The JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour Presented by GM Performance Parts will head to Rockford Speedway this Saturday, July 30th for the sixth event of the inaugural season for the crate motor late model series. The famed tight quarter mile located in Loves Park, Illinois has been promoted for years by the Deery family, a well know name throughout short track racing. The track has hosted numerous top late model events over the years including the Stanley Steemer All Star 100, which as seen such names as Dick Trickle, Bobby Allison, Mark Martin and Joe Shear in victory lane.
Current JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour Presented by GM Performance Parts points leader Eddie Hoffman is no stranger to Rockford Speedway, having several victories at that facility including the 2007 All Star 100 which was ran under the former ASA Late Model Series banner. Hoffman also has two CRA Super Series wins at Rockford in the National Short Track Championships. Hoffman leads the JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour in total victories with two in the series five events to date including getting the win in the series last event on July 16th at Illiana Motor Speedway.
Hoffman currently has a 52 point lead over young Michigan racer Chad Finley heading into Saturday night’s race, which will mark the halfway point of the 2011 season. Finley is still seeking his first series victory but has had several strong runs with the series this season to keep him in the points chase. Canadian teenager Brandon Watson is third place in points, he is only nine points behind Finley. Watson battled for the lead for several laps at Illiana running side by side with Blake Brown before his cars set up went away. Indiana veteran racer Brent Downey is in fourth place, only one point behind Watson. Downey was the Keyser Manufacturing Fast Qualifier at Illiana and got a strong third place finish. Despite some tough luck recently 15 year old Erik Jones is still in fifth place in series points, only one point behind Downey. Only 63 points separate the top five who are all entered for Saturday night’s event.
15 year old Cody Coughlin tops the Howie Lettow Rookie of the Year Award Presented by Howe Racing points after five series events. Michigan teenager Jimmy Novak is only 18 points behind Coughlin. Tom Woodin is in third place in rookie points, he is 26 points behind Novak. All three of the top rookie drivers are entered for Saturday’s event.
Other top series drivers who are entered include former National Short Track Championships winner Josh Nelms, who is currently in sixth in series points, veteran crate late model racer and part time NASCAR Camping World Truck Series competitor Jack Smith, also Wes Griffith Jr., Danny Jackson, Matt Puskarich, and Jordan Miller. Illinois native Trent Snyder, a part-time series competitor who scored his first series victory at Anderson Speedway on July 9th is entered. Snyder was a winner of the All Star 100 with the former ASA Late Model North Series in 2008. Wisconsin late model stand out Rich Bickle is entered. Fellow Wisconsin racer Matt Byrne is also entered.
Loves Park, Illinois racer Ryan Carlson, the defending Champion of the All Star 100, has filed an entry for Saturday night’s race and looks to fend off Eddie Hoffman and all the other challengers in defending his home turf. Carlson beat Hoffman by only a few feet in last year’s event. Carlson is the current point’s leader in the Rockford Speedway Late Models that will also compete in a 30 lap feature event Saturday night.
Pits will open at 1:30pm Central Time on Saturday. Practice will begin at 4pm with qualifying at 6:15pm. The night’s race program will begin at 7:07pm and will include the Stanley Steemer All Star 100 for the JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour Presented by GM Performance Parts.
More event information is available at www.rockfordspeedway.com. More information on the JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour Presented by GM Performance Parts is available at www.craracing.net.