Brian Campbell Holds on to Win CRA Event at Berlin
The lineup for Saturday night’s CRA Super Series Late Model feature at Berlin Raceway was loaded with a lot of familiar names.
That familiarity did help Brian Campbell win the 125-lap feature race for Champion Race Association (CRA) Late Models, but a fast race car was the real key.
Campbell, of Wyoming, grabbed the lead from Spring Lake’s Caleb Bisacky on lap 88, then survived “way too many” cautions and one pass by Erik Jones before edging Jones by .651 seconds (about two car lengths) to take the checkered flag.
“I figured I would be all right because the two guys I was worried about (fast qualifier Terry VanHaitsma and Zeeland’s Ross Meeuwsen) crashed (on lap 110),” Campbell said. When Jones made the pass, “I just had to put my teeth to the ground and go after him.”
Even after regaining the lead, Campbell faced one more challenge from the 15-year old Jones.
“Dave Lake ran up there (into the wall) when he blew a tire and there were sparks everywhere, so I kind of figured there was a caution coming out,” Campbell said. “I got off the gas a little bit and I heard (the spotter yelling) ‘no yellow, no yellow,’ and (Jones) got into my back.
“That’s the hardest I drove here in a long time for a win.”
Campbell’s win came on the heels of a victory at Toledo Speedway two weeks ago.
Jones, who was making his third start at Berlin Raceway, said he thought he was good enough to win.
“We got a good restart and Brian was a little slow on the bottom, so we drove around him on the top,” Jones said. “He got by us a few laps later and we tried a crossover move (from the top line to the bottom), but we just couldn’t get it done.”
Travis Braden of West Virginia made a late pass to finish third ahead of Bisacky. Alec Carll of Grand Rapids finished fifth.
Local notables included Johnny Van Doorn of Coopersville (sixth), Grandville’s Tom Thomas (seventh), VanHaitsma (eighth) and Meeuwsen (tenth).
As the winner and runnerup, Campbell and Jones automatically qualified for the June running of the Rowdy 251 when NASCAR star Kyle Busch annually pays a visit.
Rick Turner of Yorkton, Ind., won the “B” main event for the CRA Late Models to also qualify for a spot in the Rowdy 251.
1 - 20 Brian Campbell
2 - 4 Erk Jones
3 - 01 Travis Braden
4 - 222 Caleb Bisacky
5 - 5C Alec Carll
6 - 61 Johnny Vandoorn
7 - 82 Tom Thomas
8 - 21V Terry Vanhaitsma
9 - 39 Kenzi Ruston
10 - 199 Ross Meeuwson
11 - 99 Jordan Dahlke
12 - 48 Seth Moody
13 - 6 Bradnon Hermiller
14 - 12 Tim DeVos
15 - 11 Peter Cozzolino
16 - 50 Justin Rugnerus
17 - 84 Jay Niewiek
18 - 90 Steve Dorer
19 - 51 Becca Kasten
20 - 76 Nate Caruth
21 - 18X Billy Leslie
22 - 81 Terry Fisher Jr
23 - 55L dave Lake
24 - 55 Chris Anthony
25 - 24 Lee VanDyk
26 - 19 Nick Szotko
27 - 21 Kyle Jones
28 - 18 Mark Lambert