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BUCCAFUSCA BAGS NATIONAL ALL-STAR SLINGSHOT TOUR WIN AT 5-MILE POINT
Kirkwood, NY (Story by Barry Angstadt 10-12-14): Danny Buccafusca is only 15 years-old, but he's a pretty smart guy...he knows that he should listen when someone with more experience gives him advice. And Buccafusca's willingness to listen, then use the information imparted to him, paid huge dividends on Saturday at Five Mile Point Speedway, as the Rockaway Rocket blasted to an All Star Slingshots National Tour victory.
"We noticed during all of the qualifying," (the Slingers were one of four divisions to compete in the afternoon portion of Saturday's American Racer Cup Weekend at FMP) "that the car on the outside of the front row was jumping the start, and the officials were letting it go. They were not making the call," said Buccafusca, who has two Slingshot point titles on his resume at Kutztown's Action Track USA and one Slinger championship at Hamlin Speedway.
"So Simon (Egan) told me to go ahead and try to get the jump on Cody (Kline, the pole sitter). You get a warning the first time - if they do call a jump - so Simon said to try it. And if they give me the warning, don't do it a second time."
Buccafusca did indeed "get the jump" on Kline, and he proceeded to lead wire to wire in the non-stop, 20-lap main event at the Kirkwood, NY oval. "I kind of hated to do it, but you've got to do whatever you can to get the lead, especially against a tough competitor like Cody. And they didn't call me for jumping, so technically, I guess I didn't..."
Kline stayed close to the back bumper of the S&S Speedways No. 55, but Buccafusca utilized some additional advice from Egan to maintain control and hang on to the top spot.
"In my heat race, I was lifting because the car was tight," noted the victor. "After the heat, Simon said to stay in the gas; it will help to turn the car. I kept telling myself to do that in the feature, and it really helped."
While Buccafusca maintained his narrow lead over Kline, Dylan Hoch was maneuvering his way from 12th on the starting grid to take over the fourth position on the seventh revolution around the quarter-mile. Three time and defending National Slingshot Champion Brett Bieber entered the top five on the next trip around the clay, although John Gilroy didn't give up easily. Gilroy battled back by Bieber, and the two of them engaged Hoch in a three-car tussle for the fourth spot.
Hoch pulled away from the Gilroy/Bieber duel and set his sights on third place runner Larry Raifsnider. Bieber reclaimed fifth from Gilroy as Hoch made a bonsai dive under Raifsnider on the final lap. Hoch's No. 35 squeezed up in front of Raifsnider's mount as they rumbled down the backstretch for the last time.
As they crossed the line under the checkered flag, it was Buccafusca in for the win over Kline and Hoch, with Bieber nipping Raifsnider for fourth in a photo finish. Gilroy, Tony Parlenti, Brian Toby Jr., John Bockhorn, and Don Schmidt completed the top ten finishers.
A solid field of 26 All Star Slingshots signed in for competition at FMP, with qualifying heat victories going to Damon Paul, Alex Schoffstall, and Louden Reimert.
National Slingshot Tour Race, 20 laps: 1.Danny Buccafusca, 2.Cody Kline, 3.Dylan Hoch, 4.Brett Bieber, 5.Larry Raifsnider, 6.John Gilroy, 7.Tony Parlenti, 8.Brian Toby Jr., 9.John Bockhorn, 10.Don Schmidt, 11.Alex Schoffstall, 12.Damon Paul, 13.Dakota Kohler, 14.Dalton Maynard, 15.Henry Anderson, 16.Donny Hockman, 17.Daniel Morgiewicz, 18.Tanner Correia, 19.Carl Bittenbender, 20.Joe Krum, 21.Don Boonstra, 22.Caitlyn Krum, 23.Louden Reimert, 24.Jackson Ring, 25.Matt Schultz, 26.Dan Yankowski.
FATHER KNOWS BEST AT 5-MILE POINT; IT'S PAUCH OVER PAUCH IN
LAST LAP SPEEDSTR THRILLER..
FATHER KNOWS BEST AT 5-MILE POINT; IT'S PAUCH OVER PAUCH IN LAST LAP SPEEDSTR THRILLER..
Kirkwood, NY (Story by Barry Angstadt 10-12-14): Billy Pauch Sr., from Frenchtown, NJ, patiently played a tire management game to perfection on Saturday night at Five Mile Point Speedway. And his strategy - which was aided by a late caution period - paid off with a thrilling victory in the 30-lap main event for the USAC Championship SpeedSTR's at the Kirkwood, NY oval's American Racer Cup Weekend event.
The triumph was noteworthy because it came with a last lap pass of a family member, and because it was the very first win at Five Mile Point for Pauch Sr., who owns more than 700 victories in various divisions during his storied career.
