Danny Buccafusca is only 15 years-old, but he’s a pretty smart guy… He knows that he should listen when someone with more experience gives him advice. And Buccafusca’s willingness to listen, then use the information imparted to him, paid huge dividends on Saturday at Five Mile Point Speedway, as the Rockaway Rocket blasted to an All Star Slingshots National Tour victory.
“We noticed during all of the qualifying,” (the Slingers were one of four divisions to compete in the afternoon portion of Saturday’s American Racer Cup Weekend at FMP) “that the car on the outside of the front row was jumping the start, and the officials were letting it go. They were not making the call,” said Buccafusca, who has two Slingshot point titles on his resume at Kutztown’s Action Track USA and one Slinger championship at Hamlin Speedway.
“So Simon (Egan) told me to go ahead and try to get the jump on Cody (Kline, the polesitter). You get a warning the first time – if they do call a jump – so Simon said to try it. And if they give me the warning, don’t do it a second time.”
Buccafusca did indeed “get the jump” on Kline, and he proceeded to lead wire to wire in the non-stop, 20-lap main event at the Kirkwood, NY oval. “I kind of hated to do it, but you’ve got to do whatever you can to get the lead, especially against a tough competitor like Cody. And they didn’t call me for jumping, so technically, I guess I didn’t…”
Kline stayed close to the back bumper of the S&S Speedways No. 55, but Buccafusca utilized some additional advice from Egan to maintain control and hang on to the top spot.
“In my heat race, I was lifting because the car was tight,” noted the victor. “After the heat, Simon said to stay in the gas; it will help to turn the car. I kept telling myself to do that in the feature, and it really helped.”
While Buccafusca maintained his narrow lead over Kline, Dylan Hoch was maneuvering his way from 12th on the starting grid to take over the fourth position on the seventh revolution around the quarter-mile. Three time and defending National Slingshot Champion Brett Bieber entered the top five on the next trip around the clay, although John Gilroy didn’t give up easily. Gilroy battled back by Bieber, and the two of them engaged Hoch in a three-car tussle for the fourth spot.
Hoch pulled away from the Gilroy/Bieber duel and set his sights on third place runner Larry Raifsnider. Bieber reclaimed fifth from Gilroy as Hoch made a bonzai dive under Raifsnider on the final lap. Hoch’s No. 35 squeezed up in front of Raifsnider’s mount as they rumbled down the backstretch for the last time.’
As they crossed the line under the checkered flag, it was Buccafusca in for the win over Kline and Hoch, with Bieber nipping Raifsnider for fourth in a photo finish. Gilroy, Tony Parlenti, Brian Toby Jr., John Bockhorn, and Don Schmidt completed the top ten finishers.
A solid field of 26 All Star Slingshots signed in for competition at FMP, with qualifying heat victories going to Damon Paul, Alex Schoffstall, and Louden Reimert.
National Slingshot Tour Race, 20 laps: 1.Danny Buccafusca, 2.Cody Kline, 3.Dylan Hoch, 4.Brett Bieber, 5.Larry Raifsnider, 6.John Gilroy, 7.Tony Parlenti, 8.Brian Toby Jr., 9.John Bockhorn, 10.Don Schmidt, 11.Alex Schoffstall, 12.Damon Paul, 13.Dakota Kohler, 14.Dalton Maynard, 15.Henry Anderson, 16.Donny Hockman, 17.Daniel Morgiewicz, 18.Tanner Correia, 19.Carl Bittenbender, 20.Joe Krum, 21.Don Boonstra, 22.Caitlyn Krum, 23.Louden Reimert, 24.Jackson Ring, 25.Matt Schultz, 26.Dan Yankowski.
By Barry Angstadt – https://www.facebook.com/barry.angstadt?fref=ts&ref=br_tf