SCSCS points leader Bob Schacht claimed his third pole award of the year with a best time 20.120 seconds, just shy of the series track record set two years ago by Codie Rohrbaugh. After drawing the second starting spot, the Mooresville, North Carolina veteran jumped into the lead over SCSCS first-timer Toby Grynewicz at the green flag.
Schacht proved to be better on the long runs during the first 50-lap feature, but with the race slowing on four occasions he had to hold off some pressure on the restarts. Included was Grynewicz, who was able to lead his first lap in his debut.
“They gave me plenty of room to race door handle to door handle there, so it was pretty good,” Schacht mentioned.
The No. 75 Engineered Components / Bob Schacht Motorsports Chevrolet was able to break away into a comfortable lead during the concluding stages and went on to its fourth win of 2018. It was a special moment for Schacht, making his fifth Jennerstown start but first win at the place.
“I won Pocono six times so being here in Jennerstown, Pennsylvania means a big deal to me,” Schacht noted. “To win here in front of these great fans is awesome.”
Grynewicz brought the No. 40 T&T Plumbing / Winsupply Chevrolet home in the runner-up spot and made it as high as second in the final race of the night before a right front tire would go down late in the going. All things considered, it was an impressive and enjoyable first outing for the Clyde, Texas resident ho has Pro Truck racing experience at short tracks in the Deep South.
“Real pleased with the car, the crew, the track, and the fans,” Grynewicz complimented. “It was nice being here. I’ll be back.”
The event provided a promising initial baseline for when the series returns to the 1/2-mile oval in future months.
“I think we had too much gear and we were just spinning all night coming out,” Grynewicz said. “If we would have gotten it hooked up, I don’t know. If we come back with a different gear where we’re not spinning the tires so much then we’ll be better.”
Kingsport fast qualifier Mike Potter ran in the top five the entire event and improved his best career finish one position to third. Clair Zimmerman, making his first SCSCS start in nearly two years, finished fourth, while series regular Ron Langdon made the high line work to his liking in the closing laps for a fifth place performance.
The hard charging performance allowed Langdon to draw the pole for the second Twin 50 in his No. 17 National Appliance / Langdon’s Automotive Chevrolet. The Freeport, New York driver led his first laps in SCSCS competition to begin the feature before relinquishing the lead to Walnuport, Pennsylvania’s Kevin Kromer.
Riding behind was the winner of the first race and outside front row starter Schacht, who noticeably ended up going high and fleetingly contacting the outside wall on the opening lap potentially due to some contact on the track. The damage appeared to be minimal for several circuits until the No. 75 suddenly displayed a shower of sparks and slowed down on the front straightaway. Schacht’s day had gone from feast to famine with a season-worst 14th place result.
Kromer would run in the top three for most of the race until trouble struck between turns one and two when the No. 77 Lehigh Valley Cancer Institute / Mission R.A.C.E.R. / Warren Pallet / K2 Motorsports Chevrolet ended up around. Langdon went high and tried to get on the brakes, but it was not enough time before getting into the driver side of Kromer’s car.
Kromer would be evaluated by the medical crew at the track, but was mainly sore and otherwise okay after the accident. Langdon pulled away from the carnage, but his car would eventually succumb to overheating issues as a result of the damage sustained. Zimmerman and last July’s two-time winner Brent Nelson were additionally sidelined after being collected.
Potter had secured the lead prior to the caution, but emerging as a contender was J.P. Crabtree, who quietly exited the first race early. The No. 42 USA Tire / J.R.’s Landscaping / Stagger Pros / Support The Troops / Don Gnat Racing Ford began picking off one spot at a time from the back of the field.
On lap 23, Crabtree, who won his first SCSCS race at Jennerstown last August, caught and passed Potter for the top spot. The Muncie, Indiana driver went from worst to first to pull far ahead of the competition and earn his second career victory in dominating fashion.
“The first (win) was definitely memorable just because dad (Jim Crabtree Jr.) won the championship, but definitely to come back here again and show that we almost have this place figured out is really nice to know,” an elated Crabtree said. “That car, honestly, was handling better than it was the first time we won. With the adjustments we made, I was determined that with this good of a car I wanted to try and lap the whole field.”
Although he only lapped up to fifth position, it was remarkable less than an hour before that Crabtree was even in the field for the green flag considering what occurred in the first race.
“I did not know if we were going to make it to the second one,” Crabtree admitted. “It’s unbelievable, really. We actually had an alternator wire fall off and it started arcing out on the brake line and I lost brakes. I drove down into one and the brake went to the floor.”
In the Northern Division points chase, it appeared Crabtree’s hopes were dashed with the first DNF, but with the misfortune of others, he continues to secure the top spot by a small margin over Kromer and Langdon.
“I’m sure it kind of took a turn for the worse and then kind of turned back our way,” Crabtree added.
The only driver who could muster two solid finishes for the evening was Potter, who moved up one more notch for a career best second. The No. 14 Potter Racing Chevrolet simply was a smidge off from where it needed to be. Nevertheless, he was able to chip away at Schacht’s substantial lead in the overall standings and it was a huge improvement from one year ago when he ended up destroying his prior car in one of the scariest wrecks the SCSCS has seen.
“My car got to pushing and (Crabtree) got by me,” the satisfied Johnson City, Tennesse veteran racer explained. “Then (Grynewicz) got by me too and I raced with him, and (Crabtree) got away from us. If we had another caution we may have been able to get back up. The car was good after a caution, but the longer the run the tighter it got.”
Finishing a respectable third in his series debut was 2008 Jennerstown Speedway Street Stock champion Andrew Kostelnik. The Minjock Racing team silently stayed out of trouble for the podium position in their first time out.
Another local driver with a career best performance was Greensburg, Pennsylvania’s John Komarinski. Despite multiple mishaps with a loose racecar, including a visit to the outside wall in afternoon practice, Komarinski used decades of knowledge of the track’s outside groove to power into fourth finishing position. Yet another Pennsylvania native and one-time SCSCS winner, Bill Ashton, rounded out the top five which is his best result of the season to date.
Drivers and teams will receive a short summer break for the remainder of the month before the next Super Cup Stock Car Series event and future visits to Jennerstown Speedway Complex in late August and mid-September.
Meanwhile, fans can look forward to watching last month’s races from Kingsport Speedway, which are scheduled to premiere on MAVTV on Thursday, July 12 at 12:30 p.m. and Thursday, July 26 at the same time, respectively.
2 40 Toby Grynewicz
3 14 Mike Potter
4 28 Clair Zimmerman
5 17 Ron Langdon
6 77 Kevin Kromer
7 33 John Komarinski
8 80 Brent Nelson
9 41 Andrew Kostelnik
10 18 Jeff Zillweger
11 35 Bill Ashton
12 22 Marc Jones
13 3 Jason Schue
14 16 Edward Adams III
15 42 JP Crabtree
2 14 Mike Potter
3 41 Andrew Kostelnik
4 33 John Komarinski
5 35 Bill Ashton
6 18 Jeff Zillweger
7 22 Marc Jones
8 3 Jason Schue
9 40 Toby Grynewicz
10 17 Ron Langdon
11 77 Kevin Kromer
12 28 Clair Zimmerman
13 80 Brent Nelson
14 75 Bob Schacht
15 16 Edward Adams III