Wayne Weaver grabbed the early lead over polesitter Jeff Strunk as the 24-car field took the green flag. Tim Buckwalter (started sixth) and Billy Pauch Jr. (started tenth) were on the move in the first few trips around the wide quarter-mile, slicing their way into third and fourth, respectively, by the time three circuits had been scored.
During the second yellow flag slow-down, with three laps completed, Weaver handed the top spot to Strunk when he headed to the pits. Buckwalter, Pauch Jr., and Canadian invader Maxime Plante lined up second through fourth for the restart, and the top four ran nose to tail for many laps when the race went green once again. Pauch Jr. was nipping at the heels of leader Strunk, repeatedly diving under the No. 88 at both ends of the speedway, but the savvy veteran from Bechtelsville was able to repel each challenge.
Pauch Jr. then tried a different approach, wheeling to the outside of Strunk on the 13th tour. The Wayne Subaru No. 1 pulled even with Strunk on the back chute, then edged ahead as they gassed their mounts through turns three and four.
Buckwalter moved to the runner-up spot at the halfway point and offered up a couple of assaults on the leader, but Pauch Jr. fended off each attack. As the race entered its final stages, the center of everyone's focus became a red car, as the Bob Hilbert Sportswear/ Fat Catt No. 9 of Pauch Sr., who started 13th, moved into the top five.
The elder Pauch, who would later finish third in the Modified finale of American Racer Cup Weekend, slipped past Brad Brightbill for fifth with 11 circuits remaining. He then wrestled fourth from Plante, the 2012 National SpeedSTR Champion, just before a caution with seven to go.
After passing Strunk to take over third position, Pauch Sr. dashed by Buckwalter to become the runner-up on lap 28. The yellow appeared again before the white flag waved, setting up a green-white-checkered situation with Pauch Jr. in front of his dad.
Junior led through the white flag, but Senior saved his best for last, pulling to the outside of his son in turn two, running side by side down the backstretch, then nosing ahead in three as Junior got sideways due to a quickly deflating right-rear tire.
Pauch Sr. flew to the checkered as the winner, with Buckwalter and Plante getting by Pauch Jr. for second and third. While Junior was able to straighten his car and continue, he lost out in a three-wide battle at the stripe to Frank Yankowski and Strunk. Yankowski came on strong for his fourth place finish after starting 16th.
Five Mile Point Notebook:
The top five consisted of Pauch Sr., Buckwalter, Plante, F. Yankowski, and Strunk, with Pauch Jr.,. Kenny Brightbill, Brad Brightbill, Sebastian Gougeon, and Simon Egan rounding out the top ten. Many of those top ten finishers second-guessed themselves on tire choice while gazing at right-rear tires that were worn to the cords. Pauch Jr. actually had a hole worn into his right-rear sneaker...while his dad still had enough tire to make the winning pass on the final lap!
Heat race winners on Saturday included Tim Buckwalter, Anthony Perrego, and Billy Pauch Jr. There was no consolation, as FMP officials decided to start all 26 cars in the main event.
Nice to see two huge stacker-trailers pull in just prior to warm-ups at Five Mile Point on Saturday. Inside were seven SpeedSTR machines from Canada, although only five of them entered the competition. Former National SpeedSTR champ Maxime Plante, from St. Hyacinthe, Quebec, looked right at home on the FMP surface, finishing a strong third and running up front for the entire 30-lap distance.
Buckwalter picked up the ride in the No. 5 at the last minute, as Frank Cozze, the car's regular driver in 2014, was called home to Wind Gap, Pa. because his father was rushed to the hospital.
"Liquid Lou" Cicconi was a nice addition to the field, finishing 11th in the Kyle Weiss No. 4 in his SpeedSTR debut. Sportsman Modified campaigner Craig Whitmoyer also made his first start in a SpeedSTR, gassing the Weiss No. 14 as a teammate to Cicconi.
Next up for the USAC SpeedSTR Tour is the year's second visit to Mahoning Valley Speedway in Lehighton, Pa. on Sunday, October 26. In their first play day on the Mahoning asphalt on June 28, Kris Graver was victorious in a close finish over Earl Paules and Billy Pauch Jr.
USAC SpeedSTR Feature, 30 laps: 1.Billy Pauch Sr., 2.Tim Buckwalter, 3.Maxime Plante, 4.Frank Yankowski, 5.Jeff Strunk, 6.Billy Pauch Jr., 7.Kenny Brightbill, 8.Brad Brightbill, 9.Sebastian Gougeon, 10.Simon Egan, 11.Lou Cicconi, 12.Earl Paules, 13.Craig Whitmoyer, 14.Dan Yankowski, 15.Brandon Grosso, 16.Patrick Rheaume, 17.Dominic Beauchesne, 18.Mike Vermuelen, 19.Gary Huber, 20.Anthony Perrego, 21.Rick Kirkendall, 22.Wayne Weaver, 23.Francis Methot, 24.Rich Tobias. DNS: Dale Planck, Steve Yankowski.
