Ken de la Bastide: Ken de la Bastide column: Winchester 400, sprint cars at Anderson top last big weekend of racing

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Oct. 12—This is the last big weekend of racing in the Hoosier State with something for fans of many styles.

Anderson Speedway will host the sixth annual Tony Elliott Classic for non-wing sprint cars with Tyler Roahrig seeking a third win.

Other former winners of the Elliott Classic include Bobby Santos III, Kody Swanson and Aaron Pierce.

A strong field of sprint cars is expected including Caleb Armstrong and Dakota Armstrong, Santos, Roahrig, Kyle O'Gara and local drivers Jacob McElfresh and Brian Gerster.

The Day Transportaton Mel Kenyon Midget Series will crown a champion Saturday with a three-way battle for the title.

Anderson's Colin Grissom, the defending champion, is coming off a win at the U.S. 24 Speedway and trails Aryton Houk and Kameron Gladish in the points standings.

The pavement midgets return for a second time with O'Gara winning the rain-shortened race earlier this year over Swanson.

This is also the weekend of the 50th running of the Winchester 400 on Sunday, which caps a full weekend of Champion Racing Association events starting Friday.

Muncie driver J.P. Crabtree is in the running for the CRA Sportsman Late Model title, and there are three drivers with ties to central Indiana vying for the Street Stock title.

New Castle's Jason Atkinson along with Anderson competitors Josh Poore and Dawson Phillips all have a shot at the championship.

Phillips is the leading rookie of the year contender for the CRA Street Stocks and should earn the honors this weekend.

The two previous winners of the Winchester 400 — Carson Hocevar and Stephen Nasse — will both seek a second Winchester 400 win.

The field includes Michigan driver Kyle Crump, the winner of the Hubler Group Redbud 400 at Anderson Speedway in July and the Battle of Berlin at Berlin Raceway.

Other hot shoes that are entered include Sammy Smith, Albert Francis, ARCA winner Corey Heim and Oregon's Austin Thom.

For a driver to win the Winchester 400, it takes a lot of luck and the right tire management strategy.

Traditionally the drivers battling for the win are those that saved tires in the hope there will be a late-race caution.

Cody Coughlin, Hunter Jack, Scotty Tomasik and Crump will all seek the 2021 Super Series championship in the Winchester 400.

Scott Hantz was the last Hoosier to win the Winchester 400, accomplishing the feat in 2006.

Indiana drivers looking for that signature win on the high-banked half-mile oval include Anderson's Josh Ebbert, Crabtree, Colby Lane, Rick Turner, Dalton Armstrong, Eddie VanMeter and Tommy St. John.

I'm picking Hocevar to claim a second Winchester 400 victory driving for Johnny VanDoorn with the long shot being Crump.

IN OTHER RACING NEWS

Swanson earned his sixth USAC Silver Crown title last Sunday by leading all 100 laps of the Rollie Beale Classic at Toledo Speedway.

Santos finished second with Brian Tyler coming home in third.

Swanson, Tyler and Santos have combined to win six PayLess Little 500 events.

Follow Ken de la Bastide on Twitter @KendelaBastide, or call 765-640-4863.

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