The Herald Bulletin

Afternoon Update

Sports Columns

October 8, 2013

Winchester 400 on tap this weekend

With the racing season winding down there are two of the nation’s premier events slated this weekend in central Indiana.

The 42nd running of the Winchester 400 is set for Sunday with racing at the famed half-mile oval scheduled for Friday and Saturday.The other major event is the National Crown at Anderson Speedway, a 100-lap event for outlaw Figure-8 cars and a large field is expected.Both race dates are circled on my racing calendar on a yearly basis.Along with the Red Bud 300 at Anderson Speedway, the All American 400 at Nashville USA Speedway and the Snowball Derby at Five Flags Speedway in Florida, the Winchester 400 has long been a must see race for fans of super late model racing.Michigan driver Johnny VanDoorn is gunning for a $100,000 bonus if he can capture the Winchester 400 after already winning the Red Bud 300 and the Rowdy 251 at Berlin Raceway.VanDoorn is receiving some sponsorship help from Mitch Smith Auto Service for the Winchester 400. Owner Mitch Smith, a former champion drag racer, has supported several teams with the ARCA/CRA Super Series in recent years.To record a win at Winchester VanDoorn will have to best a stellar field of drivers from around the country. Winning the Winchester 400 is never an easy task with teams needing to perform lots of prep work and to have lots of luck.Chase Elliott, Ross Kenseth, Bubba Pollard, Donnie Wilson, T.J. Reaid, Steve Nasse, Augie Grill and Daniel Hemric are just some of the top drivers making the trip to central Indiana.Regulars with the ARCA/CRA series looking to record a win at Winchester include Travis Braden, Kenny Tweedy, Tyler Roahrig, Joe Beaver, Rick Turner and Terry Fisher Jr.Kenseth is the defending race winner and has to be considered a favorite to repeat. Elliott is also a former winner of the event.With 42 teams already entered for the Winchester 400 it will be prove difficult to make the 36-car starting field.Wilson and Pollard are always quick at Winchester but have never had particularly good luck at the track.My pick for the win is Grill with Fisher as the long shot.The JEGS All-Star Tour will be competing in a 100-lap feature on Friday at Winchester with the CRA Sportsman, Street Stocks and the Top Speed Modifieds all in action on Saturday.This is always an exciting event with the winner normally not determined until the final laps. A lot of tire strategy comes into play over the course of the final 50 laps.Racing on Friday begins at 7 p.m. and on Saturday at 6 p.m. The Winchester 400 rolls off at 2 p.m. Sunday.The National Crown at Anderson Speedway is the longest continuing race in the U.S. and is never an easy victory to secure for the competitors.Drivers expected to compete include Ben and Austin Tunney, Charles and Chuckie Hargraves, R.J. Norton, Eddie VanMeter, Jeremy Vanderhoof, Josh Tharp, Mike Riddle and Shawn Cullen.Racing starts at 6 p.m.In other racing news: Anderson Speedway will be running nine feature events to crown division champions on Oct. 19 in the UAW Paint the Night Pink event to help promote breast cancer awareness. Racing action starts at 5 p.m.

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