Owosso Speedway

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Brandon Barcus Defends the Territory Over CRA Late Model Sportsman


Owosso Speedway

Brandon Barcus Defends the Territory Over CRA Late Model Sportsman

Despite cold and rainy conditions earlier in the day, the Owosso Speedway crew persevered, making use of all available equipment to get the track dried as promptly as possible. This was great news for diehard fans who came out to witness the inaugural visit of the Vore’s Welding CRA Late Model Sportsman who would run head to head with the M&K Truck Centers Late Model Sportsman of the Owosso Speedway.

The first event of the night would be the Flory Crane Rental Sport Compacts in what was scheduled to be a 20 lap feature event. The star of the show would be Matthew Elsey Jr. The Sport Compact ace who collects track records like Thanos collected the Infinity Stones set his sights on Owosso glory, and he was not to be denied. After the race came to an early conclusion after the time limit expired, Elsey made his way to victory lane for the first time in 2024. Ray Powell initially finished second but would be disqualified after not going to post-race technical inspection after leaving the track. Bobbi Jo Jernigan would inherit the runner up position. Bryson Hosner would back up his win from the week prior with a podium finish, while Randy Moore and Defending Champion Nicholas Murdock completed the top five. Dan Hassard would get the bonus points for Hard Charger of the Race, advancing 12 spots from the start. Chad Baker won the B-Main as well as the first heat. Phoebe Hosner, Camille Lewis, and Elsey Jr. won the remaining heat races. Elsey Jr. also established a new track record in qualifying with a lap of 16.693.

The MCR Dwarf Car Series would be next up for their first event of their 30th Anniversary Season. Zack Nichols would pick up the win, but it would be far from a “gimmie” as he had a near photo finish with one of the top contenders in the Dwarf Car world for many years. Eric Hoffman would break away from the pack after a prolonged battle with Steve Shlater Jr. In the closing laps of the race he would run down Nichols, but it was not to be as Nichols held on to lock in the win. Eric Hoffman settled for second over Shlater, Keith Barker Jr., and Troy Hoffman. Nicole Olmstead and Zack Nichols took heat race wins, while Troy Hoffman set the mark in qualifying with a 15.816.

The 75-lap Owosso Showdown would be the penultimate race of the night with 23 cars lining up on the grid, a season high for the CRA Late Model Sportsman Series. Douglas Litogot and Chris Munson would lead the field down to the green. Munson would jump out to the early lead, holding the advantage for a large chunk of the first stages of the race. He would be forced to give way to former ASA/CRA Super Series Champion Hunter Jack. Hunter would hold the point until a restart in which he lined up alongside Buddy Head. Head had won the opening event of the season for the M&K Truck Centers Late Model Sportsman and was looking to go back to back, but would get caught up in a spin when Hunter Jack, unknowingly battling a tire losing air, slid up the track colliding with Head. Hunter’s brother Tanner would get caught up as well. This would set the stage for an epic battle for the victory. Defending Track Champion Jon Beach and Brandon Barcus. The two drivers would beat and bang as they furiously fought to reach the line, but as the checkered fell it was Barcus taking the hard fought victory. Beach would settle for second, while Douglas Litogot had a career night in third. Buddy Head would rebound from his spin to finish fourth over Greg Stilwell Jr. Beach would establish the track record for CRA Late Model Sportsman with a lap of 15.076.

To close out the evening was the Gross Construction Street Stocks for 25-laps around the 3/8s mile oval. Rob Sullivan would lead the field down to the green, leading the opening laps. The traffic would play right into the hands of Jim Miller Sr. as he was able to shoot the gap between two cars and then wrest the lead away. Tim Lahar would get up to second and try to run down Miller, but would run out of laps as Miller took his second straight victory. Lahar was second with Jeff Owens, Aaron Newman, and Norm Overhiser completing the top five in the caution free affair. Owens would win the heat race, and establish a new track record in qualifying with a 16.024. Miller Sr., Lahar, and Owens would all share Hard Charger honors each advancing six spots.

Submitted By: Chris Fobbe

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