Last time out at Columbus Motor Speedway JJ Pack climbed from the back to the lead after spinning on the first lap, but wound up with a runner up finish. This time around, the Bealeton, Virginia driver didn’t look back when he took the lead nearly a third of the way through the Cool Shirt 75 presented by RH2 at CNB Bank Raceway Park in Clearfield, Pennsylvania after starting outside of the top ten.
“I took my time, just wanted to pace myself and get through the field,” said Pack.
Jeff Zillweger set fast time, a first in his Super Cup Stock Car Series career, and after the redraw started on the outside of pole starter Todd Peck. Peck, the flag-to-flag winner at the track in 2013, set the pace before a motor let go five laps in.
This set up a lengthy caution for cleanup, but when racing resumed fans were treated to an intense battle for the lead between Virginia’s Rob Morris and Pennsylvania’s Kevin Kromer. Kromer took sole possession of the lead after five laps of side by side racing, but Morris wasn’t done with Columbus winner Brent Nelson and Pack approaching fast.
After a caution on lap 20, the next five laps saw three different leaders with Pack finally making the move for the lead. From there the race was all Pack’s, but he wasn’t sure at the time if it was the right moment to make the move with Kevin and Rob battling pretty hard in front of him.
“I wanted to take my time, because I knew this was a good run for Rob,” said Pack. “I’m pretty proud of him. I wanted things to sort out a little better with them, and then I just got that racer instinct and couldn’t wait anymore.”
Second place finisher Kromer admitted he had nothing for Pack once he got by, but was pleased with the strong run after the weekend they went through. He was thankful for the support they received from the other teams when they ran into some issues.
“We came out and tested yesterday,” explained Kromer. “We got a flat and I came in and lost the brakes. The (Brian and Harvey) Harrison and (Chris) Wenzel (teams) all stayed and helped until we got it all back together and in the trailer.”
Nelson stayed in the top five all night, but was unable to muster more than a third place finish after winning the last couple Super Cup races. Brian Harrison stayed out of trouble to finish fourth. Morris salvaged a best career fifth after the car ran hot in the closing laps, and after the race found that the cap blew off most likely from earlier contact. Nevertheless, he was satisfied with the result and thanked the race winner for assisting in getting the car where it needs to be.
“I’ve been off for a year, so my strategy was to come out here and just improve on the setup,” said Morris. “JJ helped me in the offseason, put a new body on, helped me with setup, made some big improvements on the car. Now I’ve got a car that I like. I just want to thank Pack Racing, Brent Nelson, Kevin Kromer, and everybody especially (Super Cup Stock Car Series Director of Competition) Joe Schmaling for putting on a race at a wonderful track up here in central Pennsylvania.”
For JJ Pack, this puts him in a great position toward the championship race, which is their goal this season.
“I can’t thank McGunegill Engines enough, IceBoxx Customs, (car owner) Cal Richardson, the whole crew for doing everything to keep this car the way it is,” said Pack. “We’re looking forward to the championship this year.”
Stay tuned to www.supercupstockcarseries.com for official results and standings as well as the Facebook page (www.facebook.com/SCSCSRacing) for even more as the 2014 season continues.
– Release and photo by Aaron Creed, Super Cup Stock Car Series