Home-state drivers certainly made their mark in the CRA Super Series portion of the Kalamazoo Klash at Michigan’s Kalamazoo Speedway.
A pair of Michiganders finished atop the podium Wednesday at the 3/8’s of a mile track. Brian Campell won, but he had no time to breathe as NASCAR Xfinity Series winner, Erik Jones was hot on his tail till the bitter end of the battle-royal.
“It felt like a 125 laps of qualifying tonight, we never let up and there was no time to breathe tonight,” said Campbell, whose father, Freddie, is a former Kalamazoo Klash winner in an Outlaw Late Model. “At the beginning it was just mediocre and then it really started to get fast towards the middle, and I never let up. I’m telling you, I never took a breath.”
Jones set the fast time of the evening, just as he had done at the Slinger Nationals in Wisconsin a few weeks ago. Jones pulled a nine for the invert. Campbell, who timed in second, started eighth and quickly worked his way through traffic. Jones was able to work around Campbell for the lead position and held on for a number of laps.
When a caution came out late in the race it proposed a threat for Jones who was hanging onto the lead by a thread. Campbell challenged the Byron, MI driver with relentless persistence.
“I knew his car was starting to get tight and I knew I was going to have another opportunity. I hate restarts around here; you never know what’s going to happen it’s so tight,” Campbell explaned.
As the green dropped Campbell was able to get around Jones and put the no. 20 car behind him.
“I’ve watched that kid (Jones) grow up and I’ve raced with him I don’t know how many times now and he’s so good at what he does. He is obviously one of the best in the business and to be able to get around him and win and it’s an awesome feeling, especially at the Kalamazoo Klash. Man, I love it here,” Campbell told Speed51.com powered by JEGS.
For Jones, he held on to second in his first race at “The Zoo.”
“I have had the pleasure of racing with Brian a lot over the last few years. He is a good, hard, clean racer and I’ve had a lot of good battles with him and tonight was no exception,” said Jones, who was just named the driver of the second car for Furniture Row Racing in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in 2017. “If I didn’t have motor problems we could have went at it a little more. It was fun racing with him and it was fun trying to hold him back behind us.”
Jones is hopeful that he will be able to get back to the fast 3/8th mile of Kalamazoo Speedway.
“This place was a lot racer than I expected it to be due to the track being narrow, especially on the entrance and the exits. I was able to make a few passes on the top, and a few on the bottom and that is always fun to able to do. There aren’t many tracks that you can do that at. I definitely had a lot of fun and I can’t wait to come back in the future,” Jones stated.
-By Mikayla Kugler, Speed51.com Midwest Correspondent – Twitter: @mikaylakugler
-Photo Credit: Speed51.com
Kalamazoo Klash 125 Results
|11||7||Wes Griffith Jr|