Salem, IN — Indianapolis native Ben Tunny has been a regular visitor to victory lane at the Indianapolis Speedrome, mostly in the track’s tough Figure 8 Division, but on Sunday, Tunny got the win in his first ever Van Hoy Oil CRA Street Stocks start, taking car owner Shawn Smith to his first ever series win in the series first $3000 to win Four Crown event of the 2019 season battling the heat and a tough group of racers at the series’ first ever event on the tight 1/5th mile track.
“This is one of the toughest wins I’ve ever gotten”, remarked a very overheated Tunny in victory lane. “It was hot out there and 200 laps is a lot of laps around this track. At the break we talked about Shawn getting in and doing the second 100 laps, but I decided I started this race and I want to finish it, and we parked it in victory lane. I appreciate Shawn letting me drive his car and all the support of my fans, sponsors and everyone who helped us today!”
Louisville, Kentucky native Alan Williams Jr. grabbed the early lead from his pole starting position after Allstar Performance Fast Qualifier Jason Atkinson drew a six for the events invert. Williams led until lap 27 when Jason Thompson worked his way by, Williams car faded quickly with some mechanical issues. Atkinson was glued to Thompson’s bumper through out the laps leading up to the 100 lap break, Thompson held off Atkinson on several restarts is the first 100 laps. The racing was tight and furious through out the field in the first 100 laps.
Thompson continued to lead at the drop of the green flag on the start of the second 100, while Atkinson was shuffled back several positions on a restart just past the 100 lap halfway mark. Series regular Andrew Teepe, who had been in a tough battled through out the top five through out the early stages of the race, got by Tunny on a restart to get second place and closed quickly on Thompson. On lap 122, Teepe made contact with Thompson in turns one and two, sending Thompson around causing a yellow flag, putting both drivers to the tail of the lead lap and handing the lead to Atkinson who had worked his way back to the front.
Tunny had also been shuffled back on a restart but had worked his way to Atkinson’s back bumper and looked to have the better handling car as he caught Atkinson on the longest green flag run over the last 75 laps of the event. Tunny got under Atkinson whose car was slipping up the track. Tunny made the winning pass for the lead on lap 175 and cruised to the win by a little over three seconds. For his pass to get the lead, Tunny earned the AR Bodies Cool Move of the Race Award.
Atkinson would hold on to get second. Thompson battled his way back to finish in third and received the KRJ Race Products Sweet Move of the Race Award. Brandon Roberts battled in the top ten throughout the race and got a fourth-place finish in his series debut. Series regular J.J. Schafer also battled hard in the top ten through out the event to get a fifth-place finish.
2018 Four Crown Champion Jake McElfresh came from his 20th place starting position to finish in sixth and earned the TCI Hardcharger Award. Teepe would regroup and finish in seventh. Former series Champion Jimmy Kirby finished in eighth. Local Thunder Car competitor Josh Garr finished in ninth. Alex Ware finished in 10th in his series debut.
The next Van Hoy Oil CRA Street Stocks event will be the second Four Crown event of the season at Mt. Lawn Speedway on Sunday, July 28th. More information on all the CRA Series is available at www.cra-racing.com.
– Champion Racing Association Press Release
– Photo Credit: CRA