The 2014 JEGS/CRA All-Star Tour season has been marked by an influx of young talent finding their way to Victory Lane. But when the Tour rolled into the high-banked, high-speed Winchester Speedway (IN) Sunday night, veteran Trent Snyder showed that patience and experience stills prevail at one of the toughest tracks in the country. Snyder watched as all of his rookie challengers fell by the wayside by self-inflicted woes and cruised to his second consecutive World Stock Car Festival victory.
The win marks Snyder’s fifth career victory, putting him into a tie for second place on the all-time JEGS/CRA All-Star Tour wins list. It also marked the ninth different winner in nine 2014 points races for the tour.
“It’s unbelievable to win here,” Snyder said right after climbing out of the racecar. “It’s so historic - one of the awesomest race tracks I’ve ever been to and the most bada-- track I’ve ever been to.”
The day started off with Colin Nickolai setting fast time in qualifying, his first career JEGS/CRA All-Star Tour pole. The invert though was a nine, leaving a pair of sixteen year-olds in Corey Deuser and Hunter Baize to lead the field to green.
Deuser got away on the green and for the first forty laps the race was fairly clean. Tristan Van Wieringen was the only major contender to fall out early. But attrition would find a way to knock out the youngsters in the next forty circuits, beginning with leader Deuser himself. He blew a tire and pounded the wall on lap 43, handing the lead to Snyder. Then Grant Quinlan wrecked out of the top-five in the same fashion. J.J. Haley had to change a battery and his car would be down on power for the remainder of the race. And Dalton Armstrong had just entered the top-five before his tire let go and left him hard into the turn four wall.
As the rookies continued to falter, Snyder was left with one staunch challenger in fellow late model veteran Jack Smith. Smith clogged Snyder’s mirrors for forty laps during the mid-stages of the race, but stopped on the track during a caution on lap 70 with a broken alternator belt. After that, it was left to Baize to try to track down Snyder. Baize gave it a good effort, but slowly faded into Snyder’s tire tracks and came home second.
“Jack ran me hard,” commented Snyder. “I’ve raced him for a number of years and I can’t remember the last time we had to race that hard. He’s a great competitor and I was giving it all that I had.”
Despite having to settle for second, Baize couldn’t help but smile after an up and down night. Baize got bumped around in a number of incidents and often found himself losing two or three spots on the restart. Even small things didn’t seem to go his way at first, as his straw fell out of his water bottle early and he had to go most of the race without hydration. But the car tightened up at the end and he made it through to second.
“I have got to do some work at restarts,” added Baize in post-race. “The guys at VanDoorn Racing Devleopment gave me a really good car, I’ve just got to get better at that. We’ve had some bad luck earlier this year, but we’ve been great lately and we’re back.”
Jon Beach had a career best finish in third. Haley found enough juice in his battery to claim fourth while points leader Dan Leeck was fifth. Leeck, unofficially, added ten points to his lead on Josh Nelms and will head into the final four races with a forty-two point cushion.
The JEGS/CRA All-Star Tour goes back to work next Saturday when they compete at Owosso Speedway in Owosso, Michigan.
JEGS/CRA All-Star Tour Winchester 100 Results(powered by 51's Third Turn)
| 1||13||88S||Trent Snyder||100||57||Running|
| 2||1||13||Hunter Baize||100||0||Running|
| 3||4||1S||Jon Beach||100||0||Running|
| 4||12||99||J.J. Haley||100||0||Running|
| 5||8||12||Dan Leeck||100||0||Running|
| 6||17||0||Josh Nelms||100||0||Running|
| 7||16||4G||Kody Evans||100||0||Running|
| 8||6||20||Cole Rouse||100||0||Running|
| 9||20||8||Marc Jacobs||99||0||Running|
| 10||9||49||Colin Nickolai||71||0||Steering|
| 11||15||128||Jack Smith||70||0||Eletrical|
| 12||10||4||Dalton Armstrong||70||0||Accident|
| 13||5||28||Grant Quinlan||67||0||Accident|
| 14||11||88||Garrett Jones||65||0||Vibration|
| 15||7||21||Kyle Jones||58||0||Suspension|
| 16||19||97||Jaxson Jacobs||53||0||Running|
| 17||2||71||Corey Deuser||43||43||Accident|
| 18||18||11||Keith Sterkowitz||43||0||Radiator|
| 19||14||51||Brandon Oakley||12||0||Clutch|
| 20||22||33||Wes Griffith||8||0||Vibration|
| 21||3||81||Tristan Van Wieringen||3||0||Accident|
| 22||21||7||Kevin Willis||2||0||Handling|
Story by: Tim Quievryn, Speed51.com Correspondent
Photo Credit: Speed51.com