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KUTZTOWN >> Three nights after a disappointing DNF in the season opener, Tim Buckwalter rebounded in a big way on May 17, winning the Goldie & Elton Meitzler Memorial presented by Hoosier Racing Tires for the USAC All Pro SpeedSTRs at Kutztown’s JeffreyHogueRealtor.com Action Track USA.
Joining Buckwalter in Weaknecht Archery Victory Lane on Wednesday were Jim Radney (Hyper Racing Wingless 600 Sprints) and Marc Daniels (All Star Slingshots). Shillington’s Seth Spayd won the Slingshot feature that was postponed on Sunday and served as Wednesday evening’s first main event.
Polesitter Andy Haus and Tom Mayberry battled for the lead in the early stages of the 30-lap USAC All Pro SpeedSTR feature. Mayberry took command but caution periods allowed Haus, Tim and Steve Buckwalter, and Matt Janisch multiple opportunities to challenge the leader and they did just that, producing some entertaining two and three-wide racing for the top spots.
On a restart with 12 circuits complete, Pottstown’s Tim Buckwalter threaded the needle, darting between Mayberry and Haus on the homestretch to claim the lead. A couple tours later, Steve Buckwalter snared the runner-up position and a yellow flag with ten to go put the Buckwalter cousins side by side on the front row for the double file restart.
Driving Paul Lotier’s Bagel Rack No. 7, Tim Buckwalter maintained his grip on the top spot, with cousin Steve chasing him around the progressively banked oval. Janisch and Haus had plenty of company in their tussle for third, as Sunday winner Billy Pauch Jr. and Ohio’s Matt Westfall, along with Steve Drevicki and Jason Miller, made it a sixcar battle royale for third through eighth positions.
Tim Buckwalter charged to the victory, zipping under the checkered flag by just more than a half-second over his cousin Steve. Janisch scored an impressive third place finish, with Pauch Jr. and Westfall rounding out the top five.
Kutztown’s Dan Schumaker set the early pace in the Hyper Racing Wingless 600 Sprint main with Doug Snyder hounding him during the first few revolutions of the 25-lap feature.
The inside groove appeared to be the quickest as the laps clicked off, as Jim Radney steered his Hyper X7 Chassis forward from sixth on the starting grid. Radney, from Lemoyne, utilized the low lane to pass Schumaker for the top spot on lap nine, then took off, opening a comfortable lead by the halfway point.
Two-time track champion Jay Hartman took note of Radney’s success on the bottom, and he used the same route to move into second at the midway point of the race. A yellow flag with ten to go wiped out Radney’s huge lead, and now there was a third driver in the mix for the win as Eddie Strada entered the top three. Strada made the high line work to his advantage, blasting by Hartman for the runner-up position as the race headed into its final stage.
Unfortunately for the defending Action Track 600 Sprint point champion (Strada), his night ended with two to go when his No. 36D slowed and coasted to a halt in turn four, handing second place back to Jay Hartman.
The final two trips around the clay belonged to Radney, as he held off Hartman to capture his first Action Track USA victory. Hartman, Jesse Maurer (started 11th), James Morris (started 12th), and Schumaker wound up third, fourth, and fifth.
It was an emotional victory lane for Bethlehem’s Marc “the Iceman” Daniels, who became a cancer survivor late last summer and decided to go racing once again in 2017. In just his second event since winning his battle against the dreaded disease, Daniels drove to the All Star Slingshot triumph in Wednesday’s Meitzler Memorial nightcap.
“I didn’t think I’d ever be in victory lane again,” stated a choked-up Daniels. “We won our battle over cancer last year, and we won tonight; definitely my two biggest victories ever. Thanks to everyone who supported me over the past couple years and to the Hoch Motorsports family for helping to put me back in a race car.”
The third of four qualifying heats for the NAPA All Star Slingshots take the green flag and race into the first turn earlier this season at Action Track USA in Kutztown.
CARL HESS - FOR DIGITAL FIRST MEDIA
Seth Spayd (10s) and Mertztown’s Dylan Hoch (35) battle for the lead in the Slingshot main carried over from Sunday night. The two, who topped the Slingshot points last season, finished first and second with Spayd taking his first Slingshot victory at Action Track USA on May 17.
It’s “Wheels To The Air” as Jim Radney (95) and Jay Hartman (24) take the green for a late race restart in the Wingless 600 Micro Sprint A main. Radney took the win with Hartman a close second.