Good Weekend for Laubach, King of Big Block Weekend Notes – DTD Exclusive

By KEN BRUCE

It’s been well documented that Rick Laubach didn’t have a great season in 2018. Things have improved in 2019 and if the last two weekends are any indication the old Rick Laubach is back. Last Saturday Laubach finished second in the Freedom 76 driving the Gary Hermann No. 7. This weekend, at the Bridgeport King of the Big Block weekend driving the Ryan Kerr No. 1K, Laubach dominated the Friday night small-block race to pick up the win and backed that up with solid fifth place finish in the big-block race on Saturday.

It’s been quite a turnaround for Laubach and it could not have come at a better time for the Hellertown, Pa., driver with a slew of big races on the horizon.

Friday night Laubach, starting from the pole, never looked back as he led all 25 laps to take the big win and on Saturday Laubach drove a steady race to get a top five spot.

“We had a good car last night and tonight we got out of the car what it had and nothing more,” mentioned Laubach. “Our car was good tonight, but it just didn’t have what we needed to compete with those guys up front. The top four cars all had left side panhard bars and I was the first one that had the old right side panhard bar in and that probably hurt us.




‘We have a solid team right now. Next week we’ll head to New Egypt, not sure with what car yet, but I’m not too concerned with that right now because I am getting ready for Oswego. I went with too hard of a tire tonight with the way they had the track because of the heat and humidity. It’s been a good couple of weeks and hopefully we can keep the momentum going heading into Super DIRT Week.”

Up and Down Night for Second-Place Finishing Von Dohren

Craig Von Dohren might’ve had the fastest car all night Saturday at Bridgeport, but sometimes the fastest car doesn’t always win. Von Dohren started near the front at the start of the 50-lap race and went right towards the front pressuring early leader Ryan Watt. Running under yellow on lap 23, Von Dohren surprisingly pulled the Dick Biever No. 14S to the pits with what was found to be a leaking right rear tire.

“The car just didn’t feel right and it turned out we had a pinhole in the tire and it was losing air,” explained a disappointed Von Dohren.

After a quick tire change by his pit crew, Von Dohren rejoined the field and started his run back towards the front. Von Dohren fought hard trying to get back through the pack as cars were battling hard amongst themselves.  He even got into a three car tangle on a lap 26 restart. Once the field started to thin out you could see that Von Dohren was ready to make a charge. As the lap counter clicked off lap 40, Von Dohren was up to eighth and still charging. When the yellow was displayed with three laps remaining, the Oley, Pa., driver was now running third.

When the race restarted Von Dohren battled Pauch for second, finally getting by him going through turns one and two on the final lap.  By that time Watt had too big of a lead for Von Dohren to make a challenge for the win.  He had to settle for the runner-up spot.

“We had a good car and were coming back through, but it is just so so hard to see in the back and we are going way too fast to not be able to see,” mentioned Von Dohren. “You get into the turn there and hit somebody and maybe hurt somebody or yourself. I never really thought about getting hurt, but for some reason now I do. We really needed about a ten lap run once we got to third, not three. It’s disappointing, but second is not bad. I’m not sure what’s happening next year with this whole team but who knows maybe the phone will ring and we’ll keep going,”

Bouc Winds Up his Small-Block and Finishes Fourth

If there’s one thing you can say about Danny Bouc, it’s definitely that he can get the most out his car on any given night. Battling a large contingent of big-block Modifieds, Bouc brought his open 358 small block to an impressive fourth-place finish. That should come as a surprise to no one as Bouc has done this before on the big five-eights mile track at Bridgeport. Back in 2016, Bouc wheeled the Michael Bent owned No. 88 to a second-place finish in the STSS Dirty Jersey race powered by a 358 spec small-block.

Bouc had the Craig and Leslie Pondish No. 6 flying around the speedway making moves anywhere the Pipersville, Pa., driver could find an opening. It was an impressive drive for Bouc and it did not go unnoticed by the large crowd on hand.

“Let me tell you, it’s tough to keep up with these big-blocks, but this things runs pretty dam good,” cited Bouc greeting his fans behind the main grandstand. “I used the restarts to my advantage tonight. I’ve always been good on restart here and I can usually pick where everyone is going to go. This car likes to run the bottom and when the bottom started going away for everyone else, that is when I could make some moves.

“This car has been really quick all year, we’ve just had a hard time finishing races early on.  Now we starting to finish these races and getting some good finishes. The track was a little slick early on, but once it blew off this car came to life. This is all we got and hopefully we can keep it going until the end of the year and we’ll see what happens next year.”

Bridgeport Bites

34 Modifieds signed in for action on Saturday with Brandon Grosso, Sammy Martz, Stan Frankenfield and Ryan Watt winning the four heats. Craig Von Dohren and Wade Hendrickson were automatically added to the redraw by virtue of having the fastest laps in Friday night’s two hot lap sessions. Dominick Buffalino and Duane Howard were winners of the two consolation races…

Jimmy Horton was scheduled to start third in his qualifying heat race but had to tag the rear of the field after his No. 43 failed to start. That proved to be big for Horton who missed qualifying in his heat by one spot…

Billy Pauch Jr., was one of the fastest cars in the feature event having worked his way into the top five .  Unfortunately for the popular wheelman, damage from an earlier incident caused the a tire rub in the right rear which eventually resulted in a shredded tire. The shredded tire caused too much damage for the team to continue…

The warm and humid day caused the track to be heavy which resulted in a lot of attrition during the 50 lap feature race…

Hendrickson looked strong and was solidly in the top five when the No. R10 slowed with a smoking powerplant…

There was heartbreak for Brett Kressley who was running second late in the race only to run out of fuel with only a few laps remaining…

In talking to Duane Howard, the Oley, Pa., driver informed me that he will be attempting Super Dirt Week in Oswego next week for the first time. Howard will be driving the Ryan Alsdorf No. 8A which has been driven sporadically this year at OCFS by Tim Hindley. If you remember, it was only two years ago that Rick Laubach drove this car at SDW and put it on the outside pole for the 200…

Sammy Martz was disqualified during the race after a tangle involving himself, Buffalino and Davey Sammons. Martz was not happy with Buffalino afterwards and drove into him. Per NJ State law that is cause for a disqualification…

Tommy Beamer put on quite a charge to the front his provisional starting spot and was almost into the top five when he suffered a flat tire. Beamer did return to end up with a top ten finish…

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