Grace and Damon Become 'New Stars' with CRA Friday Night Wins at Winchester
Winchester, IN - Helping kick off the 52nd Winchester 400 weekend on Friday night the Vore’s Welding CRA Late Model Sportsman Powered by JEGS and the CRA Street Stocks Powered by JEGS hosted the 20-lap New Star races for drivers who have not finished in the top five at Winchester Speedway in 2023 or posted a podium finish going back to 2008. A nearly full field of Late Model Sportsman and nearly a dozen competitive Street Stocks signed up for the New Star events to cap off the Friday night racing.
The Vore’s Welding CRA Late Model Sportsman New Star race was the first to the race track with 13 cars taking the green flag. Early, it appeared as though 2022 Series champion, Keegan Sobilo would be the driver to beat opening up an early and healthy advantage. That all changed when the fast qualifier from earlier in the day, Isaac Ross reeled in the leader inside of five to go. An apparent lose racecar was keeping Ross from getting the best of Sobilo. However, with two to go, Ross’ car settled in and he was ready to battle for the lead with the white flag in the air.
On the exit of turn two, Ross got a run to Sobilo’s inside. Going into turn three, Sobilo tried to defend the inside line causing he and Ross to tangle through turn three and four. Sobilo’s car spun and backed into the outside wall while Ross spun to the bottom of the track. The mix up handed the lead over to Chris Munson’s No.3 car.
Munson jumped the gun on the first attempt at a green-white-checkered restart, reracking the field once again. A more even restart gave Shawn Grace the edge going into turn one and he took the lead on the outside down the backstretch. Munson’s best effort wasn’t enough to get back to Grace who held on for the win. Munson settled for second while Steve Stacy completed the podium.
For the CRA Street Stocks, Duane Damon and Bobby Komer led the field to the green flag with fast qualifier Ricky LaDuke closely in tow. Damon, however, could not be touched in the 20-lap showdown. With no slowdowns in the race, Komer simply couldn’t get close enough to mount a pass on Damon.
The CRA Late Model Sportsman and CRA Street Stocks return to competition today (Saturday) for the conclusion of their regular season. Caleb Reschar, Logan Huckeba, and Greg Stilwell, Jr are in a tight points battle for the Vore’s Late Model Sportsman Championship, while Dalton Conner will try to fend off Andrew Teepe for the CRA Street Stock title. Then, the 52nd Running of the Winchester 400 will be Sunday at 2:00 PM ET.
For more information on Champion Racing Association or the Winchester 400 weekend, log onto www.CRA-Racing.com. Find CRA: Champion Racing Association on Facebook and follow @CRARacing on Twitter.
Story - Zach Hiser