BILLY "THE KIDS" PAUCH ARE SET TO LEAD A DOUBLE SPEEDSTR
ASSUAULT ON OCTOBER 11TH AT FIVE MILE POINT SPEEDWAY...
Myerstown, PA (Story by Barry Angstadt) 10-06-14: Jerry Reed sang it best..."When you're hot, you're hot", and during the 2014 racing season, very few drivers have been hotter than Billy Pauch Jr.
Behind the wheel of the Wayne Subaru No. 1 and fresh off a three-win season that was capped by the point championship at the JeffreyHogueRealtor.com Action Track USA in Kutztown, Pauch Jr. will lead a talent-laden contingent of USAC Championship SpeedSTR competitors into the Saturday portion of American Racer Cup Weekend at the Five Mile Point Speedway near Binghamton, NY on October 11.
The young charger from Frenchtown, NJ narrowly held off his famous father, Billy Pauch Sr., for that championship at Action Track USA. The elder Pauch was also a three-time winner during the season, and he'd like nothing better than to defeat his kid at Five Mile Point because he's been finishing second to Junior far too often for his liking.
Not only did the son beat
the father for the Action Track point title, but
a few weeks ago, Billy Jr. scored a huge
Modified victory in New Egypt Speedway's All
Star Cup Shootout - winning more than $16,000 in
the process. And who finished as the runner-up
in that lucrative event at New Egypt? None other
than his father, Billy Sr...
The Pauch family will be pulling double-duty at Five Mile Point, too, as both Junior and Senior will be bringing their Modifieds with them to try and snare the $5,500 winner's share in the 55-lap American Racer Cup Weekend finale for the mighty Modifieds. Billy Sr., in fact, has a guaranteed starting spot for the Modified race.
Legendary Kenny Brightbill,
from Sinking Spring, PA, intends to "do the
double" on October as well. Brightbill, the
first SpeedSTR Champion ever crowned at Action
Track USA and a one-time winner there this
season, is towing his potent Weichert Realtors/
JeffreyHogueRealtor.com No. 19 to the Kirkwood,
NY quarter-mile for SpeedSTR competition, and
he'll also wheel a Colsten-owned Modified in the
October 11 event.
Brightbill's son, Brad, is
riding a wave of momentum into the Five Mile
Point race, as the younger Brightbill registered
two consecutive victories to end the season at
the Action Track USA. And the last of those two
triumphs earned him a hefty $5,000 in the Dick
Tobias Classic! Brad will steer his familiar
black Heavy Business Equipment No. 19b at Andrew
Harpell's quarter-mile oval.
Asphalt Modified and Late Model standout Earl Paules, of Kunkletown, PA, notched his first SpeedSTR victory on the Action Track clay this summer, while dirt Modified and Sprint Car veteran Frank Cozze, from Wind Gap, PA, adapted to the SpeedSTR machines very quickly and he, too, visited victory lane at the progressively banked oval in Kutztown. Based on their successful first season at Action Track USA, both Cozze and Paules will be strong challengers at the Five Mile Point event.
Catasauqua's Kyle Lick is the most recent SpeedSTR Tour victor, taking the September 19 checkered flag for the second year in a row at Linda's Speedway in Jonestown, PA. Lick and his KME teammates, John Kovatch and Mike Bednar, will be well prepared and ready for battle at Five Mile Point on October 11.
Bechtelsville, Pa. wheel-twister Jeff Strunk, the recently crowned Grandview Speedway Modified point king, has also indicated that he will haul his BPG No. 88 SpeedSTR to FMP on the 11th. Strunk collected a single victory in Action Track USA SpeedSTR competition this season, and it was a memorable triumph, to say the least. Strunk and Kenny Brightbill battled side by side for several laps before Jeff got a slightly better run off turn four on the final lap, beating his childhood hero to the stripe by a few inches!
SpeedSTR creator Rich Tobias also plans to compete and, if all goes smoothly that afternoon in a USAC Silver Crown event about an hour north of Binghamton, Tobias will have a couple of the United States Auto Club's hotshoes buckled into SpeedSTR's at FMP.
On Saturday, October 11, warm-ups begin at 5:45 with qualifying events commencing at 6:15 p.m.For additional information on the American Racer Cup Weekend and/or the USAC Championship SpeedSTR event, log on to www.SpeedwayEntertainment.com or www.fivemilepointspeedway.net.
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