Campbell Makes First Bristol Trip a Memorable One by Elgin Traylor
2007 Winner Goede Charges to Second in Closing Laps
It’s a term that is often heard in racing: “I needed more laps.”
Many drivers have said that as they were behind when time ran out. The Thompson Metals 200 at Bristol Motor Speedway (TN) ended at its scheduled distance and Brian Campbell went to victory lane in ASA Late Model Challenge Series.
Brian Campbell knew if there had been any more time, he was a sitting duck as Jacob Goede was coming on strong in the closing laps. But, in the end, Goede needed more laps.
“The car was great,” said Campbell. “It was as flawless as it can be on 100 lap-old tires. I was taking it easy from lap 160 to lap 190. I was easy off and easy on, it was no big deal. It was a bad ass car.”
Brian Campbell was fast all weekend at Bristol.
(51 Sports Photo)
Campbell had it pretty easy in the second half of the race. After he wrestled the lead away from Goede with 60 laps to go, he was on cruise control while Goede fell back to fifth. Campbell then built a full straightaway lead over the second place car. Goede had led a good chunk of the first 100 laps only to fade in the second half.
A yellow flag with 10 laps to go set up Goede’s late comeback. He hit pit road for fresh tires as teams were allowed an extra set of tires because of blistering that had taken place earlier in the day. Goede went from seventh to second in the final laps, only to only to come up a car length off Brian Campbell’s bumper.
“I could see him in the mirror,” said Campbell. “Two more laps it would have been a done deal. My crew was hollering at me to ‘go, go, go.’”
Goede knew he need more time, but was still very pleased with his run. He won last year's race when Sean Murphy broke on the final lap.
“When we had that late yellow we came in for some tires and we went for it,” said Goede. “I though about what happened last year, but I wouldn’t want to see that happen to Brian (Campbell). He’s a good clean driver, he races me clean and he’s just fun to be around. I hope the fans liked our run at the end.”
Campbell was all smiles in victory lane as he over came the tire issues and the fact that he had never been to “The World’s Fastest Half Mile.”
“It’s the biggest win of my career, that’s for sure,” said Campbell. “I had never seen this place until Friday, I walked in and I was like ‘wow.’ We had no issues with tires. I know others did. We didn’t blister one all weekend. We chunked one, but that was very minor. We were hearing a lot of horror stories. Even at the break our tires weren’t that bad.”
Jacob Goede with the look of determination. (51 Sports Photo)
Goede was disappointed that he didn’t get to go back-to-back at Bristol, but the big picture looks good as he had another solid finish and sits atop the series’ points with two races to go. If he can win the title, he will become the sixth different ASA Late Model Challenge Series Champion in six seasons.
“This is what we need to do,” added Goede. “Good strong and consistent finishes, we have two races to go and hopefully we can win a championship.”
Travis Dassow was third as Brent Downey and Peter Cozzolino rounded out the top five. The ASA Late Model Challenge Series will be back in action on August 24th at The Milwaukee Mile.
LARSON HAS A DAY TO FORGET AT BRISTOL
Winning the pole is very special, but at Bristol it’s even more special. Justin Larson may have the award after turning in the fastest time, but he will never enjoy his Bristol experience. After turning the top lap on his first circuit Larson wrecked on lap two of his qualifying run. The car was badly damaged. The team rolled out a back up car and started at the rear of the field. On lap four, some cars got together in front of Larson and with nowhere to go, Larson pilled in and tore up his back up car as well. Larson ended up 31st.
LANG EARNS A TOP TEN
ASA Late Model South points leader Jimmy Lang came to Bristol with wide eyes and a heavy right foot. After a poor run in qualifying, Lang worked his way to the front and got up to fourth before the car faded in the second half of the race. Lang remained optimistic after finishing eighth in his first trip to Bristol.
“We are still learning,” said Lang. “Last year we didn’t do good in the South series and now we feel we are doing pretty good with that. Maybe it just takes a little time to get things figured out.”
Justin Larson won the pole on his first lap of qualifying. He then wrecked on his second lap. (51 Sports Photo)
Lang admitted that he had been getting some seat time at Bristol by running it on his Playstation. In the end, even after racing on the high banks, he was still in awe of “The World’s Fastest Half Mile.”
“This is an awesome race track, and who knows maybe one day I will be running something else here.”
DASSOW LIMPS TO THE PODIUM
Dassow, like Larson, had contact with the wall in qualifying. Not enough to force them into a back up car, but enough to hurt the driver.
“I went into turn two and the thing just snapped on me,” said Dassow. “It hit on the driver side and I think I might have broken my foot, I am not sure yet.”
Dassow, with one good leg, went from 28th to fifth in the first 100 laps of the race. He would climb as high as second before his car faded to third in the final laps. The up and down finish was better then last year’s Bristol run were they had all sorts of problems after they broke a wheel and a clutch.
“This is our second straight top-three finish in this Challenge division,” said Dassow. “After qualifying I was like ‘oh no, not again.’ We battled through it and we have good momentum heading into Milwaukee. That’s probably one our best racetracks.”
Dahlke had a bad night at Bristol. (51 Sports Photo)
DAHLKE’S NIGHT ENDS BEFORE HALFWAY
Jordan Dahlke had a great night going after he inherited the pole with the re-draw. Dahlke ran in the top five and looked to be serious contender for the win until the halfway point. As the leaders came back to the crossed flags, rookie Kyle Sirizzotti went to the inside of Dahlke. As the two came off turn four they made contact and Dahlke went into the wall hard on the frontstretch.
“I don’t understand. There were 100 laps to go and you want to ride side-by-side? That was dumb,” said Dahlke. “It’s pretty disappointing. We had a good car and everything. I guess it’s not our night.”
Dahlke ended up 24th as will likely loose ground on the guys in front of him in the points.
TIRES CAUSE A SCARE
Blistering tires were a major concern as some teams had ripped right through their tires in practice and qualifying. Track conditions and some rubber from the support divisions aided in the issues. Teams were allowed an extra set of tires for the race. Some teams still had issues but not to the extent that had preceded the feature event. Jimmy Lang was showing some cords on his right rear late in the race, but they felt that they ran over something on the track.