Salem, IN (May 19, 2019) – Johnny VanDoorn is a proven CRA Champion with three ARCA/CRA Super Series Championships and a proven winner with 22 ARCA/CRA Super Series victories in his career, but Saturday night VanDoorn got a CRA first, his first ever JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour Presented by Chevrolet Performance victory in the Dixie 100 Presented by JEGS.com at Birch Run Speedway. VanDoorn dominated the last 39 laps pulling away to win by almost five seconds over second place Hunter Jack.
“Had a heck of a car tonight, you just don’t get too many of them like this,” remarked VanDoorn in victory lane. “We brought a whole new package here. Butch and I are always trying new setups for our business and our customers with our Chassis’. We’ve started hitting on stuff the last few races last year and the beginning of this year at Nashville I also felt like we were hitting on some stuff. The car was really good. You don’t get too many of them like that a year, so hopefully it isn’t the last time.”
Lakeland, Florida native Steve Dorer took the early lead from his outside pole position start after Jerico Performance Pproducts Fast Qualifier Brian Campbell drew a ten for the inverted start. Dorer held off the early challengers of rookie Hayden Sprague who had a very fast car at the beginning of the race while VanDoorn started his march to the front from his eighth starting position. Dorer continued to lead through several early caution restarts but VanDoorn closed on his bumper with Brian Campbell also in the hunt for the lead. The three battled hard for several laps with Dorer holding them at bay using the high groove in the turns.
VanDoorn would finally get by on the bottom on lap 27 to grab the lead, but the battle continued behind him for second between Dorer and series all-time wins leader Campbell, with Campbell making contact with Dorer and getting around him to second, but a caution flew dropping Campbell back behind Dorer again.
At the drop of the next restart green flag VanDoorn kept his lead with Dorer in second and Campbell in third. Dorer continued to use the high line to hold off Campbell for several laps, Campbell then made a dive to the inside with some contact and got by Dorer, but Dorer soon caught Campbell and made contact, turning Campbell around. Both competitors were sent to the tail of the field for the next restart.
From there VanDoorn held off fellow ARCA/CRA Super Series regular Jack on a couple of restarts, the final with 39 laps to go. VanDoorn pulled away to get the win for owner Tom Kmak.
VanDoorn added, “Last year, we had the pole for both Birch Run JEGS Tour races. The first one, we wrecked three times in twenty laps and not a whole lot of our doing. It’s just racing, you can’t control that. To be able to come do it and seal the deal and have a dominating performance, it just makes it that much more special!”
VanDoorn picked up a Hoosier Racing Tire Performance Award and the AR Bodies Cool Move of the Race Award for his pass on Dorer. Jack’s second place finish was a series best for him, Jack picked up the FLUIDYNE High Performance Cool Under Pressure Award for holding off former series Champion and Birch Run native Dan Leeck over the closing laps to get his second-place finish. Leeck, a former series winner at Birch Run, raced in the top five through out the event.
Dorer would come back through the field to finish in fourth with a brand-new race car that hit the track for the first time in practice on Saturday, with veteran Michigan Crew Chief Jimmy Smith’s help. Campbell would come from the back twice and get a fifth-place finish.
Mandy Chick picked up a Hoosier Racing Tire Performance Award for coming from her scheduled 19th place starting position to finish in ninth and was as high as fifth late in the race. Chick’s crew picked up the PiBoxes.com Pit Crew of the Race Award after pulling their car out of impound after qualifying and making changes so Chick could have a great run in the feature.
The next JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour will be at the Third Annual Short Track U.S. Nationals at Bristol Motor Speedway on Saturday June 1st. That 100-lap event will pay $5,000 to win. More information on the JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour Presented by Chevrolet Performance is available at www.cra-racing.com.