Pauch Goes Out A Champion

Bear Creek Hosts Annual Awards Banquet Once Again

Macungie, PA –  The Bear Creek Mountain Resort & Conference Center played host to a crowd of 230 on Saturday, January 7, as the 2016 champions and top point-earners from the Action Track USA were saluted at the track’s annual awards banquet. Sadly, only one-half of the promotional team, Doug Rose, was present as Rich Tobias was stricken with the flu and unable to make the trip to Bear Creek.
  Special recognition was given to the 2016 champion of the USAC All Pro SpeedSTR division, Billy Pauch, who recently announced that he is giving up the seat of Mike Heffner’s No. 27, and will no longer compete in the SpeedSTR class at the Kutztown Fairgrounds oval.
  “After winning the point title, I decided it was time…
there’s no better way to go out than to go out15966022_841036605999846_2031719547379724709_n on top,” stated the Frenchtown, NJ driver who has compiled numerous championships in various divisions and at a plethora of speedways during his storied career.
  “They’re all special,” he said of his many point crowns. “But it’s time to let the younger guys have a shot…I’m going to turn 60 soon and these cars (SpeedSTRs) are not easy to handle. Rich (Tobias) designed them that way; he wants them to be tough to drive, and that does make it a lot of fun, but it’s a lot of hard work, too. And the competition at Kutztown is tremendous…that makes it even tougher to do well in these cars. So I’m very proud of this championship and to win it for Mike (Heffner, his car owner) is really great. It’s been an honor to drive for him these past three years.”
  Pauch continued his championship speech with some extremely valuable words of wisdom and advice for the numerous teenaged and pre-teen drivers in attendance. “The crowd at Kutztown – and the grandstands are packed each week, which is terrific – is great; they are really into it and that makes it more fun as a driver. And for all you younger drivers, just remember, without that crowd who comes to watch you, there is no racing. Make sure you thank them (the fans) every time you get the chance and always do your best to put on a good show for them.”
  Pauch turns over the reigns of Heffner’s potent No. 27 to his son, Billy Jr., who has already racked up a pair of point titles at the Action Track USA in SpeedSTR competition.
  In 2016, the elder Pauch notched four feature wins enroute to the title, including two in a row in the month of May to stake himself to an early point lead. He added a third victory in one-half of the Ronnie Tobias Memorial in June, then capped off his championship season by winning the Kutztown Fair SpeedSTR National in mid-August. When the curtain-closing Dick Tobias Classic was rained out on August 21, Pauch joined his son as an Action Track USA SpeedSTR Champion.
  Tim Buckwalter authored a strong season to finish runner-up in points. Buckwalter scored three wins and ended the season with three consecutive top-three finishes.
  Mike Bednar, Steven Nederostek, and Matt Janisch completed the top five in the SpeedSTR standings.