Chase Burda Wins JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour Rookie of the Year
Winchester, IN (Saturday, October 10, 2020) - Exactly one year and ten days after he was crowned the inaugural Champion of the Victory Custom Trailers CRA Junior Late Models Series, Lapeer, Michigan’s, Chase Burda was recognized as the 2020 JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour Rookie of the Year. Burda finished fifth during Friday’s Winchester 100 at Winchester Speedway, solidifying his run for the title, beating out fellow former Junior Late Model competitor Charlie Keevan for the honors.
Burda’s run for the Rookie of the Year Award appeared to be on the right track right out of the gate at Lebanon I-44 Speedway in Lebanon, Missouri. The Show Me State Showdown was the first event for the JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour following a nearly Nationwide shutdown of activities due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Burda qualified fifth quick out of a field of 26 cars, and thanks to the invert would roll of third. From there, things didn’t go exactly the way he and his team had planned it after mechanical problems dropped them out of his first-ever race just 39 laps in.
The rest of the season, Burda found speed and consistency, only finishing outside of the top 10 on two occasions the rest of the season; once at the second race of the season at Anderson Speedway (13th), and the other after a crash at the Pint’s U.S. Short Track Nationals at Bristol Motor Speedway (14th). Aside from a 10th place run at Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway for the Masters of the Pros, the rest of Burda’s season consisted of fifth-place finishes. Including the Winchester 100, Burda brought his number 18 Magnecor Chevrolet home in the fifth spot on four different occasions.
Burda was in contention to battle for a JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour Championship as a rookie until his crash at Bristol. The incident knocked him out of the Chase and solidified Charlie Keevan - also a rookie. Keevan, however, was caught up in a crash early on in the Winchester 100 which allowed Burda to go on and collect the Rookie of the Year Title, which Burda says is exactly what his team intended to do this year.
“Overall, [Rookie of the Year] was our goal and we were able to do it. We’re just happy to be Rookie of the Year. It was a bummer what happened at Bristol, but what can you do,” Burda told Horsepower Happenings after the Winchester 100.
Burda says they may attempt to qualify for the 49th Running of the Winchester 400 on Sunday with the Pro-Late Model, but after that their season is likely over. As for his plans moving forward, Burda says that 2021 will look similar to 2020 in regards to what he’ll be racing; with the possibility of a few ARCA/CRA Super Series events, Burda is expected to return to competition with the JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour.
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Story - Zach Hiser, Horsepower Happenings
Photo - John Lund, CRA