A starting position of 17th did not pose a problem for Douglassville’s Tim Buckwalter on Wednesday night, July 20, at the JeffreyHogueRealtor.com Action Track USA on the Kutztown Fairgrounds.
Buckwalter avoided calamity as some early race skirmishes derailed other contenders, then threaded his way through the top five, finally taking the high road around Frank Yankowski to grab the lead on a restart with 12 laps complete.
“I really tore it up in the heat race,” explained Buckwalter after he scored his second USAC All Pro SpeedSTR victory of the season at the Berks County oval. “The guys had to work hard in this heat; they replaced the radiator and most of the front end. Got to hand it to Paul (Lotier) and the whole crew…they did a fantastic job and had the car working great for the B-main and the feature.”
With Wednesday’s event sponsorship coming from AEI Equipment and the Checkered Flag Fan Club, other winners included Alex Bright (Hyper Racing 600 Sprints), Dave Carraghan (NAPA Auto Parts All Star Slingshots), and Kyle Smith (Junior Slingshots).
Coming up on Wednesday, July 27 is the NAPA Dutch Classic, when the All Star Slingshots will take center stage in a National Tour event that pays $500 to win. Sharing next Wednesday’s bill are the USAC All Pro SpeedSTRs and the Hyper Racing 600 Sprints. At intermission, the winner of Action Track USA’s 2016 Russell “Red” Coffin Most Popular Driver Award will be announced. Fans can still cast votes for the Most Popular Driver prior to the races next Wednesday at the NAPA of Kutztown display behind the grandstand.
In the 30-lap AEI Equipment SpeedSTR main on July 20, Frank Yankowski bolted to the early lead as several drivers tussled for second. Andy Haus, Brad Brightbill, Jay Hartman, Steve Drevicki, and Tim Iulg swapped positions and ran in two and three-wide fashion and it wasn’t long before three-time winner Billy Pauch Sr. joined the party.
And Pauch had a dance partner with him in the person of 17th starter Tim Buckwalter. The current point leader, Pauch Sr., sliced his way to third by the eighth circuit with Buckwalter gassing his No. 17 into fourth. On a restart with eight laps in the books, Buckwalter found the top groove to his liking and swooped past Pauch and Hartman to claim the runner-up spot. Pauch worked past Hartman for third and the packed grandstand began to notice a new face among the top five…Billy Pauch Jr., who started 23rd was now fifth and challenging Jay Hartman for the fourth position.
Buckwalter powered his way around Yankowski for the lead on a restart with 12 laps scored. Pauch Sr. slipped into second by the halfway point, as Buckwalter steadily pulled away from his rivals.
A caution period with four to go, and then a red flag for a flipping Matt Janisch with one lap remaining gave Pauch a few final opportunities to unseat Buckwalter from the top spot. The blue No. 17 was too strong, though, and Buckwalter recorded his first Action Track SpeedSTR victory since the season opening Meitzler Memorial on May 11.
Pauch Sr. settled for second place money while Yankowski registered an Action Track USA career-best finish of third. Jay Hartman and Pauch Jr. completed the top five.
Collegeville’s Alex Bright had the nose of his No. 77b slightly in front of Dan Schumaker as lap two was scored in the Hyper Racing 600 Sprint main event. When the yellow flag waved before another lap could be completed, Bright was the race leader and he would not be dropped from that spot for the remainder of the 25 lap AEI Equipment main event, which also served as the finale` of the Tri-Track Challenge series.
Tommy Kunsman entered the night as the Tri-Track Challenge point leader after finishing second in the opener at Linda’s Speedway and 12th in race No. 2 at Lanco’s Clyde Martin Memorial Speedway. He held a slim three-point advantage over Clyde Martin winner Austin Bishop, with Jesse Maurer, facing an 11-point deficit, sitting third in the standings.
