Special from Speed51.com – It was a different driver piloting the TK Racing No. 71 on Monday night at Anderson Speedway (IN), but it was a familiar sight at the end of the Redbud 400 when the red Super Late Model parked in victory lane with substitute driver Carson Hocevar taking the marquee ARCA/CRA Super Series win.
With three-time and defending Redbud winner Johnny VanDoorn stepping out of the cockpit after the birth of his daughter, Carson Hocever replaced him in the driver’s seat. The Show Me State Showdown winner dominated the field throughout the evening, then held off a late charge from Josh Brock for the win.
Hocevar was jubilant in victory lane, grateful for the opportunity and exhausted after 400 grueling laps around the Anderson quarter-mile.
“Feels tired as hell,” said Hocevar after the race. “Thank you to TK Racing, Butch, Johnny, everybody. I was just the lucky guy to fill in for Johnny. I hope he’s having fun at home watching. I hope I did him proud. I’m sure glad I was able to race this thing.
“It’s tough, man. It was tiring. It was 400 laps, you were up on the wheel a hundred times. I got really free at the end and Josh started to reel me in.”
Brock would finish second to Hocevar, coming up just short in his late charge to the front. He tipped his cap to the TK Racing team on another hard-earned win in the Redbud.
“First of all, congrats to them. They’re a heck of a team. I’ve run behind that red 71 several times with Johnny VanDoorn, and I know he’s back home watching. Good job to Carson, they did a great job.
“When it came to us, it did it in a good way. I was giving all she had and all she wrote. If it weren’t for lapped traffic, who knows what would have happened. You might have had a better view of the race. I’m glad to finish second, it’s my best finish in the Redbud.”
Sammy Smith completed the podium for the event, as the Kyle Busch Motorsports driver rebounded from a sluggish start to climb into the top three by night’s end.
“We struggled for the first 200. We didn’t have any fire-off speed, but once we got going we were pretty decent. I think we were definitely a top-three car. We didn’t have anything for the 71, but we had a top three car.”
Race fans who missed Monday’s race can watch an on-demand replay of the broadcast by clicking here.
-Story by: Zach Evans, Speed51 Content Supervisor – Twitter: @ztevans
-Photo credit: Speed51 Photo