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CCSDS at USA Speedway - 3/23 Results (Read 6479 times)
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CCSDS at USA Speedway - 3/23 Results
03/24/12 at 3:14am
Comp Cams Super Dirt Series
USA Speedway
March 23, 2012

Larry Campbell Tops COMP Cams Super Dirt Series Opener

by Bryan Wimberley
STERLINGTON, La. (March 23) - Larry Campbell of Van Buren, Ark., got the jump on a fresh crop of rookies and all other competitors in the Comp Cams Super Dirt Series, taking the win in the series opener at USA Speedway on Friday night. Polesitter Campbell nipped Rob Litton of Alexandria, La., by two-lengths in the 35-lap feature, collecting a $2,000 payday.

"I saw it was getting rubber on the bottom. I knew when I watched the B's (consolation races), that the guys winning those races, were slowing down getting into the corners. In my heat race, I got lucky and was on the outside, catching a good groove to get around Hottinger. I thought to myself, 'I better stick to the bottom', because it was getting drier out there. We put a little bit more gear in the car and just tried to hit our marks every lap, it all worked out for us in the end!" said Campbell.

Although he may be a rookie in the Comp Cams Super Dirt Series, Campbell is no stranger to late model racing, finishing in the top 5 points, the last three years in the Race Brothers Show-Me Racin' Series. Campbell's last late model win came in the series finale at Springfield (MO) Raceway last October -he has three wins in that series.

"When I was a young kid, my uncle raced late models and I went around with him. I got me an old Roadrunner car, they have several names for them, it was an old Cutlass coilspring car and I felt pretty comfortable with that. I got into a street stock with a little bit bigger motor and I felt good with that, so then I hopped into modifieds. I had about nine Hoffman cars, Jerry (Hoffman) is a great guy to deal with. After that, I thought that the modified deal was just as expensive as the late model, so why can't I go race with a little bit more money in it and get into late models. The initial expense of getting into a late model is pretty costly, but now I just feel like it is my home. You have a good caliber of guys that you race with in both classes, but I feel a little more professional in the late model," Campbell explained of his racing background.

Front-row starter Litton put plenty of pressure on Campbell throughout the race, but eventually settled for second. Litton is coming off a win at Chatham, in a SUPR race held last weekend.

"It was a one-lane race and we were just second in line. He (Campbell) did a good job staying on the bottom and that's where you had to be. It wasn't any stepping out and trying to go around him on the outside, so he did what he had to do. I didn't want to take us both out, second place pays better than finishing 15th. If I would have known earlier that Mitchell was a distant third, I would have have probably tried stepping out to challenge for the win, it was just the unknown at the time that we chose not to do it," Litton said.

Jon Mitchell of Texarkana, Tex., continued a solid start to his 2012 campaign, finishing third at USA. Timothy Culp of West Monroe, La., rebounded for his best performance of the year, taking home fourth-place. Another West Monroe-driver, Bubba Mullins, recorded a 12th-to-fifth run, giving him hard charger honors of the event.

Before the green flag had even dropped, Billy Moyer Jr of Batesville, Ark., elected to fall back to the rear of the field to take a start-and-park.

Campbell led Litton, Mitchell, Robert Baker of Bryant, Ark., and Culp out of the gate. Action would come to a brief halt, due to a four-car accident in turn one, involving Dewaine Hottinger, Chris Holley, Travis Ashley and Morgan Bagley. Bagley of Longview, Tex., ran a handful of laps, but like Moyer Jr, opted to pull off early due to track conditions -Bagley has five late model wins at the 1/4-mile oval at Sterlington, all coming last season.

After another quickie yellow for a spun car, Campbell marched outfront and took control of the race. Litton didn't lose sight of Campbell and closed to just a few lengths away on lap 11. Once Campbell battled lap traffic on the 13th circuit, Litton began tightening up the gap.

Culp wrestled away fourth position from Baker, setting third-running Mitchell in his crosshairs. Mitchell had to fight off the 21-year old, when Culp dipped inside of the No. 5 MasterSbilt, holding off the challenge.

Just past the midway point, the Campbell-Litton battle had checked out from the rest of the field. Litton showed Campbell his nose on lap 22, but Campbell continued to seize the lead.

Bubba Mullins continued his race-long onslaught, picking off drivers one-by-one, into fifth place on lap 27.

The leaders reached heavy traffic, four laps later and Litton began to wear on Campbell's rear bumper. Both drivers stayed married to the hub of the track with Litton bumping Campbell from behind with two laps remaining. Campbell would get little breathing room on the straightaways and try to hold the bottom line in the corners.

"With about six laps to go, I realized I had an issue with my brakes. I would go into the corner and they felt pretty soft. In the next corner, they felt really, really soft, so I just started pumping the brakes down the straightaway to maintain enough pedal to get me through the end. I knew we had some close racing behind me (with Litton), I went down there to talk to him after the race. He (Litton) was hitting me going into the corner and I said to him 'I'm sorry that you could have ran over me at any time, I felt you back there.' And he (Litton) replied, 'I wasn't going to take us both out of the race, I was just trying to give you a little help!' I told him 'I didn't need any help, because I couldn't stop.' He's a good guy, great racer and raced us clean -just fun to race against, so I had to go meet him!" said Campbell.

As Campbell and Litton entrenched in their war, Mitchell and Culp began to close the distance on the pair.

