If a driver is going to have his two race win streak broken, it may as well be snapped by his son. At least the victory lane celebration will still be “all in the family”…
The first pair of USAC Championship SpeedSTR events held this season at the JeffreyHogueRealtor.com Action Track USA were claimed by Billy Pauch Sr. The dirt Modified and Sprint Car ace from Frenchtown, NJ wasn’t able to pull off the trifecta on Wednesday, June 4, but he could still gain some measure of satisfaction because the $3,000 victory in the Flyin’ Farmer 40 went to his son, Billy Jr.
Joining Pauch Jr. in the winner’s circle – in a program that just beat heavy rainfall – were Peter Michael (Pioneer Pole Building Wingless 600cc Sprints) and Travis Bieber (NAPA Auto Parts All Star Slingshots). All three features were subjected to some rain at times, but the racecars kept the track in useable condition and all three main events ran their scheduled distance.
The track saluted the memory of local great Tommy Hinnershitz, known throughout his Sprint Car and Indy Car career as “the Flyin’ Farmer from Oley”, with the running of the Flyin’ Farmer 40 for the SpeedSTR division. And Billy Pauch Jr. was flyin’ in his Wayne Subaru No. 1, grabbing the top spot from polesitter Kyle Weiss on the tenth circuit. He was never headed after that, although a couple of wheel-twisters took turns challenging the Frenchtown, NJ native.
Weiss poked his nose alongside Pauch Jr. on several occasions, but “the Kid’s Kid” repelled each attack and maintained his lead. Then it was Anthony Perrego’s turn to try and unseat Pauch Jr. from the point, but his assault on the leader was unsuccessful as well.
With Billy Jr. running a smooth and steady line around the progressively banked oval, the action behind him was chaotically entertaining. Kenny Brightbill, who started eighth, moved up to battle Perrego for third as Weiss reclaimed the runner-up position and resumed his chase of the leader. Brightbill ran third for a short time, then began to fade as others made their presence known inside the top five.
Dale Planck, in the Syracuse Haulers No. 2, used the high groove to rim-ride his way forward. Planck, like Brightbill, also got as high as third, but the low groove became the place to be as the race entered its second half, and Planck slipped a few spots backwards.
Mike Bednar (started 10th) and 15th starting Brad Brightbill were the cars to watch over the final 20 laps, as both throttle-jockeys worked the extreme bottom lane at both ends of the race track. Bednar climbed to fourth and nipped at Perrego’s wheels, while Brad Brightbill followed the duo in hot pursuit.
At the checkered, Billy Pauch Jr. zipped across the line with a half-second advantage over Kyle Weiss. Perrego, Bednar, and Brad Brightbill made up the top five as victory lane ceremonies were pushed along due to slight rain and the fact there were still two features to run.
The first of those was the 25-lapper for the Pioneer Pole Buildings Wingless 600cc Sprints with Pauch Jr., Kyle Lick, and Frank Cozze pulling double-duty in both SpeedSTR’s and 600’s on Wednesday.
Peter Michael, from Lititz, Pa., has been trying to win a Wingless 600cc main event at Kutztown for the past four years. He can now check that item off his “To Do List”, as Michael drove his Hollinger Lawn & Turf No. 9 to the triumph over Cozze and New York’s Chris Stockham.
Michael’s task got a bit easier after the evening’s first event – the KME/ FireTruckParts.com Mad Scramble for non-qualifiers from the previous week. “Pistol Pete” won the 12-lap scramble, putting himself directly into Wednesday’s feature and into a handicapped starting spot.
That starting position turned out to be on the outside of row one, and he immediately jumped into the lead over polesitter Jarid Kunkle.
Chris Stockham, who took the initial green in sixth, sliced his way to second on the sixth trip around the clay, and he quickly pressured Michael but soon found himself in defensive mode as Cozze, in Dave Bodine’s No. 99, throttled past Stockham’s No. 44 in turns one and two with 11 complete.
Michael opened some daylight between himself and his closest pursuers, Cozze and Stockham. As the leader caught the back of the pack and cautiously attempted to put others one lap down, Cozze reeled him in, and just as the Wind Gap veteran appeared ready to strike, the yellow lights flashed on and the track cleared in front of Michael.
