Thornburg, Virginia (October 10, 2022) – Super Cup Stock Car Series Championship Series rounds three and four at Dominion Raceway were filled with surprises right from the get go and all the way until the final lap of the night.
Points leader Jason Kitzmiller, who was absent from the afternoon’s practice sessions due to an earlier commitment, set a series new track record navigating the 4/10-mile oval in 15.631 seconds. The Maysville, West Virginia driver dueled side by side with redraw pole starter Ron Langdon for the early laps before clearing the No. 17 National Appliance / Oval Speed Unlimited / Langdon’s Automotive Chevrolet for the top spot. It looked to be Kitzmiller picking up where he left off in April at the Thornburg, Virginia facility, but suddenly on lap 24 of 60, the engine expired on the No. 97 A.L.L. Construction, Inc. / Grant County Mulch / A & J Excavating / CR7 Motorsports Chevrolet thus ending a streak of 25 consecutive top five results.
Enter Kitzmiller’s teammate for the weekend, substituting for regular driver Larry Berg, into the picture. Doug George, current crew chief for the CR7 Motorsports NASCAR Truck Series team, finished second at Dominion three years back and on this day paced all three practice sessions of the afternoon. The driver originally from Atwater, California acquired the advantage on Langdon shortly after the restart, maintaining the lead the rest of the way and earning his first SCSCS checkered flag. “It’s been a minute for sure,” George, who last won a stock car race behind the wheel as part of his 1995 NASCAR West Series championship season, remarked. “Really proud of the guys. They bring a good car. Jason was obviously fast in that first race and broke a motor. I’m happy. I was just here to have fun, so this worked out really well for me with a weekend off for us not doing the Truck thing. I’ve got to thank (team owner) Codie (Rohrbaugh) and (Larry Berg) and everyone at Grant County Mulch that make this all happen. For me, this is a good time.”
Langdon marched on for his third consecutive runner-up at Dominion, holding off Hayden Brothers in the No. 27 EHB Logistics, LLC / Manchester Barbershop / Mt. Wolf VFW / Wago Club Chevrolet. It was the York, Pennsylvania driver’s second career podium result. Brent Nelson achieved Hard Charger honors with a fourth place finish and Warrington, Pennsylvania’s Mike Senica taking fifth for his third career top five performance.
For the second 60-lap main event, some driver changes were in store. Kitzmiller hopped in the No. 9 Grant County Mulch / CR7 Motorsports Chevrolet to potentially salvage a decent points night. 2021 series champion and multi-time Dominion winner Ben Ebeling’s No. 44 was still out of commission due to issues stemming from Motor Mile Speedway in August, but the Hickory, North Carolina competitor took over driving duties from Senica in 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. Despite both drivers having to start in the back, it was not long until they worked their way forward. Jeff Zillweger, making his Dominion debut on this day, started out front and led his first lap in his SCSCS career in the No. 18 Jeff Zillweger Landscaping / Wagner’s Service / St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital Chevrolet before Langdon found his way by for the lead.
The Freeport, New York racer held on until lap 20, but Kitzmiller was lurking and found his way to the front. The current points leader looked to be on his way to another victory, but a yellow flag involving the prior pacesetter bunched things up with 12 circuits remaining. Langdon smacked the outside backstretch wall the lap after Kitzmiller took the lead and had a left rear tire going down in the process as well, and finally did in turn four on lap 49. The ensuing restart was initially cause for discussion, as Ebeling accelerated into the lead. “Final restart I just was waiting for Jason to hear his throttle pick up on his car and soon as I heard it I went,” Ebeling explained. “I don’t know what happened to him and why he was back a little bit, but we got him on the restart.”
“We were expecting to start the race and the race got started on the outside,” Kitzmiller noted. “I was waiting for the caution to come out and it did not, so we got going.
Ebeling and Kitzmiller ran nose to tail as the laps wound down. It all unraveled on the final lap, as contact was made in turn two. In the aftermath, Ebeling’s car was then rear ended by Hayden Brothers with a potential first win in sight and nowhere to go. It took a moment for Kitzmiller to gather his racecar back up and in the meantime, Nelson’s No. 80 Precision Auto Collision / Airtek Inc. / Atkinson Welding / QH Design / JEBCO Chevrolet sneaked around the outside from fourth to earn the unthinkable win. “We gave it all we had,” an elated Nelson said following his first victory at a track other than Jennerstown Speedway since 2016. “We made adjustments that we thought would help, and it did. We were able to run in the front pack, but we were a fourth place car. That just goes back to – never give up.” The Petersburg, West Virginia driver gave his point of view and how he anticipated the chaos that was about to occur.
