A new tradition will begin this weekend at Baer Field Motorsports Park in Fort Wayne, Indiana. The inaugural Crown Jewel Weekend will see a variety of stock cars in action, with the Modifieds under the spotlight for two 100-lap races, each paying $10,000 to win.
Racing will take place Saturday and Sunday with the I-CAR All-Star Modified Tour, JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour, CRA Late Model Sportsman, CRA Street Stocks, and the track’s local Front Wheel Drive class.
Baer Field Motorsports Park and I-CAR All-Star Modified Tour promoter Dave Muzzillo joined Speed51.com’s The Morning Bullring to talk about this weekend’s Crown Jewel. He is excited for this weekend’s inaugural event and the excitement it will bring.
“I think it’s the most exciting, biggest race we’ve got in Northeast Indiana,” Muzzillo told Speed51.com’s The Morning Bullring. “We’ve got racing from Friday to Sunday. We’ve got Front Wheel Drives going for $2,300 to win and starting forty cars. We’ve got the CRA Street Stocks on Saturday going for $5,000 to win for sixty laps. We’ve got the CRA Sportsman; we’re a little excited about this. We’ve got the JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour coming in. But the biggest thing is we’ve got sixty-plus Modifieds pre-entered for a thirty-car field going for a potential $20,000 to win.”
The I-CAR All-Star Modified Tour races feature a unique format. They will compete in 100-lap races on both the half-mile and 3/8-mile, with each race paying $10,000 to win. With over 60 drivers entered for The Crown Jewel, drivers will need to race their way into the main event.
“We’ve got a unique track, so we try to utilize it as much as we can. We utilized it for the grocery getter race we had and now we’re going to use it for the Modifieds,” Muzzillo said. “All the racing will be done on the half-mile for the Modifieds for their heat races. You’ve got to race your way into this race. You’ve got to qualify, transfer out of your heat race, or if you don’t you got to run the B and if you don’t transfer out of that, you run the last chance race.
“The first hundred laps gets run on the half-mile on Sunday and whoever wins that race wins $10,000. We move on to the JEGS cars for a hundred laps in between, then we bring the field back out that ran the half-mile, there will be an invert, then we’ll run the other hundred laps on the 3/8ths utilizing the same car and the same driver for another $10,000 to win.”
The inspiration for the format came from a race that used to be ran in Michigan called the Double-O. Muzzillo actually tried to get the Auto Value Non-Winged Super Sprints to compete in a Double-O race during their visit to the Fort Wayne facility last weekend for $50,000 to win, but the drivers declined. He hopes to host a Double-O race at some point.
“I always try to think outside the box and do something unique that nobody else can do by utilizing the two tracks.” he said. “I would really love to have a race one day called the Double-O that they used to do up in Michigan a lot. It would be a race and you’d take a lap on the 3/8ths and the next lap would be on the half-mile and you’d alternate back and forth, but I can’t seem to get anybody to want to do it.”
Muzzillo sees a lot of potential in the Crown Jewel weekend and is excited to see where the event goes. He plans on mixing up the main event to where a different division is featured each year. He expects this race to become one of the biggest events in all of short track racing.
“We would’ve brought some more in but we just didn’t have enough time on the clock,” he said. “I think it’s going to be the biggest thing there is, it’s going to be an annual thing. Basically, every July 4th weekend is when we’re going to do this. We’ll probably keep mixing it up. Next year, another division might be going for the possible $20,000 to win.”
Race fans unable to make it out to Baer Field Motorsports Park this weekend will be able to watch the action via a live pay-per-view broadcast on Speed51.com. Two-day video tickets are available for just $29.99, while individual tickets for Saturday ($14.99) and Sunday ($19.99) are also available.
Click here to purchase your video ticket today.
-Story by: Koty Geyer, Speed51.com State Editor (IN & MI)
-Photo credit: S-T Photos