Skyland, North Carolina – Second-year Super Cup Stock Car Series racer Codie Rohrbaugh may have claimed the fast qualifying time, drew the pole, and led the Jennerstown 75 presented by Comp-Cal flag-to-flag; however, it didn’t come without its own challenges.
After a caution with one lap complete for Josh Ebbert’s spin and contact with the inside frontstretch wall, Rohrbaugh jumped out to more than a seven second lead during a long green flag period that lasted until 30 laps to go in the 75-lap race. Toward the end of that run, Freehold, New Jersey’s Howie Conk, who was making his first series start since Columbus in 2013, gradually cut into the interval.
After another restart, Conk pressured Rohrbaugh heavily for the lead and finally took the opportunity to make a bid for the lead nearing 15 laps to go. Unfortunately the car wouldn’t stick, lost control, and backed into the outside wall.
“I knew I had to stay on (Rohrbaugh’s) bumper going into turn three and four, because I knew his tires were getting worn down,” explained Conk. “He slipped up a little bit, so I dove on the inside of him and I had him coming down the straightaway going into one. I just carried a little too much steam. The car just pushed up and I lost it.”
Rohrbaugh’s path to victory wasn’t over yet. JJ Pack, winner last time out at CNB Bank Raceway Park on June 28, ran within a car length and started to pick up the pace with 10 to go. Pack worked his way to the outside and the two battled side by side with a handful of laps to go. On the white flag lap they were dueling for the lead again as Rohrbaugh went a little high coming out of turn two. The two made contact, forcing Pack to slightly back off. Pack was unable to recover in the final turns and Rohrbaugh claimed his first career Super Cup Stock Car Series victory.
“It wasn’t easy at all,” said Rohrbaugh. “JJ got a heck of a run there the last ten, twenty laps. It was just all for all. It was back like dirt track racing. Just do what you’ve got to do.”
The closest call of the night for the 20-year-old Petersburg, West Virginia driver came during his battle for the lead mid-race, narrowly avoiding Conk.
“We got tight after a caution after our tires would cool down,” said Rohrbaugh. “(Conk) got a good run on us coming out of four; maybe drove it in too hard and washed up. Everything worked out.”
For JJ Pack it was a matter of strategizing when to make the right move, although it still did not work out in his favor.
“I felt like I had to wait for about five laps to go,” Pack said. “I was trying to show him I was going to the bottom. I had previously already practiced during the race about trying the high line so I knew it would work and knew it would stick, so I played a little bit of mirror games with him and with five to go I drove on the outside of him.”
Despite coming up short of the win, Pack extended his points lead over Columbus winner Brent Nelson, who was forced to the sidelines before halfway with an ignition box problem.
“We had a good points day,” recapped Pack. “My spotter kept saying just worry about the points because I’m not a points racer, but I thought I really could get the win. I drove up there and got to banging pretty good. I knew Codie was going to do what he had to do to win it. Kudos to him; I would have done the same.”
Kevin Kromer survived and charged from 11th to finish third in an attrition filled race. Fellow Pennsylvania drivers Jeff Zillweger and Bill Ashton rounded out the top five for their best career finishes.
With a successful trip to Jennerstown Speedway now in the books, next up for the series will be the annual stop at Ohio’s Midvale Speedway in three weeks. Much more will be available on www.supercupstockcarseries.com and the Facebook page (www.facebook.com/SCSCSRacing) leading up to the event.
1 Codie Rohrbaugh
2 JJ Pack
3 Kevin Kromer
4 Jeff Zillweger
5 Bill Ashton
6 Lou Ansel
7 Kyle Kromer
8 Chris Wenzel
9 Howie Conk
10 Harvey Harrison
11 Brent Nelson
12 Rob Morris
13 Josh Ebbert