Purkhiser and Nelson Spin and Win at
Tri-County; Kitzmiller Named SCSCS Champion in Thrilling Conclusion
to 2022 Season
North Carolina (October 23, 2022) – The 2022 season finale
featuring rounds five and six of the Super Cup Stock Car Series
Championship Series had something for everyone in attendance at
Tri-County Speedway on Saturday night.
Its first appearance at the unique 4/10-mile oval for many of
the competitors resulted in quite the showdown all the way until the
last checkered flag waved.
started off the evening by shattering the past series track record
with a time of 16.135 seconds, nearly a half second faster than the
mark set back in 2008. The
third Pole Award of the year would draw the Maysville, West Virginia
driver five points closer to locking up the championship in which he
has led since the onset of the season.
The laps that
ensued for the No. 97 A.L.L. Construction, Inc. / Grant County Mulch
/ A & J Excavating / CR7 Motorsports Chevrolet would have some
ups and downs that have not been witnessed throughout much of the
successful year. That
all began with the six pill being drawn for the first 50-lap main
Instead it was most
recent winner Brent Nelson breaking out into the lead in the No. 80
Precision Auto Collision / Airtek Inc. / Atkinson Welding / QH
Design / JEBCO Chevrolet on the outside front row of York,
Pennsylvania’s Hayden Brothers, whose team thrashed on the No. 27
EHB Logistics, LLC / Manchester Barbershop / Mt. Wolf VFW / Wago
Club Chevrolet all the way up until Saturday afternoon to be in
The racing behind
Nelson for second was intense with Kitzmiller eventually finding a
hole to obtain the runner-up position from Allen Purkhiser, making
his first SCSCS start since 2019, and CR7 Motorsports teammate Larry
Berg. It would prove to
be short-lived, however.
slower car on lap 20, Nelson had to back out slightly.
Kitzmiller at this point made his way to Nelson’s back
bumper and it appeared he had to back off as well with the run going
into turn three, looping the car in the process and bringing out the
On the restart,
Nelson cleared Purkhiser, who had been making the outside line work
in his favor to get to where he was at this point.
Nevertheless, the complexion of this race would again change
after the flagman signaled halfway.
Suddenly the leader was around in turn four.
“I really don’t
know what happened,” Nelson indicated.
“It’s just hard racing, driving into turn three and I
don’t know if I got a little bit high and got up in the marbles,
and it just took off. It
was one of those things where I was just along for the ride.
Everybody told me do not get up in the grey stuff and it
pushed up a little bit and got into it and I just lost it.”
With the reset
under the second yellow, it was now Simpsonville, South Carolina’s
Purkhiser in the top spot. From
there, the No. 68 Clear Choice Auto Glass / Premiere Motorsports
Chevrolet extended the advantage for his third career SCSCS victory.
“It felt great to
get a win in the first race,” Purkhiser, who was in the driver
seat for the first time in more than three years, said.
“Everything just went well.
Just had a little contact early on and worked through that
and worked my way to the front.
I enjoyed it.”
ultimately recovered to finish second, which unofficially clinched
the 2022 title prior to the second Twin 50, as Nelson was only able
to recover for a fourth place result after an exciting duel with
Berg’s No. 9 Grant County Mulch / CR7 Motorsports Chevrolet on the
final corner of the final lap. Battles
were taking place throughout the field until the end, as Warrington,
Pennsylvania’s Mike Senica powered the No. 57 Seattle Gummy
Company / ASAP Energy Drink / Russell’s BBQ / Battle Warrior
Coffee / Jersey Girl Hot Sauce / Shoe Crazy Wine / Ashton Racing
Chevrolet by Hayden Brothers for a photo finish at the line for
The sixth and final
round of the Championship Series began with an identical front row
as the finishing order from the initial race, despite the top six
redrawing once again. Purkhiser
was able to get sole possession of the lead from the get go, but it
was Nelson again accelerating fast to third and pressuring
Kitzmiller for the runner-up position.
