Carson Hocevar hopped into the TK Motorsports No. 71 normally driven by Johnny VanDoorn for the Redbud 400 Monday night and earned the biggest win of his young career. However, that was not the only notable news to come out of the event at Anderson Speedway (IN)
We take a look at some of the other storylines coming out of Anderson Speedway.
ARCA Midwest Tour/TUNDRA Champion Impresses in Maiden Redbud Start
Casey Johnson made the trip to Anderson for the second time in a month’s span, this time for the grueling Redbud 400. The Wisconsin driver sat on the pole and led over 100 laps before ending the night with a fourth-place result.
“We fired off really good early, we just didn’t adjust to the track quite enough. It was kind of a beginner’s mistake with this being our first 400,” Johnson told Speed51. “We learned a lot of things and I think we’ll come back a lot stronger.”
Johnson has had one other start in a 400 lap race, but he fell out of the All American 400 after 272 laps in 2017. He said the Redbud was a learning experience for when he gets back up to Wisconsin to run the extended-length races with the Midwest Tour.
“It’s real similar, you’ve just got to play out your playbook a lot later. The longest we run is about 250, these 400 lappers really adds something on you.”
Former Anderson Track Champion Recovers for Top-Five Finish
Jack Dossey III ran on the fringe of the top-ten for much of the race, even falling a lap down to Hocevar around the lap 275 mark just to get the lucky dog a few laps later during a competition yellow. The two-time JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour and two-time Anderson Speedway track champion then worked his way through the field to finish fifth, his second-straight top-five in the race.
“From the green flag, the car wasn’t the same as it was in practice today or yesterday afternoon, I don’t know what happened for it to just go tight on us like that,” he said. “All night, it was just stupid tight. This team doesn’t give up, I don’t give up. It’s not in our nature, it’s not how we roll. It was a hard-earned fifth-place finish but it’s pretty sweet to come home with a top-five.”
It was Dossey’s best performance by far in 2020, in a season where he has suffered misfortune. The top-five run offers his team momentum going into the third Blizzard Series race at Five Flags Speedway at the end of July.
“I think the monkey’s off my back, now. We’ve got some good momentum going into Pensacola for the third Blizzard race in a few weeks. I’m feeling pretty confident.”
Former Redbud Winner Just Misses Top-Five in Rare Start
2016 Redbud winner Dalton Armstrong doesn’t get behind the wheel very often anymore, but the Redbud has been a race he hasn’t missed since his first start in the event back in 2015. The former JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour champion finished sixth in the Richie Wauters Motorsports No. 5 after spending most of his night between fourth and seventh place.
“We just kind of struggled throughout the whole night. We put tires on and made some adjustments but we never could really get a hold of it, we were right around that fifth, sixth place that whole night,” Armstrong said. “We could never really move too far forward. We’ll work on it and hopefully next time have a better run.”
Even with him only making 3-5 starts every year compared to when he ran in CRA full-time, his mentality hasn’t changed when he does climb behind the wheel.
“It’s the same mentality as it would be if I was racing full-time. I still have the mentality that I’m going to win every race. It kind of sucks that I’m not racing every other week but when I get the opportunities I really enjoy it. Sixth-place still isn’t too bad for not running all the time.”
CRA Regular Shows Strength Against Stout Field
Indiana driver Hunter Jack hasn’t had much luck over the years in any of the ARCA/CRA Super Series crown jewels. That changed Monday night with a seventh-place finish in the Redbud.
While his final result matched his result from 2018, Jack arguably had a stronger race Monday night. The 20-year-old found himself in the top-five battling with eventual fourth-place finisher Sammy Smith in the final laps.
“We had a really good car tonight. After the race got going there we were able to get going through the pack. I got into a couple guys but I have to be a little bit more aggressive on a short track like this,” Jack said. “We got up there and got into Sammy Smith, I think it was for fourth and he came back and got me. We dropped back to seventh there but we had a pretty good car tonight and we’re happy with that finish.”
It was a sharp contrast to his two previous starts at Anderson in 2020, which saw him wreck two different race cars in back-to-back weeks with the Super Series and the JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour.
“We tore up two cars there, it’s really good to have a solid run and get our momentum back going there for the next races coming up. We had a really nice run tonight and we’re really happy with it.”
-Story by: Koty Geyer, Speed51 National Correspondent – Twitter: @kgeyer3
-Photo Credit: Speed51 Photo