Salem, IN (October 5, 2012) – One thing for sure, there will be no shortage of talent or desire to win competing for the famed Winchester Rifle Trophy in next weekend’s 41st Annual Winchester 400 on the famous High Banks of Winchester Speedway. From top to bottom the list of drivers entered for the ARCA/CRA Super Series sanctioned event, has more talent and experience then seen in a while, making for the possibility of one of the most competitive Winchester 400’s in years.
Heading up the talented list of 42 entries to date is NASCAR Superstar Kyle Busch, the 2009 winner of the Winchester 400, after two DNF’s and a second in three previous 400’s. This will be Busch’s first 400 since winning back in 2009. Busch has been to victory lane in eight total ARCA/CRA Super Series events over the years, including SpeedFest 2012 at Watermelon Capital Speedway in January and the Rowdy 251 at Berlin Raceway in June. Busch knows he has to bring his A game to any CRA race he competes in, and maybe more so for the 41st Winchester 400.
2010 Winchester 400 winner Chase Elliot, son of famed NASCAR Champion Bill Elliott, is also entered in the Bill Elliott Racing Aaron’s sponsored #9. Elliott has cut back on his late model racing now that he is a Rick Hendrick development driver and has spent the year competing in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East were he picked up a victory at Iowa Speedway earlier in the year, and in the ARCA Racing Series Presented by Menrads. Elliott has still managed to pick up several wins in his late model so far this season including the JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour event at SpeedFest 2012 in January, two Blizzard Series events at Five Flags Speedway, a Miller Lite Series win at Mobile Speedway and a win in the prestigious World Crown 300 at Gresham Motorsports Park. Elliott is also entered to compete in the JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour Season Championship event on Friday night of Winchester 400 Weekend.
2011 Winchester 400 winner Boris Jurkovic is also entered to defend his very exciting victory. Jurkovic came from two laps down to claim the win after holding off late charges from 2011 ARCA/CRA Super Series Champion Derrick Griffin and Elliott. A cracked wheel lost Jurkovic his two laps, but two Lucky Dogs and some late pit strategy helped him pull out the remarkable win.
2006 Winchester 400 winner Scott Hantz is also entered. The three time ARCA/CRA Super Series Champion benefitted from a lap 380 crash that took out leader Chris Gabehart and second place Clay Jones, leaving Hantz as the only car on the lead lap. Hantz has two series victories so far in 2012 while just racing a partial schedule.
Topping the list of non-Winchester 400 winners entered is Johnny VanDoorn who clinched his record tying third ARCA/CRA Super Series Championship in the series event last weekend at Lucas Oil Raceway. VanDoorn has four series victories so far in 2012 and with his wins at Winchester Speedway this season on June 23rd and again on September 23rd, he is now the series all time winner at Winchester Speedway with four wins total. Winning the Winchester 400 would put the exclamation point on a memorable season for the Michigan native!
Several former ARCA/CRA Super Series Winchester Speedway winners are entered for the Winchester 400 including two time winner Jeff Fultz, a former regular competitor at Winchester before moving to North Carolina to pursue his racing career. Single event winners entered include Ross Kenseth, son of NASCAR Champion Matt Kenseth, who won the prestigious RedBud 300 at Anderson Speedway in July, also 2004 series Champion Chuck Barnes Jr. and series veterans Peter Cozzolino and Rick Turner.
The talent entered for the 41st Winchester 400 does not stop there, some of the best late model drivers from all over the country are entered including Georgia hot shoes Bubba Pollard, the winningest late model driver in the country the last two years and T.J. Reaid, who will be driving a team car to Elliott. Florida’s Stephen Nasse, Jeff Choquette and Ben Kennedy, the great grandson of NASCAR Founder Bill France are entered. 14 year old South Carolina sensation Kyle Benjamin is entered, Benjamin picked up a JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour win in his first ever visit to Winchester Speedway back in May, he also picked up an ARCA/CRA Super Series win at Lucas Oil Raceway on July 27th, breaking Chase Elliot’s record for youngest series winner. Other talented drivers from around the country who are entered includes Oklahoma’s Donnie Wilson, who has had one of the fastest cars in the past three Winchester 400’s, Maine’s Austin Theriault, a development driver for Brad Kesolowski Racing, Arkansas’s Dennis Schoenfeld, and Canadian racer Martin Latulippe.
The best of the CRA will also be on hand bringing lots of talent and desire to be a Winchester 400 winner including 2012 JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour Champion Daniel Hemric from North Carolina, who topped that series with eight victories, Oklahoma native Kenzie Ruston, who is second in the ARCA/CRA Super Series points heading into this weekend, leading Boyne Machine Company Rookie of the Year Travis Braden from West Virginia, also ARCA/CRA Super Series regulars Terry Fisher Jr., Kenny Tweedy, Jay Niewiek, Nate Caruth, Nick Gullatta, Jason Dietsch, Eddie Van Meter, Damon Ecoff, Brent Jack, Justin Alsip and Mark Lambert are entered.
Also entered is 2011 inaugural JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour Champion Erik Jones, who has spent most of the season racing with the ARCA Racing Series. 14 year old Suwannee, Georgia native Anderson Bowen is entered, Bowen is the 2012 JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour Howie Lettow Rookie of the Year and is third in that series points heading into their season finally. Former series regular and 2009 Rookie of the Year Tyler Roahrig is entered in a team car to Hantz, Roahrig has been one of the top Outlaw Late Model drivers in the upper Mid-west over the past two seasons.
There will be optional load in, hauler parking and pit pass purchases on Thursday, October 11th from 3 to 7pm. Pits open on Friday, October 12th at 10am with rotating practice for all divisions beginning at 1pm. Qualifying for the Vore’s Touring Compacts, the Top Speed Fabrication CRA Late Model Sportsman Series and CRA Street Stocks New Star events and the JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour 100 lap event will start at 5:40pm. Racing action will begin at 7pm with 8 lap heat races for the Vores Touring Compacts. The Top Speed Fabrication CRA Late Model Sportsman Series and CRA Street Stocks 25 lap New Star features will follow. The JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour Season Championship Winchester 100 Presented by JEGS.com will be up next. The Vores Touring Compacts 20 lap feature will cap off the nights racing action.
Pits open on Saturday, October 13th at 8am, rotating practice for all divisions will begin at 10:30am. Qualifying for the Vores Touring Compacts, Top Speed Modifieds, Top Speed Fabrication CRA Late Model Sportsman Series and CRA Street Stocks will begin at 3pm. Pole Qualifying for the 41st Annual Winchester 400 for the ARCA/CRA Super Series will begin at 5pm. The race program will begin at 6pm with Top Speed Modifieds Last Chance races. The 50 lap Top Speed Fabrication CRA Late Model Sportsman Series Season Championship event will be up next, followed by the 25 lap Winchester 400 Last Chance race if needed. The Top Speed Modifieds 50 lap Run for the Gun will follow. The 50 lap CRA Street Stocks Season Championship event will be up next while the Vores Touring Compacts will cap off Saturday nights racing with their 20 lap Season Championship feature. The Annual Winchester 400 Party in the Pavilion will start in immediately following the races.
On Sunday, October 14th the pits will open at 9am, there will be a short warm-up session for the ARCA/CRA Super Series cars at 11am. There will be an on track autograph session with all the 41st Annual Winchester 400 drivers starting at 12:30. Opening ceremonies will begin at 1:30 pm with the 41st Annual Winchester 400 taking the green flag at 2pm.