Danner, Paul, Silfee, Ulsh win season-enders
The 2018 racing season concluded on Sunday, August 19 at Championship Energy Action Track USA on the Kutztown Fairgrounds. When the final checkered flags waved after another night of competitive, close-quarters racing action, Allentown’s Briggs Danner emerged as the driver with the most wins (this season) in the USAC SpeedSTR division, nailing down his fourth of the year in the 30-lap finale.
Stoney Point, N.Y.’s Damon Paul captured his second victory of the season in the 25-lap curtaincloser for the Hyper Racing 600 Sprints. Jared Silfee, of Saylorsburg, capped a big week by winning the Kutztown Komet 100 for the All Star Slingshots. His win also clinched the 2018 Slingshot point title and it came just days after Silfee’s $2,000 triumph in the Super Slingshot Fair National during National Dirt Week at the fairgrounds.
Tyler Ulsh was victorious in the Junior Slingshot feature on Sunday. Ulsh used his win to catapult from third to first in the Junior Slingshot point standings, winning the title by just five points over Shelby McLaughlin.
Billy Pauch Jr. was another racer who