Salem, IN (July 2, 2018) – The heat was intense on Sunday, as the heat index was well over 100 degrees at Mt. Lawn Speedway, but the racing action also heated up in the return of the prestigous Raintree 100 for the Vore’s Welding CRA Late Model Sportsman Powered by JEGS. The race was the first event of the new Triple Crown Series for the CRA Late Model Sportsman, which will feature three 100-lap, $2000 to win events, and a points fund that will pay the Triple Crown Champion $1000.
Morristown, Indiana’s Jeff Marcum, the Raintree 100 winner in 2011 and 2012, was the only former event winner in the field, and he didn’t disappoint the large group of Marcum Racing fans on hand Sunday evening to watch their favorite driver going for his third Raintree 100 victory. Getting the third win was no easy task, the battle for the lead was tough throughout the event starting at the drop of the green flag when Danny Trent took advantage of his pole starting position thanks to Allstar Performance Fast Qualifier Shawn Amor’s draw of a five for the events inverted start.
Trent, the winner of the CRA Late Model Sportsman season opener at Mt. Lawn on May 27th, was never able to pull much of a lead first from Marcum, then Shawn Amor. Amor put the pressure on Trent, finally making the pass to grab the lead on lap 27. Amor and Trent continued to battle for the lead, when on lap 65 Trent make contact with the back of Amor’s car in the short turn moving him up the track, opening the door for Trent to lead lap 65, and allowing several cars to pass Amor, moving him to the fifth position before he could gain full control of his car.
Trent did not have the lead long as Marcum powered to the outside to make the pass for the lead on the next lap. Trent tried to stay with Marcum, but started to drift back in the field before coming to a stop in the short turn up against the outside wall, setting up a late event restart on lap 84.
The caution put 2007 series Champion Billy Hutson on Marcum’s outside for the restart. The cars took the green flag but didn’t get to the first turn before several cars spun on the front stretch, all but one were able to continue racing. The green flag fell once again, Hutson gave it everything he had to try and wrestle the lead from Marcum, but Marcum kept his car glued to the bottom and eventually pulled away from Hutson to grab the popular win.
“It means a lot to win this one,” remarked an exhausted Marcum in victory lane. “I’m whipped, it took everything I had to get this win, I can’t even hold the trophy by myself. The 00 (Hutson), really raced me clean, I appreciate that. He did a great job for a guy who had never raced here before. It’s an honor to win this race for the third time, I appreciate Rick Sweigert bringing this event back and letting us be a part of it. I have to thank my dad, my crew and all these fans who sat out in this heat to watch this race!”
Marcum picked up the Racer Parts Wholesale Sweet Move of the Race Award for his pass of Trent to grab the lead. Hutson finshed in second and picked up the AR Bodies Cool Move of the Race Award for his pass of Chris Shannon to move into second. Shannon, the series point’s leader, finished in third, padding that points lead a little more. Fred Hopkins came back from an early spin after contact from a lap car to finish in fourth. Tony Brutti was involved in the multi car spin on the restart on lap 84, he pitted for some minor repairs, then drove back through the field to get a fifth place finish.
Series rookie Zachary Tinkle came from his 10th place starting position to finish in sixth. Kent Carson picked up the Spillers Towing Hardcharger Award, he came from his 12th place starting position to finish in seventh.
For those fans that didn’t get to watch the Raintree 100 in person, Speed51.com will have a tape delayed broadcast of that event available on its Summer Thunder TV at 8pm this evening. All premium members of the Speed51 Video Network will still have access to watch the event when it airs just like any other Summer Thunder TV event. More information on that broadcast will be available at www.speed51.com.
The Vore’s Welding CRA Late Model Sportsman Powered by JEGS will be back in action on Saturday, July 14th, in the second event of the Triple Crown Series at Anderson Speedway. Information on all the CRA Series is available at www.cra-racing.com.