Unfortunately for Kunsman, he was involved in a mishap with Jason Swavely after one lap of the feature had been completed on Wednesday. Swavely was able to continue, but Kunsman was forced to retire. Swavely’s ability to restart at the rear of the field would prove to be a noteworthy moment during the hotly contested 25-lapper.
With Kunsman now on the sidelines, things looked promising for Bishop. But he went spinning in turn one with three revolutions complete and he, too, had to restart from the back of the pack.
Alex Bright, “the Phenom”, appeared to be firmly in control but Kyle Spence and Billy Pauch Jr. were not going to allow Bright to waltz away with this one. Spence moved into second on the ninth tour and Pauch Jr. was soon on his rear bumper. The duo had their chance to challenge the leader as the yellow waved with 13 circuits complete. The trio battled furiously as Spence repeatedly attempted to shove the nose of his No. x7 under Bright’s machine. Pauch tried to go even lower in the corners and get under both Spence and Bright, but Bright kept his car wound up in the higher lane and held on to the lead.
Pauch eventually got by Spence for second and spent the final four laps hounding Bright, but to no avail. Bright flashed across the stripe to win by just over a half-second with Pauch Jr. the runner-up and Spence taking third place cash. Eddie Strada came on strong in the second half of the race and finished a close fourth while Swavely rebounded from his lap one tangle to finish a hard-earned fifth.
Bishop stayed close to Maurer in the middle of the pack for much of the race, but Maurer navigated his way through heavy traffic during the last few laps and finished 13th, while Bishop ended up 20th. That was just enough for Bishop to win the Tri-Track Challenge title by one point over Maurer…but Bishop, from Elverson, would have to share the championship.
That’s because Swavely’s fifth place effort vaulted him from eighth in the Tri-Track points into a tie for first with Bishop. The driver from Fleetwood – who won the ’14 and ’15 Tri-Track point titles along with this year’s series opener at Linda’s, shares the 2016 championship with Bishop. Maurer finished one point behind the leaders in third, and Kunsman fell to fourth in the final standings.
Less than two weeks ago, Dave Carraghan’s father passed away after a long illness. On Wednesday, in his first race since losing his dad, Carraghan drove to his first career Action Track USA triumph in the 20-lap main for the NAPA All Star Slingshots. In an emotional victory lane, the wheel-twister from Emmaus dedicated the win to his father; admitting that he really didn’t feel like racing on Wednesday but “something told me to come here tonight. I’m sure glad I did!”, said Carraghan.
Carraghan led all the way, staving off assaults from Alex Yankowski, then Dylan Hoch, then again from Yankowski. But the Red Robin, Hairport of Trexlertown, Walbert Avenue Auto Service No. 3 was not to be denied on this night.
Yankowski chased Carraghan to the checkered, with Austin Stufflet finishing third. Dale Kober wound up fourth and Seth Spayd, who lost the engine in his car earlier in the evening, drove Natasha Henn’s No. 18t to a fifth-place finish after starting 25th.
The Junior Slingshot feature took a paltry 3:30.641 to run as the 15-lapper went non-stop, green to checker. Kyle Smith, from Fleetwood, captured his second Junior Slinger win of the season (and also his second straight) at the progressively banked oval on the Kutztown Fairgrounds.
Reece Nowatarski ran second for the entire distance, while Joey Vaccaro, Cole Stangle, and Jared Silfee waged an entertaining battle for third.
At the finish, it was Smith winning impressively with Nowatarski a distant second. Silfee emerged from the three-car fight to finish third ahead of Stangle and Vaccaro.
Action Track Sidebites…
The speedway finally kicked off the second half of its 2016 racing schedule on Wednesday. The last race at Action Track USA was June 22nd, before the annual Kutztown Folk Festival occupied the facility for the next two Wednesdays and the racing event on July 13 was rained out. The grandstand was jam-packed with enthusiastic spectators on July 20, and the car count proved that the racers were anxious to get back to business as well.
There were 32 SpeedSTRs, 44 of the 600 Sprints, 35 All Star Slingshots, and 15 Junior Slingshots in competition for a total of 126 race cars taking part in last Wednesday’s program.
