First outdoors racing event promoted by Motor City Racing Promotions a rousing success at Dixie Motor Speedway
Birch Run, Michigan (Friday, July 10, 2015): The fourth race of the fifth anniversary 2015 racing season for the JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour Presented by Chevrolet Performance, the Dixie 100 Presented by JEGS.com featured the return of the tour for the first time, since the 2013 racing season, to Dixie Motor Speedway. The fast 4/10s (0.400) progressively banked paved oval located north of Flint and south of Saginaw in Birch Run, Michigan would see Rochester Hills, Michigan based, Motor City Racing Promotions host and operate the entire program in Eastern Michigan.
An overflow crowd came out in droves for the event and at the end of the 100-lap main; a new winner emerged and made the hometown fans happy in the process. 2014 JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour Champion, Dan Leeck, who won the title despite not going to victory lane, finally found his way there after 37 career starts on the Tour. The Birch Run, Michigan native in his #12 Mr. Asphalt / Wellman Excavating / Chevrolet made a bold pass on 19-year-old Rookie, Quinnton Bear with 25 laps to go after the freshman points leader went by race long leader, Trevor Berry just two laps before. From there, Leeck would hold off a late charge from Bear to finally make that triumphant visit to the winners circle.
“Man I’m excited! This has been a long time coming. After getting the championship last year, all I’ve wanted to do was win. We were always right there but were never able to get it done and what better of a place to finally do it other than Dixie?” The emotional 25-year-old stated in victory lane surrounded by his crew, family and friends and to the roar and approval of the hometown partisan crowd on hand. “I can’t thank my guys enough for giving me a car that was able to put me here tonight. From fourth I could tell they were racing hard for the lead and they opened up a little hole and I knew that was my chance to go,” Leeck stated.
Three-Time ARCA/CRA Super Series Champion, Johnny VanDoorn, who ironically was making his JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour debut, won the Boyne Machine Company Fast Qualifier award, drew a nine for an inversion. This placed 18-year-old rookie, Matt Mills and Trevor Berry, who himself had a legion of fans in the stands from his hometown near-by in Clio, Michigan, on the front row for the main event. Berry would lead the field into the first corner to take the lead while the rest of the field jockeyed for position. The first of only three cautions flew a lap in the race as Mills spun in front of the field forcing everyone to take evasive action to avoid his sideways machine. Only David McManus suffered any damage.
On the restart, Berry again shot out into the lead and would immediately get away from the field. The open-wheeled graduate would set a torrid early pace as he built his lead up to as much as a half a track on the rest of the pack. A caution on lap 32 for an ailing Justin Claucherty bunched the field up, but again Berry would check out on the rest of the field once the green flag came back out. The final yellow flew on lap 73 when Phil Bozell, who came into the weekend third in points, made contact with another car slammed the turn’s one and two wall. He was ok, but the car was too badly damaged to continue.
This set up the race changing final restart of the night and as the green flag flew, 19-year-old Quinnton Bear, the Howie Lettow Memorial Rookie of the Year points leader, stuck to Berry on the restart and after a fierce battle for position, Bear emerged out in front. Reigning JEGS/CRA All-Star Tour Champion, Dan Leeck, who restarts fourth, slipped past Reigning Two-Time ARCA/CRA Super Series Champion, Travis Braden as well as Berry and immediately went after Bear. As the 3/4s mark of the race occurred, Leeck slipped past Bear to the deafening roar of the hometown crowd cheering him on and took over the lead.
As Leeck tried to get away from Bear and the rest of the field, Bear would recoil and find his way back to Leeck’s back bumper setting up one final showdown. Bear couldn’t quite get to Leeck’s back bumper as Leeck’s familiar black #12 would see the checkered flag first to score that elusive first career victory in the JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour. Leeck’s winning pass on Bear would also be deemed the AR Bodies Cool Move of the Race and he would also collect the first Great Lakes Tire/Hoosier Racing Tire Performance award after starting seventh and winning the event.
Bear would fight to the end but settled for second, which is a career high finish for the 19-year-old CRA Late Model Sportsman Series graduate from Avon, Indiana. Bear’s #94 Buzze Racing / Chevrolet briefly led for two laps after a thrilling battle with race long leader, Trevor Berry on what would be the final restart on lap 73. Bear earned his second VanDoorn Racing Development Rookie of the Race award of the season. In addition, he also scored the FLUIDYNE High Performance Cool Under Pressure award after starting in sixth, moving into the top five on the first lap and staying there for the remainder of the race.
