The third annual Ronnie Tobias Memorial culminated with the running of Twin 17-lap features for the three weekly divisions at the JeffreyHogueRealtor.com Action Track USA, and when Wednesday’s thrill-a-minute program ended, six different winners smiled for the cameras in victory lane.
With the speedway shutting down for the next three weeks (there will not be any racing on June 24 and July 1) due to the Kutztown Folk Festival taking over the fairgrounds on which the race track sits, the 112 competitors who entered the Ronnie Tobias Memorial tried their best to head into the yearly sabbatical with a feature triumph under his/her belt.
The drivers who succeeded on Wednesday included Billy Pauch Sr. and Dale Planck (USAC All Pro SpeedSTR’s); Eddie Strada and Tim Buckwalter (Pioneer Pole Building Wingless 600cc Sprints Powered by Engler Injection); Dylan Swinehart and Louden Reimert (NAPA Auto Parts All Star Slingshots).
In the first 17-lapper for the USAC SpeedSTR’s, Pauch gladly utilized an outside front row opportunity on a restart with six to go. Race leader Tim Buckwalter chose the inside lane, but it was Pauch who capitalized by launching off the turn two banking to seize control over Buckwalter.
Asked afterward if he was surprised that Buckwalter picked the inside for the race-altering restart, Pauch answered with an emphatic “yeah!”. He went on to explain that “the banking here is so good, you’ve got to make use of it on the starts. I was happy to take the outside there and I’m sure he’s wishing he could have that one back.”
Pauch, the veteran from Frenchtown, NJ, went on to record his second win of the season at Action Track USA, with Buckwalter fighting off the challenges of point leader Billy Pauch Jr. to finish second. Mike Bednar wound up fourth and Matt Janisch claimed the fifth position.
Race number two for the SpeedSTR’s belonged to Steven Nederostek, but he was not the one standing in the winner’s circle after 17 hard fought laps around the progressively banked oval.
Nederostek battled, then pulled away from Kenny Brightbill and later did the same when Dale Planck moved to the runner-up spot. But Nederostek, with just a handful of laps remaining, suddenly spun in the middle of turns one and two, handing the lead and the win to Planck.
“These races are so hard to win…you take them any way you can get them,” said the victor, who hails from Cortland, NY.
Mike Mahaney closed in on Planck over the final circuits, but fell just a bit short in his bid for a second triumph. Pauch Jr. finished third again, with Brad Brightbill and Billy Pauch Sr. rounding out the top five.
The opening main for the Pioneer Pole Building Wingless 600’s (Powered by Engler Injection) was a dandy, as two-time and defending point champion Jay Hartman held a narrow lead over Brandon Azzalina, Kyle Lick, Billy Pauch Jr., and Eddie Strada.
With five to go, Strada’s Vogel Designs No. 42e came to life, as the driver known as “the Edge” found the high groove and began picking off the cars in front of him in rapid fashion. Already a four-time winner at Hamlin Speedway this season, Strada blasted by Hartman on the white flag lap, then fended off one last assault by Jay on the final trip around the clay.
The Lake Ariel, Pa., wheel-twister picked up the first Action Track USA victory of his career in spectacular fashion, nipping Hartman by 0.084-seconds. Azzalina continued his string of top five efforts with a third place finish, while Pauch Jr. and Lick settled for fourth and fifth, respectively.
In the second feature for the Wingless 600’s, Tim Buckwalter, from Douglassville, rumbled from his fourth starting spot to snare second from Robbie Hocker on the second tour. Buckwalter then rocketed to the lead on a restart with four down, sweeping past polesitter Bobby Butler as they throttled off turn two.
Buckwalter had to hold off some determined bids by Hocker on subsequent restarts before he eventually pulled away to his third triumph of the year in the track’s Wingless 600cc division. Hocker crossed the stripe in second, Pauch Jr. scored another top five with his third place effort, and Azzalina finished fourth to cap a very consistent night’s work. Greg Stevens finished a strong fifth.
Dylan Swinehart, Fleetwood, Pa., jumped into the top spot at the start of the first feature for the NAPA All Star Slingshots. The teen repelled several attempts to overhaul him by Henry Anderson, maintaining a slim advantage throughout the 17-lap affair as Anderson nipped at his heels over the entire distance.
Swinehart never wavered, winning by 0.198-seconds over Anderson, while Brett Bieber made a late race pass on Dave Carraghan to finish third. Dylan Steuer, the previous week’s winner, wound up fifth.
The Slingshot nightcap was a competitive jaunt around the Berks County oval, with Oley’s Louden Reimert registering his first win of the season at Action Track USA.
