Jurkovic Comes Back from Two Laps Down
Winchester, IN (October 18, 2011) – A tire problem put Boris Jurkovic two laps down in the 40th Annual Winchester 400 at Winchester Speedway Sunday afternoon, undeterred his crew kept him cool, and after he spun he came in changed his tire and with a couple of Lucky Dogs found himself back on the lead lap and in contention.
With only five laps to go, Jurkovic was in third behind both Chase Elliott, the defending Winchester 400 winner and Derrick Griffin. When a late spin brought out a caution and bunched up the field, Elliott went in for tires. On the restart Jurkovic took the lead with Elliott moving from fifth (last car on the lead lap) to third. As Jurkovic came down the back stretch into the third turn looking for the white flag a spin in the second turn brought out the final caution.
Griffin went in for his final set of tires, coming back onto the track, Griffin charged back to the front on the green/white/checker finish, pulling up beside Elliott as both were chasing Jurkovic. As the three raced to the finish in a tight bunch Jurkovic pulled ahead to win. Griffin pulled past Elliott from the fourth turn coming to the line. Josh Vadnais was fourth and Jeff Lane finished fifth.
"Who would have thought I would win after getting two laps down early. We suffered a left rear twisted tire, and the crew kept telling me to stay out and hang on to the caution, unfortunately I was the caution. " Jurkovic stated. “But we got back to the front with the lucky dogs. I can't thank my guys enough, Chris Gabehart gave me the setup, and the guys really worked hard."< >
Griffin dominated most of the race. Starting from the pole after setting the EDCO Welding Fast Qualifier Award, he took off for the early lead, and held it for 150 laps. Elliott took over for most of the next 120 laps.
On the 93 lap the only red flag of the event flew when nine cars were involved in a horrific looking accident in the first turn when one car spun and the others could not stop on a restart. Five cars were eliminated in that accident.
The Lane Automotive/ISKY Racing Cams Hardcharger Award went to Dennis Schoenfeld who moved from 31st to finish 11th. The Turn One Lap Leader Award went to Griffin for leading the most laps of the race.
Starting the weekend Scott Hantz led Griffin by seven points for the 2011 CRA Super Series Championship. Griffin earned 10 points during qualifying to take the lead by three points going into the race. They traded places between first and second a few times during the race as Hantz even got to the lead for a few laps. Then disaster struck as Hantz had an oil pressure line come loose under green flag conditions. He lost eight laps in the pits, that bit of bad luck took him out of contention for the race and the chance to win his fourth series Championship. Griffin became only the second driver to win the CRA Super Series Championship as a rookie, Hantz was the first in 2000.
"This is something you dream about, but who believes you can win a Championship against these guys in your rookie year?" Griffin commented. "I just can't believe it, it is great, just great."
The final event for the CRA Super Series will be the North/South Shootout at Caraway Speedway in Ashboro, NC on November 4&5. For more information see www.craracing.net.