Travis Braden won the first Bud St. Amant Memorial, and on Saturday night in the final version of the race, it was Braden taking the win in dominating fashion at Ohio’s Spitzer Motor Speedway in the 125-lap JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour event.
“My team gave me such a fantastic car from start to finish to work with tonight. I think the car actually got better the longer the runs went. It would turn better in the middle and have more bite off. We’ve been working like a dog together on this car as a team. It was just hooked up really well and was really fast,” Travis Braden told Speed51.com powered by JEGS.
“We were so good in this race last year at Columbus (Motor Speedway) but we just couldn’t finish the deal. We kept falling off so we worked and worked and worked and changed everything we could think of were able to find this combination that really worked for us tonight,” Braden stated.
Several cautions happened behind the leader throughout the duration of the event. One of those cautions involved current points leader Cody Coughlin. Coughlin was able to regroup and finish on the podium. The runner-up for the points chase is Coughlin’s ARCA/CRA Super Series crew chief Jack Smith. Smith was involved in an incident on the first lap of the race and was unable to continue.
All of those cautions led to many restarts, meaning Braden constantly had work to do, but those restarts proved to not be too challenging for Braden.
“The high side worked three or four times on those restarts and we thought we would hate to choose the inside now and lose the lead this late in the race and cost me the race. One of the times it about cost me. I was just worried about getting off of turn four on the bottom to keep the lead,” Braden stated.
Braden has been very close to the St. Amant family for many years, so winning the Bud St. Amant Memorial is always special to him. For a few years, Bud’s son Gary served as Braden’s crew chief.
Although Gary St. Amant was not the crew chief of Braden’s machine on this night, he was right there in victory to greet his friend and former driver with a hug and a high five.
“To come back and win the last ever St. Amant memorial really means a lot to me to be able to honor Bud even though I didn’t know him, and to honor the whole St. Amant family. I know Bud was looking down on us. ” Braden said.
For an on-demand replay of Saturday’s Trackside Now coverage presented by Earnest Performance, click here.
-By Mikayla Kugler, Speed51.com Midwest Correspondent – Twitter: @MikaylaKugler
-Photo Credit: Speed51.com
Bud St. Amant Memorial 125
Spitzer Motor Speedway, Mansfield, Ohio
|8||20||Jack Dossey III|
|16||8N||John Hunter Nemechek|
|17||81||Tristan Van Wieringen|
|19||5||Michael Clancy Jr|