Clearfield, Pennsylvania – Hometown racer Dan Bainey outlasted a host of mechanical issues from his closest competitors, a late charge from veteran Harvey Harrison, and even the impending weather to take his first career win in only his second Super Cup Stock Car Series start.
The Window World 75 presented by RH2 held at CNB Bank Raceway Park in Clearfield, Pennsylvania saw four different leaders during its distance. Bainey took the top spot from 2014 opening race winner Brent Nelson with less than 20 laps remaining after a late restart.
“I thought I burned the tires off, and thought I don’t think I can get around (Brent Nelson),” Bainey commented after the race. “That last restart, he said he had an issue, and I wasn’t going to give up at the end there. They said 10 laps to go and my ears were ringing; the excitement kicked in. I think my heartrate was up to 150 there for a while.”
Nelson appeared to be the machine to beat for a majority of the race, but was one of many that dealt with an assortment of gremlins on this early Saturday evening.
“Bittersweet; glad we finished third, but man, we wanted that win,” Nelson said. “That last restart when my car came out of four my car just went flat. Handling-wise the car was dialed in. I could run high or low, wherever I wanted to, but we just got an ignition problem. We’re going to have to find it and be ready for the next race.”
Prior to Nelson inheriting the lead 2013 series Rookie of the Year Codie Rohrbaugh had been the class of the field, leading practice and winning the pole award. He quickly climbed from his sixth place redraw starting position and had the lead in the opening laps.
Unfortunately, the strong performance would come to an end abruptly on a restart that would conclude his night in the turn one outside wall.
“We really just kind of got up to the front and we were just maintaining a good pace,” Rohrbaugh recapped. “I wasn’t driving the car hard at all. Then on the restart the throttle hung and we about knocked down the wall.”
Rohrbaugh was serving in a substitute role for his grandfather Larry Berg, who was not able to compete due to a recent surgery. A thankful Rohrbaugh was happy to be driving given the circumstances that occurred.
“The first thing that went through my mind was I was glad I was driving and not him when I hit the wall,” Rohrbaugh continued.
With some of the top competitors sidelined or out of contention, Bainey still had one car to fight off in the remaining laps. Harvey Harrison’s machine came to life and at times peeked under Bainey in search for the lead. The three-time series winner was ecstatic with the runner up achievement, his best finish in nearly three years.
“I tried to save the tires because it seemed like every time I ran real hard it would just start sliding worse and worse, but the problem about saving tires is the leaders can get away from you,” Harrison explained. “At the end there I needed a 100 lap race, but this is fine. We had a blast, and I’m not complaining.”
From the beginning, it looked like Harvey’s recent bad luck would continue into 2015. On the first pace lap he made contact with the 2014 series champion JJ Pack and damaged the right front of his car. Crew members from multiple teams assisted in patching it up to get the Renick, West Virginia driver back in the starting field for the green flag.
“I was looking in the mirror, and should have been looking in front of me,” Harrison admitted. “JJ must have stopped to adjust his belts or something, and once I looked up there he was.”
Nelson held on for a third place finish with Brian Harrison coming home in fourth after running in the top five for the entire race. 2014 two-time CNB winner Pack led laps early but fought battery issues. He recovered for a fifth place result.
For Bainey and his popular Days of Thunder-themed new paint scheme, it was definitely a meaningful first victory in front of his hometown crowd.
“Friends from high school, church, and college (were here) so it’s definitely the place I wanted to win,” Bainey said.
This was the first Super Cup Stock Car Series event at the 5/8-mile facility under the operation of Dan’s older brother Tim Bainey Jr.’s. Although the open practice on Friday had been canceled and the threat of ominous weather hovering over the track on Saturday caused some schedule adjustments to occur, the unique promotion of free admission turned out to be a success.
“I’ve just got to thank the fans so much for coming out,” Bainey Jr. said. “That’s what we need here to keep things going. The hillside was packed, there were a lot of people in the grandstands, and we are just proud to be a part of the Super Cup Stock Car Series.”
From a family and team member standpoint, it was definitely a rewarding sight for him to see in the end as well.
“It was so much fun to see my brother out there,” Bainey Jr. concluded. “It was a good race, he had to work for it, and it was pretty cool to get a win here at our home track. It’s going to be a fun season.”
The 2015 schedule rolls on to its annual stop at Columbus Motor Speedway in Ohio in mid-June, followed by another visit to CNB Bank Raceway Park later in the month.
-Super Cup Stock Car Series Press Release. Photo Credit: Patrick Miller Photography/Super Cup Stock Car Series
12 Codie Rohrbaugh
13 Brent Cross
14 Rob Morris
DNS Jeff Zillweger