17-Year-Old Erik Jones Wins The 42nd Running Of The Winchester 400

17-Year-Old Erik Jones Wins The 42nd Running Of The Winchester 400

by October 14, 2013 0 comments

Photo courtesy of Chris Owens

Winchester, Indiana (Sunday, October 13, 2013): When 17-year-old Erik Jones signed the deal to become a development driver for Kyle Busch Motorsports, it was widely assumed that it would only be a matter of time before Jones, the 2012 Snowball Derby Winner who beat Busch in that race, would soon be steering Busch’s familiar #51 in select Super Late Model events throughout the country and would be a major player in the outcome of the major high-profile events within the short track racing world.

Driving the familiar #51 / Toyota that his Car Owner had driven to victory lane in several events before him, Jones took the lead for good on lap 352 thanks to a clutch pit stop by his Kyle Busch Motorsports over the wall team and from there, the Byron, Michigan driver, the 2012 Snowball Derby Winner, added a Winchester Rifle to his collection of trophies by Winning the 42nd Running of the Winchester 400 at the legendary 1/2 (0.500) mile high-banked paved oval of Winchester Speedway in Winchester, Indiana on Sunday, October 13th. The 400 Win was Jones’ first career triumph in the ARCA/CRA Super Series Powered by JEGS.

“This is a pretty special race and to be able to take the Rifle back home is really something special,” The emotional driver stated in victory lane. “I’ve always wanted to Win here at Winchester and to be able to do so in one of the most prestigious races in the country, man I can’t tell you how happy I am. I can’t thank everyone at Kyle Busch Motorsports enough for this opportunity. This is a strong car and I had a little pressure on me since the ‘boss man’ has won so many times before, including this race (2009). I’m having the time of my life right now.” He added.

In a race that featured an ARCA/CRA Super Series record 14 lead changes, Jones led four different times for a total of 143 laps, the most of anyone and would fight off fellow 17-year-old Chase Elliott over the last 30 laps to secure the Win in front of a standing room only crowd in Eastern Indiana. The 2011 JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour Presented by Chevrolet Performance Champion

“This is so awesome. To be able to Win this race and the Snowball Derby last year; the two biggest short track races in the country, man I can’t tell you how happy I am,” Continued Jones who has also been running a part-time NASCAR Camping World Trucks Series schedule for KBM and also has a victory this season in the ARCA Racing Series Presented by Menards for Venturini Motorsports at Berlin Raceway in Marne, Michigan back on August 10th. “I can’t put one race over the other in terms of prestige or a career high, but this and the Snowball Derby win are definitely #1 and #1A in no order at all.” Jones smiled.

Despite dropping out on lap 355 due to a broken rear end, 19-year-old Travis Braden was officially crowned the 2013 ARCA/CRA Super Series Powered by JEGS Champion. The Wheeling, West Virginia driver, in his #01 West Virginia University / Chevrolet scored four Wins during his Championship season as the 2012 Rookie of the Year has already clinched the title when he took the Green Flag on September 22nd at Lucas Oil Raceway in Clermont, Indiana, an event he won.

“We had a great run today until the rear end let go. That’s the second one this weekend.” Braden remarked. “But man I can’t be any happier than I am right now; we’re the Champions of the top Super Late Model series in the country. This is all for my team, for my Dad (Donald Braden), Gary Estes (Car Owner and Crew Chief), everyone on this team and everyone who has supported us throughout the year, especially everyone at WVU for their support. This is for everyone who has been on our side all year long.” He ended.

Settling for second in his #9 Rocky Ridge Custom Trucks / Chevrolet was Elliott, the 2010 Winchester 400 Winner; “We just came up a little short today.” Explained the Dawsonville, Georgia driver. “That left rear tire going down there (on lap 151) really put us behind and I certainly didn’t want to spin. Luckily we didn’t hit anything, but we went a lap down and had to fight our way back to the front the rest of the day. Really am proud of this team, they never gave up all day.” He added. In addition to winning the EDCO Welding Pole Award, the NASCAR Camping World Trucks Series Winner at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park in Bowmanville, Ontario back on September 1st also scored the FLUIDYNE Cool Under Pressure Award for his efforts.

