Super Cup Stock Car Series: Brent Nelson winner, Todd Peck champion in night of firsts at Motordrome

Todd Peck and the Peck Motorsports team with the 2013 Super Cup Stock Car Series championship trophy. - Aaron Creed

The last event of the 2013 Super Cup Stock Car Series season had some pivotal moments deciding the champion Friday night.

Smithton, Pennsylvania’s Motordrome Speedway hosted the Super Cup Stock Car Series finale for the second straight year for the running of the Boschett Timepieces 50 presented by Croushore’s Championship Demolition Derbies.  Five drivers entered the final race of 2013 with a chance at the season championship.  17 cars started the 50 lap feature, matching a season high attendance from the season opener at Shenandoah Speedway in April.

The last two cars in the qualifying order set the stage for the fastest time.  Jody Harrison looked to be on his way to another pole and five crucial bonus points, but it was June Motordrome winner J.J. Pack that was the last car to go out and claimed his first career pole award with a time of 19.67 seconds.

The invert was a five which gave Petersburg, West Virginia's Brent Nelson the opportunity to set the pace for the first time in his Super Cup career.  In regards to the championship battle, it put Jim Crabtree Jr. on the outside of the front row while Todd Peck had to start in third position.

Jim Crabtree Jr. cleared Brent Nelson from the outside, went on to lead the early laps and gained five points toward the championship.  On the next lap Jody Harrison worked his way around the outside of Nelson for second and set his sights on the leader.  Ten laps in, Harrison was all over Crabtree's back bumper and used the outside groove to work his way around him for the lead.

The first caution of the evening flew on lap 18 when first-time Super Cup racer Chris Wenzel looped his machine in turn one.  This minor caution set up the major turning point in the race.

Harrison was slow on the restart and bunched up the field.  By the time he got going, Crabtree was already there and the two made contact sending Crabtree hard into the inside pit wall before coming to a rest in turn one.  Both drivers were okay, but their cars and championship hopes were done for the night.  Harrison admitted after the race that he made a rookie mistake and missed a shift coming to the green.

Brent Nelson would inherit the lead back and Todd Peck, who had been riding in fourth, was now second and pretty much only needed to finish the remainder of the race to capture the championship.  Nelson pulled ahead, while J.J. Pack pressured Peck for second.

Shortly after halfway Peck let Pack by for second, but there was a lot of ground to be made up in order to catch the leader.  Pack did just that and caught Nelson in the closing laps; however, he was never quite able to challenge for the lead and Nelson held on for his first career Super Cup victory.

Nelson, who has been competing with the series since 2010, explained the closing laps:

"I wasn't nervous at all actually.  My spotter was telling me where to go and I knew they were behind me.  We left them that way.  This was the first pole. First win.  It can't get any better than this."

J.J. Pack finished second in a season where he didn't finish worse than third in four starts.  Todd Peck's third place finish was more than enough to claim his first Super Cup Stock Car Series championship.  When asked how much it meant to him to be champion, here's what he had to say:

"It's incredible.  We've run this series four or five years now and been so close so many times, and we finally just got the job done this year.  It feels awesome to race with these guys and the caliber of racers that the series has right now, to be the champion really means a lot to me.  It's big."

Despite his night ending early, Jim Crabtree Jr. managed to end the season just one point ahead of Kevin Kromer in the final standings.  Kromer has continued his streak of consistency, which includes top fives in the final finishing order in every race dating back to the second event of the 2012 season.

Additional awards handed out at the post-season banquet following the race included the Rookie of the Year going to Codie Rohrbaugh, Charlie Canterbury Hard Charger to J.P. Crabtree III, Most Improved Driver to Kyle Kromer and Sportsman of the Year to Peck Motorsports team owner Dr. Michael Peck.  For the second year in a row, sponsor Boschett Timepieces provided watches to each of the past series race winners in attendance.

Video highlights from the day's festivities as well as an interview with champion Todd Peck can be found at www.youtube.com/SCSCSRacing.

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