After a rainout postponed the ARCA/CRA Super Series Spring 200 at Toledo Speedway earlier this year, drivers were forced to not only race each other on Friday night, but also contend with 95-plus degree heat. Brian Campbell showed that he could take them both on, winning the 100-lap feature in dominating fashion.
Campbell started the day fast, setting quick time at the high-banked asphalt oval near Toledo, Ohio. He started seventh following the invert and spent the early part of the race advancing through the field, his progress aided by a few yellow flags.
By lap 50, Campbell had passed Tyler Ankrum and Kyle Crump to take the lead, stretching his advantage over the field until a late restart with 12 to go. Ankrum would give it one last chance on the outside, but Campbell was able to hold on and win the ARCA/CRA Super Series’ portion of the Spring 200.
Campbell, who recently won the Money in the Bank race at Berlin Raceway over Kyle Busch and Bubba Pollard, thanked his team for making the car fast right off the trailer. He admitted to Speed51.com that the last restart with 12 laps to go had him worried.
“I wasn’t exactly happy with the late restart.” Campbell admitted. “I was praying at lap 50 that there would be no yellow flags. Any time you stack the field up, things can happen. Thankfully everybody raced clean. which has been going on up here lately, got to say, CRA has been putting on some good clean races, not a lot of yellow flags, not a lot of wrecked race cars.”
Tyler Ankrum, who has been focused on his NASCAR K&N Series East Division points lead, was happy to score a second-place finish and lead laps in one of his limited Super Late Model starts. However, he said getting aggressive with Campbell on the late restart to try and get the win was not on his mind.
“I guess I could have ruffled his feathers and tried to move him out of the way, but I respect Campbell and VanDoorn a lot. I know they wouldn’t race me that way. So we just kept it clean and finished second,” Anrkum stated. “He was just so much better than us on a long run. He’s probably one of the best Super Late Model drivers in the country right now. To finish second to him, I feel that is a big accomplishment.”
Glass City 200 winner Johnny VanDoorn was fast in practice but cut a tire in qualifying, requiring him to start at the rear of the field. After charging through the field to a third-place finish, Vandoorn knew he had run out of tires too early in the 100 lap feature.
“With this hot weather and this hot of a track and passing that many cars you’re just killing the tires,” he said. “By the time I got to the top three, I was all out of tires and it was game over. At the end of the race, everybody is running the same lap time, so track position is key.”
When asked what he had learned from this race for the Glass City 200 later this year, VanDoorn joked, “Don’t cut a tire in qualifying.”
Frank Jiovani won the 100-lap ARCA Gold Cup / Main Event Racing Series co-sanctioned event at Toledo Speedway following the ARCA/CRA Super Series feature.
Jiovani dominated the race after race leader Steve Needles and second-place Brian Bergakker fell out with mechanical issues. Jiovani scored his first Outlaw Late Model win, but was stricken by the heat in victory lane and needed assistance from a medical crew on standby at Toledo Speedway. Jiovani was released after being checked by EMS.
The ARCA/CRA Super Series has a short break before heading to Anderson Speedway (IN) for the Redbud 400 on Monday, July 16. Only two races remain for the series before their playoff chase begins at Kalamazoo Speedway (MI) on Wednesday, August 8.
The Main Event Racing Series has a quick turnaround for their next race on Tuesday, July 3 at Midvale Speedway (OH) as part of a rare open rules night Modifieds, Street Stocks, and Compacts. The ARCA Gold Cup Series has their next event on Saturday, July 21 at Flat Rock Speedway (MI) for the Stan Yee Memorial.
-By Patrick Hahe, Speed51.com Great Lakes Editor
-Photo credit: Speed51.com
ARCA/CRA Super Series Unofficial Results
Toledo Speedway (OH) – June 29, 2018
1. 47 Brian Campbell 100 Laps
2. 58 Tyler Ankrum 100
3. 71 Johnny VanDoorn 100
4. 131 Kyle Crump 100
5. 14 Carson Hocevar 100
6. 81 Cayden Lapcevich 100
7. 41 Hunter Jack 100
8. 6 Logan Runyon 100
9. 42 Dennis Prunty 99
10. 1 Jon Beach 99
11. 17 Josh Brock 99
12. 40 Nick Grodi 98
13. 35 Greg VanAlst 98
14. 23 Billy VanMeter ® 35
15. 29 Austin Kunert ® 26
16. 44 Josh Smith 26
17. 71f Harold Fair Jr. 18
18. 72 Scott Hantz 17