Roars to Win in Super Cup Season Opener at Shenandoah Speedway
drivers from seven states made the trip to “where the mountain
roars” for the season opening 100 lap Super Cup Stock Car Series
race at Shenandoah Speedway in Virginia on Saturday.
The Muncie, Indiana Crabtree family and the Don Gnatt
Motorsports team had one of the longest hauls
with an over 500 mile drive to
the 3/8 mile track. Although
Jim Crabtree Jr. led the most laps throughout the night, it did not
come quite easy for him to gain his first series victory since early
defending champion Jody Harrison, whose team didn’t unload their
Motordrome winning car from September from their trailer until
Wednesday, paced practice running consistent laps in the 17.1 second
range and backed it up with the fastest qualifying time.
After a four car invert, Brian Harrison would start from the
pole in his CoalFacts.org Chevrolet with J.P. Crabtree III, Jim
Crabtree Jr. and Jody Harrison rounding out the top starters.
2013 season would start very competitively with three drivers
leading the first three laps. J.P.
Crabtree III would get a good start on the outside to lead lap one,
but Brian Harrison took the lead back on the second lap before Jim
Crabtree Jr. followed and led the third lap and several thereafter.
first of eleven cautions would fly on lap eleven when rookie Codie
Rohrbaugh went for a spin. Crabtree
would stretch out his lead on several restarts in the early going,
appearing to be the dominant car of the night.
A period of multiple cautions would bunch up the field, two
of which involved polesitter Brian Harrison.
A spin and later contact with the turn four wall would end
a caution for Harvey Harrison’s spin while jockeying for a top
five position, Crabtree suddenly had the 75 of Jody Harrison
pressuring him for the lead after the restart.
Just a few laps after halfway, Harrison made the pass for the
lead diving low through lapped traffic.
The defending Shenandoah winner from 2009, Harvey
Harrison’s night would come to an end with thirty laps to go when
the motor shut off.
the longest green flag run, Crabtree stayed on Harrison’s tail
with eighth place starter Todd Peck closing in.
At this time, the leaders were working through heavy lapped
traffic including J.P. Crabtree III’s ill-handling race car.
J.P. fought to stay on the lead lap, allowing Jim Crabtree
Jr. to take the lead around the outside.
Jody would then dive low to put a lap on J.P., and not
pleased with the contact in the process, J.P. would get Harrison
loose sending him for a spin a few laps later.
Harrison would recover for a top ten finish, but the car was
not at its prior pace due to a bent ball joint.
charge of the race was from rookie Kyle Baugh, who had steadily
moved from 16th starting position up to third.
Unfortunately, the top five run would come to an end when he
was sent for a spin coming out of turn two with less than ten laps
stuck with Crabtree with Mike Southard and Kevin Kromer in pursuit
on the restart, only to get slowed one more time by an incident
between Jeff Zillweger and Kyle Kromer in turn four.
Southard worked his way into the top five late in the race in
his first series start, but would slip back to sixth in the final
the final restart, Crabtree was able to stay ahead of the
competition and take the win. It
was an emotional victory for the veteran driver not only because it
was his first in a while, but he also dedicated the win to his aunt
who is fighting cancer.
climb from eighth to second might have been one spot higher if it
wasn’t for many of the short green flag runs; however, Crabtree
claimed that his car was better on long runs as well. Despite
an ongoing tight condition in the corners since practice, Crabtree
also thought he could have had something for Jody Harrison even if
it wasn’t for the altercation earlier in the race.
Harrison, on the other hand, said he was just riding.
Kevin Kromer quietly ran in the top five most of the day and
finished in third. Codie
Rohrbaugh recovered from the early race spin to finish fourth in his
first career start and Brent Nelson stayed out of trouble to round
out the top five.
were lots of storylines stemming from the first race of the 2013
season, and now the competitors focus on the next race in just under
three weeks at Motordrome Speedway in Smithton, Pennsylvania.
will have a preview and more information leading up to the event.
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