By Chris Moore
DELMAR, DE – Billy Pauch Jr. found glory with the Bob Hilbert Sportswear Short Track Super Series (STSS) Fueled By Sunoco at Delaware International Speedway on Wednesday night for the first time since 2021.
The ‘Diamond State 50’ win – the seventh of Pauch Jr.’s STSS career – netted the Frenchtown, N.J., native a $5,200 payday and the points lead in the Rent Equip/Party Central South Region.
“We’ve really struggled so far this year. Last Saturday was one of the most depressing days of my life,” Pauch Jr. stated of his performance at his Saturday night home track New Egypt (N.J.) Speedway. “It feels really good to be back in (Bicknell Racing Products) Victory Lane.”
‘The Kid’s Kid’ fended off several challenges from one of the Northeast’s hottest drivers in Danny Bouc on numerous restarts to grab his first career STSS win at the half-mile oval on the Delaware-Maryland state line.
“Danny’s hot right now, it’s his time and it hasn’t been ours lately, but this one feels good,” Pauch Jr. smiled.
A caution-plagued 50-lap race saw Hellertown, Pa.’s Rick Laubach start on the pole with Pauch Jr. alongside following the Beyea Custom Headers Redraw.
Pauch Jr. quickly shot to the lead and brought East Greenbush, N.Y.’s David Schilling with him who took the runner-up spot.
Pipersville, Pa. native Danny Bouc wasted no time however, racing by Laubach and then by Schilling for the runner-up spot in the early going, with Schilling settling into a ferocious battle for the final podium spot with Potsdam, N.Y.’s Michael Maresca.
The numerous yellows played to the benefit of Savannah, N.Y.’s Matt Sheppard, as he rose from the eighth starting position into third in the opening 13 laps.
Sheppard’s luck would drastically change however on the 14th circuit, as ‘Super Matt’ glanced off the infield jersey barrier in turn two. The contact sent Sheppard spinning and causing minor front-end damage.
Sheppard’s No. 9s machine returned to race from the back.
More yellow flags throughout the mid portion of the race – including one that took out Maresca who entered as the South Region point leader – played into the hands of Covington Township, Pa.’s Alex Yankowski.
‘Kid Rocket’ had risen from the 14th starting position into the top five and eventually to third by lap 34.
Neshanic Station, N.J.’s Matt Stangle was on the move as well. After starting in 23rd, Stangle found a rhythm for the 50-lap feature and marched his way to fourth following a lap 34 restart.
Yankowski used a slide job to get by Bouc for second with less than 10 laps to go and set his sights on Pauch Jr. up front.
The final lap would be a one lap dash to the finish following the race’s last caution for a spinning Jimmy Horton on the home stretch.
Pauch Jr. would again hit his marks and drive off with the ‘Diamond State 50’ triumph.
“That was a lot of restarts. There’s only so many ways you can start a race before you just have to go for it,” Pauch Jr. explained.
Yankowski ended his drive from 14th in the runner-up spot.
“We haven’t won a Short Track Super Series race yet,” Yankowski stated following his runner-up. “That’s really bugging us, but I promise to everybody that’s pulling for us that we’ll get one sooner or later.”
Following a post-race disqualification of Bouc for being 10 pounds light at the scales, Matt Sheppard’s tumultuous day ended up with a podium finish.
“I almost called it quits for the night the front end was so messed up,” Sheppard explained after his run-in with the turn two wall. “The guys did the best they could, but it’s still pretty bent up, but we’ll take it after today.”
Schilling, after falling into the second half of the top-10, rallied late and recorded a fourth-place finish in the BDR Speed No. 20 and Boyertown, Pa.’s Ryan Watt, powered by a Wegner Automotive ‘Weekend Warrior’ Engine, rounded out the top five after starting 15th.
Finishing sixth through 10th, respectively, were Matt Stangle, who’s sixth-place run moves him to second in South Region points and earned him $250 as the BDR Speed Hard Charger; Rick Laubach, who raced back forward after fading in the early going to salvage a seventh-place run; Milford, Del.’s H.J. Bunting who avoided all of the mishaps throughout the race to come home eighth in the Blue Hen Racing No. 30; Milford, Del.’s Jordan Watson who started in 17th; and Langhorne, Pa.’s Danny Hieber who rebounded from an early flat tire to round out the top-10.
