Anderson, IN – The fifth anniversary 2015 season for the JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour Presented by Chevrolet Performance continued on Friday, July 17th as the series kicked off the prestigious 43rd Running of the Stoops Freightliner Redbud 300 weekend at Anderson Speedway in Anderson, Indiana. The Anderson 100 Presented by JEGS.com would highlight the first night of the two-day weekend at fast 1/4 (0.250) mile high-banked paved oval. Their companions within the Vore’s Welding CRA Late Model Sportsman Series Powered by JEGS were also on hand and kicked off the race weekend earlier in the evening with a 75-lap main before the JEGS/CRA cars hit the track.
The JEGS/CRA contingent has visited the Central Indiana speed plant every year of their existence and has provided some exciting racing action. This year’s 100-lap main was no exception. When the checkered flag flew over the field, ARCA/CRA Super Series veteran, Eddie Van Meter, who ironically was making his first career JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour start, took the lead for a second time on lap 45 and the Indianapolis, Indiana veteran would fended off points leader, Dalton Armstrong to win his second Late Model race of the year at Anderson to go with his ARCA/CRA win on April 26th.
“Man that was a fun race. These JEGS/CRA drivers are tough man.” The happy 44-year-old veteran driver stated in victory lane after climbing from his #23 EDCO Welding / Lawrence Towing / Chevrolet. “I can’t thank Johnny and Butch VanDoorn at VanDoorn Racing Development enough for the great cars they have built us for this season. Tonight was a lot of fun racing with these guys and this gives us a ton of momentum for the rest of the season. We’ve struggled a little since we won here last April. But now I think we’re on the right track for the rest of the season.” He added.
After Boyne Machine Company Fast Qualifier, Jack Smith drew an eight for an inversion; it would be Van Meter and 2014 Anderson Speedway Late Model Sportsman Track Champion, 16-year-old Jack Dossey III, who was also making his JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour debut, leading the field to Chief Starter, Scott Menlen’s green flag. Dossey III, who was the only driver at the track during the Redbud Weekend to enter all three events, would stay with Van Meter for the first couple of circuits with the veteran driver just out ahead of the teenager each lap.
Van Meter would finally inch out ahead of the 2014 CRA Late Model Sportsman Series Rookie of the Year and begin pulling away from the rest of the pack. Scott Tomasik, another regular in the CRA Late Model Sportsman Series, who strapped on the 10-inch Hoosier slicks for this event, would skate past Van Meter after Van Meter and another car made contact on a restart on lap 32 and try to hold back the stout Circle City veteran. Finally on lap 45, Van Meter recovered and would slip back past Tomasik to retake the lead, earning the AR Bodies Cool Move of the Race award in the process.
As the laps continued to click off, Jack Smith has worked his way up to second spot and was battling with Josh Nelms and Dalton Armstrong for the second spot while the trio was also trying to catch up to Van Meter. With eight laps to go, Smith and Nelms made contact sending both drivers around. This set up a final showdown between Van Meter and Armstrong. However, Van Meter was up to the task and would be able to hold back the advances of Armstrong to see the checkered flag first to score the win. As the leader of halfway, Van Meter also won the D.T.S. Drive Train Specialists Halfway Leader award as well as his earnings and the coveted JEGS/CRA trophy.
Armstrong, the 2015 Florida Speedweeks World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing Pro Late Model Champion, scored a second place showing in his #4 Winfield Solutions / Ford. The 20-year-old driver from near-by New Castle, Indiana built up his season long points lead with his runner-up showing heading into a pivotal month of August and also earned the first Great Lakes Tire/Hoosier Racing Tire Performance award. Anderson is also the home track for his 2012 Championship winning Car Owner and Crew Chief, Scott Neal.
Filling in behind the wheel of the #26 Platinum Express / Chevrolet for the third race in a row for Bill Burba Motorsports, Two-Time reigning ARCA/CRA Super Series Champion, Travis Braden scored a third place showing to advance the team to second in the JEGS/CRA Car Owners Points Standings. The Wheeling, West Virginia driver has scored finishes of 10th, fourth and third in his three starts thus far. The 20-year-old will keep busy and make his ARCA Racing Series Presented by Menards debut on July 24th at Lucas Oil Raceway (IN).
Tomasik would hang on to finish fourth in his #8 Indiana Drywall Company / Chevrolet, which is a career high showing in just his third ever JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour start. The 28-year-old driver, a 2009 ICAR Top Speed Modified Tour Champion, has been racing most of the season with the CRA Late Model Sportsman Series and in Anderson’s weekly Late Model Sportsman division. The Indianapolis, Indiana driver did earn the FLUIDYNE High Performance Cool Under Pressure award for his efforts.
Smith recovered from his melee with Nelms late in the race to break into the top five with just a lap to go in his #28 Urbine Machine / Ford. The Clyde, Ohio veteran was making his second start of the season and earlier in the evening; the 42-year-old former NASCAR Camping World Truck Series competitor won his first career Boyne Machine Company Fast Qualifier award. Smith is a former regular in the ARCA/CRA Super Series as well as in the now defunct ASA Late Model Series.
Nelms followed Smith through the pack and ended up sixth in the running order as Phil Bozell picked up both the Five Star Racecar Bodies Hard-Charger award and the second Great Lakes Tire/Hoosier Racing Tire Performance award for his impressive 20th to seventh place run. His Father, veteran Andy Bozell finished in eighth after starting in 19th earning the Hedman Hedders Husler award for his efforts as 17-year-old Corey Deuser, the 2013 Howie Lettow Memorial Rookie of the Year and Canadian Marc Jacobs finished off the top 10. 15-year-old Austin Kunert would be the recipient of the VanDoorn Racing Development Rookie of the Race award.
As for Boyne Machine Company Qualifying held earlier in the evening, the veteran Smith scored, ironically, his first career Fast Qualifier award in JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour competition as he turned a 12.319. His lap around the fast 1/4 mile measures out to 73.058mph. The JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour Track Record still belongs to Bubba Pollard who went a 12.231 back on July 19th, 2013.
After a well deserved weekend off after racing the past three weekends in a row, the sixth race of the fifth anniversary 2015 racing season will see the JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour Presented by Chevrolet Performance head to West Michigan on Saturday, August 1st. The Berlin 100 Presented by JEGS.com will be held at the famed 7/16s (0.437) mile semi-banked paved oval of Berlin Raceway, located within the Berlin Fairgrounds and west of Grand Rapids in Marne, Michigan.
The Tour has visited the famed Great Lakes State facility each year of its existence and has produced four different winners. Bubba Pollard went to victory lane in the most recent event back on July 18th, 2014 while Reigning Two-Time ARCA/CRA Super Series Champion, Travis Braden made a rare JEGS/CRA appearance count in 2013. The first two races were won by drivers who cut their teeth at the historic oval as Mike Bursley (2012) and Terry VanHaitsma (2011) went to victory lane in those first two races.
For more information about the rest of the 2015 racing season for all four touring series’ within Champion Racing Association Powered by JEGS, go to the series website at: www.cra-racing.comYou can also follow along with all of CRA’s touring series’ all season long on Facebook at:www.facebook.com/ChampionRacingAssociation and on Twitter at www.twitter.com/CRAracing Finally for more information about Anderson Speedway, the host track for the sixth race of the 2015 racing season for the JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour, go to the track website at: www.berlinraceway.com
-CRA Press Release. Photo Credit: Speed51.com