Campbell Bags Thriller At Lonesome Pine
COEBURN, Va. – Garrett Campbell used a pair of late race restarts to hold off Turner-Scott Motorsports driver Brandon Jones in the UARA-STARS Courtesy Chevrolet 150 presented by Clark Signs & Graphics at Lonesome Pine Raceway on Saturday night.
Campbell had to survive a green-white-checker restart and beat Dillon Bassett, Travis Swaim, B. Jones and Devin Jones back to the checkered flag.
Travis Swaim claimed another Sunoco Pole Position after qualifying and led the opening half of the race. But it was Campbell who proved to have the fastest car. Using the top of the racetrack, Campbell stalked leader Swaim until a mid-race restart when Swaim chose the high side and opened up the bottom for Campbell. In less than a lap, Campbell bypassed the defending series champion to take the lead.
Through a series of late race incidents involving, among others, Lee Tissot, John King and Garrett Jones, Campbell found himself having to hold of challengers on multiple restarts. Despite choosing the top lane, Campbell got the jump each time and was able to hold off all challengers including those on the final green-white-checker finish.
The most exciting moments of the race came late as a number of drivers’ used everything available in their cars during the closing laps. Brandon Jones chased down Campbell and battled side by side with him but was never able to complete the pass, and those behind him also took full advantage of the second-year driver’s inexperience on front-row restarts late in the race.
Over the course of the final ten laps, almost the entire top ten changed every single lap. Dillon Bassett charged from fifth to second in the final 15 laps while others struggled to maintain position in the short, shootout-style runs that made up the final 40 laps of the event.
Campbell unofficially took over second in the series points from Ben Rhodes and closed the gap on two-time winner Ronnie Bassett Jr., who suffered brake problems late and a flat tire with two laps to go.