Michigan Native Finds Redemption in Return to Auto CityScott Menlen
Special from Speed51.com – Clio, Michigan (August 4, 2018): Last season, Carson Hocevar led the JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour with three wins. However, Michigan’s Auto City Speedway was not where one of those three wins took place. He was in a position to get a win at the track just north of Flint, but a late spin from the lead cost him the victory.
In the 2018 edition, the Portage, Michigan native finished the job he started one year ago by picking up the win in dominating fashion. The 15-year-old also set fast time in qualifying by almost two-tenths of a second. He took the lead on lap 40 and cruised the rest of the way to his fourth career CRA All-Stars Tour victory.
“This hasn’t been our year,” Hocevar told Speed51.com. “We haven’t had luck by any means, but it feels good to finally get something with that dominating performance. We put a tenth and a half on the field in qualifying. We just got the lead and took our time and led easily most of the race. I was just sitting there waiting on those restarts; waiting for something to happen. The five car (Clancy) got real close on that restart, but I was able to just drive right by him. We were pretty dominant here last year. A mistake by my spotter and me, just a miscommunication there cost us a win, so it’s a little redemption here. We just can’t be thankful enough. Overall, it was a good night. I can’t thank KBR and Mike Bursley enough.”
Defending series champion Jack Dossey III was the only other driver to lead laps in the event. He led the first 40 laps after starting on the front row before being passed by Hocevar. He finished the race in eighth.
Brian Campbell hit the inversion, starting on the pole. However, one of the hottest Late Model drivers in America struggled throughout the first three quarters of the race, falling as far back as sixth. In the final twenty-five laps of the race, Campbell made a late-race charge through the field, finishing the race in the runner-up position. In the last five Champion Racing Association events, he has four wins and a second-place finish.
“It seemed like the first three quarters of the race we couldn’t do anything right,” Campbell said, “whether we were messing up or the cars around me were messing up. It really wasn’t a good race until lap 75, and then lap 75 on it kind of smoothed out and everyone settled in and raced. It was a hard fought second; probably the hardest one I’ll have to do.”
The state of Michigan swept the podium as Ortonville’s Michael Clancy finished a career-best third. Anthony Danta and Wes Griffith Jr rounded out the top five.
The next stop for the JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour is at the Berlin Raceway on August 11thas part of the Battle at Berlin 251 weekend.
-By Koty Geyer, Speed51.com State Editor (Indiana and Michigan)
-Photo Credit: Speed51.com