CONCORD, N.C. — Jennifer Anderson, the long-time girlfriend of NASCAR Camping World Truck Series driver Austin Wayne Self and sister to series regular Jordan Anderson, won Friday evening’s seventh-annual Better Half Dash at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
The 25-lap event — which benefits multiple charitable organizations, including Motor Racing Outreach — featured specially-prepared Bandolero race cars driven by the wives and girlfriends of NASCAR drivers and crew members.
Anderson passed Tammy Rice (wife of Kaulig Racing crew chief Chris Rice) around the outside with eight laps to go and then survived a series of late-race restarts, including a green-white-checkered finish, to score the victory.
For her win, Anderson won $5,000 for the Hermie & Elliott Sadler Foundation, as well as $2,500 apiece for Motor Racing Outreach and Speedway Children’s Charities.
“That was a tough race,” Anderson said. “It was really fun getting ready for this thing for the past month and a half. I’d been doing this and practicing and noticing that I’m quite fast. The race was tough, though; it didn’t come easy. It was good, it was good to raise awareness for the Hermie and Elliott Sadler Foundation, hopefully we were able to help out.”
Anderson added that her win was one for both her brother and Self, who continue to seek their first victories in NASCAR competition.
“I’m excited! I have a win over Austin and Jordan, here,” she laughed. “I got a win both of them and trust me, I’ll hold it over them a lot.”
Paige Keselowski, wife of 2012 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series champion Brad Keselowski, qualified fastest on Monday night and lead the first 16 laps from the pole, but spun after contact with Anderson while racing for the lead.
The contact cut her left-rear tire, causing Keselowski to slow on the ensuing restart as Rice surged from third to the lead on the inside of a three-wide scramble in Turn 3.
Anderson powered to Rice’s outside the next time by and never looked back.
Not even a caution at the white flag, sparked after Tina Bullins and Tati Papis spun in Turn 4, could slow Anderson’s roll. She took off on the green-white-checkered and beat Rice to the line by six car lengths.
Rice was pleased with her finish after having to come from the rear twice, but wished she could have gotten “one more spot.”
“I’m just relived that I don’t have to beg for money,” said Rice, who raised $20,000 for charity with the help of fan donations.
“It was a good race for my first time competing,” she added. “It was a learning experience, but just the competitors out here … I’ve gotten to know them away from the track and we were talking about how it was going to be so fun. All I could hear in the back of my head, though, was Kate (Tomaino) wrecking me out of the race.”
Tomaino completed the podium in third, followed by Chelsea Fetzer (wife of Chip Ganassi racing tire carrier Ben Fetzer) and Marisa Erspamer (wife of Hendrick Motorsports tire carrier Jared Erspamer).
Keselowski rebounded from the back of the field to cross the line sixth at the checkered flag.
About the Writer
Jacob Seelman is the Managing Editor of Race Chaser Online and creator of the Motorsports Madness radio show, airing at 7 p.m. Eastern every Monday on the Performance Motorsports Network.
Seelman grew up in the sport, watching his grandparents co-own the RaDiUs Motorsports NASCAR Cup Series team in the 1990s.
The 23-year-old is currently studying Broadcast Journalism at Winthrop University in Rock Hill, S.C., and is also serving as the full-time tour announcer for the Must See Racing Sprint Car Series.
Email Jacob at: email@example.com
Email Race Chaser Online: firstname.lastname@example.org
Follow RCO on Twitter: @RaceChaserNews