Race is on for Hall of Fame vote

The Hamburg Area Item - - SPORTS - By Ernie Sax­ton For Dig­i­tal First Me­dia

The polls are now open for the NAS­CAR Hall of Fame Class of 2019 Fan Vote. For the 10th con­sec­u­tive year, fans are asked to cast votes for up to five nom­i­nees for in­clu­sion into the Class of 2019, and can vote up to 50 times per day. The five nom­i­nees who re­ceive the most votes will count as one of the bal­lots cast by the Vot­ing Panel on NAS­CAR Hall of Fame Vot­ing Day on May 23. The polls close on May 21.

Vot­ing can be done at NAS­CAR.com/hallof­fame.

NAS­CAR Hall of Fame Class of 2019 Nom­i­nees are: Davey Al­li­son, won 19 times in NAS­CAR’s premier (now Mon­ster En­ergy NAS­CAR Cup) se­ries, in­clud­ing the 1992 Day­tona 500; Buddy Baker, won 19 times in NAS­CAR’s premier se­ries, in­clud­ing the Day­tona 500 and South­ern 500; Red Farmer, three­time Late Model Sports­man cham­pion, 1956 Mod­i­fied cham­pion; Ray Fox, leg­endary en­gine builder, crew chief and car owner; Harry Gant, win­ner of 18 NAS­CAR premier se­ries races, in­clud­ing two South­ern 500 vic­to­ries; Joe Gibbs, com­bined for nine car owner cham­pi­onships in premier and XFIN­ITY se­ries; Jeff Gor­don, four­time cham­pion and win­ner of 93 NAS­CAR premier se­ries races; John Hol­man, won two NAS­CAR premier se­ries cham­pi­onships as co-owner of Hol­man-Moody Rac­ing; Harry Hyde, 1970 NAS­CAR premier se­ries cham­pi­onship crew chief; Alan Kul­wicki, 1992 NAS­CAR premier se­ries cham­pion; Bobby Labonte, won a cham­pi­onship in both the premier se­ries and XFIN­ITY Se­ries; Her­shel McGriff, 1986 NAS­CAR west se­ries cham­pion; Ralph Moody, won two NAS­CAR premier se­ries cham­pi­onships as co-owner of Hol­man-Moody Rac­ing; Roger Penske, com­bined for four car owner cham­pi­onships in premier and XFIN­ITY se­ries; Larry Phillips, only five-time NAS­CAR weekly se­ries na­tional cham­pion; Jack Roush, five-time car owner cham­pion in NAS­CAR’s three na­tional se­ries; Ricky Rudd, won 23 times in NAS­CAR’s premier se­ries, in­clud­ing the 1997 Brick­yard 400; Kirk Shelmer­dine, win­ner of four NAS­CAR premier se­ries cham­pi­onships as a crew chief; Mike Ste­fanik, win­ner of record-ty­ing nine NAS­CAR cham­pi­onships; Waddell Wil­son, won three NAS­CAR premier se­ries cham­pi­onships as an en­gine builder.

***

A weather fore­cast that in­cluded a win­tery mix of cold, snow, rain and wind on top of the al­ready sat­u­rated grounds forced Grand­view Speed­way man­age­ment to post­pone the First An­nual VP Rac­ing Fu­els Bruce Rogers Me­mo­rial Money Maker Clas­sic, sched­uled for Satur­day, April 7, to Satur­day, April 14th at 7 p.m.

The same sched­ule of events will be pre­sented on April 14th in­clud­ing a 50-lap­per fea­tur­ing the Small Block Mod­i­fieds go­ing up against the Big Block Mod­i­fieds with the win­ner walk­ing off with $7,500 and each fea­ture starter earn­ing at least $1,000. Also in­cluded in the dou­ble­header will be the ex­cit­ing Sports­man stock cars rac­ing for $750 to win and each fea­ture starter earn­ing $125.

A full se­ries of qual­i­fy­ing heat races will be run in each divi­sion to de­cide who will get to race in the main events.

An im­pres­sive field of rac­ers is ex­pected to take part in the resched­uled dou­ble­header that will re­mem­ber the late owner of the pop­u­lar one-third-mile, banked clay oval and kicks off the 56th con­sec­u­tive sea­son of stock car rac­ing at the Berks County fa­cil­ity.

An added in­cen­tive for Mod­i­fied rac­ers will be the Amer­i­can Racer bonus awards to­tal­ing $1,000. All those who do not qual­ify for the big race will have their names en­tered in a draw­ing with four names be­ing drawn and awarded $250 each cour­tesy of Amer­i­can Racer Tires.

*** Head­ing into his 44th ca­reer sea­son, Billy ‘The Kid’ Pauch be­lieves the two big­gest at­tributes to his ca­reer are his spon­sors and his crew.

Ea­ger for the 2018 sea­son to be in full swing, Pauch is pleased to ac­knowl­edge his 20-year part­ner­ship with Pi­o­neer Pole Build­ings owner, Bob Greene. Pi­o­neer is a huge sup­porter of weekly auto rac­ing at a num­ber of tracks and with a num­ber of dif­fer­ent race teams.

“I don’t know of too many spon­sors that have been with a driver for that long,” laughed Pauch. “I couldn’t ap­pre­ci­ate it enough.”

Founded in 1998, Pi­o­neer Pole Build­ings has be­come the premier builder of post frame build­ings in PA, NJ, DE, MD, WV, VA, and NY.

Not only is Pi­o­neer Pole Build­ings Pauch’s long­est spon­sor, but his car owner, Kevin Bi­fulco, owner of K&A Ex­ca­vat­ing, holds the record for be­ing Pauch’s long­est car owner.

“We’ve been to­gether for 13 years,” added Pauch. “He holds the record for putting up with me the long­est as a car owner. We’re not only driver and owner but best friends, so it works good to­gether. We spend a lot of time to­gether out­side of rac­ing as well so it’s a great com­bi­na­tion. Along with Pi­o­neer and K&A I still have Nick Contey with First Choice Auto Equip­ment, Don Bish with Husq­varna Bish Sales and Al’s Sunoco com­ing back this year.”

Af­ter ex­per­i­ment­ing with his retro No.15 Big Block Mod­i­fied last sea­son, Pauch plans on get­ting back to the ba­sics.

“Af­ter our ex­per­i­ment­ing binge last year, we de­cided to go back to the ba­sics for this year. We went to Florida and had a mishap at the be­gin­ning of the week. We were able to re­bound, drive up through the field and close out the week with a top-five fin­ish. That’s hard to do down there with a field like that.”

Look­ing back on the DIRT­car Na­tion­als in Florida, Pauch is pleased with his teams work ethic and con­fi­dence.

“My guys busted their butts down there,” he said. “We all worked to­gether re­ally well so I’m look­ing for­ward to blast­ing the sea­son off. I have a re­ally good group of guys with me – Phil Cox, Tim Hoff­man, Chris Krae­mer, Doug Lipouri and Jimmy Martin, Jimmy Stryker, Mike Ku­sant and John Ryn­ear­son.”

Pauch has his sights set on the South Ve­locita Short Track Su­per Se­ries ti­tle along with se­lect higher pay­ing races through­out the year.

“We’ll post ev­ery­thing on our Face­book page and let our fans know where we’ll be. The bot­tom line is that we’d like our fans to sup­port our spon­sors who sup­port us. If it weren’t for our great part­ners, we wouldn’t be able to do this.”

The bi­en­nial open house the Pauch fam­ily hosts at their race shop in French­town, NJ will be on slate for this sum­mer. The open house is set for Sun­day, July 15th with a rain date of Sun­day, July 22nd.

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