TOMMY ST. JOHN FIGHTS OFF A STRONG CHALLENGE TO GET FIRST CRA SUPER SERIES WIN Winchester, IN (September 4, 2005) Indianapolis, Indiana native Tommy St. John had led several CRA Super Series presented by Spray Power races, and finished second...
TOMMY ST. JOHN FIGHTS OFF A STRONG CHALLENGE TO GET FIRST CRA SUPER SERIES WIN
Winchester, IN (September 4, 2005) Indianapolis, Indiana native Tommy St. John had led several CRA Super Series presented by Spray Power races, and finished second once, but he had never led the lap that counted until Monday afternoon at Winchester Speedway when he got his first series win in the McGunegill Engine Performance 100 which was part of the Labor Day Weekend World Stock Car Festival Presented By Maple-Tarr Chrysler Dodge Jeep. The 2005 CRA Super Series Rookie of the Year got the win by leading all 100 laps from his pole starting position and holding off the strong challenge of CRA Super Series veteran racer Jeff Lane.
"It was great to finally win my first CRA Super Series race." A jubilant St. John commented. "I owe all to the guys. They gave me a rocket out there today."
"We finally got our first win because of the unselfish work everyone on the crew puts in. There aren't any egos, just hard work, learning what we need to do, and working to get it done." Car owner Steve Keller stated.
St. John's first win was not easy, with Winchester Speedway master Jeff Lane following closely most of the race, running side by side with St. John several times, he hung on to win by just over a ¼ of a second. Lane seemed to take the lead on the 57th lap when St. John got caught trying to put a driver a lap down, but as Lane was starting to pass a caution, due to a car getting into the wall, caused the field to be frozen allowing St. John to maintain the lead. With two laps to go Lane pulled along side St. John on the inside, but holding the higher preferred line at Winchester, St. John was able to beat back this last challenge for the win.
Eddie Van Meter finished third moving up from his ninth starting spot despite losing his power steering. JR Roahrig finished fourth, Scott Hantz fifth, and Jim Crabtree, Jr. came home sixth.
Lane was fast all weekend, fastest in practice and won the Appleton Rack & Pinion Fast Qualifier and Fatheadz.com Fast Qualifier Awards. Lane started sixth after the invert and was forced to work very hard to pass Evan Jackson, the second fastest car this weekend in practice and qualifying. Jackson was running just behind Lane in third when he was forced in to the pits during a caution due to a tire problem, he restarted as the last car on the lead lap and worked his way up to 7th in one of fastest cars on the track at the time, but ran out of laps to move on up to the front.
With the win St. John moved into second in the CRA Season point championship, only 31 points behind leader Hantz, with Roahrig dropping into third 4 points behind St. John setting up a very tight Championship battle with only two points races to go.
JR Roahrig won the Sweet Manufacturing "Sweet Move of the Race" award for several very smooth passes while moving through the field. Crabtree was the ISKY Racing Cams/Lane Automotive Hard Charger Award moving up13 positions during the race. He also received the Racing Electronics Most Improved Award.
St. John received the Kingen Interstate Express Halfway Leader Award, the Fatheadz.com Race Winner Award and the Holley Performance Award. Roahrig and Crabtree were the Hoosier Racing Tire Performance Award winners. Danny Jackson was the CD-2 Rookie Award and Cometic Gasket Top Rookie of the Race Award winner. Bull Baker received the Leaf Race Products Tough Luck Award as the first car out.
Jason Shively received the EMF That's Racing Award for an incredibly hard hit at the beginning of the front stretch pit wall coming out of the fourth turn. Shively swerved to miss a car that was starting to spin, he bumped another car sending him into the end of the wall at race speed into the passenger side of the car. The impact bent the car severely, even bending the seat and safety bars around the foot box. Shively was not injured in the impact.
The next CRA Super Series presented by Spray Power Event is the Chicago International Trucks 200 with the 41st Annual National Stock Car Championships at Rockford Speedway on September 23 and 24, 2006. For more information see www.craracing.net.