Campbell Wins, Johnson Is NCRA Champ
PARK CITY, Kan. — Jeremy Campbell used a late-race restart to his advantage to claim the final points race of the season for the National Championship Racing Ass’n 360 sprint car division Saturday night at 81 Speedway.
And while Campbell claimed his second victory of the season, it was C.J. Johnson successfully defending his championship just by starting the night’s feature finale.
Making his inaugural season debut with the tour this season, Jeff Ratcliff started on the pole for the 25-lap feature but it was outside front row starter Marc Robe taking the lead as the green flag waved.
Luke Cranston, Johnson and Ratcliff made it a four-car battle for the lead as the leaders headed down the back stretch but the caution would slow things down when DJ Bybee slowed down the back stretch.
The complete restart saw Robe again jump out into the lead from his outside front row starting position with Johnson, Cranston, Patrick Stasa and Ratcliff the top five.
Robe’s lead was five car lengths by lap three before the second caution flag fell, this time when Kyle Clark spun in turns one and two, also collecting Jon Freeman.
Robe would again jump out into the lead once racing action went green pull out to a five-car length lead over Johnson. With drivers using the top side of the three-eighths mile oval, Robe led the contingent of drivers the next several laps before J.D. Johnson would slow to a stop at the top of turn four on lap seven.
The race would stay green once racing action resumed with Robe once again out into the lead. However, the action behind him was picking up as Cranston would pass Johnson on the restart to take over the runner up position and look to set his sights on the leader.
At the race’s midway point Robe remained out front, followed by Cranston, Johnson, ninth starting Campbell and Mike Peters.
Five laps were left to be run with Robe holding a slim one car length lead over Cranston as things started heating up and lapped traffic came into play.
Robe hesitated behind the slower car entering turn one, allowing Campbell, Cranston and seventh starting Peters to all look for an advantage coming out of turn two with Peters appearing to take the lead. However, the final caution flag would wave with three laps to go when Ratcliff spun in turn two.
This put Robe back into the lead on the final restart with Campbell second. Campbell got a bite down low and exited turn two and took the lead heading down the backstretch on the restart.
From there he sailed to a 10-car-length victory over Robe, who later failed post-race inspection, handing second to Peters.
C.J. Johnson, Don Droud Jr. and Cranston completed the top five.
Ryan McAninch started on the pole and was never seriously challenged and became the 10th different driver to reach victory lane in 10 NCRA modified events this season.
Jeremy Campbell, Mike Peters, C.J. Johnson, Don Droud Jr., Luke Cranston, Patrick Stasa, Taylor Velasquez, Ty Williams, Jeff Stasa, Zach Blurton, Michelle Decker, Jason Schroeder, Jeff Radcliffe, Jon Freeman, J.D. Johnson, Kyle Clark, D.J. Bybee, Marc Robe.