KUTZTOWN, PA – Milford, NJ’s Billy Pauch Jr. recorded his 14th career SpeedSTR victory on Sunday night at the Championship Energy Action Track USA on the Kutztown Fairgrounds. He is the all-time leader in USAC All Pro SpeedSTR wins at the Berks County oval, and Sunday’s triumph moves him ahead of Tim Buckwalter by two victories.
Joining Pauch in the Father’s Day/ Scout Night winner’s circle were Danny Buccafusca and Damon Paul (Hyper Racing 600 Sprint winners), Nick Del Campo and Dylan Hoch (All Star Slingshot victors). Two of the main events (won by Buccafusca and Del Campo) were run on Sunday after being postponed by rain on June 3rd.
In a surprising announcement by co-promoter Doug Rose, the Sunday, June 24 event has been canceled due to an accidental scheduling snafu between the Kutztown Fair Board, the upcoming Folk Festival, and the speedway owners. Racing will now resume at Action Track USA on Wednesday, July 11, when the SpeedSTRs will make up their rained out feature from June 3 and the 600 Sprints will compete in the Tri-Track Challenge. That race offers a $1,000 payday to the winner (with Gambler’s Fee). The All Star Slingshots will also be on the card on July 11.
“My week started with a flip (in a Modified at Albany-Saratoga in NY), then we ran second to Steve (Buckwalter) here, but it ended well with a (Modified) win at New Egypt last night and now a win in the SpeedSTR here at Kutztown. That’s not a bad Father’s Day weekend,” noted Pauch Jr. after his victory on Sunday night. “Really have to thank my guys; they are the key to running well and winning and I couldn’t do it without them.”
Brad Brightbill grabbed the early lead and appeared headed for his first SpeedSTR win since 2015. Briggs Danner, Tim Iulg, and 12th-starting Pauch battled behind Brightbill until the leader spun in turn four with 13 tours complete. That put Pauch into the top spot and he made the most of his good fortune, surviving a challenge from Iulg and then fending off Danner in the closing laps to notch his second SpeedSTR triumph of the season and increase his point lead.
“That kid,” said Pauch as he nodded in Danner’s direction after the race, “is good and only getting better. His time is coming; I hope to be racing with him until I get too old to do this anymore.”
Danner wished a late race restart, with three laps remaining, would have been in double-file formation. “My car was really working on the top, and I think I might have been able to get him if I could have been on the outside of him for that restart.”
Matt Janisch started 19th, was involved in a huge pileup in turn one – with almost half the field – with four circuits complete, then surgically weaved his way through traffic to record a solid third place finish. “My car was terrible in the heat race. We made some adjustments and were much better in the feature. I love this kind of track…it was slick and you really had to work the throttle and pedal it through the corners. It was a real driver’s track tonight.”
Andy Haus and Earl Paules completed the top five.
Danny Buccafusca, from Rockaway, NJ, is a two-time point champion in the Slingshot division at Action Track USA. For the past three seasons, he’s been trying to reach victory lane in a 600 Sprint. He’s come close on several occasions, but hadn’t been able to grab the brass ring…until Sunday night.
When he lost his dad, Bucky, to brain cancer a few months ago, Buccafusca dedicated his season, as well as the rest of his racing career, to his dad. So his first Action Track USA 600cc victory, on Father’s Day, was understandably very emotional.
He had to work hard for it, too, as Richie Hartman looked to be the man to beat in the 25-lap main that was rained out on June 3. Hartman roared from fifth to the lead in the early laps, then went side by side with Buccafusca for several trips around the clay. Danny danced around the bottom while R. Hartman rolled the top, with Buccafusca eventually nosing ahead on lap 19. He pulled away as Hartman fell back into a battle for second with Jason Swavely and Billy Pauch Jr. As the laps wound down, Pauch raced into the runner-up spot, but had no time to run down and attempt to pass Buccafusca.
At the finish, it was Danny Buccafusca getting that elusive Hyper Racing 600 Sprint triumph and shedding tears of joy in victory lane as he dedicated the win to his late father. Pauch, the point leader in the 600’s, too, finished second with Swavely, R. Hartman, and Damon Paul rounding out the top five.
In the nightcap for the 600’s, Tyler Brehm set the pace in the early going after starting on the pole. Stoney Point, NY resident Damon Paul, a former Junior Slingshot winner at the speedway, rumbled from eighth on the grid to snare the runner-up position on lap six, coming out ahead in an entertaining tussle with Joey Jarowicz and Richie Hartman. Kyle Spence made his presence known in the top three as the race neared its halfway point, and Pauch Jr. blew into the fourth position as the crossed flags were shown to the field.
Paul and Brehm fought for the inside groove as they dueled for the lead. Paul squeezed his No. 144 under Brehm once more on lap 19, rubbing wheels with the leader before nudging ahead in turn two. When he got to the front, Paul took off, leaving Brehm to battle his teammate, Spence, for runner-up honors. Spence had his Hyper No. 75 wound up on the high side, and he powered around the outside of Brehm to snatch second place with four revolutions left to run.