Michael got away from Cozze on the restart and charged to the victory, beating Cozze to the stripe by 0.551-seconds. Stockham held on for a third-place pay envelope, and 16th-starting Kyle Lick navigated his way to fourth. Tim Buckwalter, who rolled off the grid in 15th, drove to a fifth-place finish.
James Morris, the previous week’s feature winner, took the Hump Day Challenge and the $20 for $200 Gambler’s Challenge, meaning he would have to start 18th, but he could have pocketed a hefty $1,300 had he captured his second straight triumph. Morris was bogged down in heavy race traffic during two-thirds of the event, but remained patient and slowly, but steadily, picked off the cars ahead of him one-at-a-time. Morris wound up eighth at the finish.
The NAPA Auto Parts All Star Slingshots competed in a 20-lap main event on Friday, with Travis Bieber, Oley, picking up a well deserved and long overdue victory.
The Slingers had one early caution period, then ripped off 17 consecutive green flag laps before the yellow flag reappeared. Jeff Kemp darted into the early lead from the pole. He held the top spot until the fourth revolution, when a yellow slowed the action – because the leader spun in turn two!
Travis Bieber, who’s been plagued with bad luck and breakdowns while he was so close to that elusive win, finally struck paydirt, but it wasn’t easy. Bieber inherited the lead when Kemp spun, the fought off the advances of Danny Buccafusca, Eric Jones, and Matt Massone. Despite some heavy pressure from Buccafusca, T. Bieber was not about to let this one slip away, as Travis hung tough at the head of the pack.
Bieber went on to win, but the competition behind the leader was intense! Buccafusca had to deal with Larry Raifsnider, while the two of them were soon in the cross-hairs of the other half of the Bieber twosome, 19th starting Brett was beginning to rumble his way toward the head of hte pack.
One final caution period with three to go did not alter the outcome, as Travis Bieber pulled into victory lane. Buccafusca finished as runner-up over Raifsnider, with Brett Bieber and opening night winner Mark Sensenig completing the top five.
Action Track Sidebites…
Entire program, in spite of the showers, was in the books at 10:02 p.m.
That’s pretty darn good, considering the number of racecars and total number of races that had to be run because of the large car count.
The car count was strong once again, with the following totals…45 of the Wingless 600cc Sprints, there were 34 of the All Star Slingshots assembled in the pit area; and a full field of 24 SpeedSTR’s entered the program for a grand total of 102 racecars!
Race fan Rosey (Bill Rosenburg) put up $100 for the Flyin’ Farmer’s Fast Qualifier in the SpeedSTR’s, and a $50 bonus to the driver who turned the second-quickest lap in the Timed Dashes. The Fast Five were: Anthony Perrego, the teen from Montgomery, NY, who took Rosey’s $100 with a quick lap of 12.559-seconds; Frank Yankowski got the $50 prize; Frank Cozze, Mike Bednar, and Kyle Weiss.
Weiss and Dale Planck were victorious in SpeedSTR heat races. Kyle Lick won the B-Main.
A three-legged race among young spectators determined the starting order (top eight positions) for the SpeedSTR main event. The contestants were “joined at the hip”, literally, and hopped their way toward the finish line, attempting to earn a good starting spot for the driver they represented. Two youngsters representing Kyle Weiss won the three-legged race, putting Kyle and his M.A.S. Trucking No. 4 on the pole for the 40-lap main event.
Four heats were run for the Wingless 600cc Sprints, with victories going to Shelby Harper, Bobby Butler, Robbie Hocker, and Billy Pauch Jr.
Ryan Neil and Rob Adams captured C-Main wins, and the B-Main triumph went to Eddie Strada.
Matt Massone, Danny Buccafusca, and Larry Raifsnider won the Slingshot heat races, with Brett Bieber and John Bockhorn snaring the two B-Main victories.
The Oldtime Plow Boys Tractor Club, the Berks County 4H Club, and the Future Farmers of America (FFA) were on hand to assist in saluting the memory of Tommy Hinnershitz with the running of the Flyin’ Farmer 40 for the SpeedSTR’s.
