Survives Battle with ARCA Midwest Tour Competitor, Chris Wimmer at Toledo Speedway
Toledo, Ohio (Saturday, April 20th, 2013): It was a historic evening on Saturday, April 20th at the famed 1/2 (0.500) mile high-banked paved oval of Toledo Speedway, located just south of the Michigan / Ohio state line in Toledo, Ohio as the ARCA/CRA Super Series Powered by JEGS and the ARCA Midwest Tour Presented by SCAG Power Equipment & Lester Builders came together for the first ever combination race pitting the two premier Super Late Model tours in the country head to head in the running of the Border Wars 7-Up 150.
Standing in victory lane on a cold and blustery night was a familiar name to those who have followed Champion Racing Association Powered by JEGS action over the years as Three-Time and Reigning ARCA/CRA Super Series Champion, Johnny VanDoorn took the lead for the final time from ARCA Midwest Tour invader, Chris Wimmer with just eight laps to go and would hang on in his #61 Port City Racecars / Chevrolet to collect the $5,000 payday.
“This is my favorite race track so this win is even more special with everything that is surrounding this event with the guys from the ARCA Midwest Tour coming over,” The Coopersville, Michigan driver stated in victory lane. “We broke the track record and my brother (Butch VanDoorn) is back as my Crew Chief. This whole crew was great and I really appreciate all of their hard work.” He added.
After broke the track record in EDCO Welding Qualifying by 0.173 seconds over the massive 43-car field, which was his 14th career Fast Qualifier Award and moved him into a tie for fourth all-time with Canadian Legend, Junior Hanley, he drew a six for an inversion which placed ARCA Midwest Tour regulars, Jacob Goede and Skylar Holzhausen on the front row for the Border Wars 7-Up 150.
The two traveling invaders brought 30 of the best Super Late Models competitors in the country to Chief Starter, Brian Duncan’s green flag and it would be Goede beating Holzhausen and the rest of the field to the first corner to take the early advantage while the rest of the field jockeyed for position behind him.
On lap 19 after a restart, Chris Wimmer, who started fifth, had worked his way up to second and would grab the lead away from Goede only to lose it three laps later. It wasn’t until lap 64 when Wimmer would work his way back by Goede to reclaim the top spot and lead the field into the 15 minute break at lap 76 of the 150-lap main over Goede, Defending ARCA Midwest Tour Champion, Jonathon Eilen, Dan Fredrickson and Nathan Haseleu who were the top five and lead a contingent of seven ARCA Midwest Tour competitors onto pit road for service.
VanDoorn, who fell back to as far as 10th and restarted from there when the green flag flew again, began his charge to the front and in just 10 laps had positioned himself in the top five for the first time of the race. “We ran the whole race on one set of tires, so it was a race of tire management,” VanDoorn explained. “That is a challenge for me because I’m more of a wide-open type of guy. It took a lot of discipline from me and a lot of effort from my crew to hold me back for the first half of the race.
After a restart on lap 85, VanDoorn quickly worked his way into the top three and by lap 90 was in second place after disposing of Goede and setting his sights on Wimmer who continued to show the way. For the next 36 laps, VanDoorn followed Wimmer’s tire tracks all over the historic Northern Ohio speed plant when on lap 127, he made his move and after contact with the race leader, VanDoorn would take over the lead for the first time.
With 10 laps to go, Wimmer had regrouped and fought his way back by VanDoorn to retake the top spot only to see VanDoorn charge back by two laps later and from there, it was all VanDoorn who steadily pulled away from Wimmer and would steer the Port City Racecars House Car to the checkered flag first after winning his 14th career ARCA/CRA Super Series race, which moved him into a tie for fourth all-time with Jeff Lane.
“I started working for Port City back in high school in 2004,” continued the recently turned 25-year-old on April 4th. “I started off cutting tubing and sweeping the floors for Harley (Boeve - Port City Racecars Founder) and now here we are almost 10 years later and I’m driving the Port City House Car that so many legends have raced over the years. I have to pinch myself to make sure this is real.”
Wimmer came home in second spot in his #52 Preval / Chevrolet, but the Wausau, Wisconsin driver was very happy with his efforts on the day; “We had such a great car all weekend long. We were fast yesterday in Practice and again today. We were able to lead a few times and we honestly just had an awesome weekend down here.” The 33-year-old remarked. “I have to thank my guys. I know it was a hard day with it being so cold here all weekend.” He added.
Bangor, Wisconsin competitor, Skylar Holzhausen, who started on the outside of the front row in his #78 Wegner Automotive / Ford and fell back to as far as ninth at one point, rallied to post the final podium position in third. “We had to fight the car during the race, but we managed to get back up there and I’m real happy, especially with the cars that were here tonight.” The 23-year-old offered
Inaugural ARCA Midwest Tour Champion from the 2007 season, Nathan Haseleu finished in fourth spot as Bubba Pollard completed the top five. Eddie Hoffman finished sixth as Dennis Prunty was seventh after starting 17th ahead of Nick Gullatta while Chad Finley overcame a mid race spin and pit stop to finish ninth ahead of 2011 ARCA/CRA Super Series Champion & Rookie of the Year, Derrick Griffin who wrapped up the top 10.
VanDoorn’s new track record was a 15.197 which measures out to 118.444mph as with a 43-car field in attendance, two Last Chance Races were needed as Mark Kraus won the first 15-lap affair over Joel Theisen while Jeff Storm finished ahead of Thor Anderson in the second Last Chance Race.
Both series’ will get back together for the second and final combination event of the 2013 racing season on Sunday, August 11th at the fast 1/2 (0.500) mile high-banked paved oval of Madison International Speedway in Oregon, Wisconsin. The next race for the ARCA Midwest Tour Presented by SCAG Power Equipment & Lester Builders is on Saturday-Sunday, May 4-5th for the 5th annual Joe Shear Classic 100 also at Madison. For more information about the ARCA Midwest Tour, go to their website at: www.arcamidwesttour.com
The next event for the ARCA/CRA Super Series Powered by JEGS will be on Saturday, May 4th at the fast (0.250) mile high-banked paved oval of Anderson Speedway, located north of Indianapolis in Anderson, Indiana as the historic oval will host the rescheduled Sell It Again Sam 125 Presented by Great Deals Magazine which was postponed due to weather from April 13th.
For more information about all of the series’ within Champion Racing Association Powered by JEGS, go to the website located at: www.cra-racing.com Also for more information about Anderson Speedway, the site of race #2 for ARCA/CRA Super Series Powered by JEGS, go to the track website at: www.andersonspeedway.com
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