Brian Campbell knows his way around the Berlin Raceway and proved it again with his victory in the CRA Super Series Keyser's Port City Racing 125 at Berlin Raceway Saturday night. His win tied him with his father, Berlin legend Fred Campbell, for the most CRA wins at the famed speedway. "Anytime I can do what my Dad has done it is special." Campbell commented. Behind him the racing was furious as drivers fought the cool track and ran in large packs for most of the race with side by side racing. Chris Anthony finished second with Johnny Benson, Jr. third, Johnny VanDoorn fourth and Alec Carll fifth.
"This was a clean Perfect Circle sweep with Mike Bursley setting fast time and winning in the modified race and me getting it done in this race." Campbell stated. "I want to say Happy Mother's Day to my wife, my Mom and my Grandma."
The day started cool and wet, with intermittent rain causing a delay in practice, and cutting one practice session short. Before the scheduled start of qualifying the rain left the area and the racing warmed up even as the night turned cold. Chris Anthony set fast time during practice turning a time of 16.154 second, with Campbell second at 16.270.
Campbell turned it up for qualifying earning the EDCO Welding Fast Qualifier Award with a lap of 16.033 seconds, Anthony was second at 16.110. Johnny Benson, Jr. driving the Rowdy Busch entry was third, Caleb Bisacky fourth and Terry Van Haitsma fifth. Campbell then drew a three for the invert putting Benson on the pole.
K&N Filters Rookie of the Year contender John Long won the last chance race, with Adam Purdy coming in second to earn their way into the feature. Jason Dietsch and Jason Shively were in via CRA points provisionals (which are calculated using 2009 points for the first two races, per CRA rules), Kelsey Steele and Nick Gullatta received the promoters options, Steele as last years Berlin Raceway champion and Gullatta as first car not in from the Last Chance Race. The promoter added three additional starters, Jack Smith, Colin Nickolia and Jay Niewiek to complete the field.
Benson jumped out to the lead on the first lap. Campbell passed on the high side to take over the lead on the 35th lap, and never gave it up again. Anthony got past Benson, but was never able to pass Campbell despite running near him the entire race, never letting him get far out front, but unable to catch him. Benson mean time chased Anthony as the battle for fourth had many changes throughout the race.
Van Haitsma stayed very close for much of the race, with Eddie Hoffman and Scott Hantz close. Then John VanDoorn, racing at his home track, took fourth charging up to the front pack and looking like he was going to challenge for the win, when he dropped back as a tire went down from a puncture. A caution for a different car spinning gave VanDoorn time to get the tire changed without losing a lap.
Forced to restart on the tail, VanDoorn charged through the field to get to fourth again only to be forced to pit on a caution when he had another punctured tire. “One punctured tire, ok, but two in the last part of one race that is ridiculous.” VanDoorn said. After again restarting at the tail on the 93rd lap VanDoorn worked his way up to finish fourth.
Hantz finished tenth and earned the AR Bodies “Cool Move of the Race” Award after he was forced off the track to avoid a sliding car ahead of him. He drove down through the grass in the first turn back up on the track to continue racing as the laps wound down near the end of the race. Alec Carll took the Lane Automotive/ISKY Racing Cams Hardcharger Award moving to fifth from his 18th starting position. This move also earned him one Hoosier Racing Tire Performance Award with the second Hoosier Award going to Seth Moody who moved to eighth from 15th.
Campbell took the RaceTrailerSales.com Halfway Leader Award, the VDL Fuel Systems Hot Lap of the Race Award, and the Team Construction Clean Sweep Award for winning the race after setting fast time. The Team Construction Award was up to $200 after not being awarded at the first 2010 series race. His victory also made him the first recipient of the $500 Ford Racing Award as the event winner using a Ford Racing engine block, cylinder heads or Sealed Racing engine. He also won the Turn One Lap Leader Award for leading the most laps. In all Campbell won an extra $900 in bonus money in Saturday nights event.
As the highest finishing rookie John Long took the Perfect Circle Racecars Rookie of the Race award, the K&N Filters Top Rookie Finisher and the VDL Fuel Systems Top Rookie Award. The Leaf Racewear Hard Luck Award went to Justin Ryan who was the first car not to start the event as his clutch went out as he finished qualifying.
The next event for the CRA Super Series will be the Manning Service 100 at Winchester Speedway on May 16. This race was postponed due to inclement weather on May 2. It will be the season opener at Winchester with practice on Saturday, and racing on Sunday. The Vore’s Welding and Steel CRA FWD Compacts and the CRA Street Stocks will also be racing at the famed speedway. For more information about Winchester Speedway go to www.winchesterspeedway.com. To see more about the CRA Super Series see www.craracing.net.