Thornburg, Virginia — It was a story of old meets new on Saturday night when the Super Cup Stock Car Series opened their 2019 season at Dominion Raceway.
After pacing both practice sessions, Simpsonville, South Carolina’s Allen Purkhiser closed in on the track record and set a fast time of 15.884 seconds. The former two-time Pro Cup winner was recognized with the Pole Award by the Hooters girls from the nearby Fredericksburg location in what was somewhat a throwback to years past.
After a six car redraw, an interesting start caught front row starters Mike Potter in the No. 14 SLB General Contracting / Potter Racing Chevrolet and Marc Jones in the No. 00 Office of Special Investigations / CBDmctOilProfits4U.com / Matt Metheney / Jones Motorsports Dodge slightly off guard, as Kevin Kromer pounced in the opening corners and took the early lead from the second row. The Walnutport, Pennsylvania driver accelerated ahead for the first 18 circuits while Purkhiser took his time and diced his way toward the front.
Although Kromer fought Purkhiser for the top spot for a couple laps and stayed with him after a pass for the lead was made, the No. 77 Lehigh Valley Cancer Institute / Mission R.A.C.E.R. / K2 Motorsports Toyota’s night would end up being short-lived.
During a yellow flag on lap 33 for a hard impact upon a rotor failing for the No. 7 Grant County Mulch / CR7 Motorsports Garage Chevrolet of Larry Berg, Kromer’s car began to emit heavy smoke on the frontstretch. A valve guide was discovered as the culprit and a promising performance will have to wait for the next event in three weeks.
The No. 68 Clear Choice Auto Glass / Quality Brake & Inspection Centers / Premiere Motorsports Chevrolet of Purkhiser was able to stay at the front during remaining restarts in the 60-lap feature and took his first career SCSCS victory.
Jon Kerley from Hiddenite, North Carolina capitalized on the final restart when second place Ron Langdon elected to take the green flag on the inside line behind the leader as he did much of the evening. Kerley challenged for about half a lap for the top spot, but in the end the No. 4 Monk’s Crappie / Potter Racing Chevrolet settled for a career best runner-up finish. Langdon, Brent Nelson, and Potter rounded out the top five.
Potter once again redrew the pole position for the second of the Duels at Dominion presented by Patrick Miller Photography, but it was 2014 series champion JJ Pack who took the advantage on the opening lap from the outside.
The No. 61 IceBoxx Customs / Black Draft Distillery / JP Racing Toyota held court out front until Purkhiser found his way around on the 12th lap.
The race was slowed only twice, the final time for a vicious hit into the turn one wall for Nelson’s Precision Auto Collision / Airtek Inc. / Atkinson Welding / QH Design / Nelson Motorsports No. 80 that ended with the Chevrolet being briefly engulfed in flames. The Petersburg, West Virginia driver walked away under his own power and was unharmed, even though the same could not be said for the remnants of his car.
Back under green, Purkhiser held a comfortable but not extensive lead. Nevertheless, it was enough to cruise to a sweep of the night.
“It’s definitely never as easy as it looks, but I had a great car tonight,” Purkhiser commented. “That thing was just on a rail, and once I got out front I could just stay there.”
There were times where it appeared that the battle behind him was catching up, but the second place finisher in last year’s April Dominion event was mindfully conserving.
“I was taking it easy because you never know how hard they’re pushing their stuff and you just kind of have to maintain that pace just to keep from burning your own tires up if there’s a caution later on,” Purkhiser explained.
While it was all Purkhiser out front, the struggle for the second position turned intense over the second half of the 60-lap race all the way down to the final lap.
Langdon kept Jerod Brougher behind him numerous times around the 4/10-mile, but as the white flag waved the two drivers approached slower traffic heading into turn one.
“He got into the wall himself coming out of two and his car wasn’t as good after that, so on that last lap there was a lapped car on the inside,” Brougher documented, additionally pointing out that some of the noticeable cosmetic damage on their cars was from a few laps prior after admittedly nudging Langdon a little harder than he anticipated. “Langdon tried to get as low as possible around on the outside but whenever he did he skated up the track and opened up that split second for me to get in between them. I think I rubbed both of them on the inside and outside of my car. Squeezing in between them I was sideways. It was pretty wild there on the last lap.”
This was the Scottdale, Pennsylvania’s second straight event dating back to Jennerstown Speedway last August where the No. 71 Make It Spark Ltd. / Donegal Auto Body / TNT Embroidery and Screening / Gen-Mark / Builders Unlimited / JKB Motorsports Chevrolet came away with a runner-up result, something the 2017 Top Performing Rookie did not originally expect coming out of the gate.
“It feels good to be competitive,” Brougher added. “We didn’t enter this series ever thinking we were going to be a top five car. We expected to just have fun, hang out, and just learn. But as cars have trouble there we are; we’re right there.”
While Langdon was glad about two podium results to begin the year, the Freeport, New York racer was not entirely pleased with the contact between him and Brougher.
“Jerod was fast and he’d get to my bumper but couldn’t do anything off the corners,” the driver of the No. 17 National Appliance / Oval Speed Unlimited / Langdon’s Automotive Chevrolet noted. “Going into the corner on the last lap there was a lapped car there and I think Jerod just wanted second pretty bad and hit me really hard. Just know, what comes around goes around.”
Pack and Potter rounded out the top five at the end of the night.
The cars and stars of the Super Cup Stock Car Series will conclude 2019 back at the Dominion facility on Saturday, September 28, but now many regroup and some thrash away for the next event in three weeks. The Southern National Motorsports Park in Kenly, North Carolina awaits them for the first time on Saturday, May 18.
Please visit the official web site at www.supercupstockcarseries.com and the Super Cup Stock Car Series Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for continued updates throughout the season.
Race 1 Results:
1 68 Allen Purkhiser
2 4 Jon Kerley
3 17 Ron Langdon
4 80 Brent Nelson
5 14 Mike Potter
6 61 JJ Pack
7 35 Bill Ashton
8 53 Lauren Butler
9 29 Landon Brothers
10 3 Jason Schue
11 00 Marc Jones
12 0 John Miller
13 71 Jerod Brougher
14 77 Kevin Kromer
15 7 Larry Berg
16 90 Edward Adams III
17 27 Hayden Brothers
18 41 Andrew Kostelnik
Race 2 Results:
1 68 Allen Purkhiser
2 71 Jerod Brougher
3 17 Ron Langdon
4 61 JJ Pack
5 14 Mike Potter
6 35 Bill Ashton
7 53 Lauren Butler
8 3 Jason Schue
9 27 Hayden Brothers
10 80 Brent Nelson
11 4 Jon Kerley
12 90 Edward Adams III
DNS: 00 Marc Jones, 0 John Miller, 77 Kevin Kromer, 29 Landon Brothers, 41 Andrew Kostelnik, 7 Samatha Rohrbaugh
Super Cup Stock Car Series Press Release
Photo Credit: Patrick Miller