Official Event Results
Ricky Baker and Hunter Baize Find Victory Lane in Series Points Races
by Kari Shear-Carlson
May 26, 2015 - Thirty-nine was the lucky number in the ARCA Midwest Tour presented by Scag Power Equipment Calypso Chicagoland Showdown along with the ARCA/CRA Super Series powered by JEGS. On lap 39, the driver of car number 39, ARCA Midwest Touring Star, Andrew Morrissey, made a daring move to take over the lead after charging past ARCA/CRA drivers, Eddie Hoffman and Grant Quinlan, who had been battling for the win all afternoon. Morrissey went on to win $5000 and the Tommy Gun Trophy all the drivers had set their sights on.
“I just got a good run on them. Quinlan was kind of trying to run off me, so I backed off early and got a good run and just went around them (Quinlan and Hoffman),” Morrissey said in response to how he made his winning move.
Eddie Hoffman and Midwest Touring Star, Cardell Potter showed the way as the field got set for the final 50-lap event of the day. Tom White waved the green flag and the two went into turns one and two side-by-side. Hoffman was able to maintain a slight advantage as he led lap one.
Fast qualifier, Jeff Cannon didn’t waste anytime as he charged to the outside of Potter making the pass and immediately dove to the inside of Hoffman in an attempt to take the lead away early. Grant Quinlan was also quickly on the move. He got around Potter for third on his way to join the top two.
Cannon and Hoffman raced side-by-side lap after lap with Hoffman just inches over Cannon as they continued to cross the finish line. While Cannon continued to try to take over the top spot, he was protecting his line from the hard-charging Quinlan. Cannon knew he had to make his move over Hoffman in order to keep Quinlan in his rearview mirror. Cannon once again dove to the inside of Hoffman and the two were dead even across the line yet again.
While the battle up front continued to take shape, Morrissey was making himself known as he had moved to fifth from his tenth starting position within the first 15 laps of the 50-lap event.
As the top three battled, Hunter Baize, winner of the CRA points event earlier in the day, joined the party. Quinlan gave Cannon a little tap and got him crossed-up just enough for him to slip back, which let Hunter Baize take over the third spot. Quinlan then pressured Hoffman for the lead, almost going in the grass coming out of turn four, but Hoffman stayed strong and maintained his position.
Yet again, Eddie Hoffman saw himself in a side-by-side battle for the lead, but this time with Grant Quinlan. On lap 23, Quinlan finally got the advantage and took the top spot as Hunter Baize tried to take advantage as well. At the halfway point, the top four had settled their differences and were now racing bumper-to-bumper.
As the CRA drivers appeared to have the top spots covered, Morrissey was still showing his strength and quickly closed in on Jeff Cannon for the fourth spot. Winner of the ARCA Midwest Tour points race, Touring Star, Ricky Baker, had also been running consistently as he steadily remained in sixth. With fifteen laps remaining, it was Quinlan, Hoffman, Baize, Cannon and Morrissey leading the way.
On lap 39, while Hoffmann and Baize were battling side-by-side for the second spot, Baize spun and got into the turn two wall bringing out the first caution of the day and setting up a double-file restart. Quinlan chose the inside with Hoffman next to him. Andrew Morrissey also chose the inside line and had Jeff Cannon to his right.
When Tom White waved the green flag for the restart, the four flexed their muscles as they all fought to lead the next lap. Morrissey came out ahead, stretched out to an eight car-length lead and never looked back.
The caution flag flew again with only six laps to go when Boris Jurkovic and Chris Weinkauf got together, also gathering up Brian Campbell. Grant Quinlan brought out another caution two laps later as he slowed on the backstretch eventually having to retire early, four laps shy of the end.
Andrew Morrissey claimed victory followed by Eddie Hoffman, Jeff Cannon, and Ricky Baker. Ty Majeski had made his way up to the fifth spot followed by Paul Shafer Jr, in sixth. Wes Griffith, Jr., Anthony Danta, Matt Kocourek, and Austin Nason rounded out the top 10.
Morrissey was nothing short of excited with the win. “I couldn’t be happier. This is awesome! Thank you to everybody. Just, thank you,” he exclaimed from victory lane.
Jeff Cannon was the fast qualifier of the day followed by Ty Majeski and Paul Shafer, Jr. With the day’s race format, two 50-lap points features were run for each series respectively. Young Hunter Baize found himself in victory lane for the first time in his CRA career.
Ricky Baker also scored his first ever ARCA Midwest Tour win. “This is our first win here, so it’s pretty cool. We didn’t qualify very good and the car doesn’t really have a lot of speed. So I let the car come to me and let those guys burn themselves up a little bit,” he said from victory lane.
The ARCA Midwest Tour will return to action on Sat, June 13th for the Bill Meiller Memorial at Dells Raceway Park in Wisconsin Dells, WI. Racing will begin at 7pm. More details are available at arcamidwesttour.com
Be sure to follow the ARCA Midwest Tour on Facebook (/midwesttour) and Twitter (@midwesttour).
To learn more about the Automobile Racing Club of America Midwest Tour, log on to arcamidwesttour.com. The Automobile Racing Club of America (ARCA) is among the leading auto racing sanctioning bodies in the country. Founded in 1953 by John and Mildred Marcum, the organization administers more than 100 events each year in multiple racing series, including the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards, the ARCA/CRA Super Series, the ARCA Truck Series and the ARCA Midwest Tour, plus weekly racing at Toledo and Flat Rock Speedway.