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Travis Braden Scores First Career ARCA/CRA Super Series Victory at Winchester Speedway

Travis Braden Scores First Career ARCA/CRA Super Series Victory at Winchester Speedway

by June 30, 2013 0 comments

Winchester, Indiana (Saturday, June 29, 2013): The legendary 1/2 (0.500) mile high-banked paved oval of Winchester Speedway in Winchester, Indiana hosted the ARCA/CRA Super Series Powered by JEGS for the 37th time in series history in the running of the Winchester 100 on Saturday, June 29th which was part of the all ARCA Triple Header Weekend with the ARCA Racing Series Presented by Menards and the ARCA Truck Series Presented by Phoenix Management Group of Ohio.

After two rain delays totaling over three hours in length and at the end of the evening, the 24th different winner in the tracks storied history emerged as 19-year-old Travis Braden, the 2012 Rookie of the Year, retook the lead from Inaugural Series Champion from the 1997 season, Kenny Tweedy on lap 31 and then the Wheeling, West Virginia driver in his #01 West Virginia University / Chevrolet held off 15-year-old Kyle Benjamin as well as a late charge from Terry Fisher Jr., to pick up his first career ARCA/CRA victory.

“We did it again, I can’t believe it. After winning the JEGS/CRA (All-Stars Tour Presented by Chevrolet Performance race at Berlin Raceway on June 14th) race two weeks ago and to win my first career ARCA/CRA Super Series race, it couldn’t have come at a better place.” The elated driver stated in victory lane. “It’s unbelievable what this small team has been able to accomplish for me and I thinking it has only just begun for us.” He added.

After 15-year-old freshman, Anderson Bowen won his first career EDCO Welding Fast Qualifier Award, he then drew a five for an inversion which placed Braden and Tweedy on the front row for the Winchester 100. By taking the green flag, Tweedy became the all-time leader in career starts in the ARCA/CRA Super Series Powered by JEGS with 213, one more than three-time series champion, Scott Hantz. However it would be Braden looking to spoil Tweedy’s celebration as he beat the crafty Hoosier State veteran to the first corner to take the early lead.

Tweedy wasn’t about to give up however as the Greenfield, Indiana veteran, who has started in all 36 ARCA/CRA Super Series Powered by JEGS races at Winchester but has yet to visit victory lane at the historic high-banks, regrouped and drove by Braden on lap five to take over the top spot and even pulled away from the pole-sitter as he opened up a huge gap between himself and the rest of the field and also turned in the VDL Fuel Systems Hot Lap of the Race Award during his run out front.

However, Braden patiently regrouped and kept Tweedy in his sights and as the two leaders approached the back of the lead lap cars, Braden was able to maneuver around both the slower traffic and eventually Tweedy to regain the point on lap 31 earning the AR Bodies Cool Move of the Race Award for his winning pass. Tweedy began losing ground as a pair of 15-year-old’s Benjamin and Bowen as well as veteran Rick Turner were all able to drive by Tweedy to advance their positions and set their sights on Braden.

Benjamin tried to keep up with Braden’s torrid pace and got one last chance at the race leader when the last of four cautions flew with 10 laps to go when Tweedy cut a right front tire and slammed the turn two wall ending his night. On the final restart, Terry Fisher Jr., who spun on the opening lap from his 10th starting position, charged through the field from the back of the pack and was able to drive around Benjamin for second and set his sights on Braden.

But by then Braden had built up his lead one more time and the 2012 ARCA/CRA Super Series Powered by JEGS Rookie of the Year as well as the 2011 NASCAR Whelen All-American Series National Rookie of the Year who won his first career Champion Racing Association Powered by JEGS triumph at Winchester back on October 15, 2011 in a JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour Presented by Chevrolet Performance race, became the second driver in CRA history to win his first career CRA sanctioned events, in ARCA/CRA and JEGS/CRA at the Winchester joining Chase Elliott as the only other driver to do so.

