Monday July 6th, 2020 8:18AM

Travis Braden scores Winchester 400 win in wild finish

By Series PR
  Contact Editor

Travis Braden pushed his way by to take the lead from Eddie Van Meter on the final lap of Sunday’s Winchester 400 at Indiana’s Winchester Speedway and went on to score the biggest asphalt Super Late Model victory of his career.

The final laps and the win did not come without a lot of controversy.

It all started when second place running Stephen Nasse got into leader Raphael Lessard. Lessard then got back into Nasse, slowing both cars and allowing Dalton Sargeant to dive low underneath the leaders. Sargeant and Nasse made contact, sending Nasse into the wall and collecting Lessard, ending both drivers days on lap 395. While the race was under the red flag to allow for clean up, Sargeant was sent to the tail of the lead lap cars for being involved in the incident.

Meanwhile, Braden’s car was pushed to pit road, unable to start because of a dead battery. The crew was able to change the battery and get Braden back on the track just before the restart. The lap cars at the back of the field all waved Braden by, giving Braden the opportunity to start at the tail of the four remaining cars on the lead lap.

Van Meter had inherited the lead for the restart, with Dalton Armstrong, Sargeant and Braden behind. Van Meter jumped to the lead while Braden pushed past Armstrong into second. Van Meter took the white flag and looked to be on his way to getting the biggest victory of his career until Braden caught and passed Van Meter in turn two after more contact. From there Braden went on to the win with Van Meter in second.

“It’s a miracle that I’m standing here in victory lane,” Braden said. “The battery was going dead there at the end, we got lucky that those guys wrecked and caused the red flag and we could get the battery changed. We rode around a lot in the middle of the race and decided to save our tires until late in the race. That strategy paid off, I had better tires than anyone else on that last restart and just did what I had to do to get the win, any other driver would have done the same thing.”

Tempers flared in victory lane after the race first between Van Meter’s crew and Braden’s crew, then Armstrong’s crew also joined in

“He door slammed me pretty good there to make the pass, but at the 400 probably anybody would have to, but it’s still heartbreaking,” said Van Meter. “That’s racing, tempers flare, and there will be another day. All the crew worked real hard, we had great support from our sponsors, we’re just blessed to be able to come here and run second.”

Sargeant finished in third, with Armstrong in fourth and Cody Coughlin in fifth. The finish gave Coughlin his first ARCA/CRA Super Series championship in a day that saw him come back from a bad vibration and contact with the wall.

“I really wanted to win the 400, I thought we had the car to get it done, but I realized quickly that wasn’t going to happen,” said Coughlin. “We looked at the big picture and did what we deeded to do to win the Championship. I am so proud of my crew and how hard they worked. I also have to thank my family for their great support. My goal was to be the first to win the two top CRA Championships in the same season and we did it.”

The next event for the ARCA/CRA Super Series will be the 2016 CRA Awards Banquet, which will take place on Friday, January 6 at the Crowne Plaza Downtown at Union Station in Indianapolis, Indiana. For information, visit CRA-Racing.com.

ARCA/CRA Super Series
Winchester Speedway – Winchester, IN
Winchester 400 (Unofficial) – Oct. 9, 2016

1. Travis Braden
2. Eddie Van Meter
3. Dalton Sargeant
4. Dalton Armstrong
5. Cody Coughlin
6. Raphael Lessard
7. Stephen Nasse
8. Bret Holmes
9. William Byron
10. Mason Mingus
11. Noah Gragson
12. Rich Segvich
13. Christopher Bell
14. Trevor Noles
15. Harrison Burton
16. Derrick Griffin
17. Hunter Jack
18. Billy Van Meter
19. Jeff Fultz
20. Garrett Jones
21. Brandon Oakley
22. JOhnny Belott
23. Jack Dossey III
24. Wes Griffith, Jr.
25. Rick Turner
26. Donnie Wilson

  • Associated Categories: NASCAR News, Other Motorsports
  • Associated Tags: motorsports, Auto Racing, Stock Car, Short Track, Asphalt, Late Model, CRA
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