For many this past Sunday’s Winchester 400 was an exciting event full of great racing and fun, for others it was the end of the 2011 race season and to one team and driver it was the end of an era with CRA. For the EMF Corp race team with driver Scott Hantz it was the end of 26 years of racing together since Dick Poe first helped sponsor Hantz in a Factory Stock in 1986. Dick continued to support Hantz for several seasons before forming the EMF Corp race team with Hantz as his full-time driver.
After racing one race with the CRA Super Series in 1998 and a hand full in 1999, Poe and Hantz decided to go racing full-time with the CRA Super Series for the 2000 season beginning the EMF Corp race team era with the CRA Super Series. It started with a bang claiming the series Championship and Rookie of the Year honors that season and getting the team’s first series win at Plymouth Speedway on July 2nd.
Twelve race seasons later the EMF Corp race team and Hantz hold almost every top record the series has. The team holds the record for most Championships with three, the second Championship came in 2006, the third in 2008. Hantz had hoped to claim a fourth this season, dedicating it to the memory of his car owner who passed away in July of 2010, but a loose oil line and a cracked wheel ended any chance at that goal on Sunday clearing the way for Welch & Wilson Motorsports team with driver Derrick Griffin to claim the 2011 series Championship and the Rookie of the Year honors, and rightly so, the first to do that since Hantz and the EMF Corp race team in 2000.
Hantz and the EMF Corp race team have the most series wins with 28, former two time Champion Brian Ross is second with 22. They have the most Fast Qualifier Awards with 18, 1997 series Champion Kenny Tweedy is second with 14. They have the most top five finishes with 108, Jeff Lane is second with 56. They have the most top ten finishes with 137, Lane is also second in that category with 103.
Sunday’s race was Hantz’s 200th CRA Super Series start, he is the second driver to achieve that mark, Jeff Lane had his 200th start at the beginning of this season. Hantz has won big races including the 2006 Winchester 400, he won at the Fairgrounds in Nashville and his win in the Redbud 300 at Anderson Speedway last season, just days after Dick Poe’s passing, was one that people will never forget. During all those season’s Hantz was also a winner in the teams Outlaw Super Late Models, racing and consistently winning at places like Dixie Motor Speedway and at Toledo Speedway.
"I have to say thanks to Dick and Jackie Poe for 26 years of supporting my racing," remarked Hantz. "They were very good to me and I really appreciate everything they did for me. I would never have gotten to race with CRA or won any big races without them."
Dick and his wife Jackie also supported CRA in other ways. They owned Angola Motor Speedway until this past season were they hosted 15 CRA Super Series events, of which Hantz won the most with four victories. EMF Corp has also been a sponsor with the series for several years, supporting series racers with the EMF Corp That’s Racing Award which helped an unlucky racer at each series event.
"Dick and Jackie were great supporters of CRA the whole time they raced with us," remarked Glenn Luckett, Managing Partner of CRA. "Without their support, the CRA Super Series would not be what it is today. I hope Scott is able to continue to race with us and that he will continue to set the bar for other racers in our series."
Hantz hopes to continue racing with the CRA Super Series in 2012, he will now be his own car owner with some help from EMF Corp’s as a sponsor, but it will be a big adjustment from what the team was in prior seasons.
"It looks like I will be the car owner for any CRA events I race next season, I’ll be working out of a shop at my house. It’s definitely going to be a lot different. I feel I can still win races and another Championship, but I am going to have to have some more help to be as competitive as I was with CRA in the past."
There will be a blowout sale of the surplus race equipment left at the EMF Corp race team this Saturday and Sunday at EMF Corp in Angola, Indiana from 9am to 3pm each day. Some of the equipment for sale includes CRA Super Series Racecars, Outlaw Super Late Model Racecars and several race engines. More information is available by calling 260-668-0982 or going to www.scotthantz.com..