Special from Speed51.com – Entering Monday night’s Money in the Bank 150 at Michigan’s Berlin Raceway, all eyes were on two drivers: Bubba Pollard and Kyle Busch. Pollard was chasing his third win in four days and a possible $42,000. Busch is a two-time Snowball Derby winner and a former NASCAR Cup Series champion. When the green flag waved, it made sense that all eyes were on those two drivers as Busch immediately jumped out to a big lead and Pollard started working his way forward.
But when the checkered flag waved, all of the eyes at the track were on the white No. 47 car of Michigan’s own Brian Campbell.
Campbell is a multi-time winner at the tricky oval just outside of Grand Rapids, and he used that experience to score himself $20,000 and another marquee Super Late Model victory.
“I will race against that man any day of the week,” Campbell said about Bubba Pollard in victory lane. “We beat him today. He’s beat us before. I cannot say enough about Bubba Pollard.”
Campbell, Pollard and Busch all put on a show for the majority of the final 50 laps of Monday’s 150-lap affair. Whether it was Busch out front, Pollard on the outside and Campbell following, or Pollard out front, Campbell inside and Busch close behind, all three veteran drivers raced each other hard and clean.
A few late-race restarts made the battle tougher between all three drivers, and gave Campbell multiple tries at Pollard on the bottom of the multi-groove race track.
On the final restart with four laps to go, Campbell got a perfect jump, drove deep into turn one and cleared Pollard. Pollard gave Campbell a shot in turn one the following lap, but Campbell held on and was able to drive away to the victory.
But a few laps prior, it looked as though that wouldn’t even be possible.
Preston Peltier went for a spin in turn two with about 15 laps to go and Campbell was forced to spin to avoid Peltier’s car. Amazingly, the spin did no damage to Campbell’s tires.
“I guess those yellows helped us,” Campbell said. “I was complaining about the yellows. I did not expect that, I’ll tell you that.”
For Pollard, this second-place finish was a disappointing one. Pollard had a memorable weekend going already with a win on Friday at Birch Run Speedway (MI) in the Masters of the Pros and a win on Saturday in South Carolina at Anderson Motor Speedway. A win on Monday night would have given Pollard $42,000 and cemented him in short track racing folklore.
“It was a good weekend,” Pollard said. “That last restart was tough. I got some good restarts on the first couple, and just restart after restart and he finally got a good one. It’s just a tough way to lose one. That’s part of racing though. We’ll come back and try again. It’s hard to beat Brian around this place. He’s good shoe around here and he’s got a lot of laps. I’m glad we could run up front with him and have a good race.”
The driver that led the most laps on the day was Busch, who started on the pole position and led until Pollard got by with about 35 laps to go. Busch eventually succumbed to Campbell as well and even Johnny VanDoorn, but he was able to get back by VanDoorn on one of the late restarts and finish in third.
“I wish we could have had some more for them there on those final restarts, but that was all she wrote for us,” Busch said. “I thought two ways. I thought if the race would have went green to the end that maybe Campbell and Bubba would have pushed each other hard and maybe give me an opening. Maybe bump or rub or whatever and give me an opportunity to try to slip on through. And then of course when cautions come out you think that gives you an opportunity to reset and refresh and go back after them. Either way, I didn’t think we were a winning car. I thought we were a third or fourth-place car and that’s what we got.”
In a field that included past NASCAR champions like Busch and Matt Crafton, Super Late Model champions like Pollard, Stephen Nasse, VanDoorn and more, winning this race is one that Campbell will remember for a long time.
“You could have taken 20 of these guys and they could be parked right here,” he said. “This one ranks up there. I’ve won a lot of races at Berlin, but to have the opportunity to race all of these guys for the win on a stage like this. Look at the field. Winners from all over the country were here.”
Rounding out the top five on Monday night were VanDoorn and Harrison Burton.
For an on-demand replay of our Trackside Now coverage from Monday night, click here.
Speed51.com will have more from Monday’s race, including video highlights and interviews still to come on the Speed51 Video Network.
-By Rob Blount, Speed51.com Associate Editor – Twitter: @RobBlount
-Photo Credit: Speed51.com
Money in the Bank 150
Berlin Raceway, Marne, Michigan
1 47 Brian Campbell
2 26 Bubba Pollard
3 51 Kyle Busch
4 71 John VanDoorn
5 12 Harrison Burton
6 9 Jeff Choquette
7 18 Casey Roderick
8 20 Carson Hocevar
9 112 Stewart Friesen
10 81 Terry Senneker
11 45 Michael Simko
12 53 Boris Jurkovic
13 37 Jordan Dahlke
14 48 Preston Peltier
15 55L Dave Lake
16 10 Steve Dorer
17 51N Stephen Nasse
18 5 Aaron Hulings
19 12M Nick Murgic
20 88 Matt Crafton
21 41 Hunter Jack
22 67 Ben Welch
23 23 Chris Koslek
24 12D Tim DeVos
25 66 Nate Walton
26 66B Ben Welsh
27 24 Lee VanDyk
28 22 Evan Shotko
29 101 Lauren Bush
30 2 Kyle Jones
31 81V Tristan VanWieringen