In 2014, Brad Brightbill caught fire (not literally, mind you) at the end of the season, winning two of the biggest races of the season for the USAC All Pro SpeedSTRs at the JeffreyHogueRealtor.com Action Track USA on the Kutztown Fairgrounds.
Watch out, SpeedSTR competitors…it appears to be happening again.
Held winless so far in 2015, the Sinking Spring wheel-twister finally turned his luck around last Wednesday, July 29, as he captured his initial victory of the campaign – just as the Action Track USA season begins to wind down and heads for its biggest week of the year.
Joining Brightbill in victory lane on Wednesday were “Homegrown, Kutztown’s own” Jarid Kunkle, who also won his first of the season in the Pioneer Pole Building Wingless 600cc Sprints powered by Engler Injection and Mertztown’s Dylan Hoch, who also notched his first win in the All Star Slingshot division. Hoch’s triumph came in a huge race for the Slingers, the annual NAPA Auto Parts Dutch Classic, which offered a big payday and National Tour points.
Brad Brightbill started eighth in the USAC All Pro SpeedSTR feature, a 30-lap affair that saw Earl Paules jump into the early lead from the pole position.
As Paules set the pace, Jay Hartman and Kris Graver dueled for second along with Ryan Smith.
Only three yellow and one red flag interrupted the SpeedSTR main, and by lap 12 Brad Brightbill had threaded his way into the runner-up spot. The event’s final caution period occurred with 16 down, and two laps after the race went back to green, Brightbill snatched the lead away from Paules.
Fourteenth starting Billy Pauch Jr., the current point leader and defending track champion, brought his Wayne Subaru No. 1 to second place with seven to go, then hounded Brightbill for the duration of the race. Brightbill hung on, however, to record the popular victory.
Pauch Jr. finished second with SpeedSTR rookie John Bockhorn turning in his best effort of the season in a third place effort. Paules wound up fourth and Mike Mahaney, who started 12th, ended up in the fifth position. Mahaney moved back to second in the point standings, 125 behind Pauch Jr. with a pair of races remaining on the Action Track USA schedule.
Jarid Kunkle survived a three-wide battle for the top spot in the 25-lap main event for the Pioneer Pole Building Wingless 600cc Sprints powered by Engler Injection.
Kunkle started on the outside of row one and he, Jacob Severn, and Jay Hartman waged a fierce contest for the lead on the first three revolutions. Going three abreast and trading slide jobs on one another, the trio blasted around the clay in tight formation until Kunkle was able to establish command on lap four.
With ten complete, Kyle Spence made his presence known at the front of the pack, challenging Kunkle on the high side as Kunkle remained committed to the bottom.
“Yeah, that’s really not me,” said Kunkle afterward. “I’m usually runnin’ the top but tonight I just felt the bottom was the place to be. I was going to protect the inside at all costs, and it worked out.”
Spence made several runs at the leader and just as it appeared he might have the momentum to sweep past the leader off corner number two, the yellow lights flashed on, saving Kunkle. “Yeah, I was pretty happy to see that caution,” grinned the victor.
With three to go, Sam Kravitsky entered the picture, passing Spence for second. A final restart with two circuits remaining allowed Kravitsky an opportunity to hassle Kunkle for the lead, but Jarid held his ground and led Kravitsky by nearly a half-second as they charged under the checkered flag.
Spence settled for third while Brandon Azzalina and Kyle Lick finished fourth and fifth.
Tim Buckwalter was the Pioneer Pole Building Hard Charger of the race, slicing his way from 24th on the starting grid to a ninth place finish. James Morris gained the same number of positions, but Buckwalter finished one spot higher than Morris to earn the award.
Dylan Hoch attacked early, going from third to first on the opening trip around the clay in the NAPA Auto Parts Dutch Classic for the All Star Slingshots. The 30-lapper evolved into a close battle between Hoch and Louden Reimert as the two teenaged throttle jockeys ran close and clean for most of the feature.
The Dutch Classic, awarding National Slingshot Tour points to the competitors, was slowed by yellow flags just twice throughout the 30-lap distance. The first caution period occurred with two laps scored, then the Slingers rumbled for 24 consecutive green flag laps before the second and final caution flag interrupted their fun.