“It’s about time man, I’m just so happy right now and to win our first Super Series race at Winchester, this is just unbelievable.” The Mountaineer State driver continued who picked up the Holley Carburetors Halfway Leader Award as well as the VR-12 Halfway Leader Award and both DBV Properties Special Award for leading laps 37 (In honor of the late Jason Leffler) and 99 (In honor of the late Dick Trickle). “I can’t thank West Virginia University enough for coming on board with us this season. Since we turned the cars over to the blue and yellow colors, we’ve been really good everywhere we’ve gone and I knew it was only a matter of time.” The WVU Engineering student ended.

Making his first appearance of the 2013 racing season was Ossian, Indiana driver, Terry Fisher Jr., in his #81 MEP/Fisher Motorsports / Chevrolet as he would finish in the runner-spot and earned the first Hoosier Racing Tire Performance Award as well as the Hedman Heddars Hussler Award and the FLUIDYNE Cool Under Pressure Award. “We qualified terrible and that put us a little behind at the start.” The 27-year-old explained in his post-race interview on the track after the race. “Dewaine (McGunegill of McGunegill Engine Performance) and my guys were hard at it before the race replacing all the wiring. Then on the first lap we got spun. We really had a good car though, but we just burnt the tires off going to the front. I can’t think everyone that made this possible.” He added.

Benjamin, the 2012 ARCA/CRA Southern Series Champion finished in third after a late race battle with Fisher Jr., as the 15-year-old was one of three drivers pulling double-duty over the weekend in the ARCA Racing Series Presented by Menards headlining event of the all ARCA Triple Header Weekend at Winchester, the Herr’s Chase the Taste 200. “We had a good car tonight, but we just got a little tight at the end.” The Easley, South Carolina teenager stated. “We went for it on the final restart, but Travis (Braden) was strong tonight and Terry (Fisher Jr.) got us there late in the race. It was a good run and hopefully we’ll finish a couple of more spots further up front tomorrow.” He ended.

Turner would pick up a season high fourth place finish over 18-year-old Mason Mingus, another double-duty competitor who is second in the ARCA Racing Series Presented by Menards Points Standings, completed the top five. Bowen finished in sixth picking up the Howe Racing Enterprises Rookie of the Race Award while fellow rookie Ali Kern picked up a career high seventh place showing.

15-year-old Karl Weber also scored a career high showing as he finished in the eighth position ahead of veteran Jeff Fultz and Jay Niewiek would wrap up the top 10. Niewiek’s effort earned him the second Hoosier Racing Tire Performance Award. Bowen’s first career EDCO Welding Fast Qualifier Award was a 15.553 which equals out to 115.733mph around the historic 1/2 mile.

The ARCA/CRA Super Series Powered by JEGS will take a few weekends off before coming back in a big way with the second jewel of the $100,000 JEGS Triple Crown Series in the running of the prestigious Stoops Freightliner Redbud 300, which is part of the Redbud 300 Weekend on Friday-Saturday, July 19-20th at the fast 1/4 (0.250) mile high-banked paved oval of Anderson Speedway in Anderson, Indiana.

Three-Time and Reigning Series Champion, Johnny VanDoorn is the only driver eligible for the six-figure payday if he can win all three legs of the series. After winning the Inaugural Battle at Berlin 251 back on June 15th at his home track of Berlin Raceway in Marne, Michigan and in order to collect a whopping $100,000 bonus from JEGS.com, he must sweep the Stoops Freightliners Redbud 300 at Anderson and then the 42nd running of the Winchester 400 at Winchester Speedway in Winchester, Indiana on October 13th.

If VanDoorn, or someone else can win two of the three Triple Crown events, that driver will receive a $10,000 bonus.  If no driver wins at least two of the three Triple Crown events, the driver who accumulates the most points during those three events will receive a $5,000 bonus and the title of 2013 JEGS Super Late Model Triple Crown Series Champion.

Also racing as part of the Redbud 300 weekend will be the JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour Presented by Chevrolet Performance in the running of the Anderson 100 Presented by JEGS.com as well as the Top Speed Fabrication CRA Late Model Sportsman Series Powered by JEGS who will race in the PGG 75 Presented by Motion Motors & Norick Petroleum. Both divisions will headline the Friday, July 19th portion of the weekend before the ARCA/CRA Super Series Powered by JEGS has the historic 1/4 mile to themselves on Saturday, July 20th.

Press Release
Press Release, source information and photo credits are located at the bottom of the article.

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