Harvey Harrison Earns Both
Victories after Fierce Battles at Lonesome Pine
Virginia (August 21, 2023) – The year 2018 played an
interesting role of significance throughout Saturday.
It was the first in recent time in which Lonesome Pine
Motorsports Park was not on the Super Cup Stock Car Series schedule,
leaving the competitors who made the trip for the 2023 edition
anxious to return and see what may have changed or stayed the same
upon navigating the 3/8-mile oval.
Nelson earned his first Pole Award since September 2018 at
Jennerstown Speedway, turning a best lap of 17.319 seconds in the
No. 80 Precision Auto Collision / Airtek Inc. / Atkinson Welding /
QH Design / JEBCO Chevrolet.
It was decided to
invert the top five, putting track president and local favorite Jeff
Roark from Abingdon, Virginia out front for the green flag.
The No. 57 Ashton Racing Chevrolet would set the pace for the
initial circuit before being passed by Renick, West Virginia’s
Brian Harrison. Unfortunately,
it would be the highlight of the night for Harrison, as the
temperamental No. 15 Harrison’s Welding / Swearingen Bat Company /
Kovach Drywall Services / Harrison’s Motorsports Chevrolet snapped
around in turn two, the same area in which he looped it in final
practice / qualifying twice.
gave Roark the lead back when the first 30-lap main event restarted,
but not without a challenge immediately.
Points leader Harvey Harrison, who raced Late Models in the
early 1990s with the track’s guest of honor for the evening, 1978
NASCAR Cup Series rookie of the year Ronnie Thomas, emerged to
second and made a bid for the lead as the two ran door to door
multiple times around the track built in 1972.
Finally on lap seven, the lead belonged to the No. 51 John
3:16 / Southern Coal Corporation / Harrison’s Motorsports
The race was far
from over. Nelson had
advanced to third and watched determinedly as the two leaders
battled, potentially looking for a third groove to join the fray.
Once Harrison ultimately cleared Roark, Nelson worked his way
by Roark and hunted down Harrison.
Nelson at times was
able to peek his front nose and fender under Harrison, who was
utilizing a unique line around the track, and both drag raced down
the straightaways in the closing laps.
During this time, Roark and his teammate and car owner Bill
Ashton caught the frontrunners as well.
Harvey Harrison held off any remaining challenges for his first win
of 2023. The most recent
victory of his SCSCS career came in September 2018, the same evening
when Nelson last won a Pole Award.
that he was going to get me there for a little while,” Harrison
indicated regarding Nelson. “He
was right there. I had
to hold him off, but we did a little bit of racing there.
(Before that) we raced with (Roark) side by side, and
that’s what we all like. It’s
something when you trust guys and do that and not worry about
tearing your car all to pieces.”
For Nelson, the
Petersburg, West Virginia racer had to settle for second and set
sights on the next one this time.
“We had a really
good car and, man, we were held up,” the three-time winner in 2023
noted. “I played with
him trying to make it look like I was going to go three wide, hoping
their spotter would make him make a mistake, but that didn’t
happen. I was finally
able to get by Jeff and then the battle was on between Harvey and I,
and we had a pretty fierce battle.”
finished third in the No. 35 Bill’s Wood Stoves – Hopwood,
Pennsylvania / Ashton Racing Ford followed by Roark and Brian
The top four were
inverted this time, giving Roark the pole once again but on this
occasion providing Nelson track position on Harvey Harrison.
Nelson found his way to second on the opening lap and by the
next time around charged his way under Roark for the top spot.
poised to check out from there, but Harrison had other intentions.
He advanced to second a lap after Nelson took the lead and
consistently reeled him in as the field neared the halfway point.
crossed flags, Harrison began to increase the pressure and on lap 19
crossed over to the inside of Nelson to take the position away.
Nelson would continue to dive his car deep into the corners
to try and gain the lead back as both would exit the fourth turn
side by side during many of the concluding laps.
held on though to achieve another victory, but there was something
else that did not happen back in 2018, or ever for that matter.
It was the first time in his career to sweep both races in
“My car had been
a little bit tight during the night and we kept working on adjusting
on it and got it to where it could loosen up a little bit, but I
noticed that Brent was really using a lot of brake,” the 2016
series champion explained. “I
could see his wheels glowing, but we just kept tugging along and
kept pushing a little bit and finally I got under him.
It was our night after that.”
dedicated the win in victory lane to the late Mike Potter, a past
SCSCS Lonesome Pine race-winning car owner, previously had a win at
Lonesome Pine in 2009 but on that night was primarily the
beneficiary after the cars in front of him were involved in an
altercation. This time
his performance had to be free of error in order to come away with
both trophies, as the second-place finisher once again expanded upon
raced with Harvey for years and we’ve run side by side to where
you couldn’t put a sheet of paper between us, and I think we raced
that way tonight,” Nelson indicated.
“You can’t win them all, but I think we made a pretty
good show for the fans. The
second race we did make a couple little changes and the car was
good. Then it just
started giving up and that’s when Harvey got under me coming out
of turn two and I tried and tried.
I think I gave him all he can handle.”
In addition to the
fight for the lead, the battle was on behind them for third.
Ashton maneuvered under Roark for the third spot in the
closing stages. Roark,
in only his second appearance driving with the series, was quite
complimentary despite losing a spot late in the going.
“These Super Cup
cars are absolutely a ball to drive,” Roark, who previously
competed at the touring level in the Hooters Pro Cup and NASCAR Dash
Series, commented. “Lots
of horsepower and you can trust everybody out there and run side by
side as we showed tonight. I
strongly suggest if you want to go racing economically this is the
place to be. They put on
a good program, a good bunch of people, fun atmosphere, all about
family and all that, and just so much fun.”
As a bonus for the
local spectators attending all the festivities, a deal was made
where if Roark did not finish on the podium in either race they
would receive five dollars off admission for the next event at
Lonesome Pine Motorsports Park on September 2nd.
With the late race pass, that offer was realized, but once
again Roark had kind remarks after stepping out of the car and
saying it was the most fun he’s had in a long while.
guys, they race hard but they race clean,” Roark, who last raced
on a semi-regular basis in the mid-2000s, continued.
“Bill raced me hard and I was looking in my mirror and I
said ‘I can’t hold him up’ and when people are faster than you
like that they’re going to get by you so it’s best to let them
go and try to race them hard. After
17 years it’s a lot tougher than I remember.”
After fans enjoy
some local entertainment at Lonesome Pine in a couple weeks, they
are encouraged to travel a few hours north to Shenandoah Speedway
the following weekend. Saturday,
September 9th will be the Veterans Classic at the northern Virginia
facility, which will now be the site where the Super Cup Stock Car
Series will crown the 2023 champion.
Renovations continue at North Carolina’s Little Rockingham
Speedway that will result in the series not being able to close out
the season as originally planned on October 14th.
Winning both races
certainly puts Harvey Harrison in the driver seat for the title, but
with a larger turnout already expected for the season finale
weekend, the focus continues to be on each of the remaining races.
“That’s all we
want to do,” Harrison said. “We
want to get a good run and that’s all we’ve tried to do all
year. It’s been our
goal is to take it one race at a time.
We’ll have to see how it goes and how it all shakes out.”
can be found on the Super Cup Stock Car Series official website supercupstockcarseries.com,
on Facebook (search Super Cup Stock Car Series), Twitter (@SCSCSRacing),
and Instagram (SCSCS_Racing).