Salem, IN (July 10, 2017) – 14 year old Carson Hocevar made history on Sunday by winning the Gem City 100 at Kil-Kare Raceway, becoming the youngest driver to ever win a JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour Presented by Chevrolet Performance event, and becoming the first rookie to win a series event since the 2014 season when 15 year old rookies Grant Quinlan and J.J. Haley both went to victory lane that same year. Hocevar breaks Kyle Benjamin’s record as the youngest driver, Benjamin was 14 yeas 184 days when he won at Winchester Speedway in 2012, Hocevar is 14 years 162 days.
After taking the lead on lap 41, Hocevar had to nurse a sick car home to get his first ever CRA win.
“Wow what a great win for our team,” remarked Hocevar in victory lane. “The engine starting going bad on about lap 20, but we had enough to race. After I got the lead it got worse, I was just praying for no caution because there was no way I would have been able to hold off Braden and Oakley. The engine finally let go when we pulled into victory lane.”
ARCA/CRA Super Series point’s leader Josh Brock took the early lead from his outside pole starting position after Fury Race Cars Fast Qualifier Travis Braden pulled a 10 for the events invert. A spinning Michael Clancy Jr. brought everything to an early stop on lap two with a red flag, with several torn up race cars, and cars that had to pit to make repairs, including two time ARCA/CRA Super Series Champion Braden.
Drew Charlson, a winner earlier this season with the Gem City Late Models at Kil-Kare, would then grab the lead away from Brock on the lap three restart and pull away to almost a straight away lead. Charlson’s lead ended abruptly on lap 40 when David Carter and Kody Evans made contact coming out of turn two, resulting in both cars spinning and leaving Charlson no place to go. The resulting contact ended the day for Charlson giving the lead to Hocevar who had used the outside grove to pass several cars coming from his ninth place starting position.
Hocevar would keep the lead on the lap 41 restart over Brandon Oakley, a former ARCA/CRA Super Series winner at Kil-Kare. Hocevar would pull away from Oakley to almost a half track advantage before starting to fade some at the end, but was able to hold on to get the win as the race went the last 60 laps caution free. Hocevar was the VanDoorn Racing Development Rookie of the Race Award winner and was awarded the AR Bodies Cool Move of the Race for his passes on the outside to get to second place.
“I can’t thank everyone at KBR Development enough for all the hard work they put into giving me a great car each event,” added Hocevar. “We’ve had some bad luck this season, but we turned things around big time today!”
The best battle in the second half of the race was between Braden and Oakley, two long-time Kil-Kare rivals. Braden worked his way through the field after his team made repairs to his racecar after the lap two incident. Braden caught Oakley and the two battled for several laps for the second position and possible win if Hocevars’s engine let go. The two raced side by side for several laps before Braden was able to pull away and finish second. Braden picked up the Sweet Manufacturing Sweet Move of the Race Award for his drive through the field and his crew picked up the PitBoxes.com Pit Crew of the Race Award for their hasty repairs to Braden’s car to get him back on the track after the lap two incident.
Oakley would finish in third place and pick up the FLUIDYNE Cool Under Pressure Award for battling up front all race. Series point’s leader Jack Dossey III came from his 19th place starting position to finish in fourth place, his fourth top five finish in the series four events so far this season. Dossey III picked up a Great Lakes Tire/Hoosier Performance Award and the Racing Electronics Hardcharger Award and built on his points lead. Local racer David Carter battled back from damage in the lap 40 caution to finish in fifth place. Jack Smith came from his 18th starting position to finish in eighth and earn a Great Lakes Tire/Hoosier Performance Award
Hocevar joins Bristol Motor Speedway and Lebanon I-44 Speedway winner Cole Williams and Salem Speedway winner Jack Smith as the only drivers locked into the new 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. Hocevar also continues to lead the Howie Lettow Rookie of the Year Award Presented by VanDoorn Racing Development points after four events so far this season.
The series’ will have its third of four straight weeks of racing this Saturday at Berlin Raceway, located in Marne, Michigan. More information on the JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour Presented by Chevrolet Performance is available at www.cra-racing.com.