The 52nd annual Winchester 400 presented by Vore’s Welding & Steel, is on deck this weekend at the historic Winchester (Ind.) Speedway and Logan Bearden return to the ARCA | CRA Super Series powered by JEGS scene, looking to step up his form in Sunday afternoon’s race.
Bearden, a part-time NASCAR CRAFTSMAN® Truck Series driver, hasn’t visited the historic Indiana short track since last fall, but don’t let that time span fool you – Bearden and his Bearden Motorsports team are ready for 400 laps.
“I’m always feeling good about the weekend for running these prestigious Super Late Model races,” said Bearden. “It’s been a little bit since I’ve been behind the wheel of a Super Late Model, but thanks to the hard work of my team, I feel like I can easily jump behind the wheel of our No. 66 Bearden Automotive | Parker Electric Ford Mustang and pick up right where we left off.”
In last year’s Winchester 400, Bearden impressed. Managing tires, navigating the handling of his race car and negotiating traffic, Bearden avoided the race chaos and finished a respectable seventh.
This year, Bearden believes the experience of 400 laps under his belt will aid in his quest to continue to make a name for himself on the Super Late Model scene – while also delivering his third ARCA | CRA Super Series top-10 run of the season – but eyeing the bigger picture.
“It’s important just to try and be as hydrated as possible and be in as good of shape as possible for a Super Late Model race of this magnitude,” explained Bearden. “400 laps and about three hours inside these cars can take a lot out of you.
“I’ve been going over notes, spending some time on the iRacing and doing the standard race preparation so that the driver can ensure I’m ready for this weekend. It will be a strong field, and the lap times will be intensely close, so being prepared is part of the responsibility of making it a successful weekend.
“We know what we need to do and I can’t wait to hit the track on Saturday.”
While the Leander, Texas native did not have an opportunity to test in preparation for Sunday’s showdown or compete at Winchester earlier this year in ARCA | CRA Super Series competition, Bearden is not letting those impediments affect his overall outlook on the race.
“Unfortunately, we weren’t able to do any testing, and I was managing a minor medical issue earlier in the year, which prevented me from being able to race at Winchester, but despite all of that, I feel like we have a good baseline of where we need to be for this weekend,” sounded Bearden.
“Once we get through practice, we’ll shift the focus on qualifying and hope we can get a good starting spot and then turn our entire focus on Sunday’s 400 laps.”
To manhandle 1,600 turns around one of the country’s fastest race tracks, Bearden knows managing his expectations early in the race will help focus on the bigger picture and the final 100 laps.
“First and foremost, finishing all the laps and staying on the lead lap are our primary goals,” mentioned Bearden. “Usually, if you do that, you’ll have a good day with attrition. Be there at the end to have a chance to win.”
With a top-10 finish already on his resume for the Winchester 400 in 2022, Bearden noted that anything less than a top-five on Sunday though would be disappointing.
“We have a top-10 in this race; anything less than a top-five for us would be underwhelming for us,” explained Bearden. “We are coming to Winchester this weekend with the thoughts of winning the race.
“To finish the race, we need to minimize our mistakes. Winchester is one of the fastest tracks and highest load-producing tracks in the country. So, keeping the fenders on the car and minimizing parts failures.
“This is also an opportunity for our team to make the most out of a mediocre Super Late Model season and get some momentum for 2024. No matter what happens on Sunday though, I’m grateful to everyone for their hard work and can’t wait to get on the track.”
This season, Bearden has spent time competing between Super Late Models and the NASCAR CRAFTSMAN® Truck Series, and while the on-track experience has been beneficial, the 27-year-old is determined to do more racing next season.
“It has been busy for sure, but I don’t mind it being so,” explained Bearden. “We got a couple more opportunities in the Truck series, which was awesome, but ultimately, we didn’t race as much this year, something I’d like to focus on doing more in 2024.”
In addition to Bearden Automotive and Parker Electric, All In Designs, Marc Metz Racing and AIRBOX Air Purifier will serve as associate marketing partners for Bearden’s penultimate Super Late Model race of the season.
The ARCA | CRA Super Series teams will be at the track for two days; they will move in, have two one-hour practice sessions, and qualify on Saturday, October 14.
The Winchester 400 will broadcast live on Sunday, October 15 at 2:00 p.m. ET on RacingAmerica.TV, MidwestTour.TV and TrackTV.com, with a tape-delayed broadcast set for Monday, October 23 at 8:00 p.m. ET on MAVTV.
Following Winchester, Bearden will return to the prestigious Nashville (Tenn.) Fairgrounds Speedway for the 39th annual Curb Record | Big Machine Vodka Spiked Coolers All American 400 on November 5.
Bearden Motorsports PR