KUTZTOWN, PA – Billy Pauch Sr. has racked up more than 700 feature wins in his long and illustrious career, but chances are he would rank Wednesday’s pre-race ceremonial pace laps at Championship Energy Action Track USA right up there with any of those victories.
Pauch, from Frenchtown NJ, was an emotional SpeedSTR winner in Wednesday’s program presented by Wayne Subaru. In victory lane after his 30 lap triumphant romp, Pauch choked up as he remembered the beginning of the night.
“I’ll tell you what, those laps around the track while the National Anthem was sung; riding around next to my son and grandson…that was special and really cool. That means as much to me as this win,” said Pauch, recalling the pre-race parade laps with the elder Pauch, Billy Jr., and Billy III who had an American flag mounted to the back of his Junior Slingshot, rolling slowly around the track as Keith Gerhart sang the Star Spangled Banner.
In Wednesday’s Hyper Racing 600 Sprint main, Steven Snyder Jr. drove to his fourth Action Track USA win of the season (three in non-wing shows and one in the Kutztown Fair Wing Nationals). And just as he did in that winged race last Friday, the Rising Sun, MD ace had to pass, then hold off, a determined Tyler Lindsay.
Emmaus, PA’s Dave Carraghan picked up his second win of the season in the All Star Slingshot class and Junior Slingshots point leader Matthew Laubach registered his fourth win of the season.
Attention now turns to this Sunday, August 20, and the Dick Tobias Classic. Utilizing a different format this year, the Tobias Classic will be the final race of the season and the 2023 point champions will be crowned. The SpeedSTR’s and 600 Sprints will be joined by the USAC East Coast Sprint Cars. Those three classes will compete on Sunday evening, with warm ups starting at 6:15 p.m.
Earlier in the day, at 1:30 p.m., the All Star and Junior Slingshots will end their 2023 racing season at the Berks County oval.
Wednesday’s Wayne Subaru SpeedSTR main event saw Pauch Sr. take the lead when Dustin Morris got completely sideways in the middle of turns three and four. Morris was able to straighten out and continue, but not until the majority of the field had maneuvered by him. The mishap handed the lead to Pauch on lap nine. The Frenchtown, NJ veteran then held off strong running Matt Janisch, who passed Briggs Danner for the runner-up slot, to gain his 12th career SpeedSTR victory at Action Track USA. Danner finished third with impressive SpeedSTR rookie Daniel Schumaker taking the checkered in fourth. Point leader Tim Buckwalter finished fifth and takes a 65 point lead into Sunday’s Dick Tobias Classic over Mike Bednar. Buckwalter, who is gunning for his second consecutive point title and third overall in the SpeedSTR division at Action Track USA. If Bednar wins the feature on Sunday, Buckwalter must finish sixth or better to clinch the crown.
Rising Sun, Maryland’s Steve Snyder Jr. threw a “Snyder Slider” on race leader Jacob Severn as they negotiated turns three and four on the fourth trip around the clay. Tyler Lindsay took over second place when Connor Mirabelli suddenly slowed and fell out of the race. Lindsay was running similar lap times to the leader, but he could not cut into the advantage enjoyed by Snyder. Severn, Colin White, and Briggs Danner scuffled for third with White securing the spot at the halfway point.
600 Sprint point leader Christian Bruno was charging to the front early in the race when he suffered a flat left-rear tire. His crew quickly changed the sneaker under a red flag situation and got him back on the track prior to the field going green. Bruno salvaged some points by finishing 13th.
Bruno leads Connor Gross by 82 points heading into Sunday’s finale. If Gross pulls off the win, Bruno needs to finish 10th or better to wrap up his second straight point championship. Colin White is third in points, 123 behind Bruno while Snyder sits fourth in the standings, 137 tallies out of the lead. Both White and Snyder are still mathematically alive for the title, but they are now long shots to win the point crown.
Brett Bieber’s runner up finish to Dave Carraghan on Wednesday guaranteed the Oley Jet a third straight and fourth overall All Star Slingshot point championship at the bullring on the Kutztown Fairgrounds.
