ANDERSON, Ind. – Thrice was nice for Michigan driver Johnny VanDoorn during Monday’s Redbud 400.
VanDoorn won the classic super late model event sanctioned by the ARCA/CRA Super Series at Anderson Speedway on Monday, leading 247 of the 400 laps to record his third Redbud 400 victory.
He joins legendary short track drivers Bob Senneker and Scott Hansen with three Redbud victories and trails Mark Martin by one.
After taking the lead from polesitter Daniel Hemric on lap 18, the only time VanDoorn was not out front were the times when he pitted for tires.
“There was no way I was going to give this one away,” said VanDoorn, who dedicated the victory to his ailing father. “They pitted later for tires, but we were able to hold them off.”
Jack Dossey III took the lead from VanDoorn on a restart with 26 remaining, but on lap 383 VanDoorn retook the point with an inside move in turn three.
The final caution flag waved on lap 387 when rookie Jett Noland, running fourth at the time spun in turn one, setting up a seven-lap shoot out.
VanDoorn held on to win by over Dossey by six-tenths of a second, followed by Hemric, Cody Coughlin and Josh Brock.
“I knew on the last restart we would battle hard and rub a little,” Dossey said. “I spun the tires, which allowed VanDoorn to pull away.”
Hemric said he lost the clutch in his Wimmer Racing car on lap 100 and had to move to the outside until the clutch would engage.
“We had the right tire strategy if we didn’t have to deal with the clutch problem,” Hemric said.
The Redbud 400 was slowed six times for caution periods, twice after the competitors raced 75 consecutive laps without a caution period.
When the final caution flag waved on lap 325, VanDoorn, Dalton Armstrong and Greg VanAlst stayed on the track and when the other drivers stopped for tires, it left Armstrong and VanAlst on old rubber.
Dossey III, rookie Noland, Hemric and Coughlin all gained positions when the caution flag waved on lap 365 for debris.
By lap 250, two of the expected contenders for the victory Travis Braden and Stephen Nasse were done for the night with mechanical problems.
VanDoorn dominated the first half of the race, leading 159 of the 200 laps.
Polesitter Hemric led the first 17 laps when VanDoorn used the inside line to take the lead on a restart following the first caution flag.
Hemric continued to run second with Nasse running third until lap 132 when Dossey made an inside pass entering turn three.
The third caution flag waved on lap 161 when J.P. Crabtree spun in turn four. Both VanDoorn and Hemric pitted for tires which gave Dossey the lead.
On the fresh rubber VanDoorn climbed from the fifth spot to retake the lead on lap 189 with an inside power move entering turn three.
During qualifications Hemric broke the track record set by Jeff Lane in 2008.
Hemric turned a lap at 11.911 seconds (74 mph), which topped Lane’s mark of 11.992 seconds.
Johnny VanDoorn, Jack Dossey III, Daniel Hemric, Cody Coughlin, Josh Brock, Greg VanAlst, Dalton Armstrong, Jett Noland, Brandon Oakley, J.P. Crabtree, Austin Kunert, Hunter Jack, Stephen Nasse, Travis Braden, Eddie VanMeter, Austin Nason, Logan Runyon, Zachary Tinkle, Brett Robinson, Kyle Jones, Jeff Marcum.