The Champion Racing Association’s return to Owosso Speedway was a special occasion, and it proved especially meaningful for one of the track’s hometown heroes.
Kyle Crump started his career in the grassroots divisions at Owosso Speedway, working his way up the ladder and becoming one of the most recognizable names in CRA. When the CRA/JEGS All-Star Tour returned to Owosso for the Big O Classic Saturday, it was Crump returning to victory lane at his home track.
Purchased last fall by Rex and Sarah Wheeler, the historic Owosso Speedway has already seen plenty of upgrades under its new leadership. Saturday’s Big O Classic was the first CRA event at Owosso since 2017, adding to the special nature of the win for Crump.
“This race means so much to me, man,” said Crump in victory lane. “I grew up here. It’s just so cool seeing this place renovated and getting back where it needs to be. All of you fans, it is insane seeing this place packed again.
“To come back here with a TK Racing-funded ride and win here, it was unbelievable. I didn’t know if I’d ever see this day come.”
Crump quickly worked his way to the top spot in the opening laps, leading 97 of the race’s 100 trips around the track. However, late-race restarts provided extra challenge in the closing stages of the event.
“It was really hard firing in the box. The track is really slick when the tires cool off on those caution laps. We were all going into turn one pushing wide and almost hitting each other.
“I had contact with the 79 [of Barrett Polhemus] at the end there, under caution. It kind of killed my car. I was praying for no more cautions. It really knocked the toe out of this thing.”
Dan Leeck finished second, with Kevin Cremonesi completing the podium. Barrett Polhemus and Chase Purda rounded out the top five.
The CRA/JEGS All-Stars Tour will return to Owosso for one of its biggest events of the season on August 19, the Masters of the Pros. That race is scheduled for 184 laps around the 3/8-mile facility at Owosso.
The next event for the CRA/JEGS All-Stars Tour will be at Birch Run Speedway on July 1, the second of three "Triple Crown" races at Birch Run in 2023.
-Photo credit: CRA Racing Facebook
Unofficial Results - Big O Classic at Owosso Speedway
1. Kyle Crump
2. Dan Leeck
3. Kevin Cremonesi
4. Barrett Polhemus
5. Chase Burda
6. Anthony Danta
7. Steve Dorer
8. Jon Beach
9. Brandon Varney
10. Guy Fire
11. Nick Egan
12. Evan Varney
13. Tony Brutti
14. Brian Demland
15. Evan Shotko
16. Dave Gentile
17. Ethan Stadniczuk
18. Brian Campbell
19. Jeff Vrsek