Wausau, WI – In his first ever trip to Gresham Motorsports Park, Chris Wimmer dominated the 28th annual World Crown 300. Wimmer won all three segments, including a 25-lap shootout to become the first World Crown winner not from Georgia since 2000.
"I really can't believe it," says Wimmer, "My car was so good today and everything just played out right. This is my first trip to the World Crown and it's just sinking in that I won such a big race."
Wimmer, who qualified 13th, worked his way from that spot to the lead in the first 70 laps of the first segment and held on to win segment one.
"With the three segments is just hard to know what other people's strategy was," says Wimmer, "They invert before the second segment, so you don't know if people are trying to hang back and make the invert or are even showing you what they really have. My car was so good I didn't just want to drive around and it was an awesome feeling to win the first 100 laps."
After the first 100-laps all cars pitted for fuel and tires before the second 75-lap segment. The fans voted on an invert of sixth to start the next 75-lap, so that's where Wimmer lined up. It took just 27 laps for the Preval Chevy to work its way from that sixth spot and in to the lead. A caution with 17 laps to go really shook things up. Drivers still had up to four tires left in their pit box that they could use at any point for the remainder of segment two and segment three, which was a 25-lap shootout.
With the caution so close to the competition caution to set up the 25-lap shootout, many drivers came down it road for fresh rubber, but Wimmer stayed out. He held on for the final 17 laps of segment two, to win that segment as well.
"I just didn't know what was going to happen," says Wimmer, "That late caution allowed guys to pit earlier and with the fresher tires I didn't know if they would be able to catch me or not."
With Wimmer on point for the final 25-lap segment, he chose to stay out and not put on tires or take fuel.
"I knew all those other guys already put on their tires and were going to stay out," says Wimmer, "If I came down pit road and put on tires, I was going to start the final 25-lap from the 12th position and there just wasn't enough time to get back to the front."
So Wimmer gambled and led the field back to green. Ross Kenseth and Chase Elliot battled side by side for the second position for many laps, allowing Wimmer to stretch his lead and ultimately hang on to win the World Crown 300.
"I honestly didn't know if I could hold on without taking tires," says Wimmer, "But when you're leading you really have no choice, you need to stay out and go for it. My car was awesome today and I just can't believe I won all three segments and won the World Crown 300."