Salem, IN (October 24, 2004) -- Daleville, Indiana's Bull Baker came away with the victory in the Sunoco Super Series return to the High-Banks of Salem Speedway Sunday afternoon. Baker led all 125 laps of the Spray Power 125 Presented By Sunoco...
Salem, IN (October 24, 2004) -- Daleville, Indiana's Bull Baker came away with the victory in the Sunoco Super Series return to the High-Banks of Salem Speedway Sunday afternoon. Baker led all 125 laps of the Spray Power 125 Presented By Sunoco and John Jones GM City, which was the main event of the 1st Annual CRA Salem Speedfest Presented By John Jones GM City. Baker had to fight off series veteran Scott Hantz through out the event to get the two-car length victory.
"This Port City racecar was bad, that's about all I can say," remarked Baker in victory lane. "It was awesome, I just love the high banked race tracks. We won a couple at Winchester Speedway, now we have one at Salem!"
Baker got the lead from his outside starting position over pole setter Scott Hantz. Hantz pressured Baker on every restart, but Baker managed to hold Hantz off each time. Hantz in turn got pressure from 2004 Salem Speedway Late Model Champion Keith Gardner, who was on Hantz's back bumper through out the event, once even making hard contact coming out of turn four, Hantz made a miraculous save to hold on and get his second place finish, the save earned Hantz the Sweet Manufacturing Sweet Move Of the Race Award. Gardner finished third in his first series start of the season. Gardner earned a $300 bonus from Salem's Mid-Southern Savings Bank for being the highest Salem Speedway Late Model racer in the event.
Chris Gabehart finished fourth in the event, which earned him the Backstretch Performance/Blake Carburetion/Reed Cams Rookie of the Race and the Backstretch Performance/Blake Carburetion/Reed Cams Rookie of the Year. Gabehart's closest rookie competitor Steve Moenck had his day end early in a lap 103 crash. Gabehart, a Louisville, Kentucky native who is currently finishing his Engineering Degree at Purdue University, had the best 13 finishes for the rookie award of the series 15 points events in 2004.
The big winner of the day was fifth place finisher Chuck Barnes Jr. The Louisville, Kentucky native came into the event as the series point's leader over Scott Hantz and came away with the 2004 Sunoco Super Series Championship at his home track. Barnes Jr. started the day by breaking Junior Hanley's track record in Corteco Qualifying. It was the 4th Corteco Fast Qualifier Award for Barnes for the season, which earned him the Corteco Fast Qualfier Of The Year Award. Barnes drew a seven for the inverted start and raced to his 5th place finish and a series championship, one year after winning the series Rookie Of The Year honors.
"It feels great to win the Sunoco Super Series Championship, especially being here at Salem Speedway," remarked Barnes Jr. "I was really nervous coming into today, getting the qualifying points helped, but I knew it would only take one mistake or some bad luck to change everything. I want to thank my family and my crew without them I wouldn't have ever had the chance to be here racing with the Sunoco Super Series. I also want to thank my sponsors Sunoco, Clifty Farms Country Hams, Hawk Performance, Cintas, Cowboys Food Stores and Hall Brothers Transportation, with out there support we couldn't have won the championship!"
Tim Baker, Crew Chief for his brother Bull Baker, was the Gladiator GarageWorks Crew Chief Of The Race Award winner. Eddie Van Meter was the Lane Automotive/ISKY Racing Cams Hardcharger Of The Race Award winner. Van Meter came from his 21st starting position to finish 10th. Bull Baker won both the Kingen Interstate Express Halfway Leader Bonus, and the MikroTek Lap Leader Award for leading the most laps. Chris Gabehart and Eddie Van Meter earned Goodyear Performance Awards. Scott Hantz's second place finish earned him the Scott Performance Wire Challenge. Steve Moenck received the EMF Corp/Race-Tech Engineering "That's Racin" Award.
In other 1st Annual CRA Salem Speedfest action, Gary Bedell came away with the USA Modifieds victory in the Pickett Equipment 50. Bedell had to fight off a determined Jeff Lane over the last 10 laps to get the victory. Scott Coe finished third, Jeff Weston fourth and Dave Cumbee fifth. Rodney Scott claimed the 2004 USA Modifieds Season Championship.
New Castle, Indiana's Tony Broyles came away with the win in the 30 lap Jasper Engines & Transmissions Midwest SuperTruck Championship that pitted CARS Truck Series against the Anderson Speedway Trucks. Steve Blair finished second, Jake Owens third, Derrick Layne fourth and Derek Price fifth. Blair came back with a vengeance and got the win in the MicroTek 50 for the Sportsman cars. Blair, a former Salem Speedway Super Stock Champion, made a spectacular outside pass early in the race, which helped him get the win. Jeff Ellis finished second, 2004 Salem Speedway Super Stock Champion Todd Kempf finished third, Bubba Trickle fourth and Jason Atkinson fifth.