It’s the “baddest race in the land” for 2019. The Speed51 Super Select, Saturday, September 8 at Lucas Oil Raceway is a “Winner-Take-All” 75-lap event and already teams are preparing their Super Late Models for battle.
Several of the “selected” teams tested Monday at Lucas Oil Raceway in Indianapolis, IN. Among those that turned laps were NASCAR Camping World Truck Series drivers Noah Gragson and Harrison Burton, ARCA competitors Gus Dean and Travis Braden and up-and-coming racer Roy Hayes.
Drivers were selected for this “No-Holds-Barred” race by virtue of being winners during the 2018 season or through big events in 2017. This provides all “All-Star” feel to this inaugural event, which is being sanctioned by the Champion Racing Association (non-points race).
“Our test went really good,” said Harrison Burton, son of former NASCAR Cup Series winner Jeff Burton. “It was a somewhat uneventful day which is definitely a good thing when you are testing. I was able to test an ARCA car about a week prior to this test at Lucas Oil (Raceway) as well. I was fairly surprised to find that there were a lot of similarities in driving style between the two which hopefully will play into my hands.”
Burton is a selection for this event based off of his 2018 win in The Rattler at South Alabama Speedway. Gragson is locked in through his win in the 2017 Winchester 400, which is a crown-jewel event in Super Late Model racing.
“It’s one of those racetracks (Lucas Oil Raceway) you always hear about. It has a lot of history, so to race there is going to be really cool,” said Gragson, who is battling for a championship in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. “It took me two or three laps to figure it out, but I got really comfortable at the track. I was surprised on how fast I adapted. I was honestly a little nervous because that track is a little intimidating at the beginning. The tires wear out so bad that you have to move around and change your line and that’s what makes it fun.”
Hayes won a Race of Champions Late Model Series event at Lake Erie Speedway (PA) to earn his invite.
“The test was awesome, I had a lot support from my team and coaching from Harrison (Burton),” Hayes commented. “The team and I learned a ton about the car. We feel that this test helped us build a strong notebook, so we should be solid come race day.”
Gus Dean received his selection by winning the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards event at Elko Speedway (MN). Braden is a former winner at Lucas Oil Raceway both in ARCA and the Champion Racing Association.
“Supers are an absolute blast here,” explained Braden, who is currently fourth in the ARCA standings in his rookie season. “The sensation of speed is like no other. Winchester feels fast, but these abrupt, flat corner entries make this place challenging mentally as much as anything else. Always trying to push yourself further into the corners.
“The test went great,” Braden continued. “We started with our baseline from last year and worked from there. We found two or three things we liked better and I think we had great speed.”
“Overall the test went great,” stated Dean, who is currently sixth in ARCA points. “We tried a lot of different things and learned a lot to bring back with us. We were only about two-tenths from (the overall) fast time and I feel like once we get back to the shop and dissect the test as a whole we’ll have the Baker Distributing car right where it needs to be. We are really pumped about the race.”
Unofficially, the overall fastest time of the half-day session at Lucas Oil Raceway belonged to Harrison Burton.
The inaugural Speed51 Super Select is a winner-take-all non-points event sanctioned by the Champion Racing Association. The event is a 75-lap, three-segment race, paying $10,000 to the winner.
The Speed51 Super Select boasts a deep and diverse entry list of Super Late Model talent from across the United States, including Bubba Pollard, Derek Thorn, Jeremy Doss, Austin Nason, Derrick Griffith, Brian Campbell and many more. Winners of touring series events from all around the country were invited to take part in the inaugural event.
The latest entry list for the race can be viewed now by clicking here.
A limited number of additional invites will be sent out to 2018 race winners prior to the Speed51 Super Select on September 8. Drivers who do not receive an invite are encouraged to file an entry for the 30-lap qualifying race, “The Open,” that will be held prior to the main event. An entry form for “The Open” race can be found by clicking here.
A detailed event schedule for the Speed51 Super Select can be found by clicking here.
Plenty of sponsorship opportunities remain for the inaugural Speed51 Super Select. Please contact Bob Dillner at [email protected] Adam Mackey at [email protected] more information regarding advertising with the Speed51 Super Select.
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About Champion Racing Association
Champion Racing Association, established in 1997 with the ARCA/CRA Super Series powered by JEGS. The Champion Racing Association is one of the top sanctioning bodies for short track racing in the United States, and serves as the sanctioning body for the ARCA/CRA Super Series, JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour, CRA Late Model Sportsman and CRA Street Stocks. For more information on the Champion Racing Association, visit cra-racing.com.
About Track Enterprises
Track Enterprises is a premier racing promoter in the midwest and operates from their offices in Macon, IL. Track Enterprises operates dirt racing facilities in Macon, IL and Paducah, KY. Track Enterprises also promotes events at the Springfield Mile in Springfield, IL, DuQuoin Mile in DuQuoin, IL, Terre Haute Action Track in Terre Haute, IN, Lucas Oil Speedway in Indianapolis, IN, the Indiana State Fairgrounds in Indianapolis, IN as well as events at other facilities. For more information on Track Enterprises, visit trackenterprises.com.
Story By: Bob Dillner – Executive Editor, Speed51.com – Twitter: @bobdillner
Photo Credit: Elizabeth Haller