Gerald Campbell was lights-out when it mattered Tuesday night in the Speed51 Elite Modified Tour, taking advantage of a late-race penalty to secure the win at the virtual Myrtle Beach Speedway. The showing was particularly impressive, considering the lights were nearly out – literally – on his shot to compete in the 3 Wide TV 100.
When the Florida native first got home on Tuesday evening, eager to prepare for the 100-lap event at the South Carolina half-mile, he instead found the power was out at his residence. Electricity was restored just in time for Campbell to squeeze in a few minutes of practice, but that did not slow him down once the green flag dropped.
“This was a tough track,” Campbell said after the win. “I came in really late. I came home to no power, which for sim racing is like coming home and realizing you don’t have a car. I got seven minutes of practice. For some reason, I just clicked with this track very well. It was a matter at the end of making no mistakes, which surprisingly, trying not to screw up because you didn’t get much practice paid off.”
Campbell qualified fifth for the race, and ran in the top five throughout the evening. He was running second when the caution flag flew with 10 laps to go, while leader Max Cookson was penalized for a lane change on the prior restart. Thus, Campbell inherited the top spot and held off Tate Lightle on the final restart to take the win.
“There was only one groove, really, and it was the bottom,” said Campbell about the final restart. “Yeah, they could get the high side and maybe get a run, but I knew if I could just run one and two smoothly without any hiccups, the outside wasn’t that good.”
Lightle would finish second, with Chuck Sweeting rounding out the podium. Dante Curtis finished fourth, with Speed51.com Great Lakes Editor Patrick Hahe taking the fifth spot after starting 27th in the 32-car field.
After three races at Southeastern short tracks to start the new season of the Speed51 Elite Modified Tour, the series heads north to the virtual Stafford Motor Speedway (CT) next Tuesday for The Bottled Up Podcast 100. As always, qualifying will start at 7:45 p.m. ET, and fans can watch live and free on Speed51.com.
Fans who missed Tuesday’s race at Myrtle Beach can watch an on-demand replay by clicking here.
-Story by: Zach Evans, Speed51.com Southeast Editor – Twitter: @ztevans
-Photo credit: Speed51.com photo