||Garrett Campbell Charges Late, Wins UARA-STARS Pacific Equipment 150 at Greenville-Pickens
GREENVILLE, SC -- Garrett Campbell held off a hard-charging Ronnie Bassett, Jr., late in the Pacific Equipment 150 at Greenville-Pickens Speedway on Saturday night to claim his second UARA-STARS win of the season. Campbell survived an early seven-car pileup and passed Alex Yontz for the lead in the second half of the race to beat Bassett, Toby Porter, Yontz and Andy Mercer across the finish line.
George Miedecke began the night with his fourth career Sunoco Pole and charged off on the first lap in a side-by-side battle with point leader and outside polesitter Brennan Poole. Both eager to lead the first lap, the two made contact in turn three and spun in tandem in front of the entire field. Once all of the smoke had cleared, seven cars had significant damage as a result of the accident. Kyle Grissom was awarded the ARBodies Hard Luck Award for his misfortune of being caught in the incident and sustaining damage that ultimately ended his night. Other drivers involved in the turn three melee were Anthony Anders, Joey Herques, Trey Gibson and Will Burns. All four were done for the evening.
"To be honest with you, it really didn't surprise me that they wrecked in turn three," said eventual winner Campbell who started in fourth and had a front row seat for the incident. "We took off on the green flag and they were beating and banging in turn one. I thought it was too much for the first lap so I backed off and knew something was going to happen. You can't race like that on the first lap. I got past the wreck and was happy about that one, those were two contenders we were going to have to deal with so it certainly bettered our chances from the start."
After a lengthy cleanup, Jeremy Burns jumped out to comfortable lead over second place runner Campbell, David Roberts, Alex Yontz and Scott Turlington. The Simpsonville, S.C., driver led the pack of five to nearly a half-lap lead over the rest of the field until his car began to get tight. Yontz was able to sneak underneath the No. 5 of Burns to lead his first laps of the season, including lap 75 to claim the Marlowe Racing Chassis Halfway Leader Award.
Just past halfway, Yontz and the slower car of Justin Sorrow made contact in turn two, resulting in Sorrow spinning into the inside wall. Sorrow lost multiple laps in the pits making repairs but Yontz was able to continue unscathed. While Burns continued to fall through the field on the restart, Garrett Campbell closed in on his cousin Yontz for the race lead. On lap 90, the No. 72 of Campbell turned underneath of Yontz coming out of turn four and cleared him for the top spot off of turn two.
Two cautions for spins by David Roberts and Tim George, Jr., and one yellow flag for power steering fluid from the Scott Turlington machine, set up a short 29-lap shootout to the checkered flag. Ronnie Bassett, Jr., who had ridden most of the race in the tail of the top ten, had worked his way up to second before the brief run of cautions and appeared to have one of the fastest cars on the racetrack at the end of the race. Reminiscent of the Tri-County event in July, Bassett worked to chase down the No. 72 of Garrett Campbell, but a soft left front tire foiled his chances at the end. Campbell motored away from Bassett to claim his third career UARA-STARS win and his first at the Greenville half-mile.
"We unloaded yesterday and you never would've thought we would win this race tonight. We were over a second off of the pace and threw everything we had at it," said Campbell, nicknamed "Mr. Excitement," with a large smile in victory lane after the race. "Apparently something worked. I really have to thank my team, my mom and dad and my family for getting me here. They said Bassett was coming and I knew we lost to him at Tri-County and I wasn't about to let that happen again. I knew in the back of my head we had a better car than he did. The harder I drove it into the corner the better it worked and it didn't seem to fall off any."
"I think starting back in the field hurt us, having to burn up our stuff to get by some guys," said Bassett, a two-time winner in UARA competition this year. "If we would've had a better starting spot it certainly would've helped us. My guys worked their butts off this weekend. We had a good car but Garrett had the advantage of starting up front and being able to get out and save his tires. We only had about six pounds in the left front tire once we got done, so I'm sure that didn't help us over the last few laps, either. It explains why it got tight on me, though."
Campbell drove his Ford crate motor to another Comp Cams Engine Builder of the Race Award in his defeat of Bassett, Toby Porter, Alex Yontz and Andy Mercer. Mercer was awarded the G-Force Shift of the Race after his 11th-fastest qualifying time was negated when a slipping clutch required the attention of the crew for a complete rebuild before starting the Pacific Equipment 150 at the tail of the field.
Kaleb Pressley followed up his career best second place finish at Lonesome Pine with a fifth at Greenville, followed by early leader Jeremy Burns, David Roberts, Holley Performer of the Race; Randy Hawkins, Brennan Poole and R.A. Brown. Hawkins blew a motor in his qualifying attempt and the No. 03 Titan Industrial/Fat Head Racing team changed the powerplant in time for Hawkins to take the green flag in last place.
Following post race technical inspection the car of Yontz was DQ'd due to an unapproved part.
The UARA-STARS will take a few weeks off until the next scheduled event at Newport Speedway on October 22nd.. Information regarding the rescheduling and/or cancellation of the rain-postponed Ace Speedway event will be announced in the near future.
In the meantime, a number of series competitors will be taking part in prestigious events such as the Virginia is for Racing Lovers 300 at Martinsville Speedway on Sunday, October 8, and the Bathurst 1000 for the Australian V8 Supercar Series.
OFFICIAL PACIFIC EQUIPMENT 150 RESULTS:
Place No. Name Laps Reason Out
1 72 Garrett Campbell 150 Running
2 04 Ronnie Bassett Jr 150 Running
3 80 Toby Porter 150 Running
4 10 Andy Mercer 150 Running
5 54 Kaleb Pressley 150 Running
6 5 Jeremy Burns 150 Running
7 18 David Roberts 150 Running
8 03 Randy Hawkins 150 Running
9 7 Brennan Poole 150 Running
10 60 R.A. Brown 150 Running
11 25 Jeremy Pike 150 Running
12 33 Tim George Jr 149 Running
13 0 Scott Bishop 149 Running
14 09 Darrick Coomer 142 Running
15 91 Justin Sorrow 129 Running
16 48 Scott Turlington 118 Power Steering
17 9 George Miedecke 116 Accident
18 31 Kyle Grissom 2 Accident
19 26 Joey Herques 1 Accident
20 82 Will Burns 1 Accident
21 3 Trey Gibson 1 Accident
22 36 Anthony Anders 0 Accident
23 77 Alex Yontz DQ
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