The rain-postponed Ross Mortgages Spring 150 ended up being well worth the wait for Brian Campbell, who secured the ARCA/CRA Super Series win on the banks of Toledo Speedway Sunday afternoon. With the 29th series victory of his career, Campbell inched closer to the Champion Racing Association (CRA) history books, as he now trails Scott Hantz by just two wins on the all-time wins list.
Harold Fair Jr. led early after the nine-car invert shuffled polesitter Travis Braden back, but his time at the front was short-lived. Travis McCoy and Mike Mazzagatti made contact off turn four at the tail of the lead lap, leading them to both spin and block the track. Fair Jr. was left with nowhere to go, sliding sideways into McCoy’s nose and ending both their days.
Following the restart, Campbell dueled with Johnny VanDoorn for second using the outside lane, then switched down to the inside to quickly dispatch leader Kyle Crump. Campbell stretched out his lead early, leading the next 78 laps on his way to victory.
Lapped traffic and a hard-charging Travis Braden closed the gap down to more than two seconds, but the early-run advantage Campbell had accrued was too much to overcome.
Campbell revealed to Speed51.com that his team had one plan from the start of the race.
“Get to the front as fast as we can," said the Michigan native. "We knew that racing in the heat, the tire fall off, the tire degradation was heavy, so we had to get to the front as fast as we could."
Campbell was surprised by how hard the tail of the field fought him to stay on the lead lap during the second half of the race.
“Wish it had been a bit easier, but that’s kind of the way it goes," he stated. "Travis was certainly coming, he was putting pressure on, without him here it would have been a low-key race. He certainly forced me to go every lap.”
Braden, who had his helmet cooling hose come loose during the race, was looking for one more chance to show his stuff against Campbell.
“Brian is so good and so fast. Those guys put together a hell of a race car," Braden said. "Who knows if we really had anything, I’m sure he was trying to save as much as he could in case we there was a caution. As far back as we were, I was trying to save a little bit too for a while, in case there was a caution. You’re playing with each other; you don’t know who has what. We were really evenly matched. I wish we could have stacked them up and raced for these fans.”
The ARCA Gold Cup also ran a reduced 50-lap feature Sunday at Toledo, as the rescheduled race date conflicted with other tracks in the area. Cayden Lapcevich dominated the 11-car field in a race which slowed early for a caution when Albert Francis and Frank Jiovani made contact, sending Jiovani into the foam blocks protecting the walls at Toledo. Jiovani showed his frustration with Francis, tossing a water bottle at him as he passed during the caution.
Lapcevich nearly lapped the entire field, but suffered an ignition box failure with the white flag waving. A green-white-checkered finish was set up due to a spin by Mike Mazzagatti following contact with Francis. Francis would start outside Brian Bergakker on the final restart, pinching Bergakker through turn one, racing to his first ARCA Gold Cup Series victory.
The ARCA/CRA Super Series makes its next appearance Monday, July 15 at Anderson Speedway for the legendary Redbud 400 before heading to Baer Field Motorsports Park on Saturday, July 27. The Kalamazoo Klash on Wednesday, August 7 will be the final race of the regular season, setting the field for the third CRA Chase. Chase teams will have Berlin Raceway’s Battle at Berlin 251, Winchester’s World Sock Car Festival, and Toledo’s Glass City 200 to prove their worth and make the list of four drivers who will compete for the Championship during the Winchester 400.
Highlights from Sunday's race at Toledo Speedway will be available in the coming days on the Speed51 Network.
-Story by: Patrick Hahe – Great Lakes Editor, Speed51.com
-Photo credit: Speed51.com