Anderson, Indiana – The ASA/CRA Super Series Powered by JEGS turns their attention to Anderson Speedway in the outskirts of Indianapolis for the Greg Hubler Automotive Group Redbud 400. The race, which began a year prior to the launch of the American Speed Association, has been a premier short-track event for almost six decades. With the combination of the ASA STARS National Tour travelers and the ASA/CRA Super Series Championship hopefuls, the next chapter of Redbud 400 history begins on Saturday.
Champion Racing Association began sanctioning the Redbud 400 in the year 2000. Since then, some of the most prominent names in late model racing have gone to victory lane during the prestigious event; names like Kenny Tweedy, Junior Hanley, Eddie Hoffman, Scott Hantz (2), Johnny VanDoorn (3), Kyle Busch, Steve Dorere, Ross Kenseth, Daniel Hemric, Erik Jones, Carson Hocevar, Kyle Crump, and most recently Sammy Smith have all conquered the Anderson Speedway at the completion of 400 laps. But the history of the Redbud 400 runs deeper than Y2K.
The original ASA began sanctioning the Redbud 400 in 1968 and it wasn’t long before household names started placing their mark on the Redbud 400. Jim Blount became the race’s first back-to-back winner in 1969 and 1970. Bob Senneker would join the short list of repeat winners in ‘83 & 84, then Mark Martin again in ‘85 & ‘86, with Dick Trickle being the final driver to ever accomplish the back-to-back in ‘87 & ‘88; no driver has done it since. Martin’s pair of wins set him on pace to become the all-time Redbud 400 wins leader with four, while three drivers trail him with three including Senneker, Scott Hansen, and Johnny VanDoorn.
As history has changed, one thing has remained the same about the Redbud 400 – the strongest drivers and best-prepared race cars will come out on top; and a little luck will go a long way as well. Last season, Sammy Smith led a total of 241 laps en route to his first career Redbud 400, taking over the lead from Cole Butcher, who had the field covered in the first quarter of the race. One year prior, leading the most laps meant almost nothing when Dalton Armstrong was shuffled to the seventh spot after leading 292 laps. Crump, the eventual race winner, moved Austin Nason to take the lead with two laps to go – the only laps Crump led. One year prior to that, only two drivers were able to lead the Redbud 400. Casey Johnson paced the field for 168 laps before Carson Hocevar ran his lap counter up to 232 and his first and only Redbud 400 win.
In addition to the history and glory of the Redbud 400, championship points will be on the line as well for both the ASA/CRA Super Series and the ASA STARS National Tour. For the CRA drivers, Gio Ruggiero comes into the weekend with a 29 point advantage over Jordon Riddick and a 32 point lead on Logan Bearden. Ruggiero set his name atop the championship leaderboard thanks to the season-opening win at Salem Speedway in June. For the ASA STARS National Tour, Ty Majeski brings a 23 point lead into Anderson Speedway along with his Slinger Nationals win. Majeski leads Casey Roderick, Cole Butcher, Bubba Pollard and Ruggiero in the National Tour points standings.
A full list of drivers who will battle in the Greg Hubler Automotive Group Redbud 400 can be found here. On-track action on Saturday begins at 1:15PM with ASA STARS National Tour final practice. Then, qualifying begins at 4:15PM followed by the redraw. An on-track autograph session begins at 6:00PM and pre-race ceremonies start at 7:00PM. Fans who can’t attend the Redbud 400 on Saturday can stream the event via www.TrackTv.com, MidwestTour.TV, or RacingAmerica.Tv.
For more information on the Redbud 400, the ASA/CRA Super Series, or Champion Racing Association, log onto www.CRA-Racing.com. Find CRA: Champion Racing Association on Facebook and follow @CRARacing on Twitter.
Story – Zach Hiser