One thing is for certain…Billy Pauch, the veteran racer from Frenchtown, NJ, knows how to spark a reaction from the crowd.
Pauch won his fourth USAC All Pro SpeedSTR main event of the season on Wednesday at the JeffreyHogueRealtor.com Action Track USA on the Kutztown Fairgrounds. Upon exiting his Mike Heffner owned, Lelands.com No. 27 in victory lane, Pauch was greeted by a chorus of boos (to be fair, there were some cheers mixed in, too) because the spectators were not pleased with the manner in which he took the lead from James Morris.
“Thanks to the fans for coming out tonight; I hope they enjoyed the race,” grinned Pauch, inciting an even louder response from the packed grandstands.
What the fans did not realize, though, was that Morris took full responsibility for losing the lead and had no issues with the way Pauch wrestled the top spot from him.
“I just ran it too hard into the corner and washed up the track,” said a dejected Morris afterward. “He got under me and I wasn’t sure if he would drift up the banking or not, so I ran it in way harder than I should have. It’s all on me, but I’m proud of the way we are running with this car. We’ll be back to try again on Sunday.”
Robbie Hocker, from Warwick, NY, captured the AEI Equipment 600 Sprint Fair Week National, a 60-lap affair in which Hocker led almost all the way but had to fight off a strong challenge from Doug Snyder at the end.
In a 20 lap NAPA All Star Slingshot main, Fleetwood, PA’s Kyle Smith cruised to the win over Zac Kistler in a non-stop, green-to-checkered race. The Slingshot feature was open to drivers who did not qualify for Tuesday’s Slinger Warehouse Super Slingshot Fair National.
National Dirt Week at the Kutztown Fairgrounds continues with Quarter-Midget and Junior Slingshot racing on Thursday, August 18, and the Daniel Boone 150 for Enduro style Stock Cars on Saturday, August 20. The 2016 racing season at Action Track USA wraps up with the fourth annual Dick Tobias Classic on Sunday, August 21. The SpeedSTRs will compete in the 75-lap Tobias Classic and will be joined by the Hyper Racing 600 Sprints and the NAPA Auto Parts All Star Slingshots as the 2016 point championships are decided for all three weekly divisions.
Billy Pauch Sr. started 12th in Wednesday’s SpeedSTR main and gradually worked his way to the runner-up position by the halfway point of the 30-lapper. Pauch trailed race leader James Morris by several car lengths as the laps wound down, but an untimely (for Morris) yellow flag gave the wily veteran one more shot with six laps remaining.
On the restart, Pauch hung with the Quality Shoppe of Kutztown No. 13 of Morris as the two leaders ran side by side down the backstretch. As Morris explained, he drove too hard and too deep into three and four, skating up the banking as Pauch also drifted up a bit but got back into the gas and shot off turn four with the race lead.
At the finish, it was Pauch over a disappointed Morris, with Tim Buckwalter, Jay Hartman, and Steve Nederostek making up the top five. Buckwalter started 11th, Hartman 16th, and Nederostek was 18th when the race began.
Pauch’s fourth win was his first since June 15, and his tenth career victory at Action Track USA. He is now the leader in all-time SpeedSTR wins at the speedway, breaking a tie with his son, Billy Jr.
The AEI Equipment 600 Sprint Fair National, a 60-lap contest of endurance and chassis set-up, Robbie Hocker finally broke through for his first Action Track USA feature win. Hocker did not take the Gambler’s Challenge when he signed in, so the triumph was worth $1,000 to the New York wheel-twister.
Hocker snatched the lead from Tommy Kunsman on the fifth trip around the progressively banked oval. He was hounded by several drivers during the first half of the event, including Kunsman, Jason Swavely, Nate Brinker, Eddie Strada, and last year’s winner of the 600 Fair National, Pat Bealer.
A multi-car incident with 17 circuits complete almost cost Hocker the top spot, as he got turned sideways in one and two. Swavely knocked him straight and he continued without stopping, but Swavely flipped and several of the top runners were collected in the melee.
As the race approached its halfway mark, Sam Kravitsky made his presence known in the top five – after starting 26th! He and Eddie Strada, who spun with nine laps down and restarted in the rear, sliced their way through heavy traffic to battle Tim Buckwalter and Jay Hartman for second and third as Hocker pulled away.
The second half of the race had the fans watching the progress of Doug Snyder, who suddenly navigated his way past Kravitsky and Hartman, then passed Buckwalter for the runner-up position with 15 laps to go. A caution period with 13 tours remaining set up a nip-and-tuck duel for the win between Hocker and Snyder.
“I wasn’t giving up the bottom for anything,” stated a jubilant Hocker in victory lane. “I love Doug and really enjoy racing with him, but he wasn’t going to get me – without moving me – on the bottom. He could have taken me out at any time there at the end, but I know he doesn’t race like that.”
Hocker held on for the narrow victory over Snyder, with Jay Hartman finishing third, T. Buckwalter fourth, and Kravitsky ended up fifth. Strada completed his comeback with a sixth place effort. He finished one position in front of Billy Pauch Jr., enabling the Lake Ariel driver to take a five point lead over Pauch into this Sunday’s finale. Buckwalter, now third in the standings, still has a shot at his second consecutive title when the season concludes on Sunday evening.
