SELINSGROVE, PA – New York Groove.
Michael Maresca was “back in a New York Groove” on Saturday afternoon at Selinsgrove Speedway and taking home the $5,200 payday at the ‘Icebreaker 40.’
The Potsdam, N.Y., resident nabbed his second career Bob Hilbert Sportswear Short Track Super Series (STSS) Fueled By Sunoco triumph and his first in the Northeast.
The event kicked off a new era for Selinsgrove as the first event contested under the leadership of new promoter Stephanie Baker and her sons Ethan and Reece.
Maresca’s previous STSS victory came at All-Tech Raceway in Lake City, Fla., during the 2022 ‘Sunshine Swing.’
Maresca started on the pole of the 40-lap affair and led every single lap to kick off the Rent Equip/Party Central South Region $15,000 championship chase.
The race for Maresca was his first of the calendar year after taking time away from racing during the 2022 season as well.
“Sometimes rust is good, you’re not overthinking it,” proclaimed an elated Maresca. “You just go out there and drive and try to focus on that and not anything else.”
Frenchtown, N.J.’s Billy Pauch Jr. started alongside Maresca when racing began. Milford, Del.’s Jordan Watson was scheduled to start from third, but failed to take the green after a rear-end issue ended his day on a pace lap.
Following early yellow flags, the field settled into a rhythm as Maresca led Pauch Jr. and Ringoes, N.J.’s Ryan Godown as the leaders closed in on lap traffic just 10 laps into the affair.
Maresca’s lead began to shrink as both Pauch Jr. and Godown were closing in on the leader after John Willman and Brandon Grosso were put a lap down.
Godown’s day was cut short on lap 13 as a mechanical failure slowed him to a stop and bringing out the race’s third yellow flag.
With Godown out of the race, Bohemia, N.Y.’s Dillon Steuer inherited the third running position on the restart before he slowed to a stop before another lap was complete.
Savannah, N.Y.’s Matt Sheppard, who started 19th, also headed to the pits under the yellow flag to get a flat left-front tire changed.
When the field went back to racing, young star Alex Payne became the driver to watch, battling his way forward after starting 12th following the Beyea Custom Headers Redraw.
Payne fought with the likes of Jeff Strunk, Danny Creeden, and Mike Mahaney for track position in the top five.
Maresca, meanwhile, had made his way back into lap traffic just after claiming the $200 Danny’s Pizza Pizzazz halfway leader bonus. Maresca cleared John Willman and Ryan Riddle before a yellow flag flew 14 laps remaining for a slowing Danny Bouc on the front straightaway.
That yellow would be the final one of the race, as Maresca quickly skated away from Pauch Jr. and race away with the win.
“It’s a great feeling. Not much beats it, especially in our first race of the year,” Maresca smiled in Bicknell Racing Products/American Racer Victory Lane. “I’m in a good place and I’m a happy guy so it makes it easier to do well on Saturday nights.”
Pauch Jr. was content to run second on the afternoon.
“Last year it took awhile for us to even finish a race on the STSS,” the ‘Kid’s Kid explained. “Great way to start our Short Track Super Series year.”
Neshanic Station, N.J.’s Matt Stangle quietly raced in the top five for much of the event and snuck his way into third on the final restart.
“The car was good but about halfway through I lost all my tear offs and got something stuck in my eye,” laughed a pleased Stangle following his podium run. “With about 10 to go I just moved to the middle and tried to make it to the end.”
Canandaigua, N.Y.’s Alex Payne brought home a fourth-place finish after, like Stangle, stealing multiple positions on the race’s final restart.
Wurtsboro, N.Y.’s Danny Creeden rounded out the top five with a steady and calm day spending much of the 40-lap affair inside the top five and raced as high as fourth.
Finishing sixth through 10th, respectively, were: Jeff Strunk back behind the wheel of the Glenn and Bonita Hyneman No. 126 machine after an early excursion above the cushion in turn three; King Ferry, N.Y.’s Mike Mahaney who started from the 13th spot to grab seventh, Matt Sheppard, claiming the Smith Site Development Hard Charger Award worth $300 after starting 19th; Peter Britten who fell from third on the final restart after being in the top five for much of the race; and David Schilling who followed up his first career STSS win in Florida with a top 10 to kick off the South Region.
Heat winners, claiming $50 courtesy of FloRacing, were Godown, Watson, Britten and Payne. Jimmy Horton won the consolation.
Joe Toth kicked off his title defense of the Belmont’s Garage South Region for the STSS Crate 602 Sportsman with his third career win on the series.
Toth raced around Tom Moore Jr. on a lap eight restart and never looked back for the $1,600 victory.
Moore held on for second with Kyle Smith, Brandon Edgar, and Dylan Madsen rounding out the top five.
A healthy 44-car field of STSS Crate 602 Sportsman signed in for the event.