At the checkered, it was Damon Paul following up his win at Hamlin Speedway on Saturday with his first Hyper Racing 600 Sprint win at Action Track USA. Spence chased him to the stripe with Brehm earning a podium spot by finishing third. Pauch Jr. wound up fourth and Colin White raced home in fifth.
The postponed Slingshot feature from June 3rd turned into Nick Del Campo’s second consecutive win at the speedway, following his first career triumph on Wednesday night. Del Campo started the 20-lapper on the outside of the front row, jumped into the top spot at the drop of the green, and was never headed.
Some real good racing took place behind the leader, as Justin Thompson, Nick Vinciguerra, Brett Bieber, Dylan Hoch, Dakota Kohler, and Tanner Van Doren locked horns and battled for positions two through seven. Brett Bieber slipped into third with five to go as Thompson emerged with the runner-up slot. On the final lap, with NY’s Del Campo cruising to his second straight win and Thompson finishing second, Hoch charged to the outside of Bieber and just nipped him for third at the line. Kohler completed the top five.
In the regularly scheduled main event for the Slingshots, Hoch blasted to the outside of second place Thompson and polesitter Austin Stufflet to grab the lead – by just inches – over Stufflet as lap one was scored. Hoch then motored ahead of Stufflet and went on to register a comfortable win, his first of the year, with Del Campo sneaking by Stufflet for second place on lap 11 and finishing in that spot. Brett Bieber wound up third with his brother, Travis, earning fourth place cash. Stufflet slipped back to fifth at the finish.
Championship Energy Group Action Track USA is back again on Wednesday, July 11 with a big program. The $1,000 Gamblers Tri-Track Challenge for the Hyper Racing 600cc Sprint Cars, plus double SpeedSTR feature events — a regularly scheduled program and a make-up race from June 3 — and the Slingshots.
SpeedSTR Feature (30 Laps) — 1. Billy Pauch, Jr. 2. Briggs Danner 3. Matt Janisch 4. Andy Haus 5. Earl Paules 6. TJ Mayberry 7. Mike Bender 8. Joe Vaccaro 9. Steven Nederostek 10. Ed Kenderdine 11. Pat Bealer 12. Jeff Hartman 13. Tyler Ross 14. Steven Drevicki 15. Tim Iulg 16. Kevin Graver, Jr. 17. Tom Mayberry 18. Brad Brightbill 19. Tommy Kunsman 20. Jason Rochelle.
Hyper Racing 600 Feature (25 Laps) — 1. Damon Paul 2. Kyle Spence 3. Tyler Brehm 4. Billy Pauch, Jr. 5. Colin White 6. Mike Thompson 7. Eddie Strada 8. Jeff Hartman 9. Richie Hartman 10. Jay Hartman 11. Joe Kay 12. Mike Butler 13. Tommy Kunsman 14. Nash Ely 15. Kyle Lick 16. Danny Buccafusca 17. Jared Lily 18. Nate Brinker 19. Tyler Keys 20. Jacob Billet 21. Jason Muldawney 22. Joey Jarowicz 23. Jacob Severn 24. Jason Swavely 25. Zach Fisher 26. Will Butler.
Slingshot Feature (20 Laps) — 1. Dylan Hoch 2. Nick DelCampo 3. Brett Bieber 4. Travis Bieber 5. Austin Stufflet 6. Cody Kline 7. Dave Carraghan 8. Justin Thompson 9. Blaire Schoenly 10. Kyle Herve 11. Dakota Kohler 12. Mike Taylor 13. Jared Silfee 14. Tanner VanDoren 15. Anthony Raisner 16. Joey Vaccaro 17. Austin Daniels 18. Joe Toth 19. Jonathan Swift 20. Nick Vinciguerra 21. Decker Swinehart 22. Matt Miller 23. Gavin Danner 24. Kyle Smith 25. Lee Schantzenbach 26. Taylor Mills.
Hyper Racing 600 Feature (25 laps) (Make-Up from June 3) — 1. Danny Buccafusca 2. Billy Pauch, jr. 3. Jason Swavely 4. Richie Hartman 5. Damon Paul 6. Tommy Kunsman 7. Colin White 8. Kyle Spence 9. Joey Amantea 10. Jeff Hartman 11. Kyle Lick 12. Jacob Billet 13. Joey Jarowicz 14. Nash Ely 15. Joe Kay 16. Dan Schumaker 17. Taylor Troxel 18. Shawn Rooney 19. Rob Pajauis 20. Nate Brinker 21. Will Butler 22. Bobby Butler 23. Kyle Spence 24. Jacob Severn.
Slingshot Feature (25 Laps) (Make-Up from June 3) — 1. Nick DelCampo 2. Justin Thompson 3. Dylan Hoch 4. Brett Bieber 5. Dakota Kohler 6. Tanner Vandoren 7. Nick Vinviguerra 8. Kyle Herve 9. Taylor Mills 10. Kyle Smith 11. Joe Toth 12. Austin Stufflet 13. Dave Carraghan 14. Austin Daniels 15. Gavin Danner 16. Anthony Raisner 17. Jordan Moyer 18. Matt Miller 19. Marc Daniels 20. Tyler Banks 21. Joey Vaccaro 22. Decker Swinehart 23. Cody Kline 24. Travis Bieber 25. Jared Silfee.