By CODY MANMILLER
PIPERSVILLE, PA – On April 23, 2017, at the South Jersey Shootout, Danny Bouc established himself as one of the premier young drivers in the region. In 2018, he plans to put that to the test.
Bouc, who used a late-race restart to power on the outside from sixth to finish second in last year’s Bridgeport (N.J.) Speedway event, has paired with Craig Pondish, owner of the well-known C&S Equipment red No. 6. The team has announced they will battle on the Velocita-USA South Region, part of the Bob Hilbert Sportswear Short Track Super Series (STSS) Fueled By Sunoco in 2018.
“It’s a no-brainer,” said Bouc, addressing the decision to join the prominent stars on the STSS. “The payout is 100-percent better than anything else, the rules package is second-to-none, the drivers you’re racing make you better, and the group of tracks makes a lot of sense.”
The eight-race South Region visits six tracks in three different states, with stops in Delaware, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. The season opener, the first Modified race in all of the Northeast, the Melvin L. Joseph Memorial at Georgetown Speedway in Delaware, is set for March 17.
Two Pennsylvania tracks on the schedule that stick out to people familiar with Modified racing are BAPS Motor Speedway (formerly known as Susquehanna Speedway) and Port Royal Speedway, known for their traditional Sprint Car racing roots.
“It’s refreshing to see new tracks on the schedule,” Bouc said. “It makes drivers and crew guys better, but by moving to Sprint Car country, it allows new fans to see us, and the best drivers we have to offer, hopefully creating more Modified fans.”
Despite limited experience at some of the facilities, the 28-year-old septic technician feels comfortable with not only his driving style, but also Pondish’s equipment at his disposal, which includes a 2013 and 2017 Troyer, along with a big small-block and a 358 open small-block.
“Last year, our hands were tied a bit with just a spec-head small block, and we were underpowered at some races. With Craig, we have the quality of stuff to really compete,” he said.
The pairing itself was a pleasant surprise to a lot of fans, something Bouc touched on as well. “It’s really awesome to see an owner who has been around a long time pick a younger driver,” he said. “When owners are picking from the same pool of guys, it sometimes makes it tougher for the younger drivers to find solid rides and get better.”
You need to get on the map, and it was the South Jersey Shootout a year ago that helped do that for Bouc, along with his three wins at New Egypt (N.J.) Speedway, where he will race weekly again in 2018.
“That was huge for me,” he said. “A lot more people started coming around and knew who I was, and it’s why I want to follow the series full-time and give myself a chance.
“It meant a lot for my confidence to run that well with the best of the best, and anytime you run second to Stew (Friesen), you know you’re doing something right.”
Competing with the best is a priority for the Pipersville, Pa. driver, and that’s exactly what he’ll do in 2018.
During the off-season, Sunoco Race Fuels and Insinger Performance announced a lucrative bonus program to cross-promote the STSS and home-track American Racer Cup.
“The American Racer Cup really caught my attention early last season when I started the season in the top five,” Bouc said. “It’s an incredible added bonus, and it’s really smart to get everyone involved to give opportunities for a lot of guys, even guys like me who pick and choose races, to really cash in.”
To learn more about the 2018 Short Track Super Series Fueled By Sunoco, visit www.shorttracksuperseries.com, e-mail email@example.com, or check out ‘Short Track Super Series’ on Facebook or @ShortTrackSS on Twitter and Instagram.
The Short Track Super Series is presented by American Racer/Lias Tire, Sunoco Race Fuel, Insinger Performance, Bob Hilbert Sportswear, Halmar International, Allstar Performance, ATL Racing Fuel Cells, Behrent’s Performance Warehouse, Bicknell Racing Products, Dirt Track Digest, Fast Axle, Fox Racing Shocks, Hig Fab, Henry’s Exhaust, HyperCo, Keizer Wheels, Kirkey Racing Fabrication, K&N, QA1, Race Pro Weekly, Racing Optics, Teo-Pro Car, Velocita, Weld & Wilwood.