Lincoln Park Speedway
Unlike many of his peers Corey Anstead did not get behind the wheel at an early age but spent most of his time toiling in the shop of some of the area’s best racers. By day he is a diesel mechanic at Kenworth of Terre Haute. It is a profession that came naturally. His grandfather and father were over the road truckers, but Corey saw enough of that world to understand that it could be a very grueling way to make a living.
What his family did do when they were not out on the open road was take in the races at Lincoln Park Speedway. Corey loved it, and his grandfather staffed the scales at the track in the late 1990s and early 2000s. For a time, the family operated a truck stop near the shop of noted racer Kenny Carmichael Sr., and it was not unusual for Corey to be dropped off and do what he could to help prepare the family’s stable of racecars. Then he switched teams for a time. “I met C. J. Bryan about 2005,” he says, “I realized he lived closer to our house than the Carmichaels and started going over there and never left.”
He did his apprenticeship and had a chance to really learn from some talented people including the Carmichaels, Mel Martin, C. J. Bryan, and Paul Wright. One person who was particularly helpful was the late Chuck Bohler. Bohler was a machine shop teacher at Terre Haute North and had an auto racing club at the school. He worked alongside Kenny Carmichael for decades and moreover served on the fire crew at the Terre Haute Action Track. Thinking about his old friend Carmichael says, “he was just an all-around good guy.” While Anstead took a little something from those he rubbed elbows with, when it comes to Bohler he sums it up by saying, “that guy taught me a lot.”
By 2017 he was hungry to try racing and hopped into a bomber owned by Bryan. To his credit he makes no attempt to sugarcoat his early experience. “I went out that first night and it scared the living crap out of me,” he says with a laugh, “then we ended up with motor problems and I had to sit out a few weeks.” He would rent a motor to finish out the year, then put a new power plant together for the 2018 season. It was here that he became acquainted with how frustrating this sport can be. It was one problem after another, so he removed his engine and told Bryan it was time to sell the car.
Here he made a bold choice. He decided to put a new car together and was not going to race until he was ready. It meant he was on the sidelines for the next three seasons. Before the 2022 campaign launched Anstead was ready to return. It was a team effort to get him to the racetrack. Jason Hunt built his new chassis while Bill Nowak was his engine builder. C. J. Bryan provides a great deal of support and Matt Boone is a fabricator. Other important hands are his brothers-in-law David and Scotty Higginbotham. To say he had a great season would be an understatement. Anstead put two wins on his resume and rounded out the year in the fourth position in bomber series points. There was a lot to be proud of.
The question at hand was could he find that same level of success in 2023. That query was answered quickly as he has already found victory lane at Lincoln Park in 2023. Flush with success he proclaimed that his goal was to double his win total from the year before. With some time removed from the adrenaline that comes from victory he admits his goal is attainable but ambitious. “There is a pretty stout field of bombers right now,” he says, “so wins are not easy to come by.”
As for a championship run, there is one little complication. His wife Jessica, is a Phlebotomist Union Hospital, is due with the couple’s daughter in July. As a result, Corey admits much depends “on when the baby comes.” Then getting to the crux of the matter he adds, “If she decides to make an appearance on a Saturday my wife has told me I had better be at the hospital.” I think all would agree if Anstead made a different decision more than his racing career might be on the rocks.
With work, eleven-year-old Carson, racing, and a new baby on the way, Corey is a busy man. In fact, with everything on his plate he may be neglecting one more task. “My wife is stressed out because the baby’s room isn’t done yet,” he says, “and just when I get her calmed down about this C. J. Bryan gets her riled back up.”
Article Credit: Patrick Sullivan
Submitted By: Jill Spiker