Salem, IIN — 14-year-old Sellersburg, Indiana native Jordan Riddick opened and closed the COVID-19 shortened 2020 Victory Custom Trailers CRA Junior Late Models 2020 season with victories at Anderson Speedway, after winning the series Season Championship event Saturday night at Anderson Speedway, making a last lap pass of first and second who had tangled in turn four coming to checkers.
“There was a lot going on tonight,” Riddick said in victory lane. “When I saw the two cars get together on the front straight, I just went to the top for the win. I love racing at Anderson because of the banking, it’s great to end the 2020 season with a win. I have to thank Bill and Will Kimmel for rebuilding the car I wrecked last week at Toledo and my mom and dad for supporting my racing!
Riddick’s car sustained major front-end damage on a start of the series 25 lap feature last Saturday night at Toledo Speedway. The car is maintained by ARCA Menards Series multi-time Championship winning Crew Chief Bill Kimmel and his son ARCA Menards Series racer Will Kimmel, out of there Jeffersonville, Indiana shop.
The Victory Custom Trailers CRA Junior Late Models finished their second season focusing on a youth movement for short track stock car racing that saw 10 to 15-year-old drivers compete amongst themselves for both experience and recognition in full size late models with an economical drive train and suspension alternatives.
13-year-old Katie Hettinger was the MPM Marketing Fast Qualifier out of the nine drivers on hand for the season finale. Riddick got the win in the first 8 lap heat race on Saturday. 12-year-old Keegan Sobilo got the win in the second 8 lap heat race.
13-year-old Kody King grabbed the lead at the drop of the green flag from his pole starting position for the 25-lap feature event to decide the 2020 Season Champion, with Hettinger coming in with a three point lead over Evan Varney. The events first caution came out on lap 14 for an incident involving four drivers, including Hettinger.
Riddick grabbed the lead on the lap 15 restart and kept that lead until a lap 21 caution involving Riddick and King battling for the lead, sending both drivers to the tail.
That put Sobilo and Hettinger upfront on the restart, but the pair brought out another caution flag before a lap was completed. Sobilo pinched Hettinger into the outside retaining wall on the front straight with the result forcing Hettinger to the pits again to change a right front tire and Sobilo was sent to the tail.
12-year-old Zach Wilhelm then grabbed the lead at the drop of the green flag on the restart with King in second, the pair made contact coming out of turn four coming to checkers, allowing Riddick to make the quick outside move and grab the win. For his move to get the win, Riddick was awarded the AR Bodies Cool Move of the Race Award.
Wilhelm slid across the line in second. King came across third but was penalized for rough driving and put to the tail of the lead lap cars.
Hettinger came back to get a third-place finish, giving her enough points to claim the 2020 Victory Custom Trailers CRA Junior Late Models Championship in her second year of competition with the series. Hettinger tied Riddick for most series wins in 2020 with two apiece.
“Man was it a crazy night,” remarked Hettinger. “I would have loved to win the last race of the season at my favorite track, but I am still happy with the 3rd place finish! However, we have accomplished what we have been working toward all year!! I am officially the Victory Custom Trailers CRA Junior Late Model 2020 Champion and the first female to ever win a CRA championship! I am so thankful for everyone that has helped me throughout the year! I would not have been able to do this without the help of Johnny, Bobby, Steve, and my Dad!”
12-year-old Dawson Knaul finished in fourth place.12-year-old Keegan Sobilo, the winner of the August 22nd event at Anderson Speedway, was the highest finishing VanDoorn Racing Development Rookie of the Year competitor in fifth place.
More information on the Victory Custom Trailers CRA Junior Late Models is available at www.cra-racing.com.
-CRA Press Release
-Photo Credit: John Lund