Dalton Armstrong did everything right on Saturday night to claim the checkers in the 50th Annual Redbud 300 at Indiana’s Anderson Speedway. The New Castle, IN driver calls the high-banked quarter mile oval of Anderson Speedway home, so a win in this race is about as big as it could possibly get for Armstrong.
“It means so much more that this big of a win came here, Armstrong told Speed51.com powered by JEGS. “It’s my home track and I have so many fans, and family here tonight that came out to support me and to get it done for them. It was so sentimental and it was such a big race.”
Armstrong started on the outside of the front row with Bubba Pollard on his inside lane. Armstrong pulled ahead of Pollard to lead the start of the race. He then went on to lead every single one of the first 150 laps before the halfway break.
“It felt like I led a million laps out there. I tried to just keep focused and not even look at the scoreboard. My team kept letting me know how much of a lead I had. I knew if I just kept doing what I needed to do and we didn’t have anything break we would be able to get it done tonight,” said Armstrong.
Armstrong graduated from the JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour and joined the ARCA/CRA Super Series as a rookie. Out of the gate he won his first Super Series race at the Fairgrounds Speedway Nashville in April.
“I know how much Scott (Neal, car owner) wanted to win here at Anderson and even more a Redbud. I’m so happy that I am able to be the driver that could get it done for him. That makes it even more special,” stated Armstrong.
Armstrong forfeited his lead when his team chose to take three tires during the competition caution. The rule for the event stated that the driver who took the least amount of tires would start at the front of the field. Johnny VanDoorn only took two tires during the break putting him ahead of the rookie to start the second half of the long distance event, while Armstrong took three tires.
The break came at a great time for Armstrong, because the right front tire of his car was losing air pressure throughout the laps.
“On those long green flag runs we were able to get the pressure up enough to run, but once we had to slow down it would start going down again. I was so thankful that competition caution came out when it did or the results could have ended differently.”
Armstrong was able to regain the lead from VanDoorn and never looked back. Armstrong held at one point a six-second lead over Pollard who took over second from VanDoorn. Pollard started to close the gap, and with five laps remaining the yellow flag waved once again.
“I was cussing in my head when that caution came out, but I was just focused on hitting my marks and making sure not to spin my tires on the restart and do them how you need to do and we came out on top,” stated Armstrong.
Cody Coughlin, the current points leader in the series was out of the event earl when the rear end and the drive shaft broke on the no. 1 Toyota. With the points chase so close between the two young drivers, Armstrong was unofficially able to close the points gap to single digits.
“I’m hoping this is the momentum that we needed to change around the season,” Armstrong said. “I have never been to Kalamazoo Speedway (MI) or Flat Rock Speedway (MI) but I know we have good cars and I know Scott has been good there in the past with Ali (Kern) so I am hoping we can capitalize and chase a championship.”
For an on-demand replay of Saturday’s Trackside Now coverage presented by PFC Brakes and Liberty University, click here.
-By Mikayla Kugler, Speed51.com Correspondent – Twitter: @MikaylaKugler
-Photo Credit: Speed51.com
50th Annual Redbud 300
Anderson Speedway, Anderson Indiana
|2||7||Wes Griffith Jr|
|7||20||Jack Dossey III|