Nashville, TN – The JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour Presented by Chevrolet Performance is set to return to Birch Run Speedway and Event Center on Saturday, September 9th for The Big One 100 and finale of the Triple Crown Series. This season, Birch Run Speedway has been the track for first-time success, not just once, but in each visit this summer. The penultimate event of the 2023 Championship Points paying season could again be the sight of a first-time accomplishment – a Champion.
The upset-minded facility began setting a new trend during the first visit to the facility in May during the Tour’s first visit. Lapeer, Michigan’s Chase Burda had a near-perfect afternoon en route to his first career JEGS Tour win. After being fastest in practice and setting fast time during qualifying, the 18-year-old led the final 60 laps on his way to the win. Since then, Burda has collected two additional wins with the Tour including the Masters of the Pros 184 at Owosso Speedway and most recently the World Stock Car Festival at Winchester Speedway.
When the Tour returned in July for the Firecracker 100, it looked as though the old guard would man the gates once again. Kyle Crump and Carson Hocevar had the front of the field on lockdown with Dan Leeck in tow. As the top five shuffled after the halfway mark, Ethan Stadniczuk and Katie Hettinger worked their way into the conversation. After a crash between the leaders on lap 73, Stadniczuk inherited the lead. He was able to hold off Hettinger, who was searching for her first career JEGS win, and collect his first outright JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour win.
Now, The Big One 100 has a chance to finalize another historic moment in JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour time. Hettinger is returning to again try and improve on her best career JEGS finish. Prior to the July race, Birch Run was already the home of her best finish. The 16-year-old originally from Dryden, Michigan now makes her home in North Carolina racing for Anthony Campi Racing and is the current Rookie of the Year points leader and one spot back of the division Championship for the CARS Pro Late Model Tour.
Additionally, other drivers continue to look for their first career triumph, including current championship runner-up, Brandon Varney. The green No.61 has been upfront in every event this season, including posting his best career finish (3rd) at Salem Speedway in June during the Midwest 100. Varney was again in contention last weekend at Winchester Speedway, but fell to the sidelines after making significant contact with the outside wall.
Finally, Chase Burda has a chance to make two marks in the history books on Saturday. If he were to pick up another win on the season, he would tie Brian Campbell for second on the “Most Wins in a Single Season” list. In 2012, Daniel Hemric set the benchmark winning an unprecedented 8 of 14 races and the championship. In 2014, Campbell won four of the 11 contests but fell short on the hunt for a championship. Currently, Burda joins Cody Coughlin, Carson Hocevar, and Jack Smith as drivers who have won three races in a season.
The other potential accomplishment for Burda would be to wrap up the 2023 JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour Presented by Chevrolet Performance Championship. After the win at Winchester and the DNF from Varney, Burda can clinch the championship by simply starting Saturday’s The Big One 100 at Birch Run. If Burda continues to run out the season, he also could win the title by the largest margin since Cody Coughlin’s 126-point Championship effort in 2016.
For more information on The Big One 100 at Birch Run Speedway and Event Center on Saturday, September 9th, log onto www.CRA-Racing.com. Find CRA: Champion Racing Association on Facebook and follow @CRARacing on Twitter.