Pauch Jr First Double-Dip, Plus Big D Notes – DTD Exclusive

By KEN BRUCE

A winless season for Billy Pauch J.,r in 2020 at Big Diamond Speedway (points paying races) led the Frenchtown, N.J., driver to work as hard as he could over the winter to bring back the success the driver has previously achieved at the Schuylkill County dirt oval.

The “Kid Racing No. 15” team purchased a new Bicknell racing chassis over the winter with all intentions of racing the new car this season. However, when the season started, the team brought out last year’s car determined to make it work before debuting the new car. Well, after two months of what it seems like every other week competition due to the weather, the team might rethink its choice and just leave the new car at home. 

Pauch Jr., has come out of the gate strong in 2021 winning two of the first six races this season with their 2020 car and that has the personable Pauch rethinking the teams plans regarding the new car.

“I think we’ll wait and bring out that new car to a Thunder on the Hill show later in the year and see how it goes,” explained Pauch Jr. “This car has been really good this year, a little rough here and there but my guys keep digging and working at it to make even better. We’ve had a couple of DNF’s here so far this year which has hurt us in the points, but we’ll keep going for wins and see what happens.




If I can win more races here that’ll make me happy. There were a lot of good cars here tonight that didn’t finish so they’ll circle their way to the front next week and be tough. But that’s the way racing is now, it’s tough to beat the guys up front. We’ve been fortunate that we have won two races from ninth, but that doesn’t happen every day. The heat races here are everything, it’s tough to pass and if you don’t get it done in the heat race, you are done. The heat races are the key to it here. I was happy Jake stuck with it today and ran, Jake does a good job here and I am very thankful to be here.”

On this night the track was tough after Mother Nature laid down the gauntlet all week with rain.

“This track was hammer down tonight and you could use all the power you had tonight,” said a happy Pauch Jr., in his trailer after the race. “We made the right calls tonight and the guys all worked hard and it’s pretty cool to get our second win here in June. Last year we sucked to honest with you for lack of a better terms. It’s good and it’s a long summer; we have fresh equipment back at the shop for the bigger races and we’ll bring that out later in the year and the way this car is running, we’ll run it as long as we can.”

It takes a lot of people to make these deals happen and Pauch Jr., is cognizant of that and goes out of his way to make sure that everyone gets the credit they deserve on his race team.

“I cannot thank enough the people that are behind me,” cited a very appreciative Pauch Jr. “This is my own deal, but I have so many good people behind me that make this work and it’s just awesome and I am really thankful for everything they do for me to make this deal happen. I am very fortunate that I have a car owner like Ricky (Rick Holsten, owner of the No. 96) and we have a great relationship and we’ve won a lot of races, but I have always wanted to have my own program. Like a Matt (Sheppard) or even Stew (Friesen) who has the Halmar deal but really, it is his program. My deal has become good, and we’ve come a long way in the last year. I have a lot of great sponsors like Bangor Steele, Ken’s Tire, B & G Truck & Trailer, Pioneer Pole Buildings, Growers Garden Center, Atlantic Sprinkler and Searock Landscape and Snow Management and without all of them, I could never do this deal.”

Nick Rochinski has Great Run for Second-Place

This is the third year Nick Rochinski has traveled to Big Diamond Speedway on Friday nights and although the No. 20R team has shown flashes of success in the past, he very rarely got the finish he thought he deserved. Last Friday night Rochinski brought the Rochinski Racing TEO Elite car home to a very solid second-place finish.

“Man, we definitely had a good run tonight,” said the happy driver after the race. “Starting fifth always helps, but I definitely felt like we had top two car tonight. The track tonight was probably the fastest it’s been all year. I don’t know if the Legends with their little tires cut it up a little bit and made it choppy because a couple of times, we got a little airborne, but the car took whatever was thrown at it tonight and just kept going. We have been battling tight here for two years now and tonight I think we’ve finally found something.”

The Rochinski team was racing with a heavy heart this week after the passing of iconic Modified team owner Dieter Schmidt. Dieter was the owner of the legendary Lincoln Auto Body No. 5 which has been driven by a list of Modified superstars over the years such as the late Doug Hoffman, Jimmy Horton, Rick Laubach, Billy Van Inwegen and Ryan Godown. The last driver that drove the Schmidt No. 5 was Nick Rochinski and it was Rochinski who was able to get the last win for the personable Schmidt last season. Rochinski reflected on his friend. 

“I couldn’t really believe it when I got the news from my dad of Dieter’s passing,” said a humbled Rochinski. “Actually, Dieter and my dad were very close, two old school car owners who had a lot in common and got along really good and that really affected my dad this week. It was tough and I wish we could have gotten him the win tonight, but second is pretty darned good to, especially with the caliber of the drivers here at Big Diamond. Hopefully, we can get one spot better tomorrow night and get the win that he deserves. If not, we’ll be back fighting for a win on Tuesday.”

Big Diamond Gems:

The Modified car count last Friday was 29. Heat race wins went to Cliff Quinn, Dillon Steuer and Craig Von Dohren. The modified consi was won by Timmy Buckwalter…

Danny Bouc’s nightmare of a season continued on Friday night as the driver of the Norm Hansell No. 357 was caught up in a heat race tangle with two other cars. After assessing the damage, the team decided to load the car up and head home…

Defending Insigner Performance Modified points champion Mike Gular has also had his share of troubles this season at Big Diamond. Gular’s bad luck continued last Friday when the Gular didn’t like the way the motor in his Terry Fastnacht No. 2A sounded in warmups and instead of taking a chance of damaging the motor beyond repair, the team decided to load it up and take it home to have it checked out…

Brett Kressley had his car renumbered No. 1B this week as a tribute to long-time friend and supporter Terry Spadacino who recently passed away…

A very unusual scene took place on Friday night as Craig Von Dohren took his second DNF in a row, I bet you would have to go back a long way to see the last time that happened at Big Diamond…

Jeff Strunk, who won the last Modified feature at Big Diamond was the victim of a hard crash not of his doing on Friday night which saw the front end of the Zubi’s Racing No. 88Z all folded up requiring the assistance of the tow truck to get back to his pit…

Duane Howard continues to lead the race for the Insigner Performance Points title over Alex Yankowski, Billy Pauch Jr, Timmy Buckwalter and Dillon Steuer…

Kevin Brady took a wild ride in the Open Sportsman feature event. Thankfully, Brady was okay after the wild ride but unfortunately the same could not be said of the No. OINK car…

This Tuesday at Big Diamond Speedway will be the return of the “Anthracite Assault” STSS race. This race is the only race of the season which combines both the STSS North and South series divisions for a dual event…

Next Friday June 11th at Big Diamond will feature the Insigner Performance Modifieds along with USS Achey Open Sportsman, the Red White and Blue Autos Roadrunners plus a visit from the PASS/MASS Sprint cars…

If you have any questions or comments. I can be reached at dirtracefan25@hotmail.com or on Twitter @dirtracefan25.