On Sunday, May 17, WWE presented a Pay-Per-View event titled “Payback”. Billy Pauch Jr. must have noticed.
Three nights later Pauch Jr. continued that theme, scoring some payback of his own in winning the USAC All Pro SpeedSTR main event at the JeffreyHogueRealtor.com Action Track USA on the Kutztown Fairgrounds in a racing program sponsored by Rita’s Italian Ice of Blandon, Shillington, and Kutztown.
Joining Pauch Jr. in the winner’s circle were Tim Buckwalter, who captured the King of No Wing Shootout, a 40-lap feature for the Pioneer Pole Building Wingless 600cc Sprints powered by Engler Injection Systems that was worth $1,000 to the victor.
Chris Kurtz, from Saylorsburg, Pa., registered a narrow victory over Brett Bieber in the NAPA Auto Parts All Star Slingshot main.
In the season opener on May 13, Pauch Jr. came up a bit short in his bid for the SpeedSTR triumph after he and eventual winner Tim Buckwalter traded numerous slide jobs and waged a tremendous battle for the win. Last Wednesday, May 20, it was retribution time for Pauch – and it was Buckwalter whom he passed to grab the top spot in his run to victory.
The winner’s dad, Billy Pauch Sr., set the early pace after starting on the pole. Buckwalter and Jeff Strunk diced for the runner-up position for several laps before Buckwalter secured the spot and began to shove the nose of his No. 7L under the race leader. Under caution with 12 circuits complete, Pauch Sr. chose the inside lane for the double-file restart, forcing Buckwalter to the outside groove.
Buckwalter beat Pauch into the corner to snatch the lead from the Heffner Racing Enterprises, Lelands.com No. 27. It wasn’t long before the younger Pauch became a factor (after starting seventh), passing his dad to move into the runner-up slot.
And then it was deja` vu all over again as Buckwalter and Pauch Jr. resumed their tussle from the previous week. Junior jumped into the top spot on a lap 17 restart, but Buckwalter came roaring back on the high side to reclaim the point. The duo was joined by Mike Mahaney, who made it a three-car tango at the front of the field. At one point, the three ran so close that Pauch Jr., on the outside, was forced into the homestretch wall. His Wayne Subaru No. 1 bicycled momentarily, then bounced off the concrete barriers and continued on as the driver from Frenchtown, NJ never backed out of the throttle.
A yellow flag with nine to go gave Pauch another shot at Buckwalter, and the defending point champ at Action Track USA took full advantage of the opportunity. As the green waved once again, Pauch, who restarted in the outside lane, swung to the bottom, then slid up in front of Buckwalter in turns one and two, grabbing the lead for good.
Buckwalter was still second when mechanical gremlins forced him to the infield with four to go, cementing Pauch Jr.’s revenge for the previous week’s outcome.
At the checkered, it was a $2,000 victory for Pauch Jr. over his dad, who held off Mahaney for second place money. Strunk and Larry Solomon completed the top five.
Drivers who took the Gambler’s Challenge when signing in for competition on Wednesday were eligible for a $1,000 payday in the King of No Wing Shootout for the Pioneer Pole Building Wingless 600cc Sprints powered by Engler Injection Systems. In victory lane, Tim Buckwalter admitted that he and car owner Barry Greth were glad they took the gamble, even though it appeared they might have the second best car as the 40-lapper entered its final stages.
Austin Quick shot to the front on lap four, throwing a slider on polesitter Chris Stockham in turns three and four.
Quick proceeded to control the race for the next 19 tours, with third starting Buckwalter nipping at his heels for most of those revolutions around the progressively banked oval. Buckwalter, from Douglassville, Pa., finally wrestled the top spot from Quick with an outside power move on lap 24.
The Phenom, Alex Bright, started 12th and weaved his way into the runner-up position with ten trips remaining. Bright, a one-time winner at Action Track USA in 2014, then utilized an outside front row position on a restart with nine laps left to outrun Buckwalter into turn one, taking the lead and immediately opening some daylight over his pursuers.
Just when it looked as though Bright was going to cruise to the victory, his Abington Body Shop, Todd Chambers owned No. 51 slowed in turn two with three to go, handing the top spot back to Buckwalter.
