The JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour portion of the Fall Brawl came down to two drivers vying for the first-career series victories Sunday afternoon at Lucas Oil Raceway. Ultimately, the race winner was decided in the tech shed after a post-race disqualification stripped the win from the driver who crossed the finish line first.
Outlaw Super Late Model shoe Brian Bergakker held off a late charge from 14-year-old Jake Garcia in the closing laps to take the checkered flag, but he would later be disqualified in post-race tech for a left-side weight disqualification. That would give Garcia his second-ever Pro Late Model win and first on the JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour.
The Georgia driver became the second-youngest winner in series history at 14 years, 196 days old, just 12 days older than Kyle Benjamin when he won at Winchester Speedway in 2012. Despite not earning the win on the track, he left the Indiana oval with the famed boxing gloves and the satisfaction of the biggest win of his young career.
“Well I wanted to come in here and get a win but I wanted to do it on the track and not in tech, but it’s still a good feeling,” Garcia told Speed51.com. “It’s unfortunate for the No. 30 car (Bergakker) but it’s still a win. I’ve got to thank everybody that helps out for all they do.”
Garcia’s win comes as big race season approaches, with big events during Winchester and All American 400 weekend as well as the Snowflake 100 still remaining for the Pro Late Models. He hopes Sunday’s Fall Brawl victory will lead to more trophies earned before the 2019 season is complete.
“Getting a win here coming toward the end of the year gives us a lot of momentum and a little more confidence going into some of these bigger races like the Snowflake,” he said. “Hopefully we can get a few more the rest of the season.”
Bergakker declined to comment on the disqualification when approached by Speed51.com.
Mason Keller inherited the runner-up spot, locking himself into the championship race at Winchester Speedway in October. After having set fast time for the race on Saturday, his team was thrown a curveball and the car was no longer the same as it was the previous day.
“We kind of missed a little bit on the setup, the weather kind of caught us off-guard,” Keller said. “Really my only choice was to keep digging it off the right front and driving it in deeper and deeper. Luckily it held on for us, it wasn’t as good as we wanted it to be but it came home in one piece, can’t ask for much more.”
The Indianapolis driver now has his eyes set on Winchester as one of the four competitors going after the JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour championship for the second year in a row.
“We’re pretty tough at Winchester, it just comes down to luck and who finishes the best,” he said. “Sometimes it gets wild and sometimes it’s a long, boring race. You can’t really put a finger on it. You just have to go out there and put your feet on it and try to tame it and hope you come out as the highest finishing car and with the championship.”
Early-race leader Sammy Smith finished third, while Kentucky’s Trey Craig and Florida’s Steve Dorer completed the top five.
The season finale for the JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour will be held at Winchester Speedway on Friday, October 11 as part of Winchester 400 weekend. Former series champion Dan Leeck, 2018 Rookie of the Year Mason Keller, 2018 championship finalist Mandy Chick, and Michigan driver Trever McCoy are the four drivers that will be racing for the series championship.
Video highlights of Sunday’s JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour Fall Brawl will be available soon on the Speed51 Network.
JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour – Fall Brawl 100 Results:
- Jake Garcia
- Mason Keller
- Sammy Smith
- Trey Craig
- Steve Dorer
- Mandy Chick
- Wes Griffith Jr
- Dan Leeck
- James Krueger
- Jaden Cretacci
- Tyler Mackenzie
- Howie Disavino III
- Trever McCoy
- Jessica Dean
- Jimmy Tucker
- Brian Bergakker (DQ)
-Story by: Koty Geyer, Speed51.com State Editor (IN/MI)
-Photo Credit: Speed51.com