The Herald Bulletin

April 9, 2013

Ken de la Bastide: Big weekend ahead for Anderson Speedway


For The Herald Bulletin

— There will be a variety of racing action this weekend at Anderson Speedway as the track hosts super late models and sprint cars and Kenyon Midgets.

As is tradition, the ARCA/CRA Super Series kicks off the 2013 points season at the quarter-mile high-banked oval Saturday with a 125-lap feature. For the Super Series event caution flags will not count, which should provide fans with plenty of action.

There were 20 teams on the pre-entry list for the Sell it Again Sam 125. Among those entered are former series champion Scott Hantz, Florida driver Steve Dorer, the Redbud 300 winner in 2011, Georgia driver T.J. Reaid and 2012 rookie of the year Travis Braden.

Three drivers looking to earn rookie of the year honors this year are entered including Ali Kern, Anderson Bowen and Brandon Oakley.

Former series champion Kenny Tweedy is entered along with Yorktown’s Rick Turner, Noblesville driver Joe Beaver and Indianapolis’s Eddie VanMeter.

A win at Anderson would be the perfect way for a team to begin the season.

Saturday racing starts at 7 p.m. with the WMDH Thunder Cars and Legends on the program.

The speedway will host the United Auto Workers sponsored United States Speed Association non-wing sprint cars in the 100-lap Glen Niebel Classic and the Kenyon Midgets on Sunday.

Muncie driver Aaron Pierce is looking to make it three consecutive wins in the Niebel Classic. Series officials believe as many as 20 sprint cars could be at Anderson Speedway on Sunday.

Racing starts at 2 p.m.

During the past week Anderson Speedway and CRA officials made two significant announcements that could affect the annual Stoops Freightliner Redbud 300 in July.

Speedway officials announced the purse for the Redbud 300 is being increased by 40 percent for 2013, with the prize money spread throughout the field. The winner is assured of a $10,000 payday.

Last year, Ross Kenseth won the Redbud 300. Dorer won in 2011. Kyle Busch and Hantz are former winners of the event.

CRA officials announced the JEGS challenge, which will pay a $100,000 bonus to any driver who wins the Berlin 251, Redbud 300 and Winchester 400. If a driver wins two of the three events, he or she will receive a $10,000 bonus.

The additional prize money and the bonus money should attract a stellar field of drivers to both the Redbud 300 and Winchester 400.

In other racing news

After her eighth-place finish in the Daytona 500, Danica Patrick has struggled during her first year of competition in Sprint Cup.

After starting from the tail of the field at Martinsville last Sunday, Patrick drove to a 12th-place finish, besting teammates Tony Stewart and Ryan Newman.

As most regular readers know, I’m not a fan of Patrick. But she definitely exceeded expectations at the tough Martinsville half-mile oval. Although she lost a lap twice during the race, she earned the Lucky Dog and used it to her advantage.

Ken de Bastide’s weekly column on motor racing appears on Thursdays.