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Crum wins Bailey’s 300 wreckfest at Martinsville

SoVaNow.com / October 07, 2009
The late Dale Earnhardt probably would have liked Jake Crum.

No corporate NASCAR political correctness for Sundays youngest-ever winner of the bash em, smash em Baileys 300 late model show at Martinsville Speedway.

Crum might have bent a few rules along the way and hurt some feelings to be fair, Crum pled innocent - but he has the winners $25,000 check and the Baileys clock that 40 other drivers wanted.

Crum, an 18-year-old from Statesville, N.C., apologized to no one after his win in Sundays feature, following a bruising finish on the final green-white-checker that also featured some pointed post race paint swapping.

Hey, The Intimidator made no apologies for the way he raced, and became arguably the greatest hero in the sport.

Crum called second place driver Brandon McReynolds a spoiled kid. Crum made it clear he had little use for McReynolds complaints.

Granted, Crum probably wont win any sportsmanship awards any time soon, but everybody knows whats at stake at Martinsville in this race. Crum also is probably doggone hungry, given the state of the economy that forced him into a limited schedule this season.

Regardless of how the average race fans view Crum, its refreshing to hear this young driver speak his mind.

Runner-up driver Brandon McReynolds, who made a daring, gutsy move on the final GWC and nearly claimed the checkered, said, I dont really agree with what one car was doing, but 25 grand, theyre all racing for it.

McReynolds ultimately finished 0.223-seconds behind Crum, with another 18-year-old, Texas driver Brennan Poole, third. McReynolds spent much of his post-race press conference complaining about Crum.

I knew the 1 (Crum) had been jumping restarts, and he probably was going to run the 6 (Poole) up. So I just slide back a little bit and got a real good restart.

I dove up underneath there and I figured if I had a good enough run, the 1 would get a little scared and wash up and he did. I was alongside him and he drove it into 3 a lot deeper than I could. I was having a little bit of brake trouble. He cleared me. I dont agree with some of the things he (Crum) did throughout the race, but thats racing, said McReynolds.

McReynolds said, Jake did a good job. Hes got the checkered flag, but I didnt agree (with his tactics), running into the 44 (Matt DiBenedetto), running into me, running me down a little bit. Some people would say I wimped out when he ran me down, but Im just trying to take care of my stuff. I didnt come up here to wreck it, he said.

He got the job done, hes wearing the Baileys hat, snorted McReynolds, who added, I wasnt born to race like that, but it dont mean other people cant.

Crum wasnt buying this line.

We walked away with the checkered flag, and he (McReynolds) says he doesnt agree with the way I got there.

I was patient, I had a good car, I had the better car, and he was just trying to run over me using his brake.

Thats cool, other than that, I dont really care for him. I dont agree with what he did on the backstretch and Im not going to shake his hand.

Oh yes, the backstretch.

After the checkered flew, McReynolds and Crum collided, with plenty of finger-pointing about that as well.

Crum made no apologies for the way he won the race after McReynolds final challenge.

I just went up the race track and got in the gas a little bit before he did, and drove off.

He has no reason to be mad at me, said Crum.

Afterwards, Crum was rolling along on the cool down lap, when McReynolds drove along side the race winner.

He (McReynolds) turned right into me, and jumped up on side of the car, and then he stood in the gas and tore my whole side of the car off. I dont agree with stuff like that, said Crum.

For his part, McReynolds explained the post-race, backstretch incident this way.

I dont know, man. Its hot in there. Some of us are aggravated. I just went up close to him, I was actually going to kind of swerve at him a little bit.

He swerved we got into each other.

Maybe his fenders were torn up a little more than mine. I didnt mean to even get into him.

After the race, everybodys got to do a little something, especially when theyre a little ticked off.

He (Crum) did a good job. I just dont agree with how he got there, said McReynolds.

Apparently, there is no previous history between these teen age drivers.

Crum added, I like Brandon, but I dont want to say this, but hes a spoiled kid .

Then, the Baileys winner finally let off the gas.

Crum is done, apparently, with the aftermath from Sunday.

Asked if he and McReynolds will sit down to make peace, Crum said, I dont think I want to work it, man.

Poole joined the complainers chorus.

I thought it was a little bit unfair because he jumped the restart a couple of times in a row, said Poole.

Crum and his team had discussions about the restart issue with NASCAR NASCAR was breathing down my throat, telling me to watch the jump on the start. I only did it one time and they waved it off and redid it, said the race winner.

LOCAL REPORT: It was an entertaining, unscripted finish to another wild day, featuring a resumption of the Frank Deiny Philip Morris rivalry, which apparently has been broiling from the season at Motor Mile Speedway.

And Martinsville turned into the usual wreckfest, with a massive first-half crash that has to rank as one of the most severe in recent memory.

As for the drivers familiar to SBS fans, McCaskill had the best day. Nick Smith had a respectable tenth place run. C.E. Falk III was 12th, Dane Rudolph 15th, Wayne Ramsey, getting caught in a late crash, 19th; Brandon Butler 23rd; Eddie Johnson, 31st; Rodney Cook, 32nd; Morris 37th, and Frank Deiny, Jr., 38th. SBS track champion Justin Johnson was 41st.

RACE RECAP: This is Crums most significant moment in racing.

Honestly, I think my biggest win before today was a go-kart win that paid like $7,000 to win and it doesnt really compare to winning Martinsville, said Crum.

Crum has run an abbreviated schedule this season, a victim of the economy.

Sundays start was just his fifth of the year.

Weve not really raced that much this year. Weve just run a few races. Weve just been trying to look around for sponsorships and trying to get some stuff ready for 2010, said Crum, who has been racing Late Models since he was 13.

His performance Sunday should certainly draw some attention. He led on five different occasions and took the lead for good with just two laps remaining when he got by Poole. He then held off a hard charge by McReynolds diving into the first turn and beat McReynolds and Poole back to the checkered flag to win the biggest Late Model Stock race in the country.

With five laps to go, I was just thinking about getting around Poole, said Crum. And we got around him and then I just prayed we could win the race.

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