Making only his third ARCA/CRA Super Series start of the season after running the full schedule with the ARCA Racing Series Presented by Menards, where he finished second in the final points, 18-year-old Mason Mingus overcame ignition problems to finish on the podium in third in his #98 811 Call Before You Dig / Chevrolet. The Brentwood, Tennessee teenager started in the middle of the field in 23rd and picked up the first Hoosier Racing Tire Performance Award as well as the C.V. Racing Products Hard-Charger Award. “It was a good day, fought a miss in the motor, but we led some laps and stayed towards the front of the field once we got there. Not a bad run at all.” Mingus stated.

Grill would bring home a fourth place finish and led the race on four different occasions for a total of 131 laps in his familiar #112 Grand American Race Cars / Chevrolet. The Hayden, Alabama driver was strong throughout most of the race and it showed as the 36-year-old southern invader collected the VDL Fuels Systems Hot Lap of the Race Award as well as the VR-12 Halfway Leader Award as well as the Holley Carburetors Halfway Leader Award.

Hemric, the 2012 JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour Presented by Chevrolet Performance Champion, wrapped up the top five with a fifth place showing in his #98 Jack Link’s Beef Jerky / Ford. The 22-year-old star from Mooresville, North Carolina, now a regular with the Southern Super Series and second in that tours’ points, led briefly for seven laps at the 3/4s mark of the race.

Austin Theriault finished sixth and earned the second Hoosier Racing Tire Performance award while 17-year-old Cody Coughlin, who earlier in the weekend, clinched the 2013 JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour Presented by Chevrolet Performance Championship and tied a career high ARCA/CRA finish. He was also the last car on the lead lap. VanDoorn limped home to an eighth place finish, but did score the $10,000 bonus from JEGS for winning two of the three JEGS Triple Crown Series events in 2013. Southern Super Series Points Leader, Bubba Pollard brought home a ninth place finish as 2011 Series Champion and Rookie of the Year, Derrick Griffin completed the top 10.

15-year-old Anderson Bowen swept the Rookie Awards for the race as he took home the Boyne Machine Company, VDL Fuel Systems & K&N Filters Rookie of the Race honors with his 11th place showing while Inaugural Series Champion from the 1997 season, Kenny Tweedy collected the Hedman Hedders Hussler Award with his 36th to 16th place run. Colin Nickolai would receive the Hinchman Racing Uniforms Hard-Luck Award as he dropped out of the 400 after only eight laps.

Ali Kern finished 21st, but by merely taking the Green Flag, the Fremont, Ohio driver became the first female competitor in Champion Racing Association’s (CRA) Powered by JEGS 17-year history to win a major award as Kern clinched the 2013 Rookie of the Year title. The driver of the #28 ‘Fight Like A Girl’ Supporting Breast Cancer Awareness / Ford dueled all season long with fellow freshman Brandon Oakley and Bowen before emerging as the top freshman. “We got it done. I’m so happy and thankful for everyone at Lorz Motorsports for believing in me all season.” She jubilantly stated.

Elliott’s EDCO Welding Pole Award Winning time was a 15.361 which measured out to 117.180mph as it was the 17-year-old Hendrick Motorsports Development Drivers’ first career Fast Qualifier Award in ARCA/CRA Super Series competition. 37 of the 40 teams on the property started the 400 as Chad Finley, Jacob Garrigus and Mike Stacy withdrew prior to Pole Qualifying.

While the 2013 ARCA/CRA Super Series points chase is over, there are still two more ‘non-points” races remaining on the schedule with the first of those two going on Friday-Saturday, October 25-26th as the 3/4s (0.750) semi-banked paved tri-oval of Memphis International Raceway, located northeast of Memphis in Millington, Tennessee will host stock car racing for the first time since the 2009 season when the NASCAR Nationwide Series raced there.

The ‘Racing’s Back!’ Memphis 250 will feature Twin 125-lap mains for both the ARCA/CRA Super Series Powered by JEGS as well as the JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour Presented by Chevrolet Performance. In addition, the stars of the Rusty Wallace Racing Experience will run a special 50-Lap race in support of the two premier tours within Champion Racing Association (CRA) Powered by JEGS.

A week later, the ARCA/CRA Super Series teams will stick around the Volunteer State and venture over to the historic 0.596 mile high-banked paved oval of Fairgrounds Speedway Nashville in Nashville, Tennessee to race in the famed All-American 400 Weekend in a co-sanctioned event with their counterparts in the Southern Super Series. While it is a ‘non-points’ race for ARCA/CRA Super Series, this event is the 2013 Series Championship race for the Southern Super Series.

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

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