TOLEDO, Ohio – Michigan veteran Brian Campbell held off a late-race charge from 16-year-old Anderson Bowen to win the ARCA/CRA Super Series/ARCA Midwest Tour 7-Up 150 Saturday at Toledo Speedway.
Campbell, in the Boyne Machine Company/Port City Racecars Ford, seemed like a shoe-in for victory lane with a near frontstretch lead late in the race until lapped traffic slowed his advance, while Bowen poured it on and closed the gap. Bowen narrowed Campbell’s lead to five lengths, and then a late-race caution for debris with five to go did the rest. Bowen lined up outside of Campbell for the restart and went side-by-side with the eventual winner before Campbell’s inside groove proved superior.
“Those restarts have always been tough for me,” Campbell said. “I’m not all that good at, but this one worked out for us today. That kid (Bowen) is one talented racer. He’s got a bright future in front of him.”
Bowen, after two rounds on the high-side, gave up the top groove and settled in behind for second. In the end, Campbell crossed the final stripe three lengths ahead of Bowen, who finished second.
“We had a really good car the whole race,” Bowen said.
“I got kind of nervous on that last restart, hoping I wouldn’t miss a shift or something like that. It was really cool racing side by side with Brian (Campbell). He’s such a clean racer.”
Campbell, a former Glass City 200 champion at Toledo, was all smiles in the 7-Up winner’s circle.
“This feels great. I don’t think we have any tires left, so it’s a good thing the race is over,” Campbell said. “We had just enough to get here. My dad’s my tire guy, and he said in the break that I had plenty of tire left so go as you need to. But we used ’em up in the second half.”
Campbell took the lead from Derrick Griffin on lap 69, just before the halfway break on lap 70, which coincided with a hard crash in turn one involving Donny Reuvers and James Swan. Neither driver was injured.
When racing resumed after the clean-up, Campbell began to pull away, building a near straightaway lead before heavy traffic allowed Bowen to close the gap.
Chad Finley finished third in the AutoParts2020.com/Air Lift Company Chevrolet.
“I just want to congratulate Brian Campbell,” Finley said. “He is so good at this place; he’s good everywhere; don’t get me wrong, but he’s definitely got this place figured out. He’s so good he could win with a grocery cart. Our car was so loose; I was driving the wheels off it. Third was as good as we could do today.”
Ross Kenseth finished fourth in the Boyne Machine Company/Enterprise Iron & Metal Ford with Donny Wilson finishing fifth in the Wilson Ford Parts Ford. Wilson, who transferred into the 7-UP 150 through the Last Chance Race, got the hard-charger award, racing into the top-five from the 27th starting position.