Tim Iulg was the fastest SpeedSTR in the Timed Dashes, with Steve Drevicki joining him as the first drivers to lock in to the 30-lap main.
SpeedSTR heat race victories went to Frank Yankowski, Jeff Hartman, and Andy Haus. Tim Buckwalter and Earl Paules won the last-chance B-Mains.
Danny Buccafusca won the HTMA 600 Sprint Mad Scramble for drivers who did not qualify for the previous event’s feature race. With the victory, Buccafusca locked in to the Tri-Track Challenge finale` and received a cash bonus courtesy of Keith Gerhart’s Hosensack Poker Club.
James Morris, Sam Kravitsky, Billy Pauch Jr., and Alex Bright were victorious in 600 Sprint heat races, while the C-Mains were claimed by Colin White and Dave Dimaio. Joe Kay triumphed in the B-Main.
The All Star Slingshots qualified through Group Time Trials and, if necessary, B-Mains. Dylan Hoch set quick time as the top 18 in Group Time Trials transferred directly to the 20-lap main event. B-Main winners were Taylor Schoenly and Brayden Best.
Joey Vaccaro and Reece Nowatarski won the two heat races for the Junior Slingshot competitors.
Drivers finishing 13th in the SpeedSTR, 600 Sprint, and All Star Slingshot features received cash bonuses courtesy of the Race Chasing for Fans Facebook Page, Tristan Gilliland-Kunkle, Bob Fidler, and Dave Keeler.
The Slider Society, led by Kurt Bettler, conducted a fund raising activity for injured Sprint Car driver Jake Waters, who was seriously burned in an accident at Selinsgrove Speedway a few weeks ago. Drivers Shelby Harper, Alex Bright, Eddie Strada, and Anthony Raisner took their helmets through the stands and donation containers were also set up at various spots throughout the facility. A total of $1,011.46 was raised for Waters and his family. The money will be delivered to the Beer Hill Gang at Williams Grove Speedway. The Beer Hill Gang has set up a GoFundMe account for Waters and the cash raised at Action Track USA will be deposited into that account.
AEI Equipment, a division of Ankiewicz Enterprises, Inc., is a dealer for Mustang, Kobelco, and Wacker-Neuson construction equipment. Several pieces of that equipment were set up behind the grandstands on Wednesday as part of the AEI Equipment sponsorship of the event.
The Checkered Flag Fan Club signed up some new members and renewed memberships as well during their visit to the track on Wednesday. The CFFC is celebrating its 65th year of helping injured drivers, crew members, and track officials.
Wednesday was also Scout Night as the speedway recognized the region’s Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, and Cub Scouts. A group of Scouts, and their leaders, led the crowd in the Pledge of Allegiance and the National Anthem. All Scouts who attended in uniform were admitted free on Wednesday.
This week, July 27, is the NAPA Dutch Classic…another opportunity to get your Midweek Motorsports Adrenaline Rush at Slide Job City, also known as the JeffreyHogueRealtor.com Action Track USA on the Kutztown Fairgrounds!
For news and information, log on to www.actiontrackusa.com or check out the track on social media at Facebook.com/Action Track USA. Find the speedway on Twitter: @ActionTrackUSA.
USAC All Pro SpeedSTR Feature, 30 laps: 1.Tim Buckwalter, 2.Billy Pauch Sr., 3.Frank Yankowski, 4.Jay Hartman, 5.Billy Pauch Jr., 6.Steve Nederostek, 7.Louden Reimert, 8.Ray Nemeth, 9.Mike Bednar, 10.Phil Meisner, 11.Matt Janisch, 12.Jeff Hartman, 13.TJ Mayberry, 14.James Morris, 15.Steve Drevicki, 16.Kyle Lick, 17.Briggs Danner, 18.CJ Faison, 19.Joe Mooney, 20.Tim Iulg, 21.Steve Buckwalter, 22.Kenny Brightbill, 23.Andy Haus, 24.Jason Miller, 25.Brad Brightbill, 26.Dylan Hoch, 27.Earl Paules, 28.Doug Manmiller.
