Winchester, IN (August 5, 2017) – Chuck Barnes, Jr. led just three laps on his way to winning his fifth Lawrence Towing CRA Street Stocks Powered by JEGS feature of the 2017 season at Winchester Speedway Saturday night, winning the Winchester 200, the final event of the 2017 CRA Street Stock Four Crown Series. Barnes took the lead coming to the finish line on lap 197, passing Colby Lane who had dominated the race after taking the lead on lap 31 and driving away with the lead until mechanical problems caused him to drop out.
“We were very, very lucky, Colby Lane had the dominate car, we were just in a position to win.” Barnes remarked, “He was in a better car, and was a better driver tonight, it was his had that part not failed and caused him not to win.”
Barnes has the fastest car in practice and qualifying setting fast time and then drawing a 10 for the invert. Andrew Teepe started on the pole with Thomas Skiles on the outside. Skiles beat Teepe back to the line to take the early lead. Third fast qualifier Lane started seventh and using the low side of the track caught the leaders and passed Skiles on the 30th lap to lead lap 31.
Lane then took off, building a large lead on the field and lapping cars at a rapid pace, when the first caution of the day flew on lap 50. Lane started to rebuild his lead when Jordan Hahn lost an engine going into the first turn and backing his car into the wall hard. The red flag flew for the first time as the entire turn was covered in oil. Barnes came in to have his car looked at during the ensuing red flag along with a few other cars. After the cleanup Barnes restarted 10th, the last of the lead lap cars.
Lane was flawless on the restarts throughout the race, keeping the lead despite a flurry of cautions leading to the half way break. As Lane stayed out front, Barnes picked his way through the field to move to third at the 100 lap break. During a caution on the 89th lap Mason Keller coasted into the pits out of gas from his third place spot. He lost two laps in the pits taking him out of contention despite a strong running car.
After the break, Lane picked up where he had left off, taking the lead and holding it. Barnes had moved into second and restarted next to Lane through the second half of the race, but could not pass him. Barnes seemed to be the only driver who could run with Lane as he could run side by side with him, but could not get past him.
After a restart on lap 195 it looked to be Lane’s race as he pulled away quickly, then started to slow on lap 196, with Barnes taking the lead coming out of the fourth turn. One lap later as he was running down the backstretch Lane’s rear end gave out, he went into the third turn with no brakes and attempted to spin down, he seemed to be successful when the car shot up the track into incoming traffic. Bringing out the second and final red flag of the day. Lane and seven other cars, were damaged, including severe damage to Lane’s car and the Keller car.
Barnes cruised to victory after the restart. James Kirby III was second, Brett Hudson third, Danny Adams fourth and Jake McElfresh fifth. After his run Lane finished eighth.
Following the race Lane commented, “I am disappointed, but I was just happy to run the way I did tonight, I have to thank my sponsors and my crew to making it possible.”
In victory lane Barnes was officially crowed the 2017 Lawrence Towing CRA Street Stock Four Crown Series Champion, he won three of the four 200 lap events and finished third in the other. Barnes will receive a $1000 bonus for his Four Crown Championship.
Brett Hudson, the 2016 Triple Crown Champion, finished second in Four Crown points, getting one victory in the series and earned a $600 bonus. James Kirby finished third in Four Crown points and will receive a $400 bonus. Brian Hopkins and Danny Adams will each receive a $250 bonus, their names were randomly drawn from all the drivers who competed in all four Four Crown events.
The next Lawrence Towing CRA Street Stocks event will be the first race of the Champion Chase for the series on the 3/8’s mile track at Baer Field Motorsports Park on Saturday, August 19th. For more information on all the CRA series go to www.cra-racing.com.