Casey Johnson has been quick throughout two days of practice at Anderson Speedway (IN) for the Redbud 400. With four fresh tires, the Wisconsin invader went from quick to quickest during qualifying for Monday night's race.
Johnson claimed the pole for 54th Annual Redbud 400, clocking in at 12.130 seconds around the high-banked quarter-mile. Johnson already carried confidence into the day in his car's race pace, and then backed it up with quick time in qualifying in the entry's first laps on fresh tires.
"I think we've got a really good race car," Johnson told Speed51. "We stayed out on old tires all day yesterday and the car showed really good speed. We didn't make any adjustments, we just bolted on some rubber and she picked up speed just like we thought."
Carson Hocevar, piloting the No. 71 T.K. Racing entry typically driven by defending Redbud 400 winner Johnny VanDoorn, qualified second-fastest at 12.143 seconds, which will put him alongside Johnson on the front row. While the Show Me State Showdown winner was gunning for a pole position, he is happy to start near the front ahead of 400 laps at Anderson.
"I was hoping for pole there, but the front row is definitely a really good starting spot for the 400. You've got a long race, and I think we've got a good car on the race-trim side."
Both Johnson and Hocevar know the key to finishing near the front will be surviving 400 grueling laps, which can be a challenge both physically and mentally.
"Really, it's just going to be a lot of patience," said Johnson. "Just keeping that car in one piece until the end of the race. This is about a couple hundred laps longer than what I'm used to, but I'm trying to stay hydrated, keep my head cool and see how it goes."
"Be there at 390," echoed Hocevar. "You have to have four fenders on it and be in the first two rows, and be in shooting distance of the leaders on 390 since there always seems to be a restart or two at the end. You've got to be out front, have track position, and manage the restarts at the end."
Former Redbud winner Dalton Armstrong will start third, with Stephen Nasse alongside him in row two. Kyle Busch Motorsports driver Sammy Smith will start fifth. A full rundown of qualifying results can be viewed below.
Race fans can watch Monday's Redbud 400 live on Speed51. Click here to watch tonight's broadcast.
-Story by: Zach Evans, Speed51 Content Supervisor - Twitter: @ztevans
-Photo credit: Speed51 Photo
Qualifying Results - Redbud 400
|6||20||Jack Dossey III||12.215|
|9||23||Eddie Van Meter||12.232|
|12||35||Greg Van Alst||12.283|