Four of the five Champion Racing Association divisions have started their 2020 seasons in the past two weekends, with the Junior Late Models set to begin theirs this Saturday at Anderson. The four series all saw strong car counts, with three of the four series seeing car counts top 25 for their respective openers.
Champion Racing Association Managing Partner Glenn Luckett joined “The Bullring” Monday off the heels of Saturday’s CRA Late Model Sportsman season opener at Anderson Speedway last Saturday. The Show Me State Showdown at Lebanon I-44 Speedway, as well as last weekend’s CRA LM Sportsman opener, were two events that received major support from teams and fans alike, giving CRA a strong start to 2020 points racing.
“We were lucky two weeks ago, we got to Lebanon I-44 and have a great event down there. Competitors supported it, fans supported it, that was awesome,” said Luckett. “Last week, Rick (Dawson, Anderson Speedway President) wanted to do a race, he was tired of sitting around and not racing. Competitors were great, we ended up with 26 cars, which is probably double what we averaged in the Sportsman last year. We picked up a lot of guys from up north in Indiana.”
CRA has lost several events across the board due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Among those races include the Money in the Bank 150 at Berlin Raceway, a non-points ARCA/CRA Super Series event that had originally been scheduled for Monday.
Contrary to recent years, Mother Nature cooperated in the early months of the season, but CRA was unable to take advantage of the nice weather due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It’s tough, you plan for so many months and you get fired up to go race, and things just didn’t happen. Unfortunately or fortunately, however you want to look at it, we’ve had some past experience with rainouts. Last year, we lost five of our first eight events total throughout our series trying to reschedule stuff.
“This year, we went back and looked at the weather. We could’ve raced seven of the first eight weekends. We had beautiful days where we could go, and that made it tough, knowing we could put on the event and have a great show.”
While CRA has a schedule in mind for the remainder of the 2020 season, it still remains fluid due to differing reopening plans from state to state. The state of Indiana is allowing fans at half-capacity starting this weekend, while Ohio’s plans differ by country, with some racetracks allowed to reopen with fans and others only open for testing. Currently, only open testing is allowed in Michigan.
“We’re back up and going, we’ve told racers we’ve got a schedule. It’s still a little fluid until we get some of these tracks, especially up in Michigan and Tennessee, are still trying to figure out what state they’re in,” he said. “We don’t have any Michigan races until August, so I feel good about getting those in.”
Champion Racing Association’s season resumes Saturday with the JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour at Anderson Speedway, where a strong field of drivers is already entered. The CRA Junior Late Models and Vore’s Compact Touring Series will also be in action for their first events of 2020. Fans will be in attendance at half capacity.
“I’m looking forward to this weekend’s show, we’ve got 22 cars pre-entered already. Guys are itching to go and put on a good show.”
Stay tuned regarding a live broadcast for Saturday’s JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour event at Anderson Speedway.
To see Luckett’s interview in its entirety, fans can watch an on-demand replay of “The Bullring” by clicking here.
-Story by: Koty Geyer, Speed51 National Correspondent – Twitter: @kgeyer3
-Photo Credit: Speed51 Photo