Special from Speed51.com
Brian Campbell didn’t want to lose on his home turf Monday night at Berlin Raceway; he wanted to make a point. The Michigan native did exactly that by dominating the second half of the 3rd Annual Money in the Bank 150 and claiming the $20,000 check for a second straight year.
Competing against a stout field of national and regional stars at the tricky Michigan oval, Campbell knew coming into the race that defending his win from one year ago wouldn’t be easy. He also knew there would be an added challenge with the variety of chassis manufacturer represented in the field, so in addition to wanting to win the race for himself, he also wanted to win the chassis battle.
“It’s pretty big. We don’t want anyone else coming into our house and beating us, especially another chassis manufacturer,” Campbell said. “It’s good to make a point, especially with the way we won it tonight.
“It was pretty good in practice. If you listened to the radio and me complaining, it probably wasn’t that much of a rocket ship. Thank you to everybody. What a great car with Senneker Performance, best in the business, first class.”
After starting sixth for the 150-lap ARCA/CRA Super Series main event, Campbell bided his time early on while slowly progressing to the front.
Shortly after early race leader Johnny VanDoorn fell out of the race due to engine issues, Campbell took over the lead from Casey Roderick for the first time on Lap 63.
Campbell gave up the lead to Preston Peltier, who pitted earlier in the race, on Lap 113 to come down pit road for fresh tires of his own. Peltier led one lap on the restart before Campbell was able to grab the lead back for good on Lap 114.
From there, the Wolverine State driver survived a late-race restart with Travis Braden and Bubba Pollard behind him to claim another big payday at the 7/16-mile oval.
Braden quietly had a strong night in one of his limited Super Late Model starts so far this season, finishing runner-up to Campbell at the checkered flag.
“I will tell you, it seemed like track position was huge,” Braden claimed. “When we were back in fifth or sixth, it felt like that’s all we could do. When we were further up, it just seemed like wherever you started was key. It was really key the spots we gained on the restarts.
“The guys worked their tails off. This is basically a new car to us, so to come to Berlin and do what we did I think that’s pretty impressive. We haven’t raced together much as a team and it’s tough; this is one of the toughest places.”
After the race, Braden couldn’t help but be amazed at what Campbell and his team were able to do against such a strong field.
“I just told Freddy and I’m going to tell Brian, every once in a while, they may miss a little bit but man when they’re on like that it’s so impressive,” Braden said in awe. “It’s something to sort of be like, ‘Wow, hell of a job.’”
Boris Jurkovic, a two-time winner at Berlin already this season, prevailed against one of the nation’s best in Bubba Pollard to claim the final podium spot. Pollard, who won the inaugural Money in the Bank 150 in 2017 and finished second one year ago, finished fourth after battling track position throughout the race.
“There’s a lot of good cars here. We just put ourselves behind earlier today and it took us forever to regroup and get things back together to be where we needed to be,” Pollard said. “Brian had a good car, he had the best car here, but I feel like we could have at least given him a shot if we got track position there. We just couldn’t get in the right lines and it never fell our way, it seemed like.”
Brian Bergakker represented the Berlin locals with a strong fifth-place showing, while Casey Roderick finished sixth in his first race behind the wheel of Donnie Wilson’s Rowdy Manufacturing No. 22 car. A full list of unofficial results can be viewed below.
Race fans who missed Monday night’s race can watch a full replay on Speed51.com by clicking here.
-Story by: Brandon Paul, Speed51.com Editor
-Photo credit: Speed51.com