Salem, IN – The ARCA/CRA Super Series Powered by JEGS concluded its 22nd season of competition this past Sunday in the running of the 47th Annual Winchester 400 Presented by Vore’s Welding & Steel on the famous High Banks of Winchester Speedway. In that event, Austin Kunert concluded the 2018 season with another great performance, which helped earned him earn the 2018 Senneker Performance Rookie of the Year Award and a runner-up finish in the 2018 ARCA/CRA Super Series Chase for the Championship.
“For the 2018 season we had a few goals, to be the series Rookie of the Year, win a series race and to make the Chase and have a shot at winning the Championship, we accomplished all those goals with a great team effort,” commented Kunert. “The year had a few ups and downs, but I felt we had a shot at a top five finish almost every time we unloaded.”
The Batavia, Illinois came into the Winchester 400 with a good lead in the Senneker Performance Rookie of the Year points over fellow rookie and Chase competitor Jon Beach. Kunert had had a stellar season heading into the 400, he finished second to 2018 series Champion Josh Brock at Anderson Speedway on May 5th, and then picked up his first ever ARCA/CRA Super Series win at Kil-Kare Raceway on June 2nd. Kunert had six top 10 finishes, with four top five finishes, including third place finishes at Baer Field Motorsports Park and the Labor Day Weekend event at Winchester Speedway.
Kunert added, “I had been looking forward to racing in the Winchester 400 for many years and finally got the chance this year. After the Labor Day race we knew we would be fast in the 400. It was really cool racing with some of the best drivers and being able to drive up from 10th to take the lead for 33 laps, that was really special. I think we had a good pit strategy going until we had the alternator fail and the battery go dead around lap 330 and had to pit as the field came to green. We wound up 11th in the race but were able to hold on to second in the Chase standings.”
“I would like to thank Lorz Motorsports for all their hard work this season and my Crew Chief & Spotter, Josh Nelms, we have learned to communicate well together and that shows at the track. I would also like to thank VanDoorn Racing Development for the great car and MEP for the great engines. I have to thank my Mom and Dad for letting me do what I love and God for watching over me. Also, I am lucky to have some great sponsors that helped make this happen: Blue Demon Welding Supplies, Custom Companies, Global Builders, Kunert Construction, QP Hydraulics, Xtreme Graphics & Superior Logistics. I enjoy racing with CRA and look forward to racing with them again in 2019!”
Kunert won the Senneker Performance Rookie of the Race Award a series leading six times during the 2018 season. Beach would finish in second in the Senneker Performance Rookie of the Year standings, fourth in the Chase for the Championship and was the Senneker Performance Rookie of the Race Award winner in two events. Carson Hocevar finished in third place in the Senneker Performance Rookie of the Year standings he was the Senneker Performance Rookie of the Race Award winner in three events.
At the 2018 CRA Awards Banquet on January 11th, Kunert will receive a $500 cash bonus and a $500 Product Certificate from Senneker Performance. Kunert will also receive a $500 cash bonus and a Crosley Radio JukeBox Trophy from DGR-CROSLEY, the Official Racing Driver Development Team of CRA. Kunert will receive a race ready carburetor from VDL Fuel Systems, a Package A Body from Five Star RaceCar Bodies and several contingency product awards form several series sponsors.
As runner-up in the Senneker Performance Rookie of the Year standings, Beach will receive a $200 Product Certificate from Senneker Performance and a $300 cash bonus from Cometic Gasket. For his third place finish in the Senneker Performance Rookie of the Year standings Hocevar will receive a $100 Product Certificate from Senneker Performance.
More information on the ARCA/CRA Super Series Powered by JEGS is available at www.cra-racing.com.
-CRA Press Release. Photo Credit: Speed51.com/Mojo Photos