Posted: Wednesday, August 20th 2014 at 2:00pm
Travis Braden gets ARCA/CRA win at Flat Rock Speedway
By Series PR
Travis Braden held off Ali Kern to score the ARCA/CRA Super Series victory Saturday night at Flat Rock Speedway. / Photo: Courtesy CRA Media
FLAT ROCK, MI – Travis Braden withstood a lengthy battle with Ali Kern and Steve Dorer as well as a bout of exhaustion and fatigue to score the victory in the 7-Up 125 at Flat Rock Speedway in Flat Rock, MI for the ARCA/CRA Super Series Saturday night.
"Man the car was a handful tonight,” Braden said in victory lane. “Ali (Kern) was so strong all night long. I honestly wasn't sure if I could hold her off or not. I just got a little over-exhausted and overheated after the race, but I'm just fine now. Just had trouble getting enough oxygen in the cockpit all night and I barely hung on from that last restart until the end of the race."
The field was brought down to the green flag by Matt Hall and Nick Gullatta, with Hall edging out to the early lead. Two quick yellows occurred on lap three and then on lap four with the second one the most serious of the night. Fourteen year old Todd Gilliland, the son of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver, David Gilliland, checked up to avoid a spinning car and was tagged from behind sending him hard into the turn three wall. He also collected Dennis Strickland. Both drivers were okay, but done for the evening.
On the restart, Braden worked his way into second and pulled up next to Hall. Braden briefly took the lead on the ensuing lap only to see Hall take the lead back a lap later. Hall would try to get away from the defending series champion, but Braden would regroup and take the lead back on lap 15. Soon Ali Kern would also skate past Hall to claim second and began charging after Braden. On lap 57, Kern briefly pulled out ahead of Braden only to lose the lead back to him a lap later.
As the laps continued to click off, Braden tried to lose Kern in lapped traffic, but Kern never let Braden stray too far out in front. On a restart on lap 91, Kern maneuvered her way out in front to retake the lead once again only to lose it on another restart on lap 94 which proved to be the winning pass. As Braden worked to stay out in front, Dorer added his machine to the fight for the lead as he and Kern battled side by side for the rest of the race, allowing Braden to inch out ahead and close out the race with the hard fought victory.
"I did everything I could to fight off Ali,” Braden said. “Man, she was so strong tonight. She's really got a great team now with her crew and Scott Neal Racing joining forces. She was having the same problems we were early in the season with the electrical issues. We got ours fixed and we've been real good ever since. She seems to have those problems sorted out now too.
“I tell you though, we've got a great team here and (crew chief) Gary St. Amant has been wonderful for us, keeping our spirits high. We've got four races left and I just love the tracks we're going to in defending our title. Winchester, Kil-Kare, Lucas Oil and Winchester again for the 400. We're in good shape."
Kern finished in second, with Dorer in third, Paul Shafer, Jr. in fourth and Eric Lee in fifth.
Ross Kenseth, Jason Dietsch, Rick Turner, J.J. Haley and Ron Allen rounded out the top ten.
For more information about the Champion Racing Association, visit cra-racing.com.
ARCA/CRA Super Series
Flat Rock Speedway - Flat Rock, MI
7-Up 125 - Aug. 16, 2014
1. 01 Travis Braden
2. 28 Ali Kern
3. 10 Steve Dorer
5. 5 Eric Lee
6. 77 Ross Kenseth
7. 7D Jason Dietsch
8. 26 Rick Turner
9. 99 J.J. Haley
10. 16 Ron Allen
11. 33 Wes Griffith, Jr.
12. 04 Matt Hall
13. 72H Scott Hantz
14. 131 Nick Gullatta
15. 72 Thomas Woodin
16. 12 Kevin Zielezinski
17. 30 Ben Beeler
18. 77R David Ragan
19. 43 Pat Zorn
20. 98 Todd Gililland
21. 0 Dennis Strickland
Link: CRA Racing Series
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