Cup Stock Car Series Primed for Return to Hickory Motor Speedway
North Carolina (April
14, 2014) –
For the first time since their season
finale in 2011 the Super Cup Stock Car Series will be back at the
site of where it all began, Hickory Motor Speedway.
This time around they will be a companion event to the Pro
All Stars Series and their annual Easter Bunny 150.
Several teams have been preparing for more than six months
for the first race on the 2014 schedule.
The team to beat going into the
weekend in North Carolina will be Peck Motorsports.
Todd Peck captured his first career Super Cup championship in
2013 and looks to accomplish something that has eluded him so far, a
victory at the historic “Birthplace of the NASCAR Stars.”
Peck finished second there in 2010, but has otherwise run
into bad luck while running toward the front in additional previous
Riding a string of momentum will be
veteran drivers Kevin Kromer and Brent Nelson.
Kromer hasn’t finished outside the top five in more than a
year but definitely does not want to end up winless like in 2013,
while Nelson comes off a breakthrough first career win last time out
at Motordrome and heads to Hickory with confidence.
Momentum aside, there may not be
another driver more confident than Hiddenite, North Carolina’s Jon
Kerley. His only start
in the Super Cup Stock Car Series last June at Motordrome resulted
in a sixth place finish. Nevertheless,
he brings decades of experience with him to his home track.
“I grew up at the place,” said
Kerley. “My race car
is twenty years old and I haven’t run a race at Hickory in eleven
years, but I’m kind of there to win.”
The car he will be driving originated
as a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series machine in 1994 that belonged to Mike
Potter, and was later converted to an ARCA then a Pro Cup and now a
Super Cup car. When it
comes to the race, Kerley has an idea of what might be important.
“The big challenge for this race is
they put crack-sealer down back in January or February and the stuff
has been coming up. The
Late Models are running new track records, but how (the Super Cup
cars) react to the sealer is going to be the key.”
Kerley has enjoyed his share of good
results at Hickory running weekly in the early-to-mid 1990s and
leading laps and finishing second and third in a couple Pro Cup
races, but now his racing dreams and aspirations have passed and
winning would take on a different meaning today.
“My grandson just turned eight years
old and it’ll probably be the only chance to see me race.
It’s just like one last chance.”
Back in the 1990s, Kerley assisted
Kerry and Kelley Earnhardt when they raced weekly at the facility.
There’s even a photo on the internet from 1994 of Dale
Earnhardt Jr. wearing a Jon Kerley t-shirt while pushing a Late
“Dale Jr. don’t always wear
t-shirts, but when he does they have my name on them,” joked
Dale Earnhardt Jr. won his first race
in quite a while in this year’s Daytona 500.
Could the same be said for Jon Kerley on Saturday night?
More competitors hope to have a say in
that. J.J. Pack is the
only driver entered to previous lead laps in a Super Cup race at
Hickory. That particular
day resulted in a sixth place finish; however, Pack rides a streak
of no finishes worse than third in his last four starts.
On the opposite end of the momentum
spectrum are father and son Harvey and Brian Harrison.
Harvey finished off 2013 with his best finish of the season
of sixth, but hopes to return to his winning ways.
Last time at Hickory, Harvey led the field to green but
didn’t even make it to turn one without major damage to the front
of his car. For the 2014 running, the goal would most certainly be
to match or better his previous best Hickory result of third in
For Brian Harrison, 2013 was a
nightmare. Each of his
five starts ended before the checkered flag flew, but he comes into
Hickory with previous finishes of fourth, sixth, and seventh.
Brian would like nothing more than to shake off the bad luck
from the previous year.
In addition, there will be a vast
amount of newcomers when it comes to competing in a Super Cup car at
the unique .363-mile oval. Drivers
like Lou Ansel, Kyle Kromer, Rob Morris, Mike Senica along with
rookies Chris Wenzel, Josh Ebbert and more will be on hand to take
to the track for the first time early on Easter weekend.
It will all commence starting on
Friday afternoon with an optional practice session, followed by a
day full of action on Saturday leading up to the 75 lap feature.
Visit the official Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/SCSCSRacing
for updates throughout the weekend, and www.supercupstockcarseries.com
will be the place to go for a recap and more
following the race.