It looked to be
another potential runaway for Purkhiser, but as it goes in racing,
it’s never decided until the very end.
A yellow flag waved with only six laps remaining due to
debris that was spotted in the groove.
Nelson, now successfully up to second, took a slight
advantage on the restart. The
two drivers battled side by side over the next lap with Nelson
getting to the lead on the backstretch.
Going into turn three, this time it was Purkhiser diving low
and going around.
“I just had a lot
of trash on my tires and couldn’t get through the center of the
corner to be able to get by him,” Purkhiser explained.
“Down in three and four I just ran out of talent and spun
It was not
completely over for Purkhiser just yet.
He ascended to second once again in short time and almost saw
an opportunity to retake the lead.
Nelson suddenly slid high in turn four coming to the white
flag, but on this occasion kept the car in the gas and going.
Purkhiser made a bid for the win on the final lap, but it was
Nelson edging him by a slim margin of 0.032 seconds at the line for
his third victory of 2022.
“It worked in our
favor,” the Petersburg, West Virginia driver commented.
“I kept saying ‘I need a caution’ and actually saw the
debris in turn four and we ran two or three more laps after that and
I thought ‘man, they’re not going to throw it’ and all of a
sudden they did. Cooled
our tires down and once I was able to restart on the inside the car
just hooked up.”
Nelson, who had an
outside mathematical shot at the series title that would have
required some misfortune from Kitzmiller, also elaborated on the
near disaster coming to the conclusion.
“The car was
actually perfect the last part of the race until I don’t know what
happened up here in three and four again, but I just dirt tracked it
all the way around and was able to save it,” the now 15-time SCSCS
winner at six different tracks, noted.
“Was looking for (Purkhiser) to pass me at any moment but
he never did, so we held onto it and it was a good night.”
Carolina’s Ben Ebeling was perhaps the fan favorite at a track in
which he had previously won feature races across a couple local
divisions. The defending
series champion quietly finished third in both main events.
“We just missed
it a little bit tonight,” the driver returning to his No. 44
Startown Carpet & Floor Coverings / Swanny’s Auto Sales /
Wrenn's Lawn Service / L & C Truck Repair / Battery Specialist
of Hickory / RE Suspension / Good Frames, LLC / Williams Ebeling
Enterprises Ford recapped. “This
track is a lot different than it used to be and took a little bit
for the driver to get used to it.
(Purkhiser) and (Nelson) were really on a rail tonight.
We were grateful and blessed to come home with two third
place finishes, so we’ll take it, car is in one piece, and see
what we do for the future.”
Pennsylvania’s Jeff Zillweger rounded out the top five in his
first visit to the venue in the No. 18 Jeff Zillweger Landscaping /
Wagner’s Service / St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital
Chevrolet, also taking Hard Charger honors in the prior race of the
evening. Damian Payton,
a resident of Winston-Salem, North Carolina, was the Hard Charger
recipient in the second feature in a series debut filled with steady
improvement for the No. 64 Damian Payton Racing Chevrolet.
Back to Kitzmiller,
finishing fourth to conclude a year with six victories resulted in
some mixed feelings upon earning CR7 Motorsports their first ever
championship in 10 years with the series.
“We just kept on
losing forward drive and could not gain it back and tried different
things,” Kitzmiller mentioned.
“I was like on an Easter egg hunt trying to find different
places around the track to find it faster.
Just wasn’t our night.
It is cool and I’m glad for everybody, but when you come,
you come to run well. Kind
of a bittersweet thing. It’s
cool and we’ll celebrate here in a little bit.”
A future story will
recap the season-ending awards presentation that took place at the
Tri-County Speedway facility following the evening’s festivities.
Stay tuned to the
official series web site at supercupstockcarseries.com
and Facebook, Twitter,
accounts for any announcements, news, and developments over the
off-season heading into 2023.