Salem, IN (August 9, 2018) – Three time ARCA/CRA Super Series Powered by JEGS Champion Johnny VanDoorn now has 22 ARCA/CRA Super Series wins, but none may have been harder to get then the win he got Wednesday night at Kalamazoo Speedway in front of a huge crowd on hand for the Kalamazoo Klash XXVI Presented by GT Products. VanDoorn had to hold off a hard charging 15 year old Carson Hocevar over the last portion of the event with VanDoorn losing the lead at one point to Hocevar, but battled back to get his first series win at Kalamazoo and first series victory of the 2018 season in an event that went green to checkers.
“That was a phenomenal battle,” remarked a very happy VanDoorn in victory lane. “That’s what racing is all about. Dorer was trying to stay on the lead lap, we were battling for the lead, he was using the high groove, which held us down on the bottom and it made for a heck of a race. I’ve wanted to win this race so bad. This is like my second home track and I’ve been so close. To finally come down here and do it after all these years is really awesome.”
Veteran Harold Fair Jr. took full advantage of his outside pole starting position after EDCO Welding Fast Qualifier Brian Campbell drew a nine for the events inverted start. Fair Jr. got out to a huge lead as second through 10th battled for positions. VanDoorn worked his way from his seventh place starting position to second and started to close on Fair Jr. with Hocevar, who started eighth, close behind.
A combination of his handling going away and lapped traffic slowed Fair Jr. with VanDoorn and Hocevar both getting past Fair Jr. for first and second on lap 65. The pair then caught Florida native Steve Dorer, the last car on the lead lap, VanDoorn tried to make the pass for several laps on the bottom, but couldn’t get by, but Hocevar was not satisfied with second, he made a daring pass of VanDoorn on lap 86 to grab the lead, but then had to try and pass Dorer, who was still holding off the leaders using the high groove. Hocevar made contact with Dorer getting both cars sideways, this gave VanDoorn the opportunity to get back by Hocevar for the lead on lap 90.
Hocevar lost some time but quickly caught VanDoorn who masterfully worked his way through lap traffic, holding off Hocevar who closed to his rear bumper several times. Hocevar made a late charge, but a lap car held him up just long enough for VanDoorn to extend his lead and go on to get the win. VanDoorn picked up a Hoosier Racing Tire Performance Award and the FLUIDYNE High Performance Cool Under Pressure Award.
Hocevar would finish in second, a career best finish with the series. Hocevar picked up the AR Bodies Cool Move of the Race Award for his pass of VanDoorn for the lead. He also earned the Senneker Performance Rookie of the Race Award.
Current series point’s leader Josh Brock finished in third place. Wednesday’s event was the first event of the series Chase for the Championship, with his finish Brock is tops in points among the six drivers vying to be the final four drivers to contend for the series Championship on October 14th at the Winchester 400.
Two time series Champion and the defending event winner Travis Braden finished in fourth place in his first late model event of the season. Fair Jr. held on to finish in fifth place. Kyle Crump finished in sixth. Senneker Performance Rookie of the Year point’s leader Austin Kunert finished in seventh, second among the Chase contenders. John Long finished in eighth and picked up a Hoosier Racing Tire Performance Award. Dorer finished in ninth. Jordan Dahlke rounded out the top ten.
Phil Bozell came from his 18th place starting position to finish in 11th and earned the Hamner Racing Engines Hard Charger Award. The Andrews Racing team picked up the PitBoxes.com Pit Crew of the Race Award for their efforts in getting two cars ready to race in last night’s event for Tyler Hufford and Jerry Andrews.
The ARCA/CRA Super Series next event will be on Monday, September 3rd, in the Labor Day Weekend World Stock Car Festival at Winchester Speedway. More information on the ARCA/CRA Super Series Powered by JEGS is available at www.cra-racing.com.