“Alex definitely had us covered tonight, but that’s the way racing goes,” said Buckwalter as he donned the cape and was crowned “King Timmy the First” in victory lane. “I’ve certainly lost my share of races just like that, so we’ll take it.”
At the finish, it was Buckwalter beating Eddie Strada to the stripe, with Quick settling for third. Jay Hartman, who started dead last in the 27th position, soldiered to a fine fourth place finish ahead of Jacob Severn, who also came from the back after a spin early in the race.
For years, Chris Kurtz has been nicknamed “the Midge”. On Wednesday night, however, Kurtz sat tall in the seat of his S&S Speedways No. 55 Slingshot and had his elbows up to narrowly defeat a determined Brett Bieber for the win in the 20-lapper for the NAPA Auto Parts All Star Slingshots.
Kurtz leaped to the front at the drop of the green, while Bieber and Dylan Hoch, who finished first and second in the May 13 opener, had to slice and dice their way forward after starting mid-pack.
When Dave Carraghan and Seth Spayd pushed up the race track while running side by side for third on lap six, Bieber and Hoch darted under them in their drive to the front. Bieber and Hoch then went three-wide with Erik Jones a few tours later and Bieber emerged as the runner-up with Hoch moving to third.
Bieber now set his sights on Kurtz, driving up to the left-side door panel of the leader on numerous occasions but unable to get the run he needed coming off the bottom of the corners.
Kurtz maintained a slight advantage over the three-time National Slingshot Champion until the final lap. Bieber drew even with the leader as they rumbled through three and four for the final time. Drag racing down the homestretch, Kurtz hit the line first, beating Bieber to the checkered by one-quarter of a second.
Hoch watched the dramatic battle for the win from third spot, while Jones wound up fourth and Seth Spayd celebrated his 15th birthday by coming from the rear after an early race spin to claim fifth at the finish.
Action Track Sidebites…
The grandstands were packed once again, despite chilly temperatures. The large crowd was kept warm by the scorching competition on the racy clay oval. If the weather ever warms up on Wednesday nights, more seats may have to be added to accomodate the enthusiastic fan base.
The pit area was bulging at its seams, too, with 36 of the USAC SpeedSTR’s, a whopping 50 Wingless 600cc Sprints, and an incredible 41 All Star Slingshots. The total was even higher than the week prior, as 127 racecars zipped around the speedway during the evening of high speed adventure.
In SpeedSTR group time trials, Billy Pauch Sr. was fastest with a time of 12.045 seconds. Billy Jr. had second-quick time, with Buckwalter, Dale Planck, and Brandon Grosso rounding out the top five.
SpeedSTR heat races went to Buckwalter, Jeff Strunk, Jay Hartman, and Mike Mahaney. The two B-Mains were taken by Jason Miller and Frank Cozze.
The Mad Scramble returned on Wednesday. All drivers who failed to qualify for the Wingless 600cc Sprint feature on opening night were eligible to run the Scramble, which combines hot laps with a qualifying race in which the winner is automatically locked into the night’s main event. Drivers finishing second through 11th in the Mad Scramble receive useful contingency prizes.
Eric Ankiewicz, Tamaqua, captured the Mad Scramble on Wednesday.
Austin Quick, Tommy Kunsman Jr., Kyle Lick, Blaine Emery, and Chris Stockham were victorious in Wingless 600 heat races. Zach Bealer and Jay Hartman won C-Mains, and Billy Pauch Jr. notched the B-Main victory.
Winning All Star Slingshot heats were Dave Carraghan, Matt Miller, Louden Reimert, and Andrew Kreis. Twin B-Mains went to Mike Fogler and Austin Stufflet.
This week, May 27, the Wednesday Night Rumble Series continues with KME First Responder Night. All First Responders showing a valid I.D. will be admitted free.
There will be fire truck demonstrations and the Keystone Blood Mobile will be on hand to accept much-needed donations from racers and fans. In addition, UGI Corp., the area’s supplier of natural gas, will have a display set up to educate attendees on the benefits of natural gas.
