Ross Kenseth Wins Redbud 300 at Anderson Speedway
After having bad luck in his first visits to Anderson Speedway, Ross Kenseth got inside of Bubba Pollard with 51 laps remaining Saturday and went on to win the Redbud 300 on the quarter-mile oval.
Kenseth, who made an unscheduled stop on Lap 75, opted to take only two tires at the halfway break and restarted fifth.
With the outside groove coming in, Kenseth worked his way to the front.
Pollard took the lead on Lap 224 when leader Eddie VanMeter broke the transmission in his car.
The caution flag waved on Lap 228 when TJ Reaid, running second at the time, got loose coming off the second corner and spun when Bekka Kasten tapped the back of his car.
For 10 laps, Kenseth hung on the back of Pollard’s car, and finally on Lap 250 he got inside to take the lead entering Turn 3.
Defending champion Steve Dorer used the outside line to pass Pollard and Johnny VanDoorn to move into the second spot.
The final 24 laps went green with Kenseth able to pull away from Dorer.
Behind the two frontrunners there was a spirited battle for third between Pollard, VanDoorn and Kenzie Ruston.
Coming to the white flag, Ruston spun and caused Pollard to slow.
VanDoorn claimed third, and Pollard was passed at the checkers for fourth by Nate Caruth.
Kenseth said the win was the biggest of his career.
“I’ve wrecked here several times,” Kenseth said. “This was the best car I’ve had here. For me, it was a clean race except for an incident around Lap 60.”
Kenseth said the team made changes at the halfway break.
He opted to start on the outside line after taking the lead on the restarts.
“The outside was the way to go,” Kenseth said. “Starting on the outside you were able to keep the other guys pinched down on the bottom.”
Dorer, looking to make it two Redbud wins in a row, said he knew Kenseth would start on the outside.
“I’m sure his crew told him (Kenseth) we won here last year on the outside,” Dorer said. “I feel we had the best car on the outside. He knew I was good on the outside.”
VanDoorn said he battled an ill-handling race car most of the night but was pleased with the third-place finish.
“It was a long 300 laps for us,” he said. “There was something wrong with the car. We never gave up, and the crew kept fighting.”
VanDoorn said he has a lot of respect for Pollard and knew the hard racing would be clean between the two veteran drivers.
“The outside was the place to be on the restarts,” he said.
Terry Fisher Jr. dominated the first half of the race, leading from Lap 24 through 188. He lost the lead when he pitted on Lap 189 following contact between Kenny Tweedy and Stephan Nasse, who were battling for fourth spot.
History was made when Bekka Kasten became the first woman to lead laps in the Redbud 300, leading from Lap 185 through 205.
Fans were treated to side-by-side racing between Pollard and VanDoorn around the Lap 250 mark as the two battled for the third spot.
There were five lead changes among six different drivers.
The race was slowed 13 times by the caution flag for a total of 88 laps.
Redbud 300 UNOFFICIAL Race Results
1 - 25 Ross Kenseth
2 - 10 Steve Dorer
3 - 61 Johnny VanDoorn
4 - 26 Bubba Pollard
5 - 51 Becca Kasten
6 - 0 Joe Beaver
7 - 76 Nate Caruth
8 - 08 Nick Lay
9 - 81 Terry Fisher Jr
10 - 39 Kenzie Ruston
11 - 18 Robert Maynor
12 - 51N Stephen Nasse
13 - 811 Mason Mingus
14 - 63 Rex Noris III
15 - 41R TJ Reaid
16 - 23 Eddie VanMeter
17 - 84 Jay Niewiek
18 - 2 Kenny Tweedy
19 -01 Travis Braden
20 - 5 Brett Robinson
21 - 41 Brent Jack
22 - 26 Rick Turner
23 - 15 Damon Ecoff
24 - 29 Tommy St. John
25 - 8 Tommy Cook
26 - 11 Josh Nelms