ANDERSON, Ind. – Kyle Crump came from two laps down to take the lead with two laps remaining to win the 55th running of the Redbud 400 sanctioned by the ARCA/CRA Super Series at Anderson Speedway on Monday night.
Crump, who ran second to Dalton Armstrong for much of the middle stages of the race, lost two laps when he stopped on the track with a flat tire on lap 348.
Austin Nason inherited the lead on lap 380 when Dalton Armstrong, who dominated the majority of the race, was penalized for rough driving on a lap 371 restart that put defending race winner Carson Hocevar into the turn one wall.
On the final restart Crump used the bump and run on Nason entering the first corner, which caused Nason to drift high in turn two on lap 398. It allowed Crump to make the inside pass to win his first Greg Hubler Auto Group Redbud 400 after starting fourth in the 24 car field.
Sammy Smith finished .547 seconds behind Crump, with Nason settling for third. Anderson’s Greg Van Alst came home fourth followed by Stephen Nasse.
“Oh my God, we won the Redbud 400,” Crump said in the Riley & Son Victory Lane after taking home the $15,000 payday.
“We had a great car on long runs,” he said. “I thought our race was over when we lost two laps.”
Smith, who recovered from a lap 355 incident with Van Alst on the front straight, said the team never gave up.
“It was just a part of racing,” he said of the contact with Van Alst.
Nason said the team gave him a car with a chance to win.
Armstrong’s strong night continued to go in the wrong direction when he tangled with Nasse after climbing back to third, bringing out the caution flag on lap 397. He then spun again on the restart.
Armstrong finished seventh.
There were five cautions in the final 45 laps as drivers were jockeying for position on the restarts.
For three-quarters of the race on the high banked quarter-mile Armstrong had the dominant car after taking the lead Hocevar on lap 89, maintaining the lead until lap 380.
For most of that time Armstrong was chased by Crump, who moved into the second spot on lap 119 following a restart with an inside pass of Hocevar, staying in the runner-up spot until lap 348.
But following many restarts, Armstrong started to pull away from the pack until his tangle with Hocevar.
There were several incidents that took potential challengers to Armstrong out of contention.
A five-car shunt on the back straight on lap 122 caught up the cars of Cody Coughlin, Scotty Tomasik and Austin Thom. The three continued but were never a factor in the outcome.
Apparent oil on the track during a restart eliminated the cars of Hunter Jack and Casey Johnson on lap 132.
There were there four lead changes among four drivers with the caution flag waving 15 times for a total of 105 laps.
California driver Jesse Love set fast time during qualifying, .003 seconds ahead of Hocevar, with Armstrong third quickest.
The top 12 competitors qualified within two tenths of a second.
1) Kyle Crump; 2) Sammy Smith; 3) Austin Nason; 4) Greg VanAlst; 5) Stephen Nasse; 6) Kody Swanson; 7) Dalton Armstrong; 8) James Krueger; 9) Jesse Love; 10) Mason Keller; 11) Jaren Crabtree; 12) Michael Simko; 13) Carson Hocevar; 14) Scotty Tomasik; 15) Austin Thom; 16) Josh Ebbert; 17) J.P. Crabtree; 18) Cody Coughlin; 19) Hunter Jack; 20) Casey Johnson; 21) Cory Heim; 22) Ryan Issacs; 23) Chris Tomasik; 24) Connor Mosack