Hillard wins inaugural Casey’s General Store GAS/CRA Challenge
Salem, IN (June 5, 2017) – Owensboro, Kentucky native Brett Hudson was tired of being the bridesmaid after three straight second place finishes in the last three Lawrence Towing CRA Street Stocks Powered by JEGS events this season, Hudson shook off that status by winning Sunday’s Casey’s Homemade Pizza 50 on the High Banks of Salem Speedway. The event was the first ever series point’s event at Salem Speedway as part of the inaugural Casey’s General Store GAS/CRA Challenge.
Shawn Smith took advantage of his pole starting position after Allstar Performance Fast Qualifier Chuck Barnes Jr. drew a six for the events invert, with Josh Brading close behind in second. Hudson quickly made his way to the front from his fourth place starting position to close on Smith and start challenging for the lead. Hudson powered by Smith to grab the lead on lap 15, going on to get the win in the event that went green to checker.
“It feels good to finally get to victory lane this season!” remarked Hudson. “We’ve had good runs but couldn’t get the win with CRA this season, today we got it. I really like racing here at Salem. I have to thank my crew for all their hard work to help get us to victory lane!”
With the win Hudson moves into the series point’s lead and joins Chuck Barnes Jr. and Josh Poore as drivers locked into the new CRA Chase Championship format if they compete in at least 75% of the races leading up to the final four Chase events, to crown the 2017 series Champion.
Three time 2017 series winner Barnes Jr. finished in second right behind Hudson in the race, but was disqualified after failing post-race tech. Fellow Owensboro native Blake Hillard finished in second, Jason Thompson finished in third, Smith finished in fourth with Brading in fifth.
Skeeter Crum won the Caseystogo.com 50 for the Salem Speedway Lucas Oil Great American Stocks. The top four finishers from each of the series 50 lap point events then redrew for their starting positions for the non-points Casey’s General Store CRA/GAS Challenge 50. Shawn Smith got to start on the pole for that event after Crum failed to make the starting line up with overheating issues after his win. Smith again took the early lead, but Hillard came from his seventh place starting position to grab the lead on lap eight and would cruise to a half track win over Hudson and was crowned the inaugural Casey’s General Store GAS/CRA Challenge Champion. David Bayens was third, Brading was fourth with Smith in fifth place.
The next Lawrence Towing CRA Street Stocks event will be the second leg of the CRA Street Stock Four Crown series on Saturday, June 17th at Anderson Speedway. That event will be 200 laps and pay $3000 to win. For more information on all the CRA series go to www.cra-racing.com.