Cole Butcher added another marquee win to his resume, taking the checkered flag in the 57th Annual Greg Hubler Automotive Group Redbud 400 at Anderson Speedway Saturday night.
It was the first win of the ASA STARS National Tour season for Butcher. Butcher took the lead from Gio Ruggiero with 97 laps to go, eventually winning by more than two seconds over his Wilson Motorsports teammate.
“It’s finally nice to get my first win, especially coming here,” said Butcher in victory lane. “We have tracks back home [in Canada] just like this, so it feels extra special. Happy birthday to my father, this one’s for him.”
The key to Butcher’s win may very well have been the decision to operate on a different pit strategy than most of the field. Butcher ran the first 220 laps of the race on the same four tires, falling as far back as sixth in the process and restarting in 11th after taking left-side tires.
However, by waiting until lap 220 to take left side tires and until the lap-280 stage break for right side tires, Butcher had fresher tires than anyone else in the field for the fight to the finish.
“Bond [Suss] made such a good call to stay out late and have 80 lap fresher tires than the rest of the field,” said Butcher. “This win goes out to those guys.”
Ruggiero briefly held the top spot after taking the lead from Ty Majeski on a lap 289 restart. Majeski had previously led every green-flag lap of the race after dominating the first two stages, but Ruggiero muscled by and led 12 laps before surrendering the top spot to Butcher.
Butcher tipped his cap to Ruggiero for breaking through to the top spot and opening the door to get by Majeski.
“Gio helped me. I let Gio make the holes, I was just following Gio. He was really good all weekend. I thought he was the car to beat all week.”
Ruggiero admitted he may have also abused his own tires fighting for the top spot with Majeski throughout the evening, but was excited to take the runner-up spot and complete a 1-2 finish for the Wilson Motorsports stable.
“I think I might have burned the tires up there, but we were also on a different strategy. He had newer stuff, and that worked out for them. I’m really happy for him, congrats to the whole Wilson Motorsports group. It’s awesome to pull this off and have a 1-2 finish tonight.”
Meanwhile, Majeski finished third in his first-ever race at Anderson Speedway, adding to his ASA STARS National Tour points lead in the process. Majeski acknowledged the lack of experience at Anderson may have played a factor, as he struggled to find the balance of his car in the latter stages of the race once the sun set in Indiana.
“As the race transitioned from day to night, we just weren’t as good,” said Majeski. “We were pretty dominant the first couple of runs. As the sun started to set, we just could never get the balance of the car right. Probably a little bit of inexperience, not coming here before and not knowing which way the car was going to swing.
“Overall, a good points day. The Donnie Wilson guys were really good, congrats to those guys. They’re tough anywhere they go. A solid points day for us, we’ll keep this momentum into Kaukauna and be a little bit better.”
The last time a Canadian won an ASA National event was in 1992, when Cayuga, Ontario’s John Cadman won on the road course at Mosport Park (now Canadian Tire Motorsports Park). Butcher also becomes the second Canadian winner of the Redbud 400, joining Junior Hanley (2004).
A pair of former Redbud 400 winners completed the top five, as 2021 winner Kyle Crump finished fourth and 2016 winner Dalton Armstrong took the fifth position.
The ASA STARS National Tour returns to Wisconsin for its next stop, going to Kaukauna’s Wisconsin International Raceway for the Gandrud Auto Group 250.
-Photo credit: Ryan Nuttleman
57TH ANNUAL GREG HUBLER AUTOMOTIVE GROUP REDBUD 400 UNOFFICIAL RESULTS
|7||23||Billy VanMeter||399||1 lap|
|8||14||Austin Nason||399||1 lap|
|9||131||Blake Rowe||399||1 lap|
|10||18B||Chase Burda||399||1 lap|
|11||33||Albert Francis||394||6 laps|
|12||47||Dakota Stroup||390||10 laps|
|13||69||Michael Hinde||390||10 laps|
|14||26||Bubba Pollard||334||66 laps|
|15||42||Jaren Crabtree||334||66 laps|
|16||32||Scotty Tomasik||300||100 laps|
|17||66||Logan Bearden||146||254 laps|
|18||63||Cassten Everidge||68||332 laps|