Racing returns next Saturday, March 25, for the STSS at Bridgeport (N.J.) Motorsports Park with the ’60 Over Special Doug Hoffman Memorial.’ The STSS Modifieds go for 60-laps and a $6,060 top prize in Round No. 2 of the Rent Equip/Party Central South Region. The STSS Crate 602 Sportsman are also on the docket in Round No. 2 of the Belmont’s Garage South Region for a 25-lap, $1,500-to-win feature event.
Selinsgrove Speedway is located at 47 Sand Hill Road Selinsgrove PA 17870 and can be found online at www.selinsgrovespeedway.us and on Facebook as Selinsgrove Speedway.
To learn more about the Short Track Super Series Fueled By Sunoco, visit www.shorttracksuperseries.com, e-mail email@example.com, 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.
‘ICEBREAKER’ RESULTS SUMMARY – SELINSGROVE SPEEDWAY SATURDAY, MARCH 18, 2023
‘Icebreaker’ Bob Hilbert Sportswear Short Track Super Series Fueled By Sunoco Rent Equip/Party Central South Region Round No. 1 Feature Finish (40 laps): MICHAEL MARESCA, Billy Pauch, Jr., Matt Stangle, Alex Payne, Danny Creeden, Jeff Strunk, Mike Mahaney, Matt Sheppard, Peter Britten, David Schilling, Ryan Krachun, Mike Gular, Jimmy Horton, Ryan Watt, Michael Trautschold, Brandon Grosso, Danny Johnson, Tyler Dippel, Ryan Riddle, Danny Bouc, Andy Bachetti, Dillon Steuer, Ryan Godown, Billy Osmun, Ajay Potrzebowski, Jr., Jordan Watson
Did Not Qualify: Bud Phillips, Cale Ross, Kevin Root, Joseph Watson, Bobby Watkins, Sammy Martz, Jr., Shawn McPhee, Rick Laubach
American Racer/Lias Tire Bonuses (FREE Tire Certificate): Peter Britten (ninth) & Mike Gular (12th)
BDR Speed Bonus ($50 Gift Card): John Willman (20th)
Behrent’s Performance Warehouse Bonuses ($50 Gift Cards): Alex Payne (fourth) & Peter Britten (ninth)
Beyea Custom Headers Redraw Bonus ($50): Alex Payne (Redrew 12th)
Bill Brown & Company Heat-Race Hard Charger ($50): Mike Gular (ninth to fifth)
Danny’s Pizza Pizzazz Halfway Leader Award ($200): Michael Maresca
Design for Vision/Sunglass Central Bonus (Oakley Sunglasses): Michael Maresca (winner)
EIBACH Springs Bonus ($100 Certificate): Jeff Strunk (sixth)
FloRacing Heat Winners ($50): Ryan Godown, Jordan Watson, Peter Britten, Alex Payne
Henry’s Exhaust Power Position ($50 Certificate): Ryan Krachun (11th)
Penske Racing Shocks Bonuses: Michael Maresca (first – $150 certificate); Billy Pauch, Jr. (second – $75 certificate); Matt Stangle (third – $50 certificate); David Schilling (10th – $25 certificate)
Smith Site Development Hard Charger Award ($300): Matt Sheppard (19th to eighth)
Wilwood Brakes ‘Lucky 7’ Bonus ($100 Certificate): Mike Mahaney (seventh)
‘Icebreaker’ Bob Hilbert Sportswear Short Track Super Series Fueled By Sunoco Crate 602 Sportsman Belmont’s Garage South Region Round No. 1 Feature Finish (25 laps): JOE TOTH, Tom Moore, Jr., Kyle Smith, Brandon Edgar, Dylan Madsen, Mike Nagel Jr., Matt Smith, Rick Wegner, Jr., Dakota Kohler, Kris Lilick, Nick Van Wickle, Paulie Hartwig III, David Miloszar, Ryan Simmons, James Friesen, Stephen Kemery, Tim Guild, Brandon Watkins, Brad Brightbill, Dylan Swinehart, Matt Peck, Brian Papiez, Greg Crooker, Trent Willey, Logan Watt, Levi Riley, Scott Hitchens
Did Not Qualify: Adam White, Talan Carter, Bubba McPhee, Matt Yoder, Bryan Rhoads, Michael White, Richie Walls, Jr., Noah Mamo, Ben Feldman, Thomas Moon, Chris Jukubiak, Kasey Hufcut, Nick Giardina, Andy Ressler, Thomas Prychka, Joey Vaccaro, Eric Kormann
Accurate Collision of Pompano Halfway Leader ($100): Joe Toth
American Racer/Lias Tire Bonus (FREE Tire Certificate): Matt Smith (sixth)
BDR Speed Bonus ($50 Gift Card): Dylan Swinehart (20th)
Belmont’s Garage Hard Charger Award ($100): Nick Van Wickle (26th to 10th)
Beyea Custom Headers Redraw Bonus ($25): Ryan Simmons (Redrew 10th)
Fastline Performance Bonuses ($100 Certificates): Tom Moore, Jr. (second) & David Miloszar (12th)
Henry’s Exhaust Power Position ($50 Certificate): Paulie Hartwig III (11th) Reigel Promotions Bonus ($25): Brandon Watkins (18th)