Gordon Emerges Victorious at UMI; Brent Nelson Rebounds at
Jennerstown in Inaugural Keystone 150 Weekend
Pennsylvania and Jennerstown, Pennsylvania (June 20, 2021) – The
weather predictions looked uninviting at times, but by some miracle
and the hard work by many with UMI Motorsports Park and Jennerstown
Speedway Complex the inaugural Keystone 150 weekend is in the record
drivers who have not been to victory lane in recent stock car racing
history were the ones getting to the checkered flag first.
For the first time
in the 14-year existence of the Super Cup Stock Car Series, a pair
of 10-lap qualifying races assisted in setting the starting lineup
each night rather than single-car time trials.
Friday began with a similar story to what has been seen in
the early part of 2021. Ben
Ebeling in the No. 44 Startown Carpet & Floor Coverings /
Swanny's Auto Sales / Wrenn’s Lawn Service / L & C Truck
Repair / Battery Specialist of
Hickory / RE Suspension Ford and Bob Schacht
in the No. 75 Engineered Components Co. / Bob Schacht Motorsports
Chevrolet won the races and as a result earned five bonus points
toward their season total.
races were lined up based on series standings to-date, meaning those
who were newcomers to the 2021 season or the series altogether
started toward the back. One
of those drivers was Benny Gordon, from DuBois, Pennsylvania, less
than 20 miles from the 5/8-mile UMI Motorsports Park facility.
The multi-time past Pro Cup Series champion had to start last
but was up to third quickly. Despite
a spin when contact between him and series regular Samatha Rohrbaugh
occurred and dealing with what evidently was identified as a wheel
bearing issue, Gordon nursed his ride to a third place finish.
This is where luck
played its part. The top
three from each qualifying race redrew for their starting position
in the 75-lap main event. Gordon
drew the number one pill and, although a few competitors such as
Ebeling and Schacht contended, it was lights out throughout the
distance for the No. 66 Trick Shot Penetrating Lubricant / Staar
Trucking / Fastrak Trucking / Spray & Ship / Day Spa DuBois
For Gordon, it was
his first start in this style racecar in nearly a decade and his
first altogether since being in a NASCAR Xfinity Series car at
Daytona International Speedway in 2017.
“I do a lot of
racing with my nephew right now and crew chief him, so I don’t get
to race much,” Gordon, a previous Late Model winner at the
Clearfield track who picked up the win in his SCSCS debut,
explained. “I felt
right at home in that thing out front.
This series is great and hopefully we can be a part of it and
help (Series Director) Joe (Schmaling) with the series.
A lot of good racers and a lot of good cars, track was
beautiful. It was just a
before, track position was certainly critical on an oval surface
that had not been raced on in nearly six years.
The event had nine yellow flags including two brief stoppages
for a few raindrops in which drivers were permitted to come down pit
road for team members to service and dry off the windshields.
“I would have
liked to race up through, but at the same time I was glad I was in
the front because my car wasn’t that good,” Gordon admitted.
“I struggled in the (qualifying) race, we made some
changes, and it really came to life.
The lead is where it wanted to be.
The restarts were really good and I could get out there a
little bit and then could put the car on cruise control.”
Schacht was able to
work his way by Ebeling for the runner-up position on a late restart
with Rohrbaugh charging late for a best career fourth in her No. 7
Grant County Mulch / In Loving Memory of Mark Huff / CR7 Motorsports
Garage Chevrolet and teammate Jason Kitzmiller rounding out the top
California racing veteran Doug George took control of the No. 9
Grant County Mulch / CR7 Motorsports Garage Chevrolet from regular
driver Larry Berg immediately prior to the green flag.
Dicing his way from the rear, he appeared to have a car that
could challenge Gordon through the middle stages.
Unfortunately, shortly after lap 50, Brent Nelson had a rear
gear fail leaving oil on the inside line as he limped to pit road.
With not enough time to react, George spun and backed into
the outside wall, ending his night early.
Those events played
into Saturday’s outcome at Jennerstown.
The qualifying races on this evening were set based on the
finishing order from Friday, meaning racers like Nelson had to start
near the back. Gordon
picked up where he left off with a win in the first one while
Schacht won in the second; however, it was drivers such as Nelson as
well as 2019 SCSCS champion Kevin Kromer who marched through the
field and into the redraw.
West Virginia driver drew the fortunate number one pill with Kromer
starting second for the 75-lap feature.
