Racing Veteran Jeff Lane Makes 200th Start and Takes Home a Win at Anderson
CRA Season Opener Full of Excitement at the Rescheduled Seal Wrap 125 Presented by Great Deals Magazine
By Shelby Scott

The Champion Racing Association Super Series finally got to start their season this past weekend at Anderson Speedway in Anderson (IN) after two races in a row were rained out, and for Jeff Lane this was a great way to start a season.

Since 1997 Lane has raced with CRA, and at Anderson this past weekend he became the first person in the history of the series to reach his 200th start.  If that honor wasn’t enough reason to celebrate, then kicking off the season with a win certainly was, and he attributes this win to his experience. Mason Mingus and Terry Fisher, Jr. (T.J.) followed Lane to the checkered flag at the end of the night.

“Like the pass with T.J. (Fisher), a lot of guys don’t like the top here because the wall can reach out and grab you, but I’ve run the top a lot and I would have to say that experience probably won me that race.”

Lane managed to take the lead by lap 34 from Terry Fisher, Jr. and never gave it up, but plenty of great drivers challenged him for it throughout the race.  Fisher, John VanDoorn and Mason Mingus all followed on Lane’s bumper at some point during the race, but none of them could get around the veteran and take his position.

“I think a lot of those battles were won on the restarts, especially on the two wide restarts,” said Lane.  “I had so many different guys next to me that I didn’t really change up what I was doing.  My car would really rotate good right off the get-go there and I think a lot of guys were having trouble with that and that was a benefit to me.”

Also exceptionally notable in the race was the battle between rookie of the year competitor Mason Mingus and Terry Fisher, Jr. during the last laps to take second place.  While Fisher had been able to ride toward the front of the pack for the entirety of the race, Mingus started all the way back at 14th and managed to work his way up through the field and around Fisher by the end of the race.

“I was trying to stay on the high side with 12 to go,” said Fisher.  “I’m not too happy about double file restarts here, they kind of killed us tonight but me and Mingus put on a good show there towards the end, both our cars were about the same.”

For the rookie Mingus, a second-place finish was a perfect way to kick off the 2011 CRA season.

“We took opportunities when they came (in the race) and we battled with T.J. for a long time at the end,” said Mingus.  “It was awesome.   We finally overtook him on a restart and were able to get up behind the #11 car (Lane).  We probably had a better car than him, but we just didn’t have enough time left to get around him.

“We’re not just running for Rookie of the Year; we’re going to try to win the points championship if we can and this is definitely a plus.  Running second the first race of the year is good and hopefully we can keep up some top-three finishes throughout the year.”

Unfortunately, in addition to double file restarts on a very narrow ¼ mile track, some first weekend mistakes seemed to cause more cautions in the race than usual and some competitors were knocked out of the running before the finish.  Ross Kenseth got caught up in two spins before his car was too damaged to finish the race.  John VanDoorn was forced to withdraw from the race early as well despite being caution free, after losing his ignition and not being able to restart his car.

The CRA Super Series kicked off their season with some exciting racing and a special win for Jeff Lane. The Super Series’ next race is at Baer Field Speedway in Ft. Wayne, IN on May 22.

Pos No. Name
1 11 Jeff Lane
2 811 Mason Mingus
3 81 Terry Fisher, Jr
4 63 Jim Crabtree, Jr.
5 14 Tyler Roahrig
6 72 Scott Hantz
7 17 Jenny White
8 4 Matt Hall
9 7 Jason Dietsch
10 2 Kenny Tweedy
11 21 Greg Boone
12 18 Robert Maynor
13 84 Jay Niewiek
14 131 Nick Gullatta
15 61 John VanDoorn
16 0 Joe Beaver
17 26 Rick Turner
18 125 David Carter
19 4 Derrick Griffin
20 25 Ross Kenseth
21 111 Peter Cozzolino
22 15 Damon Ecoff
23 31 Aaron Pierce
24 49 Colin Nickolai
25 28 Justin Alsip

Jeff Lane went back to victory lane In his 200th start. (CRA Photo)              
Jason Dietsch left Anderson with with a top 10. (CRA Photo)                  
Ross Kenseth had trouble and finished 20th. (CRA Photo)