CRA: Appleton summary 2005-06-12

Jeremy Lepak Wins The 7th Annual Rod Baker Ford George Appleton Memorial 125 Morris, IL (June 12, 2005) -- Wausau, Wisconsin native Jeremy Lepak took full advantage of his pole starting position in the 7th Annual Rod Baker Ford George Appleton...

Jeremy Lepak Wins The 7th Annual Rod Baker Ford George Appleton Memorial 125

Morris, IL (June 12, 2005) -- Wausau, Wisconsin native Jeremy Lepak took full advantage of his pole starting position in the 7th Annual Rod Baker Ford George Appleton Memorial 125 Sunday afternoon at Grundy County Speedway by leading every lap of the race to win his first ever CRA Super Series Presented By Spray Power sanctioned event, with fellow Wisconsin natives Nathan Haseleu finishing second and Lisa Thomas Salon Fast Qualifier Ryan Mathews third. Veteran Midwest racer Dave Weltmeyer ran fourth and Brent Sontag just beat a hard charging Eddie Hoffman for fifth by less than half a car length at the line.

"We worked really hard to get ready for this race. We had a bad deal at Madison (wrecking hard). The crew worked hard, kept their heads up in a tough time and this shows how strong we are," stated a very happy Lepak following the race.

Mathews was the quickest in qualifying, and then drew a seven putting Lepak on the pole. Lepak jumped out to an early lead over Boris Jurkovic before Nathan Haseleu caught him on the fourth lap and proceeded to take over second. Haseleu challenged Lepak on nearly every lap after that, never more than 5 car lengths behind him throughout the race. Mathews worked his way up from his inverted seventh starting position to run third.

"We were strong at the start, a little loose in the middle and then strong at the end, but we could not get Lepak. I am just glad to set fast time and finish in the Top 3 with a lot of very good cars," Mathews remarked.

The 43 qualifiers for Sunday's event was the largest field of cars for the CRA Super Series so far in the 2005 season. After locking in the fastest 16 cars through qualifying, the top two cars from the two qualifying races Jeff Strom & Tom Smith from race one, and Bill Kippenberg & Rick Corso from race two. Two CRA Super Series owner point provisionals Chris Gabehart & Kenny Tweedy, two Grundy County Speedway point provisionals Pat McCabe & Robert Werkmeister, a former event champions provisional J.R. Roahrig, the next fastest qualifier not in the race Jerry Cowan and then Jacob Humphrey, the first place finisher from the 15 lap Last Chance Race rounded out the field of twenty seven starters.

Jurkovic stayed with the lead group, before bringing out the first caution of the race on lap 75 after contact with fellow CRA Super Series regular Eddie Hoffman. Both cars went to the tail, with Hoffman charging back through the field to a sixth place finish, making many passes on both the high and low side and earning him the Sweet Manufacturing Sweet Move of the Race award.

Mathews, Sontag, Haseleu, Pat Kelly, and Jurkovic won the Lisa Thomas Salon Qualifying bonuses. Chris Gabehart moved up 6 positions to win the Howe Racing Performance award. Former Rod Baker Ford George Appleton Memorial champion JR Roahrig was the Lane Automotive/ISKY Racing Cams Hardcharger of the race Award winner. Tony Schloer, from Jeremy Lepak's crew, was the Marvel Mystery Oil Mechanic Of The Race. Lepak's win earned the Gunderman Racing Team a Hamner Racing Engines bonus and a Holley Performance Award.

The next CRA Super Series event is the Holland Motor Homes Renegade 125 Saturday, June 18, 2005 at Berlin Raceway in Marne, Michigan. This will be the CRA Super Series first visit to Berlin this year. Local favorite, Fred Campbell won the last CRA Event at Berlin and he will be making his first appearance with the CRA Super Series this year. For more information go to www.craracing.com.

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Series Stock car
Drivers Tom Smith , Ryan Mathews