$250,000 Challenge: Drivers Qualify via Pit Crew Challenge

$250,000 Challenge: Drivers Qualify via Pit Crew Challenge

That’s right, without even completing a lap, Kelly Shryock and Chase Alves made it into the $250,000 Challenge. How? They qualified by winning the Pit Crew Challenge on Sunday at Clay County Fair Speedway in Spencer, Iowa. Both drivers are now guaranteed to start in the stock car and sport mod mains, respectively.

(For more on the race, read “Clay County Fair Speedway: $250,000 Challenge.”)

“Wow, this is the first time I ever made it into an event by a pit stop time,” Shryock, of Fertile, Iowa, said. “I wasn’t even going to compete in the Pit Crew Challenge, but [crew member] Josh [Bonnstetter] said, ‘Why not try?’ Now, I’m glad we did.”

One of the participating crew members in the Pit Crew Challenge had a transponder attached to their leg. They ran from the starting line to a cone that then initiated the driver to steer their car into the pit stall. The team ran up, changed the left-front tire, and then the crew ran back to the starting line and that stopped the timing. Afterward, event co-promoter Mike Van Genderen check the tightness of the lug nuts by hand. If any were loose, that team was disqualified.

“After we won, we felt a huge amount of pressure on our team had been lifted,” said Shryock. “We’ll still race in the heats and qualifying features because we want to advance forward in the lineup.”

The $250,000 Challenge drew 100 sport mods and 104 stock cars to the headlining classes. Of those teams, 26 entered the Pit Crew Challenge.

Shryock’s winning crew consisted of John Bonnstetter, Ryan Kohlhaas and Jon Mathis. Chase Alves had Mike Kennedy and Justin Klynsma.

“It was a fun event that locked in two drivers to win at least $2,000,” event co-promoter Trent Chinn said. “If either driver does not make it into the main, they will start in 25th position in their feature.”

The feature will take place on Wednesday, May 22.

Sport mod driver Chase Alves with Justin Klynsma, Mike Kennedy, and Rowan Alves.