Bouc Wins plus Notes and Quotes from Coalcracker 72 at Big Diamond – DTD Exclusive

By KEN BRUCE

MINERSVILLE, PA – Danny Bouc is a driver who loves to travel and race at different tracks in the area. However, winning races at tracks other than his home track of New Egypt Speedway has alluded the very personable driver out of Pipersville, Pa. Bouc has had some very good finishes at other race track, but a win is what he was really after and Bouc was wondering if that was ever going to happen. Sunday night, that dream became a reality for Bouc as he held off the best Big Diamond has to offer to win the Jack Rich, Inc. Coalcracker 72 and take home the big $10,000 first place prize that goes along with it.

“I’ve been trying to get a big win for so long now,” mentioned a happy Bouc as his car was going through tech. “I had that one in Atlantic City taken away and that was a bunch of bull***t and I am still so disappointed with that. I worked so hard for that indoor win it was a bunch of BS. Winning this is freaking awesome for me and my dad. We work so freaking hard on this car. This is my biggest win so far, I haven’t even won a big race at New Egypt yet and this is also my first win outside of New Egypt so it’s definitely huge.”

After a very bad night on Saturday at New Egypt Speedway which saw the No. 32 get all torn up in a lap one crash in the first of two twin twenties forcing Bouc to borrow the car of John Pakenham to compete in the second of the two twin twenties. The team led by Bouc himself were up and at it early on Sunday trying to get the car back into racing shape for a trip to the Big Diamond Speedway for their annual Coalcracker race.

I asked Danny about the hard work that went into getting this car ready to race after Saturday night.

“I don’t even want to talk about it,” said Bouc. “I was having nightmares when I got here tonight because usually when I have a bad night it just carries, and it never seems to end but it definitely turned for us tonight. We had the whole front axle torn out of it, we had fuel pressure issues and all kinds of crap with that. The motor didn’t run right last night, and I had to hop into Pakenham’s car for the second feature. We went through everything tenfold today and Matt (Hoffman) kept asking me if we were going so he could put it on our Facebook page. I just told him I’m going to keep going through stuff and if we make it, we make it and if not, we’re not going. You can’t come to these races and not have it right.”

Bouc’s hard luck continued when he drew a high pill number which relegated him to starting spot in his heat toward the back of the pack. Starting sixth in heat number two, Bouc knew he had his work cut out for him to get into one of the coveted top three spots that would put him into the redraw for the night’s feature event. Bouc showed right from the start that he had a fast TEO Pro car underneath him and he was able to finish third to garner an important redraw spot.

After all the heats had been completed the top three drivers from each heat race met at the pit shack for the redraw. When it was Bouc’s turn, he drew spot number three. When the feature event started Bouc settled into the third spot and ran there just waiting to make his move. Due to the amount of rain the track had taken on Friday, track conditions were playing right into Bouc’s hand as the track was top heavy with a cushion which is where Bouc loves to run. After getting around David Hunt for the second spot Bouc set his sights on leader Alex Yankowski who was having a very good debut in the Modified ranks leading the race.

After a yellow erased Yankowski’s lead Bouc made his move on the restart and took the lead away from the teenager Yankowski and started to open up a small advantage as the top three in track points Duane Howard, Ryan Godown and Craig Von Dohren along with former Big Diamond track champion Billy Pauch Jr., were all making their way to the front. Eventually Godown made his way to second and started to run down his former New Egypt competitor. Bouc never wavered and was in front when the yellow waved for the mandatory lap 40 fuel break.

After the fuel break, Bouc continued to lead but Godown was starting to put the pressure on especially during on restarts and at one point pulled even with Bouc coming out of turn four. Bouc never flinched and stayed hard on the throttle to slide ahead going into turn one to keep the lead. After the last caution with five laps to go Bouc seemed to have it in hand as Godown had his hands full trying to hold the off the charge of Von Dohren. The crowd went wild as Bouc raced underneath starter Jeff Merkel’s checkered flag to win his first Modified race away from New Egypt Speedway and his most prestigious victory of his young career.

“The track played into my favor,” he said.  “I’m pretty good at running the cushion but even that was even a little sketchy of a cushion for me. I was running just below it just to hit my marks, but I knew that probably wasn’t the fastest line but if I did hop it I knew they still probably wouldn’t be able to get me. Godown got underneath me on that one restart and I kinda knew he was going to do that and I was hoping he wasn’t going to crowd the hell out of me and he was pretty good with it and it all worked out, it was great. You have the best of best racing here and to get a win against them is very special.

“I have to thank my crew Ken, Matt, Cale, Austin who’s not here tonight, my dad, my mom and my girlfriend Elizabeth. Without all of them I couldn’t do it. My sponsors Short Load Concrete, Gary’s Septic Service, C.G. Carroll Carpentry, TEO Pro Car, Rick Laubach’s Shock Spa, Dig’s Race Product, Jone’s Race Products and so many more. I have so many people that help me out it’s not even funny and I couldn’t ever do it without them.”

Gular From Nowhere for Podium Finish

Mike Gular in one his infrequent appearances at Big Diamond made a nice comeback to finish the race in the third position. Gular started the 72-lap feature in the 14th spot made his way up to the top ten early on and held there for most of the first half of the race. When the lap 40 fuel stop was made, Gular in the Terry Fasnacht No. 2A was in eighth.

As the team refueled the car, Gular along with his crew noticed the left rear tire was going flat forcing to pull into the pits after the fuel stop was over to change tires. Starting at the back of the pack Gular took advantage of the fresh left side rubber to make a run towards the front.

Using his experience to his advantage on restarts Gular soon found himself just right outside the top five when the final caution flag flew on lap 67. When the green flag came back out Gular made a bold move and was able to get up into the top five and with only a couple laps remaining was able to move by Howard to slide into a podium finish in third.

“This car just came on there at the end,” cited Gular after the race. “We had a left rear going flat at the fuel stop so we had to come in and I thought we were done at that point having to go to the back. Then we started picking guys off and I couldn’t believe it. It got really racy there on the restart and I thought we were going to settle in for a fifth or a sixth and I was chasing Yankowski and I was hoping for top five then when that yellow came out I said ‘let’s go for it here’ and I was able to get past three cars on the restart there in one corner. It’s hard to pass here so you have to make the restarts count. It’s a very racy track but when you get filed out on the cushion it’s just hard to make a run at someone and pass them. But with the way we’ve run here in the past, I’m very happy with how we ran tonight and to get a third is pretty darn good.”

Coalcracker Notes:

A total of 35 small-block Modifieds signed in for the 38th running of the Coalcracker 72. The four heats were won by Duane Howard, Craig Von Dohren, Ryan Watt & Rick Laubach. The two consi’s went to Brett Kressley and Scott Albert…

Last week’s winner Kevin Beach Jr was disqualified out of the heat #3 after coming into contact with Brandon Grosso forcing Grosso out of the event…

Last year’s Sportsman division standout Matt Stangle was disqualified out of the first consi after making contact with Meme Desantis after Desantis forced Stangle into the outside wall coming out of turn four. With Desantis unable to continue after the contact Stangle was sent to the pits as well…

14 year-old Big Diamond Sportsman champion Alex Yankowski made his modified debut at the speedway and was very impressive doing so. Yankowski was able to finish in a redraw spot in his heat and to his amazement found himself starting his first Big Diamond Modified feature from the pole position after drawing the number one starting position. The youngster did himself well leading the way for the first 23 laps before eventual winner Danny Bouc went by on the restart. Yankowski stayed in the top five the remainder of the race until a flat tire spoiled his debut on the last lap. However, the kid continued to impress everyone with his driving skills…

A not so good night for the other side of the Yankowski family as cousin Frank Yankowski was out on lap one with mechanical issues…

David Hunt made his second ever start at the speedway and thought he had himself a top five finish only to find out afterwards that the tower had him scored a lap down. Hunt protested the finish but to no avail. The scoring issue came about after the leader Bouc passed Hunt just after the yellow flag had come out for the lap 40 fuel stop…

Billy Pauch Jr., had a top three finish go by the wayside after suffering a flat tire on his number 15 with only five laps to go…

A large crowd was on hand for the night’s program which also included a spectacular fireworks display at intermission…

Kudos to the track crew. After receiving very heavy rains on Friday, leaving the infield very muddy and forcing the track to do victory lane ceremonies on the front stretch. The crew did a great job giving the drivers a very raceable track…

As always, I can be reached at dirtracefan25@hotmail.com or on Twitter @dirtracefan25 for any questions or comments.