Auto City Speedway's annual Mudslinger was finally held Sunday, Oct. 21, after two consecutive weekends of impending inclement weather cause it to be canceled. Beautiful blue skies greeted the competitors this weekend, although Saturday there were...
Auto City Speedway's annual Mudslinger was finally held Sunday, Oct. 21, after two consecutive weekends of impending inclement weather cause it to be canceled. Beautiful blue skies greeted the competitors this weekend, although Saturday there were a couple showers that slowed action. The winner's check of $10,000 must have made the delay worth the wait for victor, Freddie Campbell.
The 150-lap event was held in two segments with the drivers getting a 15 minute break at lap 75 to change tires and make adjustments.
The front row featured a pair of #29s, Doug Finley's white car on the pole and Brian Keselowski's black car to his outside. Finley jumped into the lead, with Keselowski dropping behind him in what would be a marathon first half.
The first 75-lap segment was a series of fits and starts as the 25 car field proceeded to rack up a staggering amount of cautions, 15. (Note: it's 16 if you count the 1/2 break as a caution, I didn't. You have to add one to the total too, 20, instead of the 19) Three of those cautions were changed quickly to red flag periods for tow off wrecked cars, but there were no injuries.
The longest stretch of green flag racing in the first 26 laps was five laps but there were three lead changes during that period. Finley led the first eight laps before Keselowski passed him to the low side on a restart. Steve Sauve, who was the Super 8 Series points leader ending the series finale Mudslinger, also got around Finley.
Meanwhile, fast qualifier Tim Felver was finding his move towards the front slowed time and time again by the caution flags. After starting 10th, he had moved into fourth by lap 19.
Sauve had just passed Keselowski to the high side but a caution came out, (#5, lap 20) negating the move. On the restart, Sauve slid low coming out of turn two and passed Keselowski, who dropped to fourth when Freddie Campbell and Felver followed Sauve.
Red number one was thrown on a restart of a lap 25 caution (the seventh), for an accident which saw Scott Giroux slide over the banking in turn one and Harold Fair Jr, Ron Shamel Jr and Darrell McManus all crashed in the same corner. Fair Jr and Giroux continued but Shamel Jr and McManus
The field was able to run 14 laps under green during which Sauve, Campbell, and Felver waged a spirited battle for the top spot. On lap 32, Felver got around Campbell for second. On lap 40, Felver had just dropped low and passed Sauve for the lead, only to have yet another caution fly, rendering his pass for naught. On the restart, Felver out-braked Sauve and passed him for the lead, immediately putting a half straightaway on the now battle for second between Sauve and Campbell.
Sauve appeared to be impeding Campbell's progress. It took Campbell another 10 laps to pass him and by this time, Felver's lead had grown to 2/3 of a straightaway. The second red flag came out on lap 63 to tow away the cars of Dennis Berry and Todd Rosebrugh who had crashed hard on the frontstretch. This allowed Campbell to close in with only the lapped car of Harold Fair Jr between him and Felver. Campbell was able to get around Fair Jr when red number three flew two laps later, this one for Aaron Tull and Karl Edmonds crashed, also on the frontstretch.
The final 10 laps of the first segment saw Felver and Campbell racing nose to tail, leaving Sauve nearly a half straightaway behind them. The checkered flag was thrown on the first half, ending the segment nearly two hours after it had started.
At the halfway break there were 15 cars remaining of the 25 starters. Felver, Campbell, Sauve, Keselowski, Finley, Chas Howe, Roger Wing, Mike Laberta Jr, Johnny Bellot and John Doering Jr and Scott Lamp still running on the lead lap. Harold Fair Jr, Dick Barker, Scott Giroux and Aaron Tull also were able to start the second half, although they were down laps).
The adjustments that Felver made during half-time must've not agreed with the car, as he was unable to get away from Campbell who dogged his every move. Felver's car was skating through the corners but he still had enough to keep Campbell at bay lap after lap. (On the scanner, Freddie said that Felver was spinning his tires really bad in the corner) On lap 120, Campbell made his move, dipping low out of two but was unable to complete the pass. Finally nine laps later he dove low going into turn three and passed Felver. Over the next 13 laps Campbell put over a straightaway between himself and Felver. The final caution (#19) came out on lap 142, giving Felver chance to close onto Campbell's rear bumper.
The top five lead lap cars were placed nose to tail followed by the lapped cars, grouped by the number of laps down. On the restart, Campbell immediately drove off, leaving Felver in his dust. Eight laps later he crossed the finish line, beating Felver by a half strait.
Freddie Campbell took home $10,000 for his efforts. His white and red #47 Camaro is sponsored by Gordon Food Service, Macatawa Bank, Quality Car Wash. The Battle Creek, Mich. resident's car is a Port City Chassis powered by Automotive Specialists. "The car was awful good. I ran Tim Felver as hard as I could. I knew he'd run out of tires eventually and he did. Mine were still pretty good at the end," said Campbell.
No comment from Tim Felver....just that the tires gave up.
Steve Sauve came into the event leading the Super 8 Series points and finished third. His orange #97 is sponsored by Jack's Tree Service, Team Tech Motorsports. "The car was too tight, but it was a good run. I tried to hang onto Tim (Felver) and Freddie (Campbell) but I couldn't run with them," said the Saginaw, Mich. driver.
Doug Finley started on the pole and finished fourth. The entire race his Northside Service, Pallette Trucking, Hill Enterprises sponsored mount smoked. During on the red flags, they checked, but no oil was left on the track and he was allowed to continue. "I have no idea what's wrong with the car. It's been smoking like that all season and we haven't been able to find anything wrong. It doesn't drop any oil, just smokes," said Finley.
The race was 150 laps this year instead of the usual 100.
In all there were 19 cautions...including three reds slowing the 150-lap race. (Mom's comment during the first half was if she hadn't seen it, she never would've believed it....neither would I, for that matter.) In the first 75 laps there were 15 cautions (including the three reds). The first segment took nearly two hours to run.... the second segment, a half hour.
Lap leaders: Doug Finley, 1-8; Brian Keselowski, 9-20; Steve Sauve, 21-40; Tim Felver, 40-128; Freddie Campbell, 129-150. Felver had the most...89.
Move up award (don't know if there was on given)...Scott Lamp up 10 spots.
Harold Fair Jr won the consi Saturday night.
Dick Barker, Brian Schlatterbeck and Darrell McMannus were provisional starters.
Three drivers took turns going over the banking in turn one...Scott Giroux, McMannus and Johnny Belotte. They drove out under their own power and rejoined the rear of the field.
Thirty-two cars were on hand. Not making the Mudslinger were: Cliff Pulley, Steve Poniastoki, Brian Campbell (Freddie's son), Jeff Capaldi, Micky Maier, Jimmy Gallagher.
Freddie Campbell, Tim Felver, Steve Sauve, Doug Finley, Mike Laberta Jr, Chas Howe, Brian Keselowski, Roger Wing, Scott Lamp, Scott Giroux, John Doering Jr., Aaron Tull, Johnny Belott, Dick Barker, Harold Fair Jr, Karl Emonds, Dennis Berry, Todd Rosebrugh, Norm Davis, Phil Massuch, Jimmy Thiel, Ron Shamel Jr, Darrell McManus, Brian Schlatterbeck, Don Bergeau