Kyle Smith started on the pole and dashed to his first All Star Slingshot triumph at Action Track USA, covering the 20-lap distance in 5:20.412.
Smith cruised to the non-stop win over rookie Zac Kistler, Canadian Alex Lizotte, Matt Miller, and Grandview Late Model Champ Chuck Schutz.
Action Track Sidebites…
AEI Equipment, title sponsor of the 600 Sprint Fair National, is a distributor for Kobelco, Mustang, and Waecker construction equipment. They offer new and used equipment, and they can supply rental and consignment equipment, too.
There were 51 of the Hyper Racing 600 Sprints entered in the AEI Equipment Fair National on Wednesday, while 32 of the USAC All Pro SpeedSTRs signed in for competition. The NAPA All Star Slingshots pulled a field of 13 after starting the week with 69 entries for the Slinger Warehouse Super Slingshot Fair National.
Race Chasing for Fans cash bonuses were provided for all three divisions on Wednesday. Robbie Hocker received a $50 bonus for carrying the Race Chasing decal on his car and being the highest finisher in the 600 Sprint Fair National. That bonus was offered by Tristan Gilliland-Kunkle of the Race Chaser group. Will White provided the Slingshot bonus that went to Zac Kistler, and Mike Knappenberger of Race Chasing for Fans Face Book page presented James Morris with a cash bonus for being the highest finishing SpeedSTR with a Race Chasing decal.
USAC All Pro SpeedSTR Feature, 30 laps: 1.Billy Pauch Sr., 2.James Morris, 3.Tim Buckwalter, 4.Jay Hartman, 5.Steve Nederostek, 6.Briggs Danner, 7.Frank Yankowski, 8.Jason Miller, 9.Jeff Hartman, 10.John Bockhorn, 11.Brad Brightbill, 12.Billy VanInwegen, 13.Mike Bednar, 14.Matt Janisch, 15.Doug Manmiller, 16.Tim Iulg, 17.Louden Reimert, 18.Phil Meisner, 19.Joe Vaccaro, 20.Damon Paul, 21.Tom Mayberry, 22.Andy Haus, 23.Earl Paules, 24.Billy Pauch Jr., 25.Kenny Brightbill, 26.TJ Mayberry, 27.Steve Drevicki.
DNQ: Joe Mooney, Kyle Lick, Kris Graver, Keith Prutzman, Antoine Parent.
Hyper Racing 600 Sprints Fair Week National, 60 laps: 1.Robbie Hocker, 2.Doug Snyder, 3.Jay Hartman, 4.Tim Buckwalter, 5.Sam Kravitsky, 6.Eddie Strada, 7.Billy Pauch Jr., 8.Brandon Azzalina, 9.Jason Swavely, 10.Chad Sandt, 11.Tommy Kunsman, 12.Ryan Quackenbush, 13.Joey Jarowicz, 14.Jermain Godshall, 15.Joe Kay, 16.Colin White, 17.Jesse Maurer, 18.Nate Brinker, 19.Bobby Butler, 20.Dan Schumaker, 21.Austin Bishop, 22.Wayne Scott, 23.Bradley Brown, 24.Pat Bealer, 25.Shelby Harper, 26.Dylan Licklider, 27.Kenny Miller III, 28.James Morris, 29.Kyle Spence.
DNQ: Nate Schumaker, Mark Berkenstock, Brett Altemose, Jack Conover, Will Butler, Nick Havens, Luke Thomas, Patrick Ely, Rebecca LaMothe, Greg Stevens, Jevon Ahner, Devin Gundrum, Cameron Bellinger, Dave Dimaio, Joe Plunkett, Josh Conover, Jeff Hartman, Dan Leaper, Scott Slater, Don Colaluce, Chris Stockham.
NAPA All Star Slingshots Non-Qualifiers Feature, 20 laps: 1.Kyle Smith, 2.Zac Kistler, 3.Alex Lizotte, 4.Matt Miller, 5.Damon Paul, 6.Chuck Schutz, 7.Lee Schantzenbach, 8.Joey Vaccaro, 9.Dave Burns, 10.Dakota Kohler, 11.Hunter Zimmerman, 12.Martin Lizotte, 13.Bridget Conti.
HTMA 600 Sprint Mad Scramble: 1.Nate Brinker (Transfers directly to feature; $25 from Hosensack Poker Club); 2.Greg Stevens (Hoosier RR Tire), 3.Austin Bishop (Vahlco Aluminum Wheel), 4.Pat Bealer (10 Gallons Methanol from VP/Roadrunner Race Fuel), 5.Nate Schumaker (RTS Chassis Gift Certificate), 6. Chad Sandt (TSL Shocks Gift Certificate), 7.Bradley Brown (Kreitz Oval Track Parts Gift Certificate), 8.Jevon Ahner (FK Rod Ends), 9.Ryan Quackenbush (Saldana Racing Products Gift Certificate), 10.Dylan Licklider (Free Car Registration at Action Track USA), 11.Mark Berkenstock (Contingency Award), 12.Cameron Bellinger, 13.Nick Havens, 14.Devin Gundrum, 15.Jeff Hartman.
By Barry Angstadt – https://www.facebook.com/barry.angstadt?fref=ts
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