Behind the Wheel
Kings Without Wings
Kutztown Fair Week Nationals: Close Finishes, Intense Racing Mark Nights 2 & 3 at Action Track USA
Night Two, on Wednesday, saw a packed grandstand witnessed a shocking turn of events on the final lap - and in the final corner - of the Sunoco USAC Championship SpeedSTR main event. Freddie Rahmer Jr., from Salfordville, Pa., running a strong second until fate intervened in turn four, became the surprise winner.
In Pioneer Pole Building Wingless 600cc competition, Alex Bright emerged victorious after taking the lead from point leader Jay Hartman on the seventh trip around the oval. Bright then held off two-time winner Kyle Lick to secure the win.
The NAPA Auto Parts All Star Slingshots produced a first time winner in Donny Hockman of Easton, Pa. Close racing marked the 20-lapper for the Slingers, as Hockman, Danny Buccafusca, Mark Sensenig, and Matt Massone ran nose-to-tail and side by side throughout the event before finishing in that order.
Action Track Sidebites from Night Two of the Fair Week Nationals...
*Billy Pauch Sr. appeared to be a lock for his second SpeedSTR victory of the season, until the final turn became "Calamity Corner" for the veteran from Frenchtown, NJ. Pauch Sr. led all the way until his No. 9 and a lapped car made contact in turn four on the last lap. Pauch spun but kept on going; as he came back up to speed, Freddie Rahmer Jr. roared by him to steal the win. It was Rahmer's first triumph at the Action Track USA. In a gesture of true sportsmanship, Pauch walked over to Rahmer Jr. in victory lane and wrapped his arm around the young wheel-twister to congratulate him on his surprise victory.
*Alex Bright, from Collegeville, PA, won his second straight wingless 600cc Micro-Sprint main event at the fairgrounds. Driving Rich Glosser's No. 70G, Bright has also picked up three consecutive feature wins (with a wing bolted on) at Linda's Speedway in Jonestown, PA, giving him five straight wins in Glosser's car.
*Easton's Donny Hockman recorded his first win in All Star Slingshot competition at the JeffreyHogueRealtor.com Action Track USA, holding off his S&S Speedway teammate, Danny Buccafusca. Buccafusca was on Hockman's rear bumper over the final eight laps, but could not find the opportunity he needed to make a pass for the lead.
*Terrific car counts for Night Two of the Fair Week Nationals in Kutztown: Wingless 600cc = 44; SpeedSTR's = 26; All Star Slingshots = 31. The grand total was 101 racecars entering the evening's program.
Thursday, Night 3 of the Fair Week Nationals...
The 270cc Micro-Sprints were given the opportunity to race without wings bolted to the top of their rollcages, and they responded with a highly entertaining and competitive event.
Sixteen cars entered the program - which counted toward the 2013 Action Track USA point championship - and Kyle Spence, from Bear, Delaware, picked up the win in the 20-lap feature race.
Spence started sixth and moved into contention quickly, taking part in a three-car fight for the runner-up spot with Zack Bealer and Ross Perchak. Jacob Hendershot pulled out to a comfortable lead from his inside front row starting spot, but a caution period with 13 complete proved to be his undoing.
On the restart, Spence gunned his No. 25 to the low side, zipping past Hendershot as they raced down the frontstretch and into turn one. Perchak, the winged winner on Tuesday evening, moved into second one tour later but Spence had the muscle to hold off the current 270cc point leader.
Spence went on to win with Perchak finishing second ahead of Hendershot, Bealer, and Chris James Jr.
Todd Francis, from Malaga, NJ, won a hotly contested Daniel Boone 200 for Enduro Cars. In the first ever appearance of Enduro racers at the JeffreyHogueRealtor.com Action Track USA, a 21-car field of 4-Cylinders and 8-Cylinders took the green in the 200-lap test of endurance.
Mike Fiskaldo led early, then Gary Grim took over and paced the field for almost 100 laps until he spun and got knocked out of the race. Grim's demise put Bee Luckenbill at the head of the pack with 124 circuits in the books, but Luckenbill's car was overheating and soon had to make a pitstop to cool down the engine.
Francis inherited the lead at that point with Pat Hires, the fastest car on the track, in second. Hires had been slipping and sliding all over the place in the first quarter of the race, when the track was (intentionally) very wet and slick. As the clay turned tacky, Hires' car was able to use the horsepower generated by his 8-cylinder engine, and he was an absolute rocket, passing cars at will on the banked quarter-mile.
Francis and Hires engaged in a back-and-forth battle for the top spot, but Hires night came to an end with 20 to go when the left-rear tire shredded on his No. 2.
That left Francis all alone out front, and he carefully negotiated the final laps to record the victory. The win made up for a frustrating race at Grandview on the previous Sunday, when Francis was leading the 4-Cylinder Enduro and had both rear wheels break off the car.
Vince Gagliardo Jr. won the Blast From the Past Vintage Modified feature over Kerry Meitzler. Gagliardo won in the restored Harraka/Grant King car built by the Higbie family; it is the No. 97 that carried Bobby Bottcher to victory in the 1981 Eastern States 200 in Middletown, NY.
Meitzler was driving his No. 3K that still has dirt on it from the final race at Penn National Speedway. This was Meitzler's first outing with the car in 17 years, and his first race with the Blast From the Past Club.
