Salem, IN – The list of early entries to date for the upcoming 43rd Running of the Winchester 400 on the famous High Banks of Winchester Speedway on October 12th continues to grow and contains even more impressive names as the event continues to be one of the premier template late model events in the country, sanctioned by the ARCA/CRA Super Series Powered by JEGS.
Georgia hot shoe Bubba Pollard tops the list of the most recent entries for the Winchester 400. Pollard was just crowned the 2014 Southern Super Series Champion on September 20th fighting off Daniel Hemric to claim the Championship. Pollard got five Southern Super Series wins this season, including a stretch of four in a row in late April and early May. Pollard has also had a dominant Pro Late Model season collecting eight straight wins during the season in those cars, including picking up a JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour win at Berlin Raceway on July 18th. Pollard finished fourth in the 400 in 2012 and ninth in last year’s 400.
Maine’s Austin Theriault will make the long trip from New England to compete in his second Winchester 400. Theriault picked up an ARCA Racing Series win this year in his first ever ARCA Racing series race at Michigan International Speedway. Theriault has also made selected NASCAR Nationwide Series starts for Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s team. Theriault finished sixth in last year’s 400.
ARCA Racing Series competitor Will Kimmel, from Sellersburg, Indiana, is entered to make his Winchester 400 debut. Kimmel is the son of former Louisville Speedway Championship racer and ARCA Racing Series Championship Crew Chief Bill Kimmel and is the nephew of famed ARCA racer Frank Kimmel. Kimmel has also made selected NASCAR Nationwide Series starts during the 2014 season, Winchester will be his third series start of the 2014 season.
Former ARCA/CRA Super Series regular Terry Fisher Jr. from Ossian, Indiana has filed an entry. Fisher Jr. has only competed in selectseries events the last two years, including a disappointing 29th place finish in last year’s 400. Fisher Jr., has had two top five finishes in the 400 including a third place finish in 2009 and a fifth place finish in 2007.
15 year old JJ Haley from Winimac, Indiana has entered to compete in his first ever Winchester 400. Haley won the 2014 season opener for the JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour at Springport Motor Speedway. Haley competed in several JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour events during the 2014 season along with selected starts with the ARCA Racing Series, NASCAR K&N Pro Series and ARCA/CRA Super Series during a very busy season. Haley will be busy during the 400 weekend as he will also race in the JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour event at Winchester.
Richie Wauters development drivers Will Gallaher from California and Dalton Sargeant from Florida are both entered to compete in their first Winchester 400’s. Both made their series debuts in last weekend’s Fall Brawl at Lucas Oil Raceway. Sargeant finished 13th, in only his third ever race in a Super Late Model, Gallaher finished 17th.
New Albany, Indiana racer Brett Robinson got a surprise call last week from ARCA/CRA Super Series car owner Stan Rosen, he will get to pilot the #131 car normally driven by Nick Gullatta in the Winchester 400. Robinson had some early season success and looked to be ready for a breakout season when a devastating crash in the Redbud 300 at Anderson Speedway ended his season after his car was a total loss. Rosen decided to put Robinson behind the wheel after Gullatta’s job was sending him to Europe and wasn’t going to allow him to be able to race in the 400.
Entries have also been received from CRA part-time racers Eddie Van Meter from Indianapolis, and Michigan racers Jay Niewiek and Jon Beach. Van Meter’s best finish in the 400 was eighth in 2006, Niewiek’s best finish was a fifth place finish in 2012. Beach got a 10th place finish in the Labor Day series event at Winchester after starting 22nd, this will be his first Winchester 400. Veteran Georgia racer Allen Karnes has also filed an entry to compete in his first ever Winchester 400.
The drivers above join the impressive list of drivers already entered for the 400 that includes Eric Jones, Travis Braden, Johnny VanDoorn, Daniel Hemric, Ross Kenseth, Brian Campbell, Cody Coughlin, Anderson Bowen, Donnie Wilson, Jeff Fultz, Brian Hoar, Mason Mingus, Stephen Nasse, Rick Turner, Wes Griffith Jr., Paul Shafer Jr., Brandon Watson, Ali Kern, Brandon Oakley, Matt Hall, and Tom Woodin.
The Winchester 400 is 400 laps counting cautions with live pit stops. It is a 12 tire maximum race. The event will pay $15,000 to win plus bonuses, which includes $10,000 in lap leader money, which is $25 per lap lead, plus bonuses of $1500, $1000 and $500 to the top three finishing traveling non-regular CRA teams.
Things begin for the Winchester 400 Weekend with an optional load in, hauler parking and pit pass purchases on Thursday, October 9th from 3 to 8pm. Pits open on Friday, October 10th at 10am with rotating practice for all divisions beginning at 1pm. Qualifying for the Vore’s Touring Compacts, the Vore’s Welding CRA Late Model Sportsman Series and Stealth Trailers CRA Street Stocks New Star events and the JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour 100 lap event will start at 5:40pm. Racing action will begin at 7pm with 8 lap heat races for the Vores Touring Compacts. The JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour Season Championship Winchester 100 Presented by JEGS.com will be up next. The Vore’s Welding CRA Late Model Sportsman Series and Stealth Trailers CRA Street Stocks 25 lap New Star features will follow. The Vores Touring Compacts 20 lap feature will cap off the nights racing action.
Pits open on Saturday, October 11th at 8am, rotating practice for all divisions will begin at 11am. Qualifying for the Top Speed Modifieds, Vore’s Welding CRA Late Model Sportsman Series and Stealth Trailers CRA Street Stocks will begin at 3:30pm. EDCO Welding Pole Qualifying for the 43rd Annual Winchester 400 for the ARCA/CRA Super Series Powered by JEGS will begin at 5pm. The race program will begin at 6pm with Top Speed Modifieds Last Chance races. The 50 lap Vore’s Welding CRA Late Model Sportsman Series Season Championship event will be up next, followed by the 25 lap Winchester 400 Last Chance race if needed. The Top Speed Modifieds 50 lap Run for the Gun will follow. The 50 lap Stealth Trailers CRA Street Stocks Season Championship event will cap off this huge night of racing. The Annual Winchester 400 Party in the Pavilion will start in immediately following the races.
On Sunday, October 12th the pits will open at 9am, there will be a short warm-up session for the ARCA/CRA Super Series cars at 11am. There will be an on track autograph session with all the 43rd Annual Winchester 400 drivers starting at 12:30. Opening ceremonies will begin at 1:30 pm with the 43rd Annual Winchester 400 taking the green flag at 2pm.