In the early going, Reimert battled with Dylan Hoch, John Gilroy, Brett Bieber, Travis Bieber, and Anthony Raisner as Hoch set the pace until Gilroy passed him on the third revolution.
Racing through turn four and about to complete lap 11, Reimert wrestled the lead away from Gilroy and drove to the win, leaving Gilroy to tussle with Brett Bieber for the runner-up position.
Bieber slipped past Gilroy late in the race to notch the runner-up finish, giving him a second and third place in the evening’s two mains for the Slingers. Gilroy, Raisner, and Travis Bieber made up the top five when Mike Feltenberger waved the final checkered flag of the night.
Action Track Sidebites…
Another capacity crowd was treated to a terrific show presented by 33 USAC All Pro SpeedSTR’s, 41 Pioneer Pole Building Wingless 600cc Sprints Powered by Engler Injection, and 38 of the NAPA Auto Parts All Star Slingshots. That’s a grand total of 112 racecars taking part in the Ronnie Tobias Memorial!
A unique qualifying format was implemented due to the Twin features for all three divisions. Group time trials locked in a number of cars from each class, then C- and B-Mains pared down the remaining entrants and set the starting fields for the first round of 17-lap features.
Greg Stevens won the Wingless 600cc Mad Scramble to lock himself into the main events. The Fast Five from 600cc group time trials included Brandon Azzalina (quick time of 11.543-seconds), James Morris, Jarid Kunkle, Kyle Lick, and Eddie Strada.
Jermain Godshall and Jordan Mohr won Wingless 600 C-Mains, and Heath Hehnly captured the B-Main victory.
The Pioneer Pole Building Hard Chargers were Shelby Harper (25th to 14th in the first feature) and James Morris (24th to 8th in the second main).
The USAC SpeedSTR Fast Five in group time trials were Billy Pauch Jr. (12.114-seconds), Kris Graver, Billy Pauch Sr., Matt Janisch, and Tim Buckwalter.
SpeedSTR B-Main victories went to Frank Cozze and Brandon Grosso.
In group time trials for the NAPA All Star Slingshots, the Fast Five were Brett Bieber (13.756-seconds), Erik Jones, Dave Carraghan, Dylan Steuer, and Dylan Swinehart.
Dylan Hoch and Austin Stufflet won the Slingshot B-Mains.
An invert of 11 was used for all three divisions to determine the starting lineups for the second round of 17-lap feature races. The top 11 finishers in the night’s first main events were inverted for the start of the second feature for each class. After Pauch Sr. pulled the pill to determine the invert (he drew the pill after winning the night’s first main event), he tried to convince co-promoter Doug Rose that he actually drew a “seven” rather than “eleven”. “I saw it when he drew the number, the invert is 11,” smiled Rose.
Racing returns to the Kutztown Fairgrounds oval on Wednesday, July 8, with the running of the Tri-Track Challenge for the Wingless 600cc Sprints. That race, as long as the victor takes the Gambler’s Challenge, will pay $1,000 to the winner. It’s also the second leg of Action Track USA’s Triple Crown for the Wingless 600’s, which offers a lucrative cash bonus to a driver who can sweep all three Triple Crown events. Tim Buckwalter, with his victory in the King of No Wing Shootout on May 20, is the only chauffeur with a shot at the bonus.
The USAC All Pro SpeedSTR’s, along with the NAPA Auto Parts All Star Slingshots, will also be on the menu for the July 8 program, which is Checkered Flag Fan Club Night at the speedway.
Follow Action Track USA on Twitter (@ActionTrackUSA) or on Facebook (www.Facebook.com/ActionTrackUSA). All of the news and announcements are also posted on the track’s website at www.actiontrackusa.com.
It’ll be a few weeks, but on July 8 you can once again receive 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’s Feature #1, 17 laps: 1.Billy Pauch Sr., 2.Tim Buckwalter, 3.Billy Pauch Jr., 4.Mike Bednar, 5.Matt Janisch, 6.Mike Mahaney, 7.Dale Planck, 8.Kris Graver, 9.Kenny Brightbill, 10.Steven Nederostek, 11.Ryan Smith, 12.Jeff Strunk, 13.Doug Manmiller, 14.Brad Brightbill, 15.Jason Miller, 16.Joey Thompson, 17.Andy Haus, 18.Frank Yankowski, 19.Larry Solomon, 20.Frank Cozze, 21.Ryan Krachun, 22.Joe Vaccaro, 23.John Bockhorn, 24.Kyle Lick, 25.Jay Hartman, 26.Brandon Grosso, 27.Kevin Graver Jr. DNS: Earl Paules.
