Anderson, IN (April 15, 2012) – TJ Reaid made the most of his first trip to Anderson Speedway. The Acworth, Georgia native set fast time, lead 90 laps of the feature and took home the victory in the ARCA CRA Super Series Anderson 125 presented by Great Deals Savings Magazine. Kenny Tweedy took the early lead, but could not hold it as Reaid came around the outside on a restart on the 35th lap to take a lead he would not give up. Fellow Georgian Bubba Pollard, also at Anderson Speedway for the first time, qualified second and worked his was to the front to finish second. Scott Hantz came in third, Eddie Van Meter fourth and Kenny Tweedy fifth.
“I like the track. It is good to be back in Victory Lane.” Reaid commented. “I will definitely be back.”
After a Friday night open practice that saw 27 late models on the track, The Anderson 125 presented by Great Deals Savings Magazine was originally scheduled for Saturday night, but a heavy rainstorm caused the race to be postponed until Sunday. When the drivers returned to the track for Sunday’s practice Johnny VanDoorn, Reaid and Pollard quickly established themselves as the cars to beat putting themselves at the top of the speed charts,
VanDoorn set the early fast qualifying time with a lap of 12.269, one that held until Reaid, 12.180, and then Pollard, 12.227 qualified at the end of the qualification line. This was Reaid’s first EDCO Welding Fast Qualifier Award with the ARCA CRA Super Series. Reaid drew a six for the invert putting Canadian Jordan Sims on the pole with Tweedy on the outside of the front row.
Tweedy took off on the start of the race with VanDoorn making his way from his fourth spot to second and followed in Tweedy tire tracks as the two set a torrid pace pulling away from the field quickly. The first of nine cautions occurred on the 22nd lap when Johnny Jenkins spun in turn two. Following the restart the cars bunched up in the first turn with 2011 Redbud 300 Champion Steve Dorer rode up on the wall with the car standing on its tail before sliding down the track on its roof. Dorer walked away from the destroyed car uninjured after the first of two red flags on the day.
Following a spat of cautions Reaid had worked his way up to second, then after another red flag on lap 34 when several cars were involved in an accident in the fourth turn blocking the track, Reaid passed Tweedy on the restart from the outside lane to take the lead. Several drivers took the second place position throughout the race, with VanDoorn and Pollard mounting the strongest challenges, but Reaid moved comfortably through traffic to build and hold the lead.
VanDoorn had a very strong challenge, but on the restart on lap 60 slid down through the infield and was forced to restart at the tail. From there he worked his way back up the front as the laps wound down. However his day was to end in a disappointing 12th place finish as he nursed it to the finish with a flat right front tire losing two laps running around the bottom of the track.
Nate Caruth took home the Boyne Machine Company Rookie of the Race Award as the highest finishing rookie in a 10th place finish. Mark Lambert earned the Cometic Gasket Rookie Award for being the second highest finishing rookie after having throttle linkage issues put him many laps down at the beginning of the race. Fellow rookie Becca Kasten became the first car out when an axle broke at the green flag and forced her out giving her the Hinchman Racing Uniforms Hard Luck Award.
Kenzie Ruston finished 11th after moving up 14 positions. She was racing Sunday in front of her biggest fan, 12 year old Teresa Harp who was visiting from Oklahoma to be the Grand Marshall of the Anderson 125. Harp is suffering from Rhabdomyosarcoma, which is a cancerous tumor of the muscles that are attached to the bones. Ruston learned of her condition and with the help of Cruise 4 Cancer she helped arrange for Harp to visit Anderson to watch Ruston race. As part of the festivities Harp and her family were in Ruston’s pits throughout the day, gave the order to start the engines and watched Ruston avoid the many accidents during the race as she moved through the field from the comfort of a suite.
The Lane Automotive/ISKY Racing Cams Hardcharger Award went to Jay Niewiek who moved from his 28th starting position to finish 13th. Eddie Van Meter earned a Hoosier Racing Tire Performance Award as did Florida driver Daniel Webster. Tweedy turned the fastest lap during racing conditions giving him the VDL Hot Lap of the Race Award.
Hantz driving under new colors as his long time sponsor and team owner decided to move away from auto racing this year earned the AP Bodies Cool Move of the Race Award for driving through and narrowly missing several accidents to put together a strong run and finishing third.
By winning the race as well as the EDCO Welding Fast Qualifier Award, Reaid also won the Team Construction Clean Sweep Award. Reaid also earned the Kingen Interstate Express Halfway Leader Award and the Ford Racing Award for a winner using a Ford engine.
The ARCA/CRA Super Series will be in action again on Sunday, April 29th at Toledo Speedway for the 7 Up 100. To learn more about the ARCA/CRA Super Series go to: www.craracing.net. For more information about Toledo Speedway go to: http://www.arcaracing.com/news_toledo.php.
Press Release by ARCA CRA Super Series