Skyland, North Carolina – It was a race for the ages Saturday night as the Super Cup Stock Car Series made their annual stop to Midvale Speedway in Ohio. Although there were six lead changes officially recorded at the line throughout the 75 lap race, veteran drivers Kevin Kromer and JJ Pack wheeled their machines door to door for several laps to determine who would be the victor. In the end, it was Kevin Kromer claiming his first series trophy since 2012 and second at the 3/10-mile facility.
“That’s some of the best racing you’ll ever do or ever see,” recapped Kromer. “JJ’s a good competitor, a clean driver. We both laid everything out that we had, and we were going to race until one of us crossed first. I was real pleased with everybody that helps and puts an effort into this deal day in and day out.”
Kromer set the pace in early practice and turned in the fourth quickest time in qualifying, redrawing the outside of the front row. Pack won the pole award, but redrew in third. Kromer made easy work on the outside of pole starter Jeff Zillweger on the initial lap, but it did not take many circuits for Pack to take second and then move into the lead.
A caution slowed the field when Rob Morris got into the back of the lapped car of Chris Wenzel, also sending the car of Howie Conk around. A few laps after the restart Kromer worked his way under Pack and just after halfway took back sole possession of the lead.
The scariest moment of the night came when Morris literally broke part of the turn one wall and came to a rest in the infield after climbing his way back up to third with one of the fastest cars on the track. The car was demolished, but luckily Morris turned out okay.
“We are still going to go back and decipher exactly what happened, but it felt like we had stuck a throttle going down into one,” said Morris. “I appreciate everybody’s concern and help, and we’ll take this home and try to get it back together as quick as we can. We’ll be a little sore on the ride home, but thanks to the HANS device we’re able to walk away from these things with just a few bumps and bruises.”
Kromer and Pack duked it out again on the restart with Pack getting the advantage on the outside. After another caution when Zillweger spun out of third place, Kromer was not done yet and maneuvered by followed shortly by another moment when Pack got back by.
On the ensuing approximately 15 laps the two battled side by side all around the race track rubbing fenders at times, and coming to five laps to go Kromer finally cleared Pack for good coming off of turn four. Pack was not entirely satisfied with another runner up finish, but had a fun time doing everything he could to cross the line first.
“Side by side nonstop, I was like somebody’s got to give,” remarked Pack. “Honestly I think we were both on the edge. I think we were both making all the mistakes that we could. He just made less than I did.”
Brent Nelson safely brought his car home in third and remains in the thick of the championship point battle. Conk rallied back for his best career finish of fourth while Harvey Harrison rounded out the top five.
If the action on the track was not enough, the statistics show how much each driver was fighting to get everything out of their car. Kromer ran his fastest time of 16.222 seconds on lap 70 of the race, while Pack ran a 16.188 on lap 71.
The Super Cup drivers and teams return to CNB Bank Raceway Park in two weeks for what is being billed as “The Big One” at the Clearfield, Pennsylvania facility. June’s 75 lap event featured some side by side racing for the lead between many of the same players and the August 23rd running presented by Cool Shirt Systems could very well see a lot of the same.
1 Kevin Kromer
2 JJ Pack
3 Brent Nelson
4 Howie Conk
5 Harvey Harrison
6 Jeff Zillweger
7 Chris Wenzel
8 Bill Ashton
9 Rob Morris
10 Lou Ansel
11 Aaron Kromer
– Super Cup Stock Car Series press release and photo