Carraghan, from Emmaus, was unbeatable on Wednesday, setting the pace for all 20 laps of the Slingshot feature. Bieber motored into second place early in the going, but could not keep up with race leader Carraghan, who scored his second win of the season at Action Track USA. The triumph was the sixth of Carraghan’s career at the Kutztown, PA speedway, moving him into a tie for third on the all-time Slingshot win list at Action Track USA.
Quakertown, PA wheel-twister Matthew Laubach captured his fourth victory of the year, and second in a row, in the speedway’s Junior Slingshot class. The win enabled Laubach to all-but lock up the Junior Slinger point championship, as he extended his lead in the standings to 140 over Jocelynn Darinsig. It is an almost insurmountable hurdle for Darinsig, who has to win on Sunday and hope that more than 25 cars show up for the season finale—and that Laubach ends up 25th or worse.
A tremendous season is rapidly coming to an end at Championship Energy Action Track USA. Don’t miss out on Sunday’s season finale, the Dick Tobias Classic, where the SpeedSTRs, USAC East Coast Sprint Cars, and Hyper Racing 600 Sprints each run a 30 lap A-Main after competing in qualifying races. The Slingshot matinee, beginning at 1:30 in the afternoon, is free to the public.
On Sunday, for the final time in 2023, they will spray some clay at Action Track USA!
Speedway Entertainment All Pro SpeedSTRs, 30 laps: 1.Billy Pauch Sr., 2.Matt Janisch, 3.Briggs Danner, 4.Daniel Schumaker, 5.Tim Buckwalter, 6.Mike Bednar, 7.Billy Pauch Jr., 8.TJ Mayberry, 9.Dustin Morris, 10.Shea Wills, 11.Kyle Herve, 12.Cale Zangli, 13.Jason Muldowney, 14.Aidan Ohst, 15.Nick Arment, 16.Steve Buckwalter, 17.Gary Wagner, 18.Chuck Eckert. DNS: Doug Snyder.
Hyper Racing 600 Sprints, 25 laps: 1.Steven Snyder Jr., 2.Tyler Lindsay, 3.Colin White, 4.Briggs Danner, 5.Jacob Severn, 6.Dylan Hahn, 7.Connor Gross, 8.Dole Dewease, 9.Aidan Donaldson, 10.JT Ferry, 11.Tim Buckwalter, 12.Preston Lattomus, 13.Christian Bruno, 14.Matt McAnally, 15.Adam Buchel, 16.Alex Ruppert, 17.Shelby McLaughlin, 18.James Roselli, 19.Bobby Butler, 20.Cole Gerber, 21.Ryan Groff, 22.Nate Freed, 23.Connor Mirabelli, 24.John Hoffman, 25.Zack Weisenfluh, 26.Zack Bealer, 27.Joe Nemeth, 28.Kenny Miller III.
DNQ: Gabe Gerber, Billy Koch, Tyler Henry, Dakota Barlet, Lukas Kostic, Jared Lilly, Damian Bower, Richie Baker Jr., Evan Nolf, Erich Lobecker, Weston Doklan, Dan Lane, Jacob Fisher, Michael Nolf, Lavar Scott, Fred Heinly, Kyle Herve, Wayne Scott, Sonny Tete, Kaitlyn Swist.
All Star Slingshots, 20 laps: 1.Dave Carraghan, 2.Brett Bieber, 3.Tyler Ulsh, 4.Chase Schott, 5.Amanda Angstadt, 6.Austin Kroboth, 7.Colton Williams, 8.Nolan Layser, 9.Luke McCloskey, 10.Jax Yohn, 11.Tyler Hoch, 12.Mason Lineman, 13.Nathan Abrahims, 14.Colton Lineman, 15.Shawn Dengler, 16.Gavin Danner, 17.Faith Turnbaugh.
Junior Slingshots, 15 laps: 1.Matthew Laubach, 2.Chase Gular, 3.Aubrey Romig, 4.Jocelynn Darinsig, 5.Darian Danyluk, 6.Anthony Ciccone, 7.Lily Barrett, 8.Lilly Esterly, 9.Billy Pauch III, 10.Enzo Iudicello, 11.Anna Strachko.