In April 2011, the first JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour race was run at the Toledo Speedway. Wyoming, Michigan’s Brian Campbell took the checkered flag in that one over a stout 32-car field that included current Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series driver Erik Jones.
Ninety-nine races later, Campbell returns to victory lane in the series’ 100thrace at Lucas Oil Raceway just outside Indianapolis. It was the ninth win in just thirteen JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour starts for Campbell, breaking a tie with NASCAR Xfinity Series driver Daniel Hemric for the most wins in series history.
“Anytime you can run with Daniel and beat someone like that’s record it’s special,” Campbell told Speed51.com. “He’s obviously a Cup driver and one of the best in the business. Anytime you can do something like that it’s pretty cool.”
“We don’t run the JEGS series that much. I think this is the first year in a handful of years we ran more than one or two races, so we don’t really run JEGS a lot but it’s pretty cool; it’s pretty special. It solidified our name and team in the record book. That means a lot to us, and hopefully I’m around for 100 more.”
Campbell started fourth and rode around for the first sixty laps while Jeff Cannon and 2004 ARCA/CRA Super Series champion Chuck Barnes Jr. fought hard for the lead. After a couple of cautions, Campbell took the lead on a Lap-70 restart and pulled away from the field. He held off fellow Michigan native Carson Hocevar and ARCA Racing Series driver and two-time ARCA/CRA Super Series champion Travis Braden for the win. Cannon and Barnes would round out the top five.
“It was kind of strange,” Campbell said. “We ran for sixty laps right off the bat or something like that. We caught those guys but we couldn’t do much with them. I was really losing the nose getting into the corner. I hate to say the cliché like a big track but we were getting into the dirty air and I couldn’t maneuver the car. Those restarts helped us get air on the nose and allow the car to turn. Then I got out front and I knew everybody would have the same problems I had, so as long as I could maintain my line I figured I was going to be okay.”
It was the last race before Winchester, meaning the championship four was decided. Mason Keller had locked himself in by winning at Winchester during the World Stock Car Festival, while defending JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour champion Jack Dossey III, last year’s runner-up Michael Clancy Jr., and Mandy Chick raced their way into the championship. It will be decided on Friday, October 12thduring Winchester 400 weekend.
-By Koty Geyer, Speed51.com Regional Editor (Michigan & Indiana) – Twitter: @KGeyer3
-Photo Credit: Speed51.com