In the ARCA/CRA Super Series return to Baer Field Speedway (IN), a fresh face made his way to victory lane.
Sixteen-year-old Grant Quinlan took advantage of a front row starting position to dominate Saturday’s 100-lap feature at the half-mile Fort Wayne, Indiana circuit. The win was the first of points leader Quinlan’s ARCA/CRA career.
Quinlan took the victory after leading all 100 laps of the event. Starting on the outside of the front row, Quinlan wheeled his No. 28 International Tool & Mold Chevrolet around pole sitter Dan Leeck in turn one to take the top spot and give his team their first win.
“It’s been a lot of hard work coming and achieving what we have here today,” said Quinlan. “A lot of work goes on behind the scenes.
“That win’s big. Just getting the door open for us, getting that win in there feels good.”
Quinlan was followed across the line by veteran Scott Hantz. The native of nearby Angola, Indiana fought his way through the field from the sixth-starting position, coming within a half-second of Quinlan in the closing laps as the leaders worked their way through lapped traffic before finishing .910 seconds back in second.
“(Quinlan) did a great job,” said Hantz. “I did everything I could. I was hoping for more cautions, but they didn’t come. The lapped cars were getting in his way and I still couldn’t catch him.”
Ali Kern ended the night in third. Kern, 22, thrilled the crowd by setting quick time during qualifying for the event, becoming the second woman to accomplish the feat in the series’ 19-year existence.
“I’ve gotta thank my fans, my crew and my sponsors, everybody that allows us to be here and race week-in and week-out,” said Kern. “Congratulations to (Quinlan). He really deserved this one. We’re just happy we brought the car home in one piece.
“We were just a little too free up off the corner. We couldn’t get the run off, but we had a really fast car. Nothing to hang our heads about.”
Eddie VanMeter and Leeck rounded out the top five, with Jordan Pruitt, Terry Fisher, Jr., Rick Turner, Jason Dietsch and Tyler Dippel finishing out the top 10. Dietsch, 42, announced prior to the race that it would be his final ARCA/CRA start.
Quinlan’s victory and the misfortune of competitor Hunter Baize helped the rookie increase his points lead. Baize, the only Kentucky native in the field, pulled off-track on lap 39 with a cracked pan. Baize’s team confirmed to Speed51.com Powered by JEGS that they switched to an aluminum pan for Saturday’s race in an attempt to lower their car’s weight.
Baize would end the night in 15th, 72 laps down.
Sixteen cars competed in Saturday’s event, the series’ first race at Baer Field Speedway since 2011. There were two cautions in the 100-lap feature, both occurring during lap 31 as Yorktown, Indiana’s Rick Turner went for a spin off of turn four and Cassten Everidge stalled on pit exit.
The ARCA/CRA Super Series will return to action on September 7, when the field heads to Winchester Speedway in Winchester, IN for a Labor Day show.
For an on-demand replay of Saturday night’s Trackside Now coverage, click here: http://speed51.com/trackside-now-arcacra-super-series-at-baer-field/
-By Aaron Bearden, Speed51.com Contributor – Twitter: @AaronBearden93
-Photo Credit: Speed51.com