“The leaders got up there and I could see it coming,” Nelson, now a 14-time series winner, described. “They were beating and banging. Going into the last lap going into one and two they got together and with all the smoke I couldn’t see where I was going. I just went high and thank goodness there was nobody there.” Kitzmiller recovered for second place.
“We were third and we got around Hayden Brothers and then we were following Ben,” Kitzmiller indicated. “We knew we had to make a big run on the last lap, we got a good run through one and two, and we just got into him. I hate it, but it’s just one of those things. Hats off to our guys working hard, but it just wasn’t our night.” Through the entire melee, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania’s Zillweger came around to the checkered flag tying his best career result of third place and moves into the top 10 in SCSCS standings. Ebeling slowly went across for fourth with Brothers fifth. “(Kitzmiller) just got into the back corner of us, so it is what it is,” Ebeling commented. “That’s all I guess you can say about that. I was just trying to protect our line and make him work for it, be smooth and hit our marks and see what we could do. When he got away from us a little bit early in the race, I was trying to save tires and kind of maintain. We had a little bit of oil smoke going on inside the car too. Thanks to Bill (Ashton) for the opportunity and for him letting me come out here and have a little fun.” The point gap is unofficially at 113 points, which could potentially be insurmountable depending on the turnout in two weeks at Tri-County Speedway. “I was there years ago as a crew member with Brandon Butler in the early Pro Cup days,” Nelson, second in the standings, recalled. “I’ve seen the track and I think I know what (the car) needs, so we’ll see what happens.”
For Kitzmiller, who has laps this season in a Late Model at the Hudson, North Carolina 4/10-mile oval, it will be the same goal as every race this season in pursuit of his first SCSCS title. “We just need a good top five run there and we should be in good shape.”
More details and continued updates regarding the upcoming final event of 2022 will be available at the official web site at supercupstockcarseries.com as well as the Super Cup Stock Car Series Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram pages. SCSCS Championship Series Round 3 Results: 1 9 Doug George 2 17 Ron Langdon 3 27 Hayden Brothers 4 80 Brent Nelson 5 57 Mike Senica 6 18 Jeff Zillweger 7 51 Harvey Harrison 8 15 Jeff Thomas 9 97 Jason Kitzmiller SCSCS Championship Series Round 4 Results: 1 80 Brent Nelson 2 9 Jason Kitzmiller 3 18 Jeff Zillweger 4 57 Ben Ebeling 5 27 Hayden Brothers 6 17 Ron Langdon 7 15 Jeff Thomas 8 51 Harvey Harrison 9 97 Doug George Contact:
Photos: (credit to Ashley Hope Photography)
DominionOct2022KitzmillerQualifying.jpg - Jason Kitzmiller set a new track record despite a limited amount of practice on Saturday afternoon
DominionOct2022PreRace.jpg - Team members begin to get their drivers ready for the first of two 60-lap main events at Dominion Raceway
DominionOct2022RohrbaughGeorgeVL.jpg - CR7 Motorsports team owner Codie Rohrbaugh with first-time SCSCS winner Doug George
DominionOct2022GeorgeTeamVL.jpg - Doug George, winning his first race behind the wheel since his 1995 NASCAR West Series championship season, in victory lane with team and family
DominionOct2022LangdonZillwegerBrothers.jpg - Ron Langdon (17), Jeff Zillweger (18), Hayden Brothers (27) each contended for the top spot on a night that featured 6 different lap leaders
DominionOct2022EbelingKitzmiller.jpg - Jason Kitzmiller (9, in the second race after the engine expired in the 97) chases down Ben Ebeling (driver of the 57 for the second race) for the lead
DominionOct2022NelsonVLCelebration.jpg - an elated Brent Nelson climbs out of the car after sneaking his way by a last lap altercation for the checkered flag
DominionOct2022NelsonTeamVL.jpg - Brent Nelson and family/team in victory lane following his first Dominion Raceway and 14th career SCSCS win