Twenty-nine STSS Modifieds signed in for competition in the ‘Diamond State 50.’
Heat winners, receiving $50 each courtesy of FloRacing, were Pauch Jr. Schilling, and Ryan Godown.
The consolation winner was H.J. Bunting.
Laurel, Del.’s Michael White was victorious in STSS competition for the first time in his career at his home track. White outgunned Matt Smith on the bottom side in the late stages to take the lead and the $1,500 victory.
Smith – who started on the pole – led for much of the 25-lap affair before White made his move as the field got the two-to-go sign. Smith got sideways entering turn three, allowing White to slide past on the inside.
Joe Toth, Michael’s son Adam, Scott Hitchens, and Jordn Justice rounded out the top five.
Craig Kelly led every lap of the 12-lap Delmarva Charger feature to take the win over Ashley Merritt and Tyler Hottle.
Jerry Hill won an exciting Delaware Super Truck 12-lap main for his third win of the season over David Smith and Zack Phillips.
Next up for the Bob Hilbert Sportswear Short Track Super Series Fueled By Sunoco is a first ever visit to Brookfield Speedway in Brookfield, N.Y. for the ‘Fast Cars & Freedom’ event on Sunday, May 28. The STSS Crate 602 Sportsman race in Round No. 2 of the Precision Hydraulic & Oil North Region for 25-laps and a $1,500 payday. The Limited Sportsman, Pro Stocks, Four Cylinders, and Slingshots round out the program.
Racing resumes at Delaware International Speedway on Friday, June 30, as the USAC East Coast Sprint Cars join the Millman’s NAPA Modifieds, Blue Hen Dispose-All Crate 602 Sportsman, RUSH Late Models, Southern Delaware Vintage Stock Cars, Little Lincolns, Delaware Super Trucks, and Delmarva Chargers.
A new office phone number exclusively for the dirt track has been set up: 302.567.8294 and e-mail email@example.com.
A new-for-2023 website is live at www.delawareinternationalspeedway.com.
Like “Delaware International Speedway” on Facebook to learn more.
Delaware International Speedway is located at 37854 Sussex Highway Delmar, DE 19940.
To learn more about the Short Track Super Series Fueled By Sunoco, visit www.shorttracksuperseries.com, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, check out ‘Short Track Super Series’ on Facebook or @ShortTrackSS on Twitter or Instagram.
The Short Track Super Series is presented by American Racer/Lias Tire, Sunoco Race Fuel, FloSports, Bob Hilbert Sportswear, Rent Equip/Party Central, BDR Speed, Bicknell Racing Products, Ollie’s, Penske Racing Shocks, Wegner Automotive, River Valley Builders, Behrent’s Performance Warehouse, DIG Race Products, Velocita-USA, Franklin Products, Design for Vision & Sunglass Central, Belmont’s Garage, Quality Drywall, Precision Hydraulic & Oil, Prime MAC Tools, F.X. Caprara Car Companies, Algonkin Motel, Beyea Custom Headers, Dirt Track Digest, EIBACH, Electric Neon Custom Signs, Fastline Performance, Flach Performance Products, Henry’s Exhaust, Hig Fab, Schultz Racing Fuel Cells, Spyder Filters, Superior Remodeling, Teo-Pro Car, VAHLCO & Wilwood.
‘DIAMOND STATE 50’ RESULTS SUMMARY – DELAWARE INTERNATIONAL SPEEDWAY WEDNESDAY, MAY 17, 2023
‘Diamond State 50’ Bob Hilbert Sportswear Short Track Super Series Fueled By Sunoco Rent Equip/Party Central South Region Round No. 2 Feature Finish (50 laps): BILLY PAUCH JR., Alex Yankowski, Matt Sheppard, David Schilling, Ryan Watt, Matt Stangle, Rick Laubach, HJ Bunting, Jordan Watson, Danny Hieber, Jimmy Horton, John Willman, Mike Gular, Joseph Watson, Mike Mahaney, James Hill, Carson Wright, Brandon Grosso, Ryan Krachun, Bobby Watkins, Ryan Riddle, Andy Bachetti, Michael Maresca, Ryan Godown, Austin Hubbard, Jeff Strunk.