During the long green flag run, Hoch was glued to the inside groove at both ends of the speedway. Reimert tried his best to shove the nose of his No. 58 under the leader, but Hoch maintained his composure and the lead, repelling each assault. He pulled away after the final restart (with four to go), winning by 0.592-seconds over Reimert, the third generation racer from Oley.
Three-time winner Chris Kurtz had his two-race win streak snapped, but Kurtz still managed a third-place finish. Former National Slingshot Champ Cody Kline and Kyle Gruber rounded out the top five.
Action Track Sidebites…
IMPORTANT NOTICE: due to a lack of rain-outs and a borough ordinance that stipulates only 12 events per year be held at Action Track USA, the event scheduled for this Wednesday, August 5, has been canceled. The next race at the speedway will be Tuesday, August 11…the first of three consecutive nights of racing during the Kutztown Fair. Tuesday’s agenda has Quarter-Midgets, Karts, and the Kutztown Komet 100 for the NAPA Auto Parts All Star Slingshots. A Junior Slingshot National Tour race is also on the bill, along with practice for Wingless 270cc Micro-Sprints.
Wednesday, August 12 is the Fair Week National event for both the USAC All Pro SpeedSTRs and the Pioneer Pole Building Wingless 600cc Sprints powered by Engler Injection. It’s the final Triple Crown race for the Wingless 600’s, who will compete in a 60-lap main event paying $1200 to the winner (with Gambler’s Fee). The All Star Slingshots will also run a Mid-Atlantic Silver Tour race that night.
Thursday, August 13 will be highlighted by the Fair Week National event for Wingless 270cc Micro-Sprints in their only Action Track USA appearance of the season. Joining the entertaining 270’s will be Enduro type stock cars as they take part in the Daniel Boone 100. The Blast From the Past & Garden State Vintage Stock Car Clubs will also be seeing track time on Thursday.
Saturday, August 15 is the Night of Destruction Demolition Derby takes center stage.
Sunday, August 16 is the curtain closing Dick Tobias Classic, the 2015 season finale at Action Track USA…when the point champions will be determined in all three weekly divisions. In the spotlight on this final night of the season will be the USAC All Pro SpeedSTRs, as they tackle the progressively banked oval in the 75-lap Dick Tobias Classic that will pay $5000 to win! The Wingless 600’s and All Star Slingshots will also close out their seasons that night.
Again, there will not be any racing on Wednesday, August 5, but the motorized mayhem returns on Tuesday, August 11.
July 29 was certainly a hot one, weather-wise, but the temperature did not deter fans or race teams from attending. And, when the sun went down, it became a nice evening to sit outside and watch some intense dirt track activity.
There were 28 SpeedSTRs on hand, along with 41 of the Wingless 600’s and 38 All Star Slingshots, making for a combined total of 107 race cars!
Mike Mahaney set quick time for the SpeedSTRs over Alex Bright, Jay Hartman, Andy Haus, and Earl Paules.
SpeedSTR heat race victories went to Kevin Graver Jr., Hartman, and Kris Graver. Tim Buckwalter captured the B-Main triumph.
Zach Bealer notched the Mad Scramble win for the Wingless 600’s who did not qualify on July 22nd. The victory put Bealer into the 25-lap feature where he started on the pole. Unfortunately, his No. 61 suffered mechanical issues on the original start, forcing him to the sidelines on the opening lap.
Wingless 600cc heat winners included Jacob Severn, Kyle Spence, Doug Snyder, and Kyle Lick. Will Butler and Tim Tanner were victorious in the two B-Mains.
Four qualifying heats were run for the All Star Slingshots and the winners were the returning Larry Raifsnider, Kyle Gruber, Nick Delcampo, and Dylan Hoch. The B-Main victories went to Anthony Raisner and William Mohring.
Before the races began on July 29, a tribute and moment of silence was held to honor the memory of Mike Bailey, who passed away one night prior during a 358 Modified event at Grandview Speedway. Bailey was stricken while sitting in his car on the track, lined up for the feature. His family, also known as the Bailey Bunch, hails from Kutztown and has ties to some of the racers who compete at Action Track USA.
The entire Action Track USA family extends its sincere sympathy and condolences to the Baileys.
