Salem, IN — Senoia, Georgia’s Bubba Pollard made his trip north to Berlin Raceway a successful venture Saturday night by winning the Berlin 100 Presented by Great Clips JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour Presented by Chevrolet Performance event and it’s $5000 first place prize, part of the Battle at Berlin 251 Presented by Primera Plastics Weekend.
“I just love this place,” remarked Pollard in victory lane. “It was a good clean race, with a very talented field. I got more laps and some good notes that we hope will help us for Monday’s race.”
Saturday’s race was a preliminary event for the $15,000 to win Battle at Berlin 251 Presented by Primera Plastics ARCA/CRA Super Series event at Berlin Raceway on Monday night, the event brought several top late model drivers who are doing double duty racing in both events, plus the best of the JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour and several top regulars from Berlin Raceway’s late model division.
Three time 2015 series winner Jack Smith bolted out to the early lead from his outside pole starting position, leading the first 41 laps before 2013 and 2014 ARCA/CRA Super Series Champion Travis Braden came from his fifth place starting position to run down Smith and take the lead on lap 42 as the two worked their way through the back of the field. 2013 series Champion and current series points’ leader Cody Coughlin and Pollard had worked their way also to the front.
Braden fought off Pollard on two lap 60 restarts to continue to lead, but Pollard’s car was just to strong and he powered by Braden to take the lead on lap 64 and would go on to get the victory by just a little over a second over a hard charging Coughlin who was mounting a serious charge to the front but just ran out of laps. The win was the second series victory for Pollard at Berlin, he also got the win in this event in 2014.
Local driver Nate Walton finished in third, coming from his 12th place starting position. 13 year old Carson Hocevar, another regular at Berlin Raceway, was the Boyne Machine Fast Qualifier with a new track record over the 38 cars that took time. Hocevar started in the sixth after drawing that number for the invert, he would fall back several spots on the initial start, but raced his way back to get a fourth place finish in only his third ever template late model race. Braden would hold on to finish fifth with car that lost its handling over the second half of the race.
Hope Hornish would get her first ever feature win in a late model in winning the JEGS Challenge 30, for the drivers who did not make the 24 car Berlin 100 field. Lauren Bush and Andrew Nylaan won the two last chance races and filling the last two starting positions for the Berlin 100. Bush was the T & K Trucking Hardcharger Award winner after finishing 11th in the Berlin 100 after starting 23rd.
Pollard was the AR Bodies Cool Move of the Race Award winner for his pass of Braden to get the lead. Jack Dossey Jr. was the VanDoorn Racing Development Rookie of the Race Award winner, but was also the KRC Power Steering Hard Luck Award after a blown motor ended his night early. Walton and Steve Dorer received Great Lakes Tire/Hoosier Racing Tire Performance Awards. Zane Smith’s team won the PitBoxes.com Pit Crew of the Race Award for coming from the tail of the field after pitting on lap 60 and making changes that allowed Smith to work his way through the field to finish 9th. Coughlin won the FLUIDYNE High Performance Cool Under Pressure Award.
The Battle at Berlin 251 for the ARCA/CRA Super Series will take place Monday night, pits open on Monday at 11am, with practice beginning at 1:30pm. Qualifying for the Battle at Berlin 251 will begin at 4:30pm. There will be an on track autograph session with all the drivers beginning at 5:30 pm. The race program will begin at 6:30pm with the Battle at Berlin 251 Last Chance race, after that the pre-race festivities will begin for the Battle at Berlin 251, the Battle at Berlin 251 Presented by Primera Plastics will go green shortly after driver intros. Additional event and track information can be found at www.berlinraceway.com.
The next JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour event will be this Saturday, June 18th at Salem Speedway. More information on all the CRA Series is available at www.cra-racing.com.
-CRA Press Release
-Photo Credit: Speed51.com