Disqualified: Danny Bouc
Did Not Qualify: Drew Simmons, Tim Millman
Ad-Art Sign Company Spec Bonus ($250): None Registered
American Racer/Lias Tire Bonuses (FREE Tire Certificate): H.J. Bunting (eighth) & Joseph Watson (14th)
BDR Speed Hard Charger ($250): Matt Stangle (23rd to sixth)
BDR Speed Bonus ($50 Gift Card): Bobby Watkins (20th)
Behrent’s Performance Warehouse Bonuses ($50 Gift Cards): David Schilling (fourth) & Jordan Watson (ninth)
Beyea Custom Headers Redraw Bonus ($50): Brandon Grosso (Redrew 12th)
Bill Brown & Company Overall Heat-Race Hard Charger ($50): Jeff Strunk (sixth to third)
Danny’s Pizza Pizzazz Halfway Leader Award ($200): Billy Pauch Jr.
Design for Vision/Sunglass Central Bonus (Oakley Sunglasses): Billy Pauch Jr. (winner)
EIBACH Springs Bonus ($100 Certificate): Matt Stangle (sixth)
FloRacing Heat Winners ($50): David Schilling, Ryan Godown, & Billy Pauch Jr.
Henry’s Exhaust Power Position ($50 Certificate): Jimmy Horton (11th)
Penske Racing Shocks Bonuses: Billy Pauch Jr. (first – $150 certificate); Alex Yankowski (second – $75 certificate); Matt Sheppard (third – $50 certificate); Danny Hieber (10th – $25 certificate)
Wilwood Brakes ‘Lucky 7’ Bonus ($100 Certificate): Rick Laubach (seventh)
Bob Hilbert Sportswear Short Track Super Series Fueled By Sunoco Crate 602 Sportsman Belmont’s Garage South Region Round No. 2 Feature Finish (25 laps): MICHAEL WHITE, Joe Toth, Adam White, Scott Hitchens, Jordn Justice, James Hill, Eric Kormann, Logan Watt, Matt Smith, Paulie Hartwig III, Thomas Sherby, Dylan Madsen, Brandon Watkins, Greg Reed, Rick Wegner Jr., Greg Humlhanz, David Miloszar, Tom Moore Jr., Kyle Smith, Dakota Kohler, Nick Van Wickle, Jason Musser, Brayden Benson, Sean Metz, Ryan Simmons, Dan Fleming, Richie Walls Jr.
Did Not Qualify: Robert Dutton, Aaron Headley, Tyler James, Jacob King, Jeff Marker, Chris Martinez, Ryan McKinney, Jarod Millman, Caleb Scott, John Stevenson, Zac Weller, TJ Williams, Justin Zook
Accurate Collision of Pompano Halfway Leader ($100): Matt Smith
American Racer/Lias Tire Bonus (FREE Tire Certificate): Logan Watt (eighth)
BDR Speed Bonus ($50 Gift Card): Dakota Kohler (20th)
Belmont’s Garage Hard Charger Award ($100): Scott Hitchens (14th to fourth)
Beyea Custom Headers Redraw Bonus ($25): Brandon Watkins (Redrew 12th)
Fastline Performance Bonuses ($100 Certificates): Joe Toth (second) & Dylan Madsen (12th)
Henry’s Exhaust Power Position ($50 Certificate): Thomas Sherby (11th)
Reigel Promotions Bonus ($25): Tom Moore Jr. (18th)
Delmarva Charger Feature Finish (12 laps): CRAIG KELLY, Ashley Merritt, Tyler Hottle, Randy Merritt, Michael Harmon Jr., Robbie Strain, Billy Cummings, Wyatt Cummings, Ron Falkner, Randy Gallaway, Garren Morris
Delaware Super Truck Feature Finish (12 laps): JERRY HILL, David Smith, Zack Phillips, Dale Elliott, Troy Hopkins, Ryan Efford, R.J. Robinson, Scott Trice, Dylan Todd, Andrew Nelson, Thomas Jackson, Michelle Jackson