The 2013 racing season will come to a close on Sunday, August 18, as point champions are determined in the four weekly divisions that compete at the JeffreyHogueRealtor.com Action Track USA.
The Sunoco USAC Championship SpeedSTR's will take part in the Dick Tobias Classic, a 45-lap main event that will pay $3,500 to the winner. Also on Sunday's card are the Pioneer Pole Building Wingless 600cc Micro-Sprints, the NAPA Auto Parts All Star Slingshots, and the Winged 270cc Micros as the curtain drops on the inaugural season of racing at the Kutztown Fairgrounds under Rich Tobias and Doug Rose.
Sunday's event begins with warm-ups at 6 p.m.
August 14, 2013
Night Two of Kutztown Fair Week Nationals
At the JeffreyHogueRealtor.com Action Track USA
on the Kutztown Fairgrounds:
Sunoco USAC Championship SpeedSTR's, 30 laps:
1.Freddie Rahmer Jr., 2.Billy Pauch Sr., 3.Jeff Strunk, 4.Kenny Brightbill, 5.Rick Eckert, 6.Brandon Rahmer, 7.Brian Montieth, 8.Mike Bednar, 9.Gary Huber, 10.Billy Pauch Jr., 11.Josianne Plante, 12.Steve Yankowski, 13.Carl Labonte, 14.Dave Coursol, 15.John Kovatch, 16.Dale Planck, 17.Chuck Schutz, 18.Matt Janisch, 19.Brittany Wixon, 20.Brad Brightbill, 21.Joey Sanfilippo, 22.Wayne Weaver.
Craig Von Dohren, Mike Vermeulen, Rejean Plante, Maxime Plante.
Pioneer Pole Building Wingless 600cc Micro-Sprints, 30 laps:
1.Alex Bright, 2.Kyle Lick, 3.Jay Hartman, 4.James Morris, 5.Billy Pauch Jr., 6.Jeff Hartman, 7.Rick Perone, 8.Drew Richmond, 9.Chris Stockham, 10.Eddie Strada, 11.Greg Stevens, 12.Brandon Azzalina, 13.Rob Adams, 14.Jacob Severn, 15.Tom Schearer, 16.Tony DiMattia, 17.Tim Iulg, 18.Ryan Smith, 19.Brett Schoenly, 20.Eric Bodine, 21.Brett Michalski, 22.Brian Carber, 23.Joe Kay, 24.Billy Murphy.
Steve Kemery, Dave Dimaio, Brandon Edgar, Ryan Neil, Mark Conrad Jr., Kyle Rutledge, Billy Ney, Kayla Stoltzfus, Shawn Rooney, Shelby Harper, Taylor Troxel, Rhett Long, TJ Lilly, Molly Chambers, Brett Peters, Ryan Morris, Joey Jarowicz, Chad Sandt, Simon Egan, Zach Fisher.
NAPA Auto Parts All Star Slingshots, 20 laps
: 1.Donny Hockman, 2.Danny Buccafusca, 3.Mark Sensenig, 4.Matt Massone, 5.Travis Bieber, 6.Kyle Gruber, 7.Dave Carraghan, 8.Erik Jones, 9.Louden Reimert, 10.BJ Antonio, 11.Matt Miller, 12.Ray Nemeth, 13.Cody Kline, 14.Kassidy Kreitz, 15.Dakota Barlet, 16.Joe Nemeth, 17.Brett Bieber, 18.Amber Britto, 19.Jordan Knepp, 20.Simon Whitnel, 21.Jeff Kemp, 22.Dave McCullough, 23.Larry Raifsnider, 24.Dylan Hoch.
Dave Kreis, Logan Crout, Matt Stangle, David Morrell, Tayllor Schoenly, Damian Nemeth, Kalli Hartman.
Thursday, August 15, 2013
Night Three of Kutztown Fair Week Nationals...
Wingless 270cc Micro-Sprints, 20 laps:
1.Kyle Spence, 2.Ross Perchak, 3.Jacob Hendershot, 4.Zack Bealer, 5.Chris James Jr., 6.Brett Arndt, 7.Steve Walters, 8.Jeff Carman, 9.Jake Smith, 10.Jarid Kunkle, 11.Ronald Helmick, 12.Bobby Butler, 13.Cheyanne Schaffer, 14.Austin Bishop, 15.Hunter James. DNS: Harlee Schaffer.
Daniel Boone 200 Enduro, 200 laps:
1.Todd Francis, 2.Justin Rowlands, 3.Bee Luckenbill, 4.Jose Cenda, 5.Robert Noll, 6.Darrel Herman, 7.Pat Hires, 8.Frederick Krajcic, 9.Mike Fiskaldo, 10.Mark Naftzinger, 11.Brian Miller, 12.Gary Grim, 13.John Bilofsky, 14.Phil Levering, 15.Brian Yelk, 16.Jeff Pawling, 17.Eric Younker, 18.Cody Young, 19.Paul Noll, 20.Doug Naftzinger, 21.Justin Steigerwalt.
Blast From the Past Vintage Modified Finish, 20 laps:
1.Vince Gagliardo Jr., 2.Kerry Meitzler, 3.Tim Pitts, 4.Jeff Hager, 5.Dave Dissinger, 6.Chick Kulp, 7.Richie Iversen.
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