Time is running out to get your Midweek Motorsports Adrenaline Rush at the JeffreyHogueRealtor.com Action Track USA on the Kutztown Fairgrounds…where the Superstars come to race! Join us during Kutztown Fair Week for races on August 11, 12, 13, and 16 (with a Demo Derby on the 15th).
NAPA Auto Parts Dutch Classic at the
JeffreyHogueRealtor.com Action Track USA
on the Kutztown Fairgrounds:
USAC All Pro SpeedSTR Feature, 30 laps: 1.Brad Brightbill, 2.Billy Pauch Jr., 3.John Bockhorn, 4.Earl Paules, 5.Mike Mahaney, 6.Jay Hartman, 7.Kenny Brightbill, 8.Kris Graver, 9.Frank Yankowski, 10.Tim Buckwalter, 11.Matt Janisch, 12.Jeff Strunk, 13.Jared Umbenhauer, 14.Jason Miller, 15.Billy Pauch Sr., 16.Joey Thompson, 17.Skylar Sheriff, 18.Steven Nederostek, 19.Mike Bednar, 20.Andy Haus, 21.Larry Solomon, 22.Ryan Smith, 23.Kevin Graver Jr., 24.Alex Bright, 25.Joe Vaccaro, 26.Bob Trapper.
DNQ: Nick Baer, Brandon Grosso.
Pioneer Pole Building Wingless 600cc Sprint Feature, 25 laps: 1.Jarid Kunkle, 2.Sam Kravitsky, 3.Kyle Spence, 4.Brandon Azzalina, 5.Kyle Lick, 6.Jay Hartman, 7.Jeff Hartman, 8.Tommy Kunsman Jr., 9.Tim Buckwalter, 10.James Morris, 11.Jacob Severn, 12.Robbie Hocker, 13.Billy Pauch Jr., 14.Shelby Harper, 15.Doug Snyder, 16.Tim Tanner, 17.Brody Adamsky, 18.Eric Ankiewicz, 19.Colin White, 20.Jeff Carman, 21.Will Butler, 22.Stephen Reynolds, 23.Eric Heydenreich, 24.Jermain Godshall, 25.Jordan Mohr, 26.Freddie Rahmer Jr., 27.Zach Bealer. DNS: Dan Schumaker.
DNQ: Molly Chambers, Pat Bealer, Richie Hitzler, Shawn Rooney, Joe Plunkett, Dave Dimaio, Shane Linderman, Matt Roselli, Dave Ogin, John Vreeland, Mackenzie Harper, Jake Smith, Chris Grbac.
Hoosier Tire Mid-Atlantic Wingless 600cc Mad Scramble, 8 laps: 1.Zach Bealer, 2.Pat Bealer, 3.Doug Snyder, 4.Matt Roselli, 5.Dave Dimaio, 6.Jeff Carman, 7.Tim Tanner, 8.Richie Hitzler, 9.John Vreeland, 10.Dan Schumaker, 11.Joe Plunkett, 12.Shawn Rooney, 13.Freddie Rahmer Jr., 14.Chris Grbac.
NAPA Auto Parts All Star Slingshots Dutch Classic, 30 laps: 1.Dylan Hoch, 2.Louden Reimert, 3.Chris Kurtz, 4.Cody Kline, 5.Kyle Gruber, 6.Kurt Bettler, 7.Kassidy Kreitz, 8.Brett Bieber, 9.Dillon Steuer, 10.Anthony Raisner, 11.Dave Carraghan, 12.William Mohring, 13.Larry Raifsnider, 14.Seth Spayd, 15.Joe Nemeth, 16.Tayllor Schoenly, 17.Austin Stufflet, 18.Matt Miller, 19.Dylan Swinehart, 20.John Gilroy, 21.Dakota Kohler, 22.Joe Toth, 23.Austin Silfee, 24.Don Schmidt, 25.Travis Bieber, 26.Nick Delcampo, 27.Daniel Morgiewicz.
DNQ: Lee Schantzenbach, Donny Hockman, Jake Bedell, Jeff Kemp, Jerry Stark, Jordan Knepp, Madyson Pacheco, Robert Schlenker, Joey Vaccaro, Blaire Schoenly, Joey Galloway.
By Barry Angstadt – https://www.facebook.com/barry.angstadt?fref=ts&ref=br_tf