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May 4, 2024

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Veteran Roars to Win in Super Cup Season Opener at Shenandoah Speedway


Seventeen 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 2008.

Three-time 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 Chevrolet with J.P. Crabtree III, Jim Crabtree Jr. and Jody Harrison rounding out the top starters.


The 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.


The 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 his night.


After 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.


During 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.


The 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 to go.

Peck 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 running order.


On 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.


Peck’s 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.


There 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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2024 Race Schedule




Lonesome Pine Raceway Park

Coeburn, VA


Shenandoah Speedway

Shenandoah, VA


Franklin County Speedway

Callaway, VA


Shenandoah Speedway

Shenandoah, VA


Lonesome Pine Raceway Park

Coeburn, VA



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