After leading the first 73 laps of the 100-lap main, Clio, Michigan’s, Trevor Berry scored a career high third place finish in his #1 Extreme Indoor Kart Racing / Chevrolet. The 2012 ICAR Top Speed Modified Tour Champion as well as the Non-Winged Sprint Car Champion at near-by Spartan Speedway that same season has now made five career appearances since the 2014 season and has led a whopping 139 laps in three of those events. The 22-year-old driver also collected the D.T.S. Drive Train Specialists Halfway Leader award after taking the crossed flags signal as the race leader.
Reigning Two-Time ARCA/CRA Super Series Champion, 21-year-old Travis Braden, who was filling in behind the wheel of the #26 Platinum Express / Chevrolet for the second race in a row, came away with a fourth place finish. The Wheeling, West Virginia driver would also move the Bill Burba Motorsports team to second place in the JEGS/CRA Owners Points Standings.
Josh Nelms completed the top five to stay in second place in the JEGS/CRA Drivers Points Standings and move to within markers of the points lead in both Drivers and Owners Standings with T.K. Racing. The 39-year-old driver in his #71 LisaThomasSalon.com / Chevrolet also took sole possession as the leader in all-time career top five’s in addition to top 10 finishes. With every start, Nelms continues to add to his lead in all-time career starts and laps completed.
Kyle Hayden, a former Track Champion at Dixie Motor Speedway back in 2007, came away with a sixth place finish and earn the second Great Lakes Tire/Hoosier Racing Tire Performance award while Dalton Armstrong maintained his points lead over Nelms by finishing seventh. 19-year-old Kyle Crump, in his first start of the 2015 racing season anywhere, finished eighth as veteran Eric Lee was ninth. Mills, who was involved in a lap one spin recovered nicely to earn the Hedman Hedders Husler award by completing the top 10.
Michigan Motorsports Hall of Fame driver, Andy Bozell, who started 21st, picked up the Five Star Racecar Bodies Hard-Charger award as he finished 13th. Earlier in the evening in Boyne Machine Company Qualifying, VanDoorn, who dropped out of the race on lap 30 with an overheating issue, out-timed the 24-car field on the grounds with a 15.480. The JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour Track Record in Birch Run, Michigan remains a 15.260 which was set back on June 15th, 2012 by that season’s champion, Daniel Hemric.
This event was the first outdoors promoted race by Motor City Racing Promotions. Based in Rochester Hills, Michigan was founded in 2014 to be the new sanctioning body of the Midwest Indoor Racing Series. The first race, for what is now Michigan’s premier touring series during the winter months, was held at the Perani Arena and Event Center in Flint, Michigan on November 3rd, 2012 under the direction of MGM Motorsports.
Also in 2014 and in addition to sanctioning Midwest Indoor Racing Series events, Motor City Racing Promotions (MCRP) began providing staffing services for the Dixie Motor Speedway in Birch Run, Michigan. In 2015, MCRP coordinates race day operations in addition to providing an officiating staff for both the Dixie Motor Speedway and the Allstar Performance Michigan Dirt Cup Modified Tour Presented by Lane Automotive. To learn more about Motor City Racing Promotions, email MCRP Founder / President, Scott Menlen at: email@example.com while the website is located at: www.midwestindoorracingseries.com
The next race on the fifth anniversary 2015 schedule for the JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour Presented by Chevrolet Performance will be on Friday, July 17th as the series will be a part of the prestigious Stoops Freightliner Redbud 300 weekend at Anderson Speedway in Anderson, Indiana. The Anderson 100 Presented by JEGS.com is set for the fast 1/4 (0.250) mile high-banked paved oval as the series will be joined by the Vore’s Welding CRA Late Model Sportsman Series Powered by JEGS for Day I of the prestigious weekend.
The JEGS/CRA contingent has visited the Central Indiana speed plant every year of their existence. In the 2014 appearance, veteran Steve Dorer became the first driver to score a victory in both the JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour and the Redbud 300 (2011) as he snapped Trent Snyder’s three-race winning streak with the win in the rain delayed 100-lap main from a year ago.
For more information about the remainder 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.com You 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 fifth race of the 2015 racing season for the JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour, go to the track website at: www.andersonspeedway.com