repair and certification partner in McGunegill Engine Performance. Teams will also be utilizing less expensive rear ends, transmissions and springs and shocks. The series will also be racing on eight-inch steel wheels and utilizing eight-inch Hoosier Racing tires.
Hettinger went on to note how easily teams will be able to get involved with these rule packages.
“Eliminating bump stops and coil binding will help new teams have access to some older cars that have been sitting on the sidelines since the newer technology took over. The complete rules package will make it much more affordable for people to get involved and provide no real performance advantage for newer cars over older cars.”
CRA officials expect to have the complete schedule and rules finalized in the next few weeks. All info can be found at the series website at cra-racing.com. Interested parties can also stop by the CRA booth inside the ARCA display during the PRI Tradeshow. The series will also have a dedicated Facebook page which can be found by searching “CRA Junior Late Models” on Facebook.
-Champion Racing Association (CRA) Press Release