DNQ: Keith Prutzman, Joe Vaccaro, John Bockhorn, Damon Paul.
Hyper Racing 600 Sprint Feature, 25 laps: 1.Alex Bright, 2.Billy Pauch Jr., 3.Kyle Spence, 4.Eddie Strada, 5.Jason Swavely, 6.Tim Buckwalter, 7.Dan Schumaker, 8.Shelby Harper, 9.Doug Snyder, 10.Colin White, 11.Bobby Butler, 12.Jacob Severn, 13.Jesse Maurer, 14.Joe Kay, 15.Austin Quick, 16.Wayne Scott, 17.Brandon Heist, 18.Will Butler, 19.Sam Kravitsky, 20.Austin Bishop, 21.Jay Hartman, 22.Eric Ankiewicz, 23.Danny Buccafusca, 24.Taylor Troxell, 25.James Morris, 26.Jarid Kunkle, 27.Brandon Azzalina, 28.Tommy Kunsman.
DNQ: Mike Linderman, Joey Jarowicz, Robbie Hocker, Dave Dimaio, Molly Chambers, Nate Brinker, Ryan Quackenbush, Hunter James, Jermain Godshall, Mark Berkenstock, Don Colaluce, Kenny Miller III, Nate Schumaker, John Vreeland, Dustin Stoltzfus, Joe Plunkett.
NAPA Auto Parts All Star Slingshot Feature, 20 laps: 1.Dave Carraghan, 2.Alex Yankowski, 3.Austin Stufflet, 4.Dale Kober, 5.Seth Spayd, 6.Chris Kurtz, 7.Travis Bieber, 8.Jeff Kemp, 9.Dave Burns, 10.Dakota Kohler, 11.Brayden Best, 12.Anthony Raisner, 13.Henry Anderson, 14.Russ Benke, 15.Dylan Hoch, 16.Taylor Schoenly, 17.Bridget Conti, 18.Nick Vinciguerra, 19.Tim Roeder, 20.Erik Jones, 21.Lee Schantzenbach, 22.Brett Bieber, 23.Joe Bodenschatz, 24.Matt Miller (16m), 25.Matt Miller (57), 26.Nick Delcampo.
DNQ: Mike Taylor, Austin Silfee, Ryan Davey, Taylor Santee, Natasha Henn, Blaire Schoenly, Zac Kistler, John Arms, Jordan Knepp.
Junior Slingshot Feature, 15 laps: 1.Kyle Smith, 2.Reece Nowatarski, 3.Jared Silfee, 4.Cole Stangle, 5.Joey Vaccaro, 6.Tanner VanDoren, 7.Tyler Banks, 8.Tyler Ulsh, 9.Nico Flammer, 10.Logan Bauman, 11.Josh Allen, 12.Gavin Santee, 13.Emily Flemming, 14.Austin Homan, 15.Brandon Schoch.
HTMA 600 Sprint Mad Scramble, 10 laps: 1.Danny Buccafusca (Transfer to feature & $25 Hosensack Poker Club), 2.Brandon Azzalina (Hoosier RR Tire), 3.John Vreeland (Vahlco Aluminum Wheel), 4.Ryan Quackenbush (10 Gallons Fuel from RoadRunner/ VP Race Fuel), 5.Taylor Troxell (RTS Gift Certificate), 6.Nate Schumaker (TSL Shocks Gift Certificate), 7.Hunter James (Kreitz Oval Track Parts Gift Certificate), 8.Don Colaluce (Set of FK Rod Ends), 9.Mark Berkenstock (Saldana Racing Products Gift Certificate), 10.Joe Kay (Free Car Entry @ Action Track USA).
By Barry Angstadt – https://www.facebook.com/barry.angstadt?fref=ts
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