USAC All Pro SpeedSTR’s Feature #2, 17 laps: 1.Dale Planck, 2.Mike Mahaney, 3.Billy Pauch Jr., 4.Brad Brightbill, 5.Billy Pauch Sr., 6.Jason Miller, 7.Tim Buckwalter, 8.Andy Haus, 9.Larry Solomon, 10.Phil Meisner, 11.Wayne Weaver, 12.Mike Bednar, 13.Joe Vaccaro, 14.Jason Esterly, 15.Matt Janisch, 16.Brandon Grosso, 17.Frank Cozze, 18.Steven Nederostek, 19.Kenny Brightbill, 20.Kris Graver, 21.Ryan Krachun, 22.Frank Yankowski, 23.Ryan Smith, 24.Doug Manmiller, 25.Kevin Graver Jr., 26.Jeff Strunk, 27.Joey Thompson, 28.Jay Hartman. DNS: John Bockhorn, Kyle Lick, Earl Paules.
Pioneer Pole Buildings Wingless 600cc Sprints Feature #1, 17 laps: 1.Eddie Strada, 2.Jay Hartman, 3.Brandon Azzalina, 4.Billy Pauch Jr., 5.Kyle Lick, 6.Tommy Kunsman Jr., 7.Stephen Reynolds, 8.Tim Buckwalter, 9.Greg Stevens, 10.Robbie Hocker, 11.Bobby Butler, 12.Sam Kravitsky, 13.Dan Schumaker, 14.Shelby Harper, 15.Jacob Severn, 16.Joe Kay, 17.Nate Brinker, 18.Joey Jarowicz, 19.Zach Bealer, 20.Rob Adams, 21.Rick Perone, 22.Billy Ney, 23.Jarid Kunkle, 24.James Morris, 25.Matt Roselli, 26.Heath Hehnly.
Pioneer Pole Buildings Wingless 600cc Sprints Feature #2, 17 laps: 1.Tim Buckwalter, 2.Robbie Hocker, 3.Billy Pauch Jr., 4.Brandon Azzalina, 5.Greg Stevens, 6.Jay Hartman, 7.Bobby Butler, 8.James Morris, 9.Shelby Harper, 10.Dan Schumaker, 11.Jacob Severn, 12.Heath Hehnly, 13.Kyle Lick, 14.Tommy Kunsman Jr., 15.Joe Kay, 16.Nate Brinker, 17Matt Roselli, 18.Joey Jarowicz, 19.Rob Adams, 20.Billy Ney, 21.Stephen Reynolds, 22.Sam Kravitsky, 23.Eddie Strada, 24.Will Butler, 25.Zach Bealer, 26.Rick Perone. DNS: Jarid Kunkle.
NAPA Auto Parts All Star Slingshots Feature #1, 17 laps: 1.Dylan Swinehart, 2.Henry Anderson, 3.Brett Bieber, 4.Dave Carraghan, 5.Dylan Steuer, 6.Erik Jones, 7.Louden Reimert, 8.Anthony Raisner, 9.Travis Bieber, 10.John Gilroy, 11.Dylan Hoch, 12.Kassidy Kreitz, 13.Joe Nemeth, 14.Austin Silfee, 15.Chris Kurtz, 16.Andrew Kreis, 17.Tayllor Schoenly, 18.Jordan Knepp, 19.Austin Stufflet, 20.Seth Spayd, 21.Joe Toth, 22.Matt Miller, 23.Jeff Kemp, 24.Dave Galloway, 25.Dakota Kohler, 26.Jake Bedell.
NAPA Auto Parts All Star Slingshots Feature #2, 17 laps: 1.Louden Reimert, 2.Brett Bieber, 3.John Gilroy, 4.Anthony Raisner, 5.Travis Bieber, 6.Dave Carraghan, 7.Dylan Swinehart, 8.Joe Nemeth, 9.Austin Stufflet, 10.Henry Anderson, 11.Seth Spayd, 12.Andrew Kreis, 13.Dylan Steuer, 14.Matt Miller, 15.Austin Silfee, 16.Joe Toth, 17.Jordan Knepp, 18.Jeff Kemp, 19.Chris Kurtz, 20.Kassidy Kreitz, 21.Tayllor Schoenly, 22.Erik Jones, 23.Dave Galloway, 24.Dylan Hoch, 25.Dakota Kohler, 26.Jake Bedell.
By Barry Angstadt – https://www.facebook.com/barry.angstadt?fref=ts&ref=br_tf