Trial Runs and Success in Latter Half of 2018, Younger Generation Drivers Ready
for Increased 2019
North Carolina (January 22, 2019) – Approximately midway through the 2018
season, an emergence of fresh faces tried their hand at the Super Cup Stock Car
Series, achieving and at times exceeding some initial targets that were set.
For 2019, the bar gets raised a little higher, as each aspires to
participate in an increased schedule.
Butler was already a fan favorite at Western Pennsylvania short tracks,
accumulating multiple years of experience and success.
But did driving the heavier Street Stocks on a weekly basis translate
easily upon climbing into a 3,300 pound, 600 horsepower SCSCS machine?
“At first, learning about
the series and the more powerful cars was a little bit of an adjustment,”
Butler answered, regarding the time spent studying the nuances within the
series prior to making her debut. “The
first time out it was more like a glorified Street Stock, although the steering
box was quicker to react. The
driving line was super smooth and it gave me confidence once I realized it was
Unfortunately, the Pittsburgh
area former champion at Jennerstown Speedway Complex had her seat time reduced
at her home track right from the get go. A
fuel pump failure meant having to watch their intended July debut from the
sidelines. Some overheating issues
with their more than a decade seasoned 603 motor at the next outing on a very
hot day at Virginia’s Dominion Raceway also resulted in an early exit.
Nevertheless, the Edlin Motorsports team pressed on.
the late August appearance at Jennerstown, a grounding wire was the culprit
that shortened their initial 50-lap race of the evening, but a rally back to an
impressive fifth place finish concluded the night.
“I didn’t want to have
unrealistic expectations going in, since we were out-motored,” Butler
indicated. “But to come back the
next month and the car was a lot faster, I surprised myself.
It’s not all about motor and more about driving skill, and I think we
After a solid conclusion to
2018, Butler and her team composed of her hardworking parents Eddie and Linda,
spotter Justin Guy, detailing guru Dave Shultz, and Jennerstown weekly racer
Dustin Gursky have high intentions when they get on the road for the 2019
“We are going over the
entire car, and found lots of bolts coming looser compared to the Street
Stock,” Butler observed. “We
will definitely be competitive for sure with a new heartbeat, a refreshed motor
acquired with help from Kevin Kromer. We’re
working on a new setup and looking to learn more about the adjustments
While excited to get to new
tracks and continue to seek advice from series veterans like Kromer, Butler
specified a particular goal that would be incredibly meaningful.
“It would be amazing to win
at my home track,” Butler said. “I
would like to at least win one race and just be consistent.
We’re trying to run for Rookie of the Year and definitely want to run
for the championship if we can.”
analyzing the racing career path of another driver who made his debut at
Jennerstown over this previous summer, there are numerous similarities to
Butler. Andrew Kostelnik spent
multiple seasons as one of the top drivers in the Street Stock ranks at the
same facilities and earned a track championship at Jennerstown as well.
The Braddock, Pennsylvania driver shared related thoughts about the
adaptation to the SCSCS.
“It definitely felt like it
wasn’t too bad of a transition, coming from cars that weighed 3,250
pounds,” Kostelnik commented. “The
front geometry is a little better, along with getting out of the gas and
getting through the corners, but it definitely helped being in a big heavier
car before, the tendencies of how hard you can push it with sliding around on
The final stat sheet from his
first four starts looks magnificent, but did not come without some adversity
and a little luck. Fuel pump issues
much like Butler, as well as an intense moment where the No. 41 was facing the
wrong way during a multi-car incident, resulted in the Minjock Racing crew
consisting of Joel Minjock, Cody Little, older brother Adam Kostelnik, and team
owner Al Minjock creatively thrashing away between practice sessions and races
that, Kostelnik remains humble yet confident and maintains a level head heading
into the future.
“The three third-place
finishes, I honestly did not see that coming at all,” Kostelnik said.
“We were in the right place at the right time, and I still felt like I
had a lot to learn. I’ve got
about three or four more tenths to be a lot more in the ballpark and
The team made gradual upgrades
throughout their three appearances, including renewed shocks on the car and
getting their Street Stock open motor freshened by area engine builder AJ
Poljak. Since the primary ride from
2018 did not need much work between seasons, they have lately turned focus to
getting their second car prepared in case it is needed.