Nelson’s car came to life from the get go and was overtaken
at the line on one brief occasion
early by Ebeling, who was able to lead a lap and pick up five
championship points. The
rest of the
way, nobody could match the Precision Auto Collision / Airtek Inc. /
RAM Trucking / Snap-On Tools / Atkinson Welding / QH Design / Nelson
Motorsports Chevrolet’s performance and for the first time since
2018 the familiar No. 80 was in victory lane.
“It was a
Cinderella night,” Nelson, now a series-leading six-time winner at
Jennerstown, remarked. “Anything
we needed to do and any place we needed to run, we could.
From the drop of the green flag in the (qualifying) races, I
knew we had something for them.
Lo and behold we drew the number one pill and the rest is
history from there. We
were able to stay out front and every lap kept getting more and more
momentum and started stretching the lead.”
previous night’s winner fell out of the race early on, if it was
not for him and the help of many competitors within the series and
also locally at the track, Nelson’s team would have been headed
Benny getting here tonight, we didn’t have a drive shaft,”
Nelson mentioned after a heartbreaking Friday result.
“We got here this morning and found some other issues and
really what the cause was. What
can I say about the competitors here?
(Jennerstown Late Model veteran and champion) Barry Awtey and
going to his shop and getting us lines, Bob Schacht had seals here
for us, Codie Rohrbaugh and them had a gear and stuff in the trailer
for us. Super Cup is a
family-oriented series. That’s
just the way these competitors are.
If you’ve got it and you need it, they’re willing to give
it up. Without them we
wouldn’t have been running tonight.”
Nelson’s career wins have come at the 1/2-mile oval.
“We didn’t get
any practice, but we’ve got a good setup and handle on this track
and that’s what we put under the car,” Nelson added.
“It’s been very good to us.
We just fell in love with this track.
We got into a rhythm and every time we come here it seems to
work for us.”
a reversal of the previous day, on a final restart it was Ebeling
that got around Schacht for second on Saturday.
The points margin of 21 exiting the weekend turned out to be
the same as it was coming in.
“There for a
second when we first took that last restart with four to go I
thought I might even have a chance for the win,” Hickory, North
Carolina’s Ebeling indicated.
“When Bob decided to take the inside and
left me to take the outside I was surprised but grateful.
It worked out for us and we were not only able to hold him
off but give Brent a run for his money.
We gave it everything we had there at the end.
I’ve said it
before, this racetrack I don’t feel like I have the most
confidence so to come home second, all in all, I’ll take it.
We’re just trying to win races, lead laps, and do
everything we can. The
points will be what they are.”
Mooresville, North Carolina, held on for third. “The
car was pretty good, but there’s just a couple things I’ve got
work on,” the 2018 SCSCS champion commented.
“We chattered the right front tire all night long and I
messed up on that restart right there at the end.
I should’ve went to the outside, but I tried it the caution
before and the car just washed straight up the racetrack.
Car’s in one piece, what do you do?
Good weekend I guess.”
early contender Kromer ran into additional issues that relegated the
No. 77 High Voltage AC/DC Tribute Band / Lehigh Valley Cancer
Institute / Mission R.A.C.E.R. / Versalift East / Leindecker Racing
Engines / K2 Motorsports Toyota further back in the final order,
Butler rallied for a fourth place finish at her home track and now
takes sole possession of third in the standings in the No. 53 Edlin
Automotive / Night & Day Sealcoating / HG Creations / 3C Signs /
Roof Repair Experts / Hillsview Landscaping / Pink Zebra / Motive
Parts / Cornwell Tools Chevrolet.
Rounding out the
top five for the second evening in a row was Jason Kitzmiller, who
holds down fifth in the series standings as well, in the No. 97
A.L.L. Construction / CR7 Motorsports Garage Chevrolet.
Pittsburgh’s Jeff Zillweger received Hard Charger honors
for the No. 18 Jeff Zillweger Landscaping / Wagner’s Service / St.
Jude Children’s Research Hospital Chevrolet’s move to sixth in
his first start since 2018.
In three weeks it
will be back to Jennerstown Speedway Complex, this time for twin
50-lap races. The second
race will mark the 25th instance in which the series has taken the
green flag at the facility.
More details and
continued updates throughout the season will be available at the
official web site at supercupstockcarseries.com
as well as the Super Cup Stock Car Series Facebook,
Twitter, and Instagram