CRAIG, KRAMER AND WINKS CAPTURE OFFICE DEPOT FAMILY FUN NIGHT WINS
Huge Crowd Cheers Craig As A Tow Truck Pulls Him to Victory Lane
ROSSBURG, OH (Aug. 11) – Barney Craig’s victory lap, following his sixth Stock Car feature win of the season, was likely his most unforgettable. The rear end of Craig’s No. 71C gave out after racing through the final turn; but the division points leader had enough of a lead to coast across the finish line for the win. A tow truck slowly pulled him down the front stretch in front of a cheering crowd as Craig enthusiastically saluted back on Office Depot Family Fun Night. Joey Kramer (UMP Modifieds) and Rob Winks (Midwest Mini Sprint Association) also celebrated victories on Eldora’s historic victory lane stage.
Craig, who started third, inherited the lead with nine laps left in the 15-lap feature when something broke on race leader Rob Trent’s ride. As Trent’s car roared down the backstretch something went awry, forcing his car to turn right and slam into the wall. He straightened it out before his car again turned right and slammed the wall to end his night. Craig set sail after that. He now leads the Stock division by eight points over Shawn Phillippi.
“When it started letting go, all I could think of was a drive shaft (coming) inside the car – I had one do that five years ago,” Craig said of feeling the car shake. “It stayed out. … It’s an unbelievable year.”
In a tight Modified points race, Kramer left Eldora with the top spot after his fourth victory this season. Rob Williams, Ryan Sutter, Kramer and Matt Westfall all entered Saturday’s action separated by just one point with Williams and Sutter tied for first and Kramer and Westfall in second.
Kramer started in the pole position, but trailed Doug Adkins and Scott Bowersock through the early laps of the 18-lap feature. Adkins was shuffled back when he hit the wall coming out of the second turn with 13 laps left. Kramer worked his way around Bowersock with eight to go and held on. Williams finished third, Westfall fourth and Sutter – who started 22nd – charged to sixth.
Kramer –- who said the car rocketed on restarts but was a struggle to drive otherwise — now leads Williams by two points, Westfall by four points and Sutter by five.
“This thing was pushing like a dump truck. It was awful. I really had to break the car loose,” Kramer said. “I’m tired, I had to work for that. There’s nothing better in dirt track racing than standing on this stage … after you win a feature at Eldora Speedway.”
Winks, who has raced at Eldora in both Sprints and Stocks, won the MMSA victory in the series’ inaugural visit to Eldora. He started second but led the first lap of the 15-lap feature after racing past pole-sitter Brandon Whited. Winks caught up to traffic with four laps to go and pulled off a daring two-car pass in Turns 3-4 to put distance between him and runner-up Aaron Farney.
“I probably have more track time than anyone else (in this division at Eldora), but when the car runs good … it’s all due to the people helping me,” Winks said. “It’s a lot of fun.”
Eldora Speedway returns to action with the fifth annual WIX Filters Baltes Classic on Sunday, Sept. 2, featuring the Sunoco American Late Models, UMP DIRTcar Modifieds and the Eldora Stocks. Tickets and campsites for the Baltes Classic, World 100 (Sept. 7 & 8), Four Crown Nationals (Sept. 21 & 22) and the UMP DIRTcar National Championships for Late Models and Modifieds (Oct. 5 & 6) are available through the speedway box office (937) 338-3815 or online 24 hours a day at www.eldoraspeedway.com. Fans can also like Eldora Speedway at Facebook.com/EldoraSpeedway and follow on Twitter: @EldoraSpeedway.