Brian Campbell set fast time in qualifying, then put on a dominating performance to win the ARCA/CRA Super Series Battle at Berlin 251 at Berlin Raceway (MI) Saturday night. It was his second straight win in the ARCA/CRA Super Series and his second win in the Battle at Berlin 251.
Campbell restarted in the second row after a Lap 200 competition caution. He and Bubba Pollard waged a fierce battle for several laps before Campbell eventually took over the lead. By lap 219, Campbell had worked past 14-year-old Carson Hocevar for the lead and he never looked back.
“I was fine, I knew we were gonna finish in the top five,” Campbell told Speed51.com powered by JEGS. “We started in the top five so it didn’t make me nervous at all. Fifty laps is plenty of time to get by five cars, and that’s really about it. Just picking our way through there, keeping the car safe and getting to the end.”
Campbell, Pollard and Outlaw Late Model ace Terry Senneker fought in the top five all race. Senneker got out to the early lead and led until Campbell first took over the top spot on Lap 58. From there, Campbell led until Lap 97 when Bubba Pollard passed Campbell in lapped traffic and held on until the Lap 100 break.
While the first segment was a clean one with just one caution on Lap 7, the second segment was marred with yellows, with a Lap 173 incident involving multiple cars, including series points leader Logan Runyon bringing out a brief red flag. Bubba Pollard would be the leader at the end of the second segment.
The top five redrew their starting spots for the last 51 laps, which put Carson Hocevar and Raphael Lessard on the front row. Hocevar led the next 19 laps before Campbell retook the lead and held it for good. A caution with 15 laps to go bunched up the field once again, but Campbell once again pulled away from the field and secured the victory.
“The first 200 laps was basically just keep the car clean, don’t touch anybody, don’t get in any wrecks, don’t really race anybody all that hard,” Campbell recalled, “We had to get to Lap 200 to get our four fresh tires, and we knew it was gonna be pretty much race like hell after that; just go as fast as you can go for 50 laps. And that’s what we did, and when the chips were done we had the best car.”
Bubba Pollard finished second for the second consecutive year.
“I’m used to it in this race,” Pollard jokingly stated, “We had a good car. Me and Brian (Campbell) were tit-for-tat there. I was good on the long runs then we got too free. We both had good cars. It was fun racing him like that; it’s cool when you can race with a guy like that side by side and have some fun, because that’s what it’s really all about.”
Terry Senneker made a rare start in a Super Late Model and he was able to take home a third-place finish.
“I’m proud of our finish, proud of the team. I’m thankful for Brian Campbell and the Lakeshore Motorsports team for putting us in this car,” Senneker said. “They came to me and said they would like me to run the other car. So it was a fun deal, it was different for me to just show up with a helmet and just run the race. I’m just glad to do it justice and bring it home third and in one piece.”
In the battle for the Berlin Raceway track championship, Carson Hocevar finished one spot ahead of Joe Bush in fourth to become the youngest-ever Berlin Raceway Late Model championship.
The ARCA/CRA Super Series playoff chase continues at the Toledo Speedway as they take part in the Glass City 200 for the first time.
Race fans can find on-demand Trackside Now coverage on Speed51.com by clicking here.
-By Koty Geyer, Speed51.com Midwest Correspondent
-Photo credit: Speed51.com