Salem, IN. – The JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour Presented by Chevrolet Performance visited Owosso Speedway in Owosso, Michigan on Saturday for the Big O Classic 100 Presented by JEGS.com, on a cool windy evening after afternoon showers ushered a cold front through the area, but the racing was hot and furious throughout the 100 lap event. Local favorite Erik Jones, the 2011 series Champion and now NASCAR competitor, took the checkers and looked to be the event winner at his former home track until his car failed CRA post-race inspection, which gave the win to second place finisher Travis Eddy, his first ever victory with the JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour.
“We would have rather won it on the track,” remarked Eddy in the CRA Tech Area. “But we raced hard all night to be in a position to get the win. I have to thank my car owner Jeff Miller and all the guys who worked on this car to help us get this win. It’s great to get this win at Owosso Speedway, this is always a fun place to race.”
The win was also the first CRA win for car owner Jeff Miller.
“I am a lucky guy,” remarked Miller after receiving the winner’s trophy. “Tonight JVM Racing has done what I’ve talked about wanting to do for a long time by winning with a father and son as drivers, with Mike Eddy in the old ASA Tour in 2003 and now Travis Eddy in CRA 13 years later! I have to thank Howe Racing who has supported me for years, also Nelson E. Kohman, Jason Dietsch Trailer Sales, Sizzle Marine, Agroscapes, Jericho Performance Products, Penske Shocks and Ink My Graphics, this wouldn’t be possible without their support!”
Miller added, “This was a great team effort headed up my Mike Eddy, David Carter Sr., Chris Stearns, Matt Eddy, Carole Coey, David Carter Jr., Keith Freeman, Devon Rogers and Scott Stevens, without all their help we wouldn’t have been in position to get this win!”
Eddy took the early lead from his pole starting position after Boyne Machine Company Fast Qualifier Tristan Van Wieringen drew an eight for the events inverted start. Eddy and current series points’ leader Cody Coughlin battled side by side for several laps with Eddy getting the advantage for the first three laps using the bottom grove. Coughlin would battle back on the top and get the lead away from Eddy on lap four and kept the lead through several restarts until lap 32 when Eddy would lead for one lap again using the bottom groove. Coughlin would take the lead back on lap 33 on the high side.
While Eddy and Coughlin battled for first and second, the racing behind them was nonstop as cars fought to get to the front including Erik Jones who worked his way to the front from his seventh place starting position. Jones would pass Eddy and worked his way to second before getting the jump on Coughlin on a lap 56 restart to grab the lead, which he would hold during several restarts, fighting off several competitors who traded the second through fifth positions throughout the second half of the event. Jones held off Eddy on the events final restart to get the apparent win.
Eddy received the VanDoorn Racing Development Rookie of the Race Award, his second such award of the season. Eddy also received the Sweet Move of the Race Award for some late race passes to work his way back into the second position to be able to get the win.
13 year old Carson Hocevar finished in second, a series best finish for him in only three series starts, his other two finishes this season were fourth and fifth. Hocevar was awarded the FLUIDYNE High Performance Cool Under Pressure Award for being able to stay in the top five through the event and work his way through several heated battles to be in position to get the second place finish.
2014 series Champion Dan Leeck finished in third place. Fourth place finisher Kyle Crump had one of the most interesting races, Crump had some trouble that forced him to the pits just after the midpoint of the race. Thanks to a couple of quick yellows, Crump was able to get back out after making quick repairs and only lost two laps. Thanks to a couple more yellows, Crump got back on the lead lap after receiving the Lucky Dog free pass twice. Crump then proceeded to race his way back into contention for the win before settling for a fourth place finish. His efforts earned him the AR Bodies Sweet Move of the Race Award. Local racer Kyle Hayden came from his 21st starting position to finish fifth, earning Hardcharger Awards from T & K Trucking and Racing Electronics plus a Great Lakes Tire/Hoosier Racing Tire Performance Award.
Andy Bozell came from his 18th starting position to get a hard fought sixth place finish. Coughlin would finish in seventh place to build on his points lead with only two events remaining on the 2016 schedule. Austin Kunert kept his string of top ten finishes going with an eighth place finish. Joshua James finished in ninth place after starting 22nd, tying his season high finish, his 13 gained positions earned him the second Great Lakes Tire/Hoosier Racing Tire Performance Award. Van Wieringen rounded out the top ten.
Brandon Oakley’s team was awarded the PitBoxes.com Pit Crew of the Race Award after having to go to a backup car after qualifying. The team was able to get the car ready in a short amount of time and with only a couple of practice laps prior to the feature starting. Oakley finished in 13th place and is still second in points to Coughlin.
The next JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour event will be on Sunday, September 25th with the Wish For Our Heroes Fall Brawl at Lucas Oil Raceway. More information on all the CRA series is available at www.cra-racing.com.
-CRA Press Release. Photo Credit: CRA