Columbus, OH – He may have started from the pole, but it was all about conservation for Petersburg, West Virginia’s Brent Nelson to claim the win in the Performance Fiberglass Products 75 presented by Boschett Timepieces at Columbus Motor Speedway.
2013 Rookie of the Year Codie Rohrbaugh qualified fastest, but it was Nelson who redrew the number one pill for the race. When the green flag flew Rohrbaugh jumped out to the lead, but the field was immediately slowed by caution when JJ Pack went around going into turn two. Without a single lap completed, this set up a full restart.
Nelson and Rohrbaugh ran side by side for three laps with Rohrbaugh getting the advantage before Harvey Harrison sustained damage in an altercation in turn four. Rohrbaugh pulled ahead of Nelson on the ensuing restart, while JP Crabtree and Pack mounted a charge toward the front finding their way to second and third 25 laps into the event.
Both Pack and Crabtree caught the leader a few laps later and Crabtree dove low in an attempt to make it three wide into turn one. There would not be enough room and the result was contact which sent Rohrbaugh spinning. Later, Crabtree admitted he should have settled down at that point in the race.
“What happened between me and (Rohrbaugh) was my fault,” said Crabtree. “Drove it in too hard, and that was all she wrote.”
For the contact, Crabtree was sent to the back of the lead lap cars. Pack, Nelson, and Brian Harrison would breakaway and had quite the battle among each other in the later stages. Nelson and Pack would swap the lead on a couple occasions with Harrison waiting to pounce.
A caution for debris set up a twenty lap dash to the finish. The front three pulled ahead on the restart once again with Nelson pressuring Pack heavily for the lead. Coming to five to go Nelson would pass and clear Pack, but Pack made one last run for the money on the last lap nearly getting side by side with Nelson at the checkered flag.
It was Nelson’s second straight Super Cup win, dating back to the most recent completed race last August. There was a lot of give and take on this particular night.
“We had to back off and let the tires cool down,” Nelson said. “The third caution, I think, after it came out the tires finally cooled down and we were able to get JJ there on the second or third turn going in and the rest is history from there.”
For runner-up JJ, it was a good battle amongst two competitors who respect one another.
“It was great beating and banging on each other,” said Pack. “He got by me, I got back by him. Just constantly went at it and we both were tight, but he came out on top.”
Brent agreed and attributed it to good short track racing.
“We’re going to run everybody as clean as we can, but when the time comes to win rubbin’s racin’ and if I’ve got to rub on him or he’s got to rub on me then that’s what we’re going to do,” said Nelson.
JP Crabtree recovered to overtake Brian Harrison for third with Rohrbaugh coming back to round out the top five. Ten cars finished the race with nine of them on the lead lap.
One driver who returned to the series for some seat time was 2008 Rookie of the Year and three-time winner Megan Reitenour. A ride became available for the Miamisburg, Ohio driver late in the week when rookie driver Chris Wenzel became unable to make the trip due to a work commitment. The strides the team made throughout the day and the laps that were turned were beneficial for her upcoming participation as one of 18 finalists around the country for the Peak Stock Car Dream Challenge.
“My team worked amazing all day long, and coming out with a seventh place finish, all fenders on the car, and we got tons of track time,” said Reitenour. “I’m really really happy and I’m ready to go to the Peak Challenge and see what happens.”
The three-day selection process for the opportunity at a Michael Waltrip Racing developmental ride will take place in a couple weeks in Charlotte, North Carolina and will air nationally in early August.
“Michael Waltrip, Clint Bowyer, and Danica Patrick are all going to be there so it’s going to be very exciting, a very stressful three days, but very exciting,” said Reitenour. “I can’t wait to get in another race car.”
The Super Cup Stock Car Series takes most of the month of June off before heading to CNB Bank Raceway Park in Clearfield, Pennsylvania for their next event. Stay tuned to www.supercupstockcarseries.com and the Facebook page (www.facebook.com/SCSCSRacing) for much more from the drivers leading up to then.