BRIDGEPORT, NJ – After struggling through a winless season last year, Billy Pauch rallied the troops and raced to victory in the twenty-five lap Spirit Auto Center Big Block Modified feature at the Bridgeport Speedway on Saturday night.
It was an emotional win for Pauch who has accumulated more than seven hundred victories throughout his career. A wreck during a heat race in Friday night competition left Pauch’s K&A Excavating No. 1 questionable for a Saturday night race. “We really wadded it up last night,” the winner explained. “We even had my grandson hammering on the car. Everybody worked so hard…” Pauch credited his family, including his two year old grandson, and crew for their hard work in preparing the winning car.
Richie Pratt, Jr. took lead at the wave of the green and immediately began to distance himself from the field but multiple cautions kept the competition close. Pratt led through the first six laps before Pauch raced into the lead on lap seven. After starting twelfth, Ryan Watt raced into third on lap nine and then took over second with a pass by Neal Williams just before the half way mark. Watt was closing on the leader before a lap fourteen caution set up a restart, putting Pauch and Watt side by side.
Pauch and Watt raced side by side on lap fifteen before the caution waved again. Pauch raced to the green ahead of the field and was able to pull away as the next ten laps remained under green. Pauch led Watt to the finish line to capture the 60th Bridgeport win of career. Watt fell one spot short of setting a new Bridgeport record for six consecutive wins on the 5/8th mile track. The record stands at five and is shared by Watt, Kenny Brightbill and Wade Hendrickson. Williams finished third with Jim Britt racing to fourth after starting eleventh. Pratt rounded out the top five at the checkered.
Brad Roberts led every lap of the twenty lap Stewart Stainless 602 Crate Sportsman feature event for his first Bridgeport win of the season. Roberts is racing a throwback number and paint scheme to honor his grandfather, Ron Roberts this season, racing the Bailey’s Paving No. 123, just as his grandfather did some twenty seasons ago. It was Roberts first win since the 2016 season.
Eric Kormann trailed Roberts to the checkered with Tom Moore taking over third late in the race. Jeremy Harrington finished fourth with Bobby Bracall crossing the line in fifth.
Jeramy Doerr raced to his second win of the season in the Pennco Tech Outlaw Stock feature. Doerr took the lead from Andrew Joslin on the first lap and never looked back. 2017 Outlaw Champion, Tom Wills, Jr. finished second with Brian Ludwig racing into third in the closing laps. Mike Creamer held off Lee Allen for fourth as they raced to the checkered.
Dave Hartman led every lap of the caution free DA’s Auto Body & Repair Rookie feature but it was Sammy Martz Jr. who captured his first feature win with a pass by Hartman as the leaders raced out of turn four on the final lap. Martz started deep in the field. Hartman had a sizable lead by the time that Martz made his way past Parker Guildin to take over second. The third generation racer, Martz took the victory over Hartman with Guldin finishing third.
Racing action returns to the Design for Vision/Sunglass Central 3/8 mile track at Bridgeport next Sunday for the final race of the Pre-Season Points. The Big Block Modifieds, 602 Crate Sportsman, Outlaw Stocks and Rookies will be in action with racing getting underway at6pm.
SPIRIT AUTO CENTER BIG BLOCK MODIFIEDS (25 laps): 1. Billy Pauch, Sr., 2. Ryan Watt, 3. Neal Williams, 4. Jim Britt, 5. Richie Pratt, Jr., 6. Rick Laubach, 7. Tommy Beamer, 8. David Hunt, 9. Bucky Kell, 10. Wade Hendrickson, 11. Butch Tittle, 12. Roger Manning, 13. Tom Macherrone, 14. Ernie Miles, III, 15. Ron Roberts, 16. Dave Shirk, 17. Rusty Smith, 18. Jack Swain, 19. Jesse Hill, 20. Sam Martz
STEWART STAINLESS SUPPLY 602 CRATE SPORTSMAN (20 laps): 1. Brad Roberts, 2. Eric Kormann, 3. Tom Moore, 4. Jeremy Harrington, 5. Bobby Bracall, 6. Tommy Errico, 7. Frank Dorry, 8. Jim Gallagher, Jr., 9. Danny Buccafusca, 10. David Crossman, 11. John Micek, 12. Chris Jenkins, 13. Dave Damiano, 14. Sammy Martz, Jr., 15. Roger Gaskill, 16. Parker GuldIn, 17. David Hartman, 18. Ray Cost, 19. Tom Holding, 20. Howard Huepfel, 21. Tom Sherby, 22. Steve Kemery, 23. Seth Spayd, 24. Pete Serra, DNS – Wayne Weaver, DNQ – Charles Stone, Ernie Miles, Jr., Rich Wegner, Sr., Matt Luzi, Olivia Ingersoll
PENNCO TECH OUTLAW STOCKS (15 laps): 1. Jeramy Doerr, 2. Tom Wills, Jr., 3. Brian Ludwig, 4. Michael Creamer, 5. Lee Allen, 6. Darren Cox, 7. Gary Elliott, 8. Ken Moren, 9. Andrew Joslin, 10. Keith McKinley, 11. Eric Mattson, 12. Scott Hulmes, 13. Rich Stinson, Sr.
D.A.’S AUTO BODY AND REPAIR ROOKIES (8 laps): 1. Sammy Martz, Jr., 2. David Hartman, 3. Parker Gulden, 4. Seth Spayd, 5. Danny Buccafusca