ANDERSON, Ind. — After having bad luck in his first visits to Anderson Speedway, Ross Kenseth got inside of Bubba Pollard with 51 laps remaining and went on to win the Stoops Freightliner Red Bud 300 at Anderson Speedway Saturday.
Kenseth, who made an unscheduled stop on lap 75 opted to take only two tires at the halfway break and restarted fifth. With the outside groove coming in Kenseth worked his way to the front.
Pollard took the lead on lap 224 when leader Eddie VanMeter broke the transmission in his car.
The caution flag waved on lap 228 when T.J. Reaid, running second at the time, got loose coming off the second corner and spun when Bekka Kasten tapped the back of his car.
For 10 laps Kenseth hung on the back of Pollard’s car and finally on lap 250 he got inside to take the lead entering turn three.
Defending champion Steve Dorer used the outside line to pass Pollard and Johnny VanDoorn to move into the second spot.
The final 24 laps went green with Kenseth able to pull away from Dorer. Behind the two frontrunners there was a spirited battle for third between Pollard, VanDoorn and Kenzie Ruston.
Coming to the white flag, Ruston spun which caused Pollard to slow. VanDoorn claimed third and at the checkers Pollard was passed for fourth by Nate Caruth.
Kenseth said the win was the biggest of his career.
“I’ve wrecked here several times,” Kenseth said. “This was the best car I’ve had here. For me it was a clean race except for an incident around lap 60.”
Kenseth said the team made changes at the halfway break.
He opted to start on the outside line after taking the lead on the restarts.
The outside was the way to go,” Kenseth said. “Starting on the outside you were able to keep the other guys pinched down on the bottom.”
Dorer, looking to make it two Red Bud wins in a row, said he knew Kenseth would start on the outside.
“I’m sure his crew told him (Kenseth) we won here last year on the outside,” Dorer said. “I feel we had the best car on the outside. He knew I was good on the outside.”
VanDoorn said he battled an ill-handling race car most of the night, but was pleased with the third place finish.
“It was a long 300 laps for us,” he said. “There was something wrong with the car, we never gave up and the crew kept fighting.”
VanDoorn said he has a lot of respect for Pollard and knew the hard racing would be clean between the two veteran drivers.
“The outside was the place to be on the restarts,” he said.
History was made when Becca Kasten became the first woman to lead laps in the Red Bud 300, leading from lap 185 through 205.
There were five lead changes among six different drivers. The race was slowed 13 times by the caution flag for 88 laps.
Ross Kenseth, Steve Dorer, Johnny VanDoorn, Nate Caruth, Bubba Pollard, Becca Kasten, Joe Beaver, Nick Lay, Terry Fisher Jr., Kenzie Ruston, Robert Maynor, Stephen Nasse, Mason Mingus, Rex Norris III, T.J. Reaid, Eddie VanMeter, Jay Niewiek, Kenny Tweedy, Travis Baden, Brett Robinson, Brent Jack, Rick Turner, Damon Ecoff, Tommy St. John, Tommy Cook, Josh Nelms.