On the speedway, the USAC All Pro SpeedSTR’s, Pioneer Pole Building Wingless 600cc Sprints powered by Engler Injection Systems, and the NAPA Auto Parts All Star Slingshots will be joined by the Junior Slingshots as all divisions compete in qualifying heats, B-Mains, and feature races.
Warm-ups get underway at 6:15 and qualifying heats begin immediately after the hot lap sessions.
Get your Midweek Motorsports Adrenaline Rush at the JeffreyHogueRealtor.com Action Track USA on the Kutztown Fairgrounds…where the Superstars come to race!
USAC All Pro SpeedSTR Feature, 30 laps: 1.Billy Pauch Jr., 2.Billy Pauch Sr., 3.Mike Mahaney, 4.Jeff Strunk, 5.Larry Solomon, 6.Kyle Lick, 7.Kevin Graver Jr., 8.Steven Nederostek, 9.Jay Hartman, 10.Frank Cozze, 11.Matt Janisch, 12.Mike Bednar, 13.John Bockhorn, 14.Sammy Piazza, 15.Kris Graver, 16.Brandon Grosso, 17.Frank Yankowski, 18.Earl Paules, 19.Ryan Krachun, 20.Damon Paul, 21.Jason Miller, 22.Dale Planck, 23.Tim Iulg, 24.Tim Buckwalter, 25.Brad Brightbill, 26.Kenny Brightbill, 27.Doug Manmiller, 28.Wayne Weaver.
DNQ: Andy Haus, Rick Kirkendall, Mike Vermeulen, Joe Vaccaro, Nick Baer, Tom Kunsman Jr., Jason Esterly, Joey Thomson.
Pioneer Pole Building Wingless 600cc “King of No Wing” Sprint Feature, 40 laps: 1.Tim Buckwalter, 2.Eddie Strada, 3.Austin Quick, 4.Jay Hartman, 5.Jacob Severn, 6.Blaine Emery, 7.Chris Stockham, 8.Colin White, 9.Shelby Harper, 10.Brandon Azzalina, 11.Jeff Hartman, 12.Tommy Kunsman Jr., 13.Billy Pauch Jr., 14.Jason Swavely, 15.James Morris, 16.Heath Hehnly, 17.Danny Buccafusca, 18.Robbie Hocker, 19.Doug Snyder, 20.Bobby Butler, 21.Kameron Morral, 22.Jermain Godshall, 23.Tom Frachetta, 24.Eric Ankiewicz, 25.Ryan Greth, 26.Alex Bright, 27.Kyle Lick.
DNQ: Nate Brinker, MacKenzie Harper, Dan Souder, Johnny Smith, Taylor Troxel, Zach Bealer, Jarid Kunkle, Matt Roselli, Sam Kravitsky, Will Butler, Rob Vivona, Skylar Sheriff, Steve Bull, Joe Kay, Rob Adams, Joe Plunkett, Billy Ney, Dave Dimaio, Mike Rutherford, Jordan Mohr, Daniel Schumaker, Stephen Reynolds, Grady Johnson.
NAPA Auto Parts All Star Slingshot Feature, 20 laps: 1.Chris Kurtz, 2.Brett Bieber, 3.Dylan Hoch, 4.Eric Jones, 5.Seth Spayd, 6.Steve Swanda, 7.Matt Miller, 8.Jordan Knepp, – 9.John Gilroy, 10.Mike Fogler, 11.Austin Stufflet, 12.Kassidy Kreitz, 13.Greg Zellman, 14.Joe Toth, 15.Dave Galloway, 16.Dave Carraghan, 17.Andrew Kreis, 18.Don Schmidt, 19.Dakota Kohler, 20.Louden Reimert, 21.Travis Bieber, 22.Mark Sensenig, 23.Anthony Raisner, 24.Austin Silfee.
DQ: Matt Massone.
DNQ: Rob Schlenker, Mike Sherman, Dave Burns, Ken Shive, Jake Bedell, Dylan Swinehart, Jackson Ring, Hunter Metzger, Taylor Santee, Tayllor Schoenly, Gavin Santee, Lee Schantzenbach, Anthony Raisner, Bridget Conti, Dave Morell, Blaire Schoenly.
By Barry Angstadt – https://www.facebook.com/barry.angstadt?fref=ts&ref=br_tf