One of the biggest super late model races in the Midwest and in the nation will take place next Monday with the 53rd running of the Redbud 400.
The Redbud 400 is sponsored by local businesses the Mesha McCarty State Farm agency, Mitch Smith Auto Service and Perfecto Tool & Die.
The first Redbud 400 took place in 1974 under sanctioning by the former Pendleton-based American Speed Association.
Tiny Lund emerged as the first winner of the race, and over the years Mark Martin, Alan Kulwicki, Dick Trickle, Bob Senneker, Gary St. Amant and Mike Eddy all pulled into the winner’s circle.
One of the most memorable Redbud races took place in 1994 when Wisconsin driver Steve Holtzhausen led all 400 laps.
Another Redbud that stands out is the 2011 victory by Steve Dorer, who used the outside line to pass Chase Elliott on the final lap.
The Champion Racing Association Super Series has been the sanctioning body in recent years with the length of the race changing from 300 laps to the traditional 400 circuits around Anderson Speedway.
Legendary short track and NASCAR competitor Trickle referred to the Redbud as flying a jet fighter in a gymnasium.
There are five former winners entered in Monday’s race that starts at 7:30 p.m.
Michigan veteran Johnny VanDoorn won in 2007 and 2013. Steve Wallace did something in 2017 his famous father, Rusty, never accomplished when he won the Redbud 400.
Wallace called his dad from victory lane that night to convey the news.
Visiting NASCAR competitor Daniel Hemric, the 2014 winner, is returning to compete with the Badger State Wimmer Racing team.
New Castle driver Dalton Armstrong, the 2016 winner, is returning for what could be his last race with the team of Ricky Watters.
As of Tuesday, there are 23 teams entered in the $15,000 event with a driver looking to claim one of the biggest victories of their career.
Florida driver Steve Nasse is returning after contending for the win in 2018 that was taken by Raphal Lessard. He is joined by Jett Noland from the Sunshine State. Travis Braden, another threat to win, is also making a return appearance at Anderson Speedway.
Local drivers looking for a break-out win include defending McGunegill Engine Performance Late Model champion Jeff Marcum, Greg VanAlst, former track champion Jack Dossey III, Zachary Tinkle and JP Crabtree.
As in any long distance race, a driver needs lots of patience, luck and excellent pit crew work.
Former ASA Redbud 400 winner Scott Hansen always entered the race with the strategy of not worrying about going a lap down early and making a late charge with less than 100 laps remaining.
Always tough to predict a winner because so much can go wrong over 400 laps, but I expect VanDoorn, Dorer, Wallace, VanMeter and Braden to be in the battle all night.
IN OTHER RACING NEWS
Anderson’s Colin Grissom drove a near perfect race to win his first feature event last weekend in the Mel Kenyon Midget Series.
Grissom ran a perfect line for 20 of the 30 laps in holding off Dameron Taylor, Kameron Gladish and Tommy Kouns. He also made the right decision when the quartet encountered a lapped car to secure the win.
Follow Ken de la Bastide on Twitter @KendelaBastide, or call 640-4863.