Kutztown, PA (July 11) – On Wednesday, July 11, Billy Pauch Jr. became just the second driver to win features in two divisions on the same night at Championship Energy Action Track USA on the Kutztown Fairgrounds.
Pauch Jr., from Milford, NJ, strengthened his point lead in both the USAC All Pro SpeedSTR and Hyper Racing 600 Sprint Classes by winning those main events on Wednesday, joining Tim Buckwalter as the only drivers to accomplish that feat on the same night at the Berks County oval.
In the night’s regularly scheduled SpeedSTR main, Jason Rochelle led from the pole until Pat Bealer wrestled the top spot from him on the third trip around the progressively banked oval. TJ Mayberry worked his way past Rochelle to run second and soon Matt Janisch pulled into third, but all eyes were on Billy Pauch Jr. as he weaved his way from tenth on the starting grid to run fourth by lap six.
On a red flag restart with six circuits in the books, the No. 48 of Janisch would not refire, moving Pauch to third and Rochelle back to fourth. As the race went back to green, Rochelle blasted by Pauch and Mayberry, setting his sights on Bealer. Rochelle reclaimed the top spot one lap prior to the halfway point, and Pauch passed Bealer for the runner-up position with 13 to go. With ten laps remaining, Pauch gassed his Heffner Motorsports/ Lelands.com/ Weaknecht Archery No. 27 past Rochelle and into the lead as they roared down the homestretch. He separated himself from the field over the final circuits, beating Rochelle to the checkered by almost two-seconds. Rochelle recorded his best-ever SpeedSTR finish by holding on for runner-up money, with Matt Westfall making a late race charge to end up third. Bealer was a season-best fourth and TJ Mayberry completed a very solid night with a fifth place effort, following his sixth place finish in the first feature.
The victory was Pauch’s third of the season in SpeedSTR competition, and his division leading 15th career SpeedSTR triumph at Action Track USA.
As is customary at Action Track USA, the Hyper Racing 600 Sprint feature was incredibly competitive, insanely intense, and wildly entertaining for its entire 25-lap distance. With a hefty $1,000 payday awaiting the winner (provided he/she paid the Gambler’s Fee at sign-in), the race appeared to come down to a three-car duel between Tim Buckwalter, Jason Swavely, and a charging Eddie Strada. But it all changed in a heartbeat…
Buckwalter started second and grabbed the lead at the outset, with third-starting Swavely firing into the runner-up slot ahead of Tyler Lindsay. Joe Kay and Colin White were also in the mix, along with Damon Paul and Billy Pauch Jr., who started tenth but found himself just inside the top five by the time lap seven was scored.
Strada, in Greg Stevens’ No. 20, came to life after the first restart with seven complete. He went to the top of the banking, powering his way forward as the laps clicked off. With Buckwalter and Swavely battling for the lead, Strada swept past three cars with one power move in turns one and two, rocketing around Lindsay, Paul, and Pauch to secure third position on lap ten.
The next eight tours saw Swavely begin to throw slide jobs at the leader, with Buckwalter crossing over and executing his own sliders to move back in front in the next set of left turns. The battle heated up even more with Strada lurking in third, at one point slamming his right-rear off the front stretch wall without losing any ground to the top two drivers. As they crossed the stripe to complete lap 18, Swavely ducked under Buckwalter entering turn one and the duo banged wheels, forcing Buckwalter up the banking as Swavely shot to the lead. Rumbling down the backstretch, Buckwalter drew even then edged ahead, but contact was made between he and Swavely, throwing both cars sideways and collecting Strada as all three stopped at the end of the back chute and the rest of the field scrambled to get by without making contact.
The end result was Pauch Jr. the new leader and Brian Carber in the runner-up position. Swavely and Buckwalter were eliminated from the race but Strada was able to restart and salvaged a ninth-place finish. Carber ran the bottom and Pauch rolled the top for the final seven trips around the clay, with Pauch using his momentum on the high side to maintain a slim lead over Carber. At the checkered, it was Pauch notching his second win of the season in the Hyper Racing 600 class, with Carber, in a rare Action Track USA start, finishing a strong second.