2013 30th Annual World Crown 300 Procedure
For the past 29 years, the Gresham Motorsports Park’s most famous event has been the World Crown 300, a Late Model Stock Car race that has gained significant prominence in the short-track racing world.
The inaugural 1983 World Crown 300 held on November 27, 1983, featured an all-star starting lineup that included Jody Ridley, Mark Martin, Freddy Fryar, Darrell Waltrip, Alan Kulwicki, Rusty Wallace, Bob Senneker, Mike Alexander and the ‘Alabama Gang’ – Neil Bonnett, Bobby, Donnie and Davey Allison.
Wisconsin short-track legend Dick Trickle bested them all in the 1983 World Crown 300. Over the years, the biggest names in auto racing have also captured the race with Waltrip, Mike Eddy, Rich Bickle, Rick Crawford, Paul Kelley, Jimmy Garmon, Ronnie Sanders and Justin Wakefield all taking home the title of ‘King Of The Short Tracks.’
Chris Wimmer is the defending champion of the event after capturing his first World Crown 300 in the 2011 classic.
The 2012 World Crown 300 is set for Tuesday-Wednesday, July 3-4, 2012.
2012 Chase Elliott - Dawsonville, GA
Paul Kelley was declared the winner of the 26th-Annual World Crown 300 at Gresham Motorsports Park early Monday morning after the cars of Jeff Choquette and Max Gresham were disqualified for post-race technical infractions. Kelley, who previously won the 2000, 2006 and 2007 versions of the ‘Crown,’ is now the only four-time winner of the prestigious late model stock car event.
Sunny skies and unseasonably warm temperatures in the mid-70’s provided a full house Sunday as fans came out to see the inaugural event at the totally refurbished GMP facility. The huge throng totally ringed the former Peach State Speedway oval and they weren’t disappointed as Choquette, Augie Grill, Austin Hill, Gresham and Kelley slugged it out for the lead throughout the 300-lap event.
Choquette grabbed the lead from pole sitter Chase Elliott at the drop of the green flag and held it until Lap 52 when Grill powered his way to the point. Elliott, who obliterated the previous track record with a 16.178-second in Monolith Pole Qualifying Saturday, stayed in the lead pack mix throughout the race until a mechanical problem late in the race would eventually saddle the Dawsonville, GA teenager with a 13th-place finish.
Choquette slipped back by Grill for the top spot just before Lap 100 when the field took the yellow flag for the first of two competition cautions in the event. Back under green, Michael Phelps and Cassius Clark both took turns at the point before Choquette again powered by holding the top spot into the second break at Lap 200.
The fans, who were treated to a gala opening ceremony that included a ceremonial ribbon cutting, live music, Drifting and Motorcycle stunt exhibitions, were brought to their feet on Lap 223 when Bubba Pollard’s car pounded the main straight inside retaining wall and flipped. Pollard’s car slid on its roof down the track before coming to rest in Turn 1. The spectacular crash was one of 14 cautions totaling 86 laps on the first-ever event on the ultra fast Gresham Motorsports Park oval.
Meanwhile, Hill saw his chances of a first Crown victory deflate when he crashed out of the event on Lap 267 while running third.
That left it up to Grill, Gresham, Choquette and Kelley to decide the issue. Grill’s chances for a first World Crown victory came to an end when his racer broke a rear end gear. That put Gresham in position to take the win, but Choquette proved to be too tough taking the lead for the final time on a Lap 277 restart.
At the checkered flag, it was Choquette, Gresham, Kelley, Colt James and Beau Slocum unofficially rounding out the Top-5 finishers. That result was amended when Choquette and Gresham were dropped in the running in the final rundown giving Taylor Satterfield and Tanner Berryhill spots in the Top-5. Michael Lance, veteran Scott Sutherland, Stephen Naase, Tyler Millwood and Dylan Presnell completed the Top-10 finishers.