Scott Hantz Wins 35th Annual Ed Martin Auto Group Winchester 400 Winchester, IN (October 16, 2006) -- Coming from a lap down, Angola, Indiana native Scott Hantz won Sunday afternoon's 35th Annual Ed Martin Auto Group Winchester 400 on the ...
Scott Hantz Wins 35th Annual Ed Martin Auto Group Winchester 400
Winchester, IN (October 16, 2006) -- Coming from a lap down, Angola, Indiana native Scott Hantz won Sunday afternoon's 35th Annual Ed Martin Auto Group Winchester 400 on the famous High Banks of Winchester Speedway. Hantz came from a lap down to get the win when the only two cars running on the lead lap crashed together on lap 380 eliminating both cars from the event. Hantz was the only car a lap down and assumed the lead on lap 382 and cruised to the victory, his first with the CRA Super Series at Winchester Speedway.
"This is the biggest win of my career," stated Hantz in victory lane. "This is the Daytona 500 for guys like me, to be mentioned with names such as Mark Martin, Mike Eddy, and the others that have raced and won here is an honor. We didn't have the fastest car here this weekend, but we survived and got a little luck to get the win."
Hantz claimed the 2006 CRA Super Series points' championship by starting the Winchester 400, it is his second championship with the 10 year old series. Hantz started in the 20th position of the 33 car-starting field. Hantz steadily worked his way to the front and lead the event starting at lap 209 until lap 303 when he pitted. Hantz was working his way to the front again when he spun his car to avoid Jeff Lane's car, which had slowed with a broken rear end. Hantz's car suffered some damage but he also flat spotted his tires, which affected the cars handling, which caused him to lose a lap to the leaders.
Hantz stayed on the track trying to survive until the end, his plan worked when leader Chris Gabehart and second place running Clay Jones wrecked while battling for the lead on lap 380. Jones had made up two laps and worked his way into second inside of 50 laps to go in the event. Gabehart and Jones battled side by side for several laps with Jones visibly faster in the turns, with Gabehart faster in the straight a ways. Jones car seemed to slip in turn two on lap 380 making contact with Gabehart's car, which sent both cars hard into the back stretch retaining wall. Both cars were totally destroyed, but both drivers were okay.
Birmingham, Alabama native Augie Grill finished in second, despite making contact with the turn two retaining wall several times during the event. Grill was making his first ever start at Winchester Speedway. Indianapolis, Indiana's Tommy St. John finished in third, he finished second in the 2006 CRA Super Series point's race. Muncie's Jim Crabtree Jr. finished in fourth place and Indianapolis native John Heck finished in fifth, his best ever finish in a CRA Super Series event.
1999 Winchester 400 winner Brian Ross was eliminated in a lap 48 accident. Brian Rievley looked to be the car to beat until his motor expired on lap 215 after leading 130 of the first 215 laps. Teammate Eddie Van Meter lost several laps in the pits making repairs after leading 39 laps of the event. Van Meter finished in 8th place 18 laps down. 2006 CRA Super Series Rookie of the year set a new track record on Friday to set on the pole of Sunday's event. His dad, Dave Jackson, set on the pole of the last Winchester 400 ran in 2003. Jackson would also survive several altercations to get a sixth place finish.
In Friday's racing action of the 35th Annual Ed Martin Auto Group Winchester 400 Weekend Steve Blair would get the win in the Culy Construction 40 for the CRA Sportsman. Blair led the entire event holding off Al Cook Jr. to get the win. Cook Jr. came from the tail to get second after a lap 13 wreck with Terry Fisher Jr. Zach Hulvey finished in third. Keith Sterkowitz finished fourth and was crowned the 2006 CRA Sportsman Champion. Steve Minich Jr. rounded out the top five. Sterkowitz and Steve Stacy won the 8 lap heat races.
Brian Nester won the exciting 20-lap Modified All Star Shootout holding off Rodney Scott to get the win. Mike Carroll finished in third, Rob Yelton was fourth and Bud Perry finished in fifth.
In Saturday's racing action Brent Jack won the Galbreath/Muller Welding 75 for the CRA Outlaw Super Late Model's holding off as late charge from Scott Hantz who had to come from the tail after a flat tire late in the event. Eddie Van Meter finished in third, Dave Sensiba was fourth with Ron Allen in fifth. Rodney Scott won the 50-lap American Modified Run For The Gun event besting a field of 31 modifieds that entered the event. Mike Carroll would finish in second, Greg Stapleton in third, Mike Stacy in fourth and Steve Christman in fifth.
The 50 lap MAX 93.5/96.7 CRA Street Stock Series season championship event proved to be the best race of the day as Owensboro, Kentucky native Beau Mitchell continued his dominance of the High Banks winning for the fifth straight time in the five events he has raced at Winchester Speedway this season with the MAX 93.5/96.7 CRA Street Stocks. Mitchell was the fast qualifier, but drew a 12 for the inverted start. Mitchell wasted little time getting to the front passing for the lead on lap 8 and bringing veteran Ft. Wayne, Indiana driver Steve Christman with him. Mitchell and Christman put on a racing clinic going through heavy lap traffic battling for the lead. Mitchell was able to hold off the hard charging Christman to get the win. Chuck Cook would finish in third, Brian Hopkins in fourth and Shawn Bonar in fifth.
Joe Beaver finished in eighth place and claimed the 2006 CRA Street Stock Season Championship. The veteran Noblesville, Indiana native kept his car out of trouble and just focused on finishing to claim the championship for car owner Terry Burton.