“We have an old Kimmel
Racing ARCA car, steel body, and are putting a backup motor in it to where it
will be ready and will also be a show car.”
The current plan is for
Kostelnik to run every race and simply continue doing what they have been
don’t expect the thirds to come easy, since I’ll be getting used to
learning new tracks and the traveling part of it,” Kostelnik noted.
“If we consistently finish in the fifth to tenth range and finish top
ten in points, I’ll be happy.”
One track Kostelnik is
especially excited to visit is Indiana’s Salem Speedway, the reason tying
once again in with his fellow Street Stock turned Super Cup competitor.
More than a decade ago, he traveled to the similarly high-banked
Winchester Speedway to compete in Lauren Butler’s family-owned Street Stock.
In addition, he and team members visited Ohio’s Midvale Speedway on a
couple occasions to observe in 2018 and remarked about the excellent racing
they witnessed at the immaculate facility.
The next drivers made much
more of a leap into the full-bodied stock cars and the duo are arranging to
make another one for the new season. Karting
graduates Landon and Hayden Brothers recently purchased a ride that has a
“For 2019, we have one car
that is faster and we’re going to get another car that is about equal to
it,” Landon Brothers, who shared a ride with his twin brother
last year, described regarding the machine Hayden will compete in and was
previously driven to two wins by 2015 SCSCS champion Dan Bainey.
The teenage drivers first took
the green flag behind the wheel last August at Dominion, but the knowledge they
acquired came months prior to that via test sessions in order to get approved
to participate in the series as well as attain a hands-on approach to gain an
understanding of what it takes to prepare their own cars for future starts.
“We helped Jason Schue when
he went to races and got to familiarize ourselves with all of the other
racers,” Hayden Brothers mentioned. “We
tested in his car and we liked the feel of it and we decided to buy ourselves
one of our own. We practiced with
it, got used to the car.”
Although the car they ran was
more of a starter machine with less power under the hood, each stayed out of
trouble and combined for four top 10 finishes.
“We went into it trying to
gain all of the drivers’ respect and things like that, and coming out of it
we did,” Landon Brothers said.
“We tried to gain as much
knowledge from the other drivers so we could have more experience,” Hayden
In addition, the team has
upgraded from their open trailer to a hauler that will fit their entire two-car
effort and increase their ability to keep the operation organized as both
attempt to tackle the full schedule in 2019.
“A track I am looking to go
to is Salem Speedway,” Hayden Brothers noted.
“Goals would be run every race, maybe get top five or top three
“My goals are to finish the
races and get top five or top threes, and my favorite track that I am looking
forward to going to is probably Kingsport,” Landon Brothers stated, regarding
the concrete-surfaced facility which the brothers assisted veteran Mike
Kurkowski in 2018.
Landon and Hayden have been
seeking marketing partners for their program, entertained the idea of utilizing
their family business by owning multiple trucks as well as their initial
racecar to potentially lease out. They
have actively engaged in contests throughout social media, and perhaps most
uniquely own a simulator race car.
"We use it at events and
businesses can rent it out for birthday parties, employee appreciation days,”
Hayden Brothers explained.
“And we take it to car
shows, trade shows, and stuff like that to get our name out there,” Landon
Brothers added. “We have spots
available for different companies to advertise on the simulator.”
It remains to be seen what
2019 will have in store, but things are certainly looking up for these and many
more competitors in the months to come.
Teams intending to participate
in the Super Cup Stock Car Series are strongly encouraged to complete
registration forms available at www.supercupstockcarseries.com
and reserve car numbers for the season by the January 31st deadline.
Timely submission to Director of Competition Joe Schmaling by mail or
email (JoeSCSCS@gmail.com) will also
ensure inclusion in preseason marketing and promotional materials.
More information regarding the
full schedule to be released soon will be available at the series website as
well. Be sure to stop by Facebook
(search Super Cup Stock Car Series), Twitter (@SCSCSRacing), and Instagram (SCSCS_Racing)
for additional updates and announcements that become available.
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