During the year I witnessed plenty of exciting racing around Indiana and the U.S., with super late model competition at the top of my list.
The best race of the year was the Winchester 400 for the ARCA/CRA Super Series in October with Kyle Benjamin bumping Ross Kenseth entering the final corner to take the lead with less than 100 feet to the checkered flag.
It was a classic short track move by Benjamin who had closed on Kenseth over the final 10 laps before making the decisive move. Unfortunately for Benjamin, his car failed to pass technical inspection and Kenseth was awarded the victory.
The second best race I witnessed was the 45th running of the Snowball Derby at Five Flags Speedway in Florida. Erik Jones battled NASCAR star Kyle Busch side-by-side for the lead following a late caution and went on to record the victory.
What made the race so impressive was the fact that Jones was running the outside line to maintain a slim lead over Busch. Busch’s tire went away toward the end and he fell back to third.
Third on my list was the Indianapolis 500, the first with the newly designed IndyCar. The race had a record 30 lead changes as the new design created plenty of side-by-side racing on the restarts.
Takuma Sato challenged eventual winner Dario Franchitti on the final lap, attempting to make a pass on the inside entering Turn 1. Sato ended up against the outside wall and Franchitti recorded his third Indy 500 victory.
Fourth on the list is the ARCA/CRA Stoops Freightliner Red Bud 300 at Anderson Speedway. Kenseth took the lead on Lap 249 from Bubba Pollard and then pulled away from 2011 winner Steve Dorer following a restart with a handful of laps remaining.
The Pay Less Little 500 is fifth on the list with Brian Tyler recording his second win and the second victory for car owner Larry Contos.