Mitchell stated, "We like racing with Timmy (Culp), he was giving us some room, because I was struggling through the first portion of that race with some handling problems. Towards the latter part of the feature though, the track kind of came to us, especially with six to eight laps left to go. We tightened the gap up on the frontrunners there and I thought we might get a shot to be back with those guys. I thought maybe they were fading and we were snug enough to make a charge as it all played out."

Campbell never wavered momentum from the bottom groove, hitting his marks and raising his hand as he crossed for the victory.

Said Campbell, "I thought I heard him a couple times before my brake issue, but I thought it was my Raceceiver messing with in an echo. But in the closing laps, I knew for sure it was somebody back there, because I felt it. I know where I live, we had 8" of rain at the house, so these guys did a great job, because the promoter said they had 5" here. There was one little rough spot in turns one & two, but there are no many racetracks where there is not a rough spot with no rainfall. We certainly appreciate their hard work."

Notes: Campbell's GRT Race Car is powered by Yeoman Race Engines and sponsored by Midwest Automation, Fitz Equipment, Schoenfeld Headers, Elite Trailers, R.K. Pipe, Industrial Oils Unlimited, Regorson Inc, R2C Performance Filters and SDI.

The 21-minute feature started at 11:52pm and was slowed by two cautions.

With the win, Campbell not only leads the points', but also a series' group of ROTY drivers consisting of, Travis Ashley of Batesville, Robert Baker of Bryant, and Petty Chandler of Cabot -all from Arkansas.

Campbell stated, "We are gunning for Rookie of the Year in the Comp Cams Series and even a top five, top three in points. Brandon Smith has been a good friend of mine for a long time, I have talked to him several times and it is a great class of racers in the series. He (Smith) said he only won two series races last year, but he was so consistent, that it paid dividends at the end of the season. I believe the same thing, you may have a few weeks off here and there, but that doesn't mean you quit working on your race car. It will take the fine tuning and finishing races to get it done and that is my goal -I hope that is where we end up."

In five Comp Cams series' races at USA Speedway, Jon Mitchell has not finished worse than seventh (3rd, 6th, 5th, 7th and 4th).

"I am blending with the car and getting better every week, we are getting closer in getting an early season win.

We have been so close in title chasing, have even been leading that thing late in the year, only to have bad luck or have it slip away. We are gunning for consistency and some good runs, the domination on the finishes have eluded us in the past, so hopefully we can add that to build on the start we have had this season already," Mitchell spoke.

Things haven't went as smoothly for the return of Mitchell's teammate, Tommy Surrett, back into racing. Surrett was again another no-show in a feature lineup and continuing bad luck.

"We did have some disappointment with another motor failure with Surrett's car before we could get it out of the shop this week. It is a bummer not getting him in the middle of our planned points chase this year. We'll just work through it, he (Surrett) will just try and go get some laps in, but we still have some confidence with this deal. With an off-season maintenance program in place, we might have overlooked the motor situation and Tommy had been out of touch for a few years, since he didn't race much. He has some nice pieces that have sat in storage, so I attribute the lack of use of them for us having these early season troubles with his car," explained Mitchell.

Drivers not making the feature included, Ross Camponovo, T.J. Hughes, Tanner Kellick, Keith Lawson, Allen Murray

1 1 15C Larry Campbell
2 2 6X Rob Litton
3 3 5 Jon Mitchell
4 4 C8 Timothy Culp
5 12 C11 Bubba Mullins
6 5 17M Robert Baker
7 9 99F Clay Fisher
8 10 23B Jay Brunson Sr.
9 6 1V Johnny Virden
10 8 115 Brandon Smith
11 14 11K Jon Kirby
12 13 86 Kyle Beard
13 19 601 Curtis Cook
14 20 65 Dewaine Hottinger
15 11 28H Chris Holley
16 7 26S Jon Stinson
17 22 47P Chandler Petty
18 21 14Z Zach Mcmillan
19 16 23 Travis Ashley
20 18 14M Morgan Bagley
21 15 58X Gary Christian
22 17 21JR Billy Moyer Jr.

B-Main #1
1 58X Gary Christian
2 21JR Billy Moyer Jr.
3 601 Curtis Cook
4 65 Dewaine Hottinger
5 18C Ross Camponovo
6 3K Tanner Kellick
7 2 Allen Murray

B-Main #2
1 23 Travis Ashley
2 14M Morgan Bagley
3 14Z Zach Mcmillan
4 47P Chandler Petty
5 60L Keith Lawson
6 19JR TJ Hughes

Heat #1
1 17M Robert Baker
2 99F Clay Fisher
3 28H Chris Holley
4 C11 Bubba Mullins
5 14Z Zach Mcmillan
6 19JR TJ Hughes
7 2 Allen Murray

Heat #2
1 15C Larry Campbell
2 1V Johnny Virden
3 115 Brandon Smith
4 11K Jon Kirby
5 21JR Billy Moyer Jr.
6 65 Dewaine Hottinger
7 47P Chandler Petty

Heat #3
1 6X Rob Litton
2 C8 Timothy Culp
3 86 Kyle Beard
4 58X Gary Christian
5 14M Morgan Bagley
6 18C Ross Camponovo
7 3K Tanner Kellick

Heat #4
1 5 Jon Mitchell
2 26S Jon Stinson
3 23B Jay Brunson Sr.
4 23 Travis Ashley
5 601 Curtis Cook
6 60L Keith Lawson
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Re: CCSDS at USA Speedway - 3/23 Results
Reply #1 - 03/25/12 at 1:43pm
Comp Cams Super Dirt Series
USA Speedway
March 23, 2012

Photos courtesy of Woody Hampton

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