David Smith, Jr.
NCRA Public Relations
2012 NCRA Late Model Season Review!
FOR IMMEDATE RELEASE – Midwest City, Oklahoma – November 12, 2012 - Cutting back the schedule to regroup the tour proved to be a successful one for the 29th season for the National Championship Racing Association of Park City, Kansas presented by Precise Racing Products late model division with nine shows having been completed with Woodward, Oklahoma driver Tommy Weder, Jr. claiming his first career series championship.
The tour opened the 2012 race season at its familiar stop at Junction Motor Speedway in McCool, Nebraska where former two-time series champion Kyle Berck picked up the victory. Dennis Eckrich, Travis Dickies, Dave Eckrich and Tad Pospisil rounded out the top five.
The next two events occurred over the 4th of July weekend where two former modified drivers picked up their first career late model victories. 81 Speedway opened the holiday with Chase Junghans of Manhattan, Kansas claiming the victory in just his fourth start ever in a late model. Matt Johnson, Gary Christian, Gary Gorby and Delbert Smith were the top five with twenty-five cars on hand for the evening. From there it was on to the Garfield County Fairgrounds and Enid Speedway in Enid, Oklahoma where Weder picked up his first career late model victory in front of the hometown crowd. Twenty cars were on hand with Ricky Thornton, Jr., Matt Johnson, Tony Jackson, Jr., and Gary Christian your top five.
From there it was on to the annual NCRA Late Model Nationals at Mid-Nebraska Speedway in Doniphan, Nebraska where Kyle Berck picked up his second tour victory of the season over Bill Leighton, Weder, Travis Dickies and Tad Pospisil the top five. Twenty-two cars were on hand for this annual event.
The MARS DIRTCar series joined the NCRA late model tour on August 3-4 for a weekend double header in two states. It all opened on a Friday night at Eagle Raceway in Eagle, Nebraska where John Anderson of Omaha took advantage of race leader Jesse Stovall’s flat tire late in the event to pick up the victory in the caution filled “Rumble in the Bull Ring” feature finale. Weder, Berck, Corey Zeitner and Craig Preble rounded out the top five. The two tours then headed south to the home track of the series, 81 Speedway where a field of nineteen cars saw MARS regular Stovall rebounded from the previous night’s disappointment in Nebraska to wire the field in the 25 lap feature. Tony Jackson, Jr., Weder, Junghans and Bill Leighton, Jr. rounded out the top five.
The MLRA joined NCRA for the annual “King of the Hill Late Model Nationals” at Junction Motor Speedway where a field of 32 cars were on hand. Berck picked up his third and final victory with the NCRA by holding off Stovall, Anderson, Weder and Dickies. The Saturday night’s championship finale saw Anderson led wire to wire the full thirty laps to claim his first career “King of the Hill” late model nationals title after winning the events prelim twice in previous years.
The 2012 season came to a close at the tour’s annual appearance at the Belleville High Banks in Belleville, Kansas where Weder made his first appearance at the high banks a profitable one as he claimed his second feature victory of the season and claimed the championship. Junghans, Gary Gorby, Scott Koskovich and Jimmy Seagraves were the top five with a nice field of 24 cars on hand for the finale.
Veteran Gary Gorby, piloting the familiar #7c Collins late model entry, led the point standings all the way up to the Eagle Raceway event where a disappointing 21st place finish relinquished the point lead over to Weder who finished second.
Below are a few facts and figures from the 2012 NCRA late model tour:
89 different drivers from ten states competed in at least one NCRA late model event. Among the states represented were Kansas, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Missouri, Iowa, Texas, New Mexico, Colorado, Arizona and California.
Two drivers (Gorby and Dan Battaglia) competed in all nine events while Weder missed only one show.
Drivers reaching victory lane in 2012 include: Berck (3), Anderson and Weder (2) and Junghans, Stovall (1). Weder and Junghans were first time winners with the series.
The average car count was 25 cars per event with the highest coming at the season opener at Junction Motor Speedway (33) and the lowest at 81 Speedway in August (19).
Career NCRA late model feature winners:
Kelly Boen (59); Al Purkey and Kyle Berck (26); Larry Phillips (24); Larry McDaniels (18); Billy Moyer and Terry Phillips (16); John Anderson (13); Doug Ingalls and Delbert Smith (12); Ferris Collier, Tom Laster and Steve Kosiski (8); Gary Gorby (7); Joe Kosiski (6); Jesse Stovall, Van Gemmill, Wayne Brooks and Leslie Essary (4); Lonnie Smith, Alan Vaughn and Terry Deatherage (3); Will Vaught, Tommy Weder, Jr., Eric Turner, Tommy Joe Pauschert, Don Davis, Jr., Jeep Berry, Tracy Gibbens, Dhon Hauserman, Howard Willis, Chris Kratzer, Ted Martin, Mike Brown, Earl Kinderknecht, Raymond Merrill, Darrin Miller, John Hampel and Chad Simpson (2), Davey Nall, Dale McDowell, Ken Essary, Bob Bryan, Jerry Inmon, Donald Watson, Willie Kraft, Roger Hines, Bo Rawden, Chick Boyd, Buck Caldwell, Marlin Wild, Charlie Randolph, Johnny Bone, Bill Frye, Larry Clevenger, Rusty Cummings, Steve Payne, Richard Foster, Ray Guss, Jr., Ryan Plaisance, Jeff Taylor, Chad Dupont, Kevin Watts, Bryan Millican, Dean Moore, Johnny Saathoff, Brian Birkhofer, Frank McGehee, Brett LaFollette, Justin Wells, Johnny Bone, Jr., Jay Blair, Jason Bodenhamer, Chris Smyser, John Kaanta, Brandon McCormack, Chase Junghans, Brady Smith, Jason Utter, Steve Kempt (1).
Final 2012 NCRA Late Model Point Standings:
1) Tommy Weder, Jr. 2280, 2) Gary Gorby 2130, 3) Danny Battaglia 1675, 4) Chase Junghans 1615, 5) Kyle Berck 1435, 6) Brad Wagoner 1315, 7) Bill Leighton 1265, 8) Chris Avery 1210, 9) Brian Kenkel 1150, 10) Jesse Stovall 1130
For more information on the 42nd anniversary season for the National Championship Racing Association of Park City, Kansas or the series late model division, find them at their online address www.racencra.com or call the series office (316) 755-1781. Race schedules as well as additional partners and contingency sponsors are currently being obtained and will be officially released after the annual NCRA banquet on Saturday night, January 26, 2013.