Ontario youngster Dominique Van Wieringen surprised the short track racing community last time out at Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis when she dominated the JEGS/CRA All-Star Tour event. She picked up where she left off Friday night at Winchester Speedway, but ended up a lap short of the victory.
After a seven car invert, Jason Dietsch and Van Wieringen started from the front row with Dominique shooting into a comfortable lead during each of the short green flag runs throughout the race. The originally scheduled 100 lap race was plagued with countless cautions and red flags.
Fast qualifier Dan Leeck was the first to drop out with an overheating problem. Then it was Tom Woodin who found himself in the turn three wall. Then series champion Cody Coughlin got into the wall and nearly stacked up the field. Car after car that appeared to reel in Van Wieringen ended up pit side at the end of the night.
As the second half of the race begun the race fell into its longest green flag period of the race. Jerrod Foley was up to second, forced to pit under caution, and worked his way back up to fourth before making contact with another car.
On the restart, the biggest altercation took place when David McManus went under Scott Neal for second and got together sending both into the wall and to rest in turn one. It took CRA tech director Eddie Chew to stop Neal from having more words with McManus after climbing out of his demolished machine.
Original pole starter Dietsch now found himself in the cursed second spot, and after a slow restart found himself wrecked a few laps later. Foley then made it back to second, but cut a tire after contact.
Enter Corey Deuser. The 15 year old from Missouri now found himself in the runner up position. The race was announced that it would be shortened to 75 laps due to the late hour and the fact that there was still another supporting feature to be run.
Van Wieringen continued to lead, but her line didn't appear to be as smooth and consistent as before. Deuser slipped by on the last lap to come by for the checkered flag and his first tour victory.
"I didn't think we were going to have a good race. I couldn't believe it happened," a surprised Deuser said in victory lane.
While Deuser's family and friends were cheering, the loudest cheers were for Van Wieringen as she climbed out of her car and waved to the crowd.
"Ten laps before, I lost all power steering," explained Van Wieringen. The exhausted teenager continued by saying "I tried, but had nothing left."
Friday afternoon consisted of alternating practice sessions between all the divisions present for the Winchester 400 weekend, including the headlining CRA Super Series. Daniel Hemric and Johnny VanDoorn were fastest in preparation for qualifying on Saturday afternoon.