Swanson Claims First Career ARCA/CRA Win
Pair of First Time Winners Open Season at Salem
Salem, IN (Monday, April 26, 2021) - A pair of first-time winners were crowned Sunday afternoon at Salem Speedway in Salem, Indiana with the JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour and the ARCA/CRA Super Series. The races served as the season-opening events for both tours which were also accompanied by the Van Hoy Oil CRA Street Stocks. A large crowd on hand saw excitement on the track all day long during the Midwest 250 Presented by Scott County Tourism and Lucas Oil.
The JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour were the first to roll to the historic Salem High Banks for their Scott County Tourism 100 lap contest. Andrew Scheid, who was making his first career JEGS Tour Points start, led the field to green alongside fellow young gun, Corey Deuser. The race was haulted nearly as soon as it began. Scheid got high in turns three and four on the first lap, giving Deuser a small window to his inside. As Scheid got his car to rotate, Deuser left no room for error, but error occurred, as Deuser jumped the left rear tire of Scheid’s no 77 Cadillac West Racing machine. The pair spun in front of the entire field, with Scheid coming across the track, slamming into the front stretch wall. Deuser hit the wall and came to rest just off turn four, while the remaining 15 cars darted for a safe place on the track. In all, nine cars took contact from the incident which ended the day for Scheid, Deuser, Cole Williams, Mason Keller, Jared Smith, and Kody Swanson.
When the field retook the green, Tanner Jack led until nearly the halfway point before former series Champion, Cody Coughlin powered by the Indiana native. Coughlin continued to lead for the better part of the race, but he dealt with constant pressure from fast qualifier, Trey Craig.
Craig was relentless in his efforts to get around Coughlin, and eventually made the pass for the lead just after the halfway point. Coughlin retired from the race after 77 laps, but Craig’s race wasn’t over yet. A caution on lap 78 for Zachary Tinkle stacked the field back up for one more run the finish. Enjoying a career day, Mandy chick was poised to strike should Craig encounter a problem. Craig was able to hold on the remaining 22 laps for his first career JEGS tour win. Chick finished a career-best second, with Mason Mingus third, Dylan Bates fourth, and Scott Melton fifth.
For the ARCA/CRA Super Series, it appeared as though current NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Rookie of the Year Championship Points Standings leader, Carson Hocevar would open the Super Series season with a win. Hocevar rode around Salem Speedway until lap 72 when he passed Hunter Jack for the top spot. Hocevar then appeared to be on cruise control, that was until Kody Swanson started firing on all cylinders.
Swanson suddenly began working his way through the field, handling Kyle Crump and Jack in seemingly effortless fashion. From there, he went to work on Hocevar. Coming off turn four to start lap 90, Swanson found what he needed to take the lead. By the time the field returned to turn four, the handling woes caught up to Hocevar as he spun exiting the turn. A scary moment as he sat driver’s door toward turn four; Jack and Crump were able to make evasive maneuvers to avoid Hocevar, spinning without contact after they went around him.
Swanson survived the final restart of the day, one that played right into the hands of Scotty Tomasik who snuck up to second, Jack held on to round out the podium. The win was Swanson’s first ARCA/CRA Super Series win of his career, in his first start.
Next up for the ARCA/CRA Super Series and the JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour is the North/South Super Late Model Challenge at Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway on Saturday, May 8th. The race will also be part of the Music City 200 for the ARCA Menards East Series.
For more on Champion Racing Association and the Midwest 250, log on to cra-racing.com. Find CRA: Champion Racing Association on Facebook and Twitter @CRAracing.
For more stories from around the region, be sure to log ontowww.horsepowerhappenings.com. Listen to on-demand episodes of the Horsepower Happenings Podcast, with new episodes every Monday night at 9:00 pm.
Story - Zach Hiser, Horsepower Happenings
Photo - John Lund