Picking the winners of big short track races throughout the country is a tradition that our staff at Speed51.com has enjoyed for many years. With a big money Super Late Model race being held at Anderson Speedway (IN) Monday night, we decided to challenge our staff once again.


This week we asked members of our Speed51.com team, “Who are you picking to win the 52nd Annual Redbud 400?”


The answers we received varied, but when all the votes were tallied it was Johnny VanDoorn who was named the favorite to win the big race.  Overall, eight different drivers received votes from our panel of 19 experts.


Check out our full list of staff picks for the Redbud 400 at Anderson Speedway below.


Aaron Creed, Speed51.com National Correspondent 

Pick: Johnny VanDoorn

He was my pick for the Money in the Bank 150 at Berlin and was in contention, and Anderson will not be any different. Without the three drivers that finished ahead of him on that particular Monday entered, the Michigan driver could very well be the favorite to take the checkered flag at the end of a grueling 400 laps.


Adam Mackey, Speed51.com Announcer

Pick: Chuck Barnes, Jr.

Making a rare Late Model start, Chuck Barnes, Jr. will make the most of the opportunity and find his way into victory lane. Running a long distance race at Anderson could be compared to running a long distance Street Stock race, rough and tumble. Barnes will take all of those experiences, combined with his Late Model success, to claim the win.


Allick Jorgensen, Speed51.com Florida State Editor

Pick: Johnny VanDoorn

Following strong runs in both the Masters of the Pros Pro Late Model race and Money in the Bank 150 Super Late Model race, I like VanDoorn’s chances to score the big victory this time around.


Bob Dillner, Speed51.com Executive Editor

Pick: Josh Brock

I’m going with Josh Brock. He won there earlier this year at Anderson Speedway and he’s got Chris Wimmer consulting and Travis Sauter as his crew chief; that’s a potent combination. Plus, he has yet to call me back for the Speed51 Super Select, so hopefully this will remind him to do so.


Brandon Paul, Speed51.com Editor

Pick: Johnny VanDoorn

To finish first, you must first finish. That will be the key to Monday night’s Redbud 400. At the end of the night, I believe that Johnny VanDoorn will have the equipment, the patience and the speed to win his third Redbud 400.


Casey LaJoie, Speed51.com Southeast Correspondent

Pick: Raphael Lessard

Lessard was a contender in this race last year and I believe he will be back with vengeance. He has arguably the best Super Late Mdoel team in the nation behind him in Kyle Busch Motorsports, and they don’t show up to run second.


Connor Sullivan, Speed51.com Northeast Editor

Pick: Steve Wallace

Winning a race as tough and demanding as the Redbud 400 takes a certain amount of experience and patience, coupled with grit and aggression. Bring a strong race car to the track and theoretically you have a winner. There was nothing theoretical about Wallace’s win last year, so I don’t see why he can’t do it again in 2018.


Dakota Geyer, Speed51.com State Editor (IN & MI)

Pick: Dalton Armstrong

The 2016 Redbud winner is making his first ARCA/CRA Super Series start of 2018 with the same team he competed full-time with over the past couple of years. He and owner/crew chief Scott Neal look to make the most of their limited opportunities by parking it in Redbud victory lane for the second time in three years.


Daryl Canfield, Speed51.com / MoJo Photos

Pick: Chandler Smith

I’m going to have to take one of my #51Draft drivers, Chandler Smith. This kid has been nothing short of impressive in 2018. Four hundred laps may be a lot, but I’m sure this young hotshoe can handle it. Smith will hold the Redbud 400 trophy at the end of the day.


Duane Canfield, Speed51.com / MoJo Photos

Pick: Chandler Smith

I have to go with Chandler Smith. His confidence level has to be the highest it’s ever been. Smith’s ARCA experience is making him an even better driver and I look for the 26 to hold the checkers at the end of the 400.


Elgin Traylor, Speed51.com Southeast Correspondent

Pick: Johnny VanDoorn

VanDoorn always good in the Redbud. He used to not be a fan of the event, but he’s done so well there in the past.


Evan Canfield, Speed51.com / MoJo Photos

Pick: Raphael Lessard

Lessard has been fast everywhere he has been this year, including a victory at Bristol in the Short Track U.S. Nationals. I believe he will be in victory lane after scoring a big win at the Redbud 400.


Jeremy Anders, Speed51.com Northwest Editor

Pick: Chandler Smith

Chandler Smith has been one of the hottest drivers in the country and recently scored his first ARCA win. The young driver has proven that he can race with the best and beat the best. I look for Chandler Smith to take home the top spot for the Redbud 400 as youth will prevail in the long race.


Kevin Peters, Speed51.com Southwest Editor

Pick: Johnny VanDoorn

VanDoorn is my pick to take the victory at the Redbud 400. He is always a threat to win whenever he is racing with the ARCA/CRA Super Series.


Patrick Hahe, Speed51.com Great Lakes Editor

Pick: Steve Wallace

Wallace showed last year he knows how to get around Anderson Speedway, and all the intricacies that go with racing at the tight high-banked track. He showed he is not afraid to use his car to score a win, and Anderson is one of those tracks where you may have to lay a bumper to somebody. I see a chance for Wallace vs Lessard Take 2, but will give the nod to Wallace.


Mark Keeler, Speed51.com Operations Manager

Pick: Stephen Nasse

After two years of electrical issues sidelined him early at Anderson in 2015 and 2016, he bounced back in his third Redbud attempt to take a podium spot, finishing third just a year ago. Nasse is long overdue for a signature win at this point in his career and I believe the high-banks of Anderson can be the place for that to happen.


Rob Blount, Speed51.com Associate Editor

Pick: Chandler Smith

This kid just looks so confident all of the time now. It’s 400 laps here and anything can happen, but I think “the other 26” will be near the front at the end.


Ryan McCollough, Speed51.com Southeast Correspondent

Pick: Raphael Lessard

It’s pretty easy to just find the Kyle Busch Motorsports (KBM) car on the entry list and pick that guy. However, my pick goes a little deeper than just the number on the door. Earlier this season, Lessard was a force at the Rattler at South Alabama Speedway, a track that is very similar to the 1/4 mile at Anderson. Lessard is in the mix almost everywhere he goes, but I expect him to be the one to beat on Tuesday.


Tom Ryan, Speed51.com Digital Manager

Pick: Steve Wallace

His success at the Redbud last year will bring Wallace the confidence to fly first under the checkered flag at the Anderson high-banked speed plant.


-Text by Speed51.com Staff

-Photo credit: Speed51.com

Speed51.com Staff Picks for Redbud 400 at Anderson