This Wednesday, June 11, is Armed Forces Night at the speedway. Service men and women from any branch of the military will be admitted FREE if they present a valid military I.D.
Anyone who attends the Saturday, June 9 program at Mahoning Valley Speedway will receive a $2.00 discount if he/she presents their Mahoning Valley wristband from the June 9th event.
The SpeedSTR’s and Wingless 600’s are on Wednesday’s menu, as are the All Star Slingshots, who will compete in a Mid-Atlantic Regional Silver Tour Race, highlighted by a $350 payday for the winner of the special tour event. The Junior Slingshots will also be on the four division card this Wednesday.
Pit gates open at 4 p.m. and grandstand gates swing open at 5:00. The Mad Scramble for the wingless 600’s gets the show underway at 6:15, and qualifying heats begin at 6:55.
Come on out as we pay tribute to the men and women of the Armed Forces, and get your midweek motorsports adrenaline rush! It’s the JeffreyHogueRealtor.com Action Track USA on the Kutztown Fairgrounds…where the Superstars come to race!
USAC Championship SpeedSTR Feature, 40 laps: 1.Billy Pauch Jr., 2.Kyle Weiss, 3.Anthony Perrego, 4.Mike Bednar, 5.Brad Brightbill, 6.Kyle Lick, 7.Dale Planck, 8.Jim Mahaney, 9.Kenny Brightbill, 10.Mike Mahaney, 11.John Kovatch IV, 12.Earl Paules, 13.Jeff Strunk, 14.Lee Nardelli, 15.Billy Pauch Sr., 16.Frank Yankowski, 17.Pancho Lawler, 18.Gary Huber, 19.Larry Solomon, 20.Mike Vermuelen, 21.Ryan Krachun, 22.Frank Cozze, 23.Brittany Wixon.
DNS: Joey Sanfilippo.
Pioneer Pole Building Wingless 600cc Sprint Feature, 25 laps: 1.Peter Michael, 2.Frank Cozze, 3.Chris Stockham, 4.Kyle Lick, 5.Tim Buckwalter, 6.Jarid Kunkle, 7.Will Butler, 8.James Morris, 9.Bobby Butler, 10.Brandon Azzalina, 11.Robbie Hocker, 12.Jay Hartman, 13.Billy Pauch Jr., 14.Eric Whitby, 15.Eddie Strada, 16.Blaine Emery, 17.Justin Schraden, 18.Bobby Scherff, 19.Donny Smith, 20.Jeff Hartman, 21.Mike Rutherford, 22.Jacob Severn, 23.Dan Schumaker, 24.Zach Fisher, 25.Shelby Harper, 26.Rhett Long.
DNQ: Jim Hendricks, Jason VanDoren, Ben Houtz, Ron Bosga, Jeff Carman, Heidi Hedin, Sam Kravitsky, Tex Snyder, Joe Goerner, Molly Chambers, Mark Conrad, Marty Gorr, Greg Stevens, Jessica Weiss, Dave Dimaio, Simon Egan, Ryan Neil, Rob Adams, Billy Ney.
NAPA Auto Parts All Star Slingshot Feature, 20 laps: 1.Travis Bieber, 2.Danny Buccafusca, 3.Larry Raifsnider, 4.Brett Bieber, 5.Mark Sensenig, 6.Dylan Hoch, 7.Matt Massone, 8.Joe Nemeth, 9.Dakota Kohler, 10.Cole Hentschel, 11.Matt Miller, 12.Ray Nemeth, 13.Cody Kline, 14.John Bockhorn, 15.William Mohring, 16.Tayllor Schoenly, 17.Louden Reimert, 18.Jordan Knepp, 19.Demetrious Drellos, 20.John Gilroy, 21.Donny Hockman, 22.Mark Hartman, 23.Jeff Kemp, 24.Eric Jones, 25.Kassidy Kreitz. DNS: Sterling Hamm.
DNQ: Darrell Herman, Blaire Schoenly, Damian Nemeth, Matt Stangle, Austin Stufflet, Michael Homejeier, Dave Carraghan, David Morrell.