By BARRY ANGSTADT
KUTZTOWN, PA – Attempting to manhandle a USAC All Pro SpeedSTR for 75 laps – while dicing for position with 25 other throttle-jockeys – can be an intimidating chore. But the long distance of the Dick Tobias Classic has proven to be no problem for Billy Pauch Jr.
The Milford, NJ ace won his third consecutive Tobias Classic on Sunday night at the JeffreyHogueRealtor.com Action Track USA on the Kutztown Fairgrounds. “The Kid’s Kid” also captured the 75-lapper, worth $5,000 each time, in 2015 and on May 14 of this year (the event was run twice in ’17 after it was rained out last season). With Sunday’s victory, Pauch Jr. pushed this year’s SpeedSTR win total to three, and his division-leading career total to 12. He also cut into Tim Buckwalter’s point lead with just one SpeedSTR event remaining on the Action Track USA schedule (on Wednesday, August 16).
Buckwalter notched his third triumph of the season in the Hyper Racing 600 Sprint main, and Dylan Hoch recorded his second victory of the year in the 20-lap feature for the All Star Slingshots.
The next race on the Action Track USA docket is set for Tuesday, August 15, when the All Star Slingshots take part in the second annual Super Slingshot Fair National that will pay $2,000 to the winner of the 55-lap main event. That race kicks off National Dirt Week at the Kutztown Fair, and it will be followed by another huge race on Wednesday the 16th. The Hyper Racing 600 Sprints compete in their Fair Week National, a 60-lapper that will also offer the winner a $2,000 payday (with Gambler’s Fee). Joining the 600’s on the 16th will be the USAC All Pro SpeedSTRs and the All Star Slinghshots in the Troy Moyer Memorial. Wednesday’s event also serves as the final point race for 2017 at the oval on the Kutztown Fairgrounds. Thursday, August 17th, could be termed “Kids Night” as the superstars of the future compete in Quarter-Midget action and the Junior Slingshots take part in a pair of feature races, with one of them being a National Tour event. Saturday, August 19, brings down the curtain on the Action Track USA season with the running of the Daniel Boone 100 Stock Car Race. All of the info regarding the racing during National Dirt Week can be found on the speedway’s website: www.actiontrackusa.com.
Sunday’s B-Main for the USAC All Pro SpeedSTRs looked almost like an A-Main, as both Pauch Jr. and Tim Buckwalter, who are first and second in points, were forced to run the last chance qualifier along with Mike Bednar, Dylan Hoch, and Matt Janisch. They all made it into the 75-lap Dick Tobias Classic, but were mired deep in the pack as the main event went green. Pauch started 18th, with Buckwalter lined up in 20th position.
The first 17 circuits spun off without a caution as Briggs Danner gassed his No. 78 into the top spot over pole sitter Kenny Brightbill. Steve Drevicki moved up to trade slide jobs with Brightbill in a duel for the runner-up position as the race moved toward the mandatory lap-40 caution and pit stop. With Danner cruising out front, the large crowd focused on the progress of Pauch Jr. and T. Buckwalter, along with Bednar, as all three steadily and methodically picked their way through heavy traffic. Pauch motored into fifth on the 30th trip around the clay.
At the break with 40 tours in the books, the top five included Danner, Drevicki, K. Brightbill, Pauch Jr., and Tom Mayberry. Tim Buckwalter was seventh, right behind Jeff Hartman.
As the final 35 laps began, Pauch ducked under Drevicki to snare the runner-up spot on the 41st revolution. T. Buckwalter spun off the homestretch and into the infield with 43 complete, forcing him to restart in the rear.
On lap 46, Pauch muscled his way past Danner to take command and nine circuits later, Danner slowed with problems while still in second. He was able to restart at the back of the pack.
With 12 to go and Pauch in control, attention turned to Matt Westfall, the Flying Buckeye from Ohio, and 23rd starter Matt Janisch, who both entered the top five. Bednar was in their tire tracks, too, and Tim Buckwalter charged from the rear to run sixth as lap 63 was scored.
Bednar got by Westfall and Brightbill to run second, but only for approximately half-a-lap, as Westfall powered past him in turn two with ten revolutions left to run. Buckwalter continued his charge to the front, disposing of Brightbill with five to go, then slipping past Bednar for third place on a restart with two trips remaining.
Westfall gave it his best shot on the final lap, looking to the outside of Pauch, then darting to the bottom as they drag raced off turn four and headed for the checkered flag. Pauch held him off by 0.109-seconds to register his third straight win in the 75-lap Tobias Classic. Tim Buckwalter rebounded nicely to finish third ahead of 19th starter Mike Bednar, and Kenny Brightbill ran among the top five all race long, ending up with a fifth place paycheck.
The Hyper Racing 600 Sprint feature, 25 laps in distance, saw Kenny Miller III spring into the lead over pole sitter John Willman. Tim Buckwalter and Billy Pauch Jr. quickly advanced into second and third, respectively, with Kyle Lick racing to fourth in the early stages of the race.
Miller repelled the challenges of Buckwalter as Pauch and Lick ran side by side for third. Buckwalter finally rocketed to the outside of Miller, who was set up to run the bottom. Buckwalter, from Pottstown, had a nose in front as lap seven was scored and, when the yellow flag was displayed a few seconds later, it was Tim who was placed at the head of the field.
As the race progressed, 13th-starter Jesse Maurer navigated his way into the top three, battling with Miller for a few tours before he secured the runner-up position. At the same time, 14th-starting Austin Quick moved into the top five and fought with Pauch for the fourth spot as the laps wound down toward the finish.
At the end, Tim Buckwalter waltzed to his third win of the season by just more than two-seconds over Maurer. The triumph was the 12th for Buckwalter in the 600 Sprint division at Action Track USA, and he leads all 600 Sprint drivers in the career win category at the speedway. The victory also kept him in the thick of the point chase as he trails Pauch Jr. by less than 60 points heading into the August 16 Fair Week Nationals.
Miller recorded his best Action Track USA finish by placing third, with Pauch nipping Quick for fourth place money.
Dylan Hoch, the defending Slingshot track champion and current point leader, had some extra incentive to do well on Sunday night. His mother, Michele, became ill in the pit area during the SpeedSTR feature and was taken to Lehigh Valley Hospital by ambulance. Before she left the track, however, she made sure that her son would stay and run the Slingshots’ 20-lap feature.
“This one’s for my mom,” said Dylan as he proudly waved the checkered flag from atop his No. 35 in victory lane after his second win of the season.
NOTE: as of Monday, August 7, Michele Hoch was still undergoing tests in the hospital, but was feeling much better and congratulating her son on his victory via social media.
Hoch passed Austin Stufflet for second at the halfway point, then blasted to the lead on lap 14 as he, early leader Brett Bieber, and Seth Spayd went three-wide for the top spot on the backstretch. Spayd snared the runner-up position from Bieber, and a late race charge by Jared Silfee carried him to third with less than five circuits remaining.
Hoch won it by just over a quarter-second, beating Spayd to the stripe and J. Silfee settling for third. Brett Bieber and Nick Vinciguerra completed the top five.
Action Track Sidebites:
The special Sunday night edition of the Dick Tobias Classic drew a huge crowd and packed pit area, with 31 SpeedSTRs, 56 of the 600 Sprints, and 33 Slingshots taking part in the program.
Briggs Danner set quick time in the SpeedSTR Timed Dashes, as both he and second-quickest James Morris transferred directly to the main event. Heat race wins went to Matt Westfall, Steve Buckwalter, and Steven Nederostek. The B-Main winner was Billy Pauch Jr.
Tim Bauer was victorious in the Pioneer Pole Buildings 600 Sprint Mad Scramble, automatically putting him into the 25-lap feature. Kenny Miller III, Tommy Kunsman, Billy Pauch Jr., Tim Buckwalter, and Tyler Lindsey won heat races for the 600’s. A pair of C-Mains were needed to pare down the large field, with wins going to Logan Snyder and Brando Azzalina. The B-Main triumph fell to Tyler Ulrich.
Nick Vinciguerra, Seth Spayd, and Jared Silfee won heats for the Slingshots, while twin B-Mains went to Kyle Herve and Dakota Kohler.
Attention now turns to National Dirt Week at the annual Kutztown Fair, with the Super Slingshot Fair National kicking things off on Tuesday, August 15. The All Star Slingshots will have the spotlight all to themselves on the 15th, with a 55-lap A-Main headlining the affair that pays $2,000 to the winner.
The final night of racing – this season – for the USAC All Pro SpeedSTRs and the Hyper Racing 600 Sprints will take place on Wednesday, August 16. The 600’s compete in their 60-lap Fair Week National, paying $2,000 to win (with Gambler’s Fee), and that race is also part of Hyper Racing 600 Speedweek presented by Small Car Weekly.com. The SpeedSTRs and All Star Slingshots are on the menu as well, and it’s the final Action Track USA point race for all three divisions. The Slingshots will compete in the Troy Moyer Memorial, while the SpeedSTRs duke it out in a 30-lap feature.
For all the information on events during National Dirt Week at the Kutztown Fair, log on to www.actiontrackusa.com.
Come get your Midweek Motorsports Adrenaline Rush where the superstars come to race…at the JeffreyHogueRealtor.com Action Track USA on the Kutztown Fairgrounds!
USAC All Pro SpeedSTRs – Dick Tobias Classic, 75 Laps: 1.Billy Pauch Jr., 2.Matt Westfall, 3.Tim Buckwalter, 4.Mike Bednar, 5.Kenny Brightbill, 6.Tim Iulg, 7.Matt Janisch, 8.Briggs Danner, 9.Earl Paules, 10.Kyle Hieber, 11.Ray Nemeth, 12.Gary Hieber, 13.Steve Nederostek, 14.James Morris, 15.Steve Drevicki, 16.Brad Brightbill, 17.Dylan Hoch, 18.Tom Mayberry, 19.John Bockhorn, 20.Jeff Hartman, 21.Tyler Ross, 22.Jeff Strunk, 23.TJ Mayberry, 24.Steve Buckwalter, 25.Louden Reimert, 26.Jason Rochelle.
DNQ: Keith Prutzman, Ed Kenderdine, Brody Adamsky, Andy Haus, Doug Manmiller.
Hyper Racing 600 Sprints, 25 Laps: 1.Tim Buckwalter, 2.Jesse Maurer, 3.Kenny Miller III, 4.Billy Pauch Jr., 5.Austin Quick, 6.Kyle Lick, 7.Danny Buccafusca, 8.Jacob Severn, 9.Nate Brinker, 10.Jason Swavely, 11.Eddie Strada, 12.Jay Hartman, 13.Colin White, 14.Tyler Ulrich, 15.Joe Kay, 16.Rob Pajauis, 17.Jim Radney, 18.John Willman, 19.Kyle Spence, 20.Bobby Butler, 21.Bruce Buckwalter, 22.Tyler Lindsey, 23.Tommy Kunsman, 24.Tim Bauer, 25.Andrew Layser, 26.Kameron Morral, 27.James Morris.
DNQ: Dakota Barlet, Shane Linderman, Joey Amantea, Doug Snyder, Damon Paul, Zack Bealer, Logan Snyder, Brandon Azzalina, Tyler Brehm, Kassidy Michael, Billy Koch, Tyler Galatro, Mikey Smith, Jackson Ring, Jacob Balliet, Jimmy Glenn, Greg Stevens, Jason Muldowney, JT Brotosky, Matt Roselli, Eric Ankiewicz, Joe Plunkett, Jake Roberts, Mike Thompson, Tyler Kehs, Aaron Bollinger, Shawn Rooney, Jared Lilly, Dave Dimaio.
All Star Slingshots, 20 Laps: 1.Dylan Hoch, 2.Seth Spayd, 3.Jared Silfee, 4.Brett Bieber, 5.Nick Vinciguerra, 6.Austin Stufflet, 7.Anthony Raisner, 8.Nick DelCampo, 9.Joe Toth, 10.Travis Bieber, 11.Austin Silfee, 12.Cody Kline, 13.Blaire Schoenly, 14.Dave Carraghan, 15.Dakota Kohler, 16.Tanner VanDoren, 17.Austin Daniels, 18.Matt Miller, 19.Marc Daniels, 20.Kyle Herve, 21.Ryan Davey, 22.Alex Yankowski, 23.Chris Kurtz Jr., 24.Joey Vaccaro, 25.Taylor Mills, 26.Damon Paul.
DNQ: Lee Schantzenbach, Ashley Therien, Gavin Danner, Ryan Conrad, Jessica Castello, Myron Moyer, Bart Schoenly.
Pioneer Pole Buildings 600 Sprint Mad Scramble (10 Laps) – 1.Tim Bauer (Transferred to Feature & $25 from Hosensack Poker Club), 2.Tyler Lindsey (Hoosier RR Tire), 3.Damon Paul (10 gal. Methanol from Roadrunner Race Fuel/VP Fuels), 4.Jesse Maurer (RTS Gift Certificate), 5.Jacob Balliet (4-FK Rod Ends), 6.John Willman (TSL Shocks Gift Certificate), 7.Jimmy Glenn (Saldana Racing Products Gift Certificate), 8.Bobby Butler (Free Reg. @ AT USA), 9.Billy Koch (Free Reg. @ AT USA), 10.Dave Dimaio (Pyrotect Racing Cells Gift Certificate), 11.Joey Amantea, 12.Jared Lilly, 13.Bruce Buckwalter, 14.Jake Roberts, 15.Aaron Bollinger, 16.Tyler Galatro, 17.Joe Plunkett, 18.Doug Snyder, 19.Greg Stevens, 20.Jason Muldowney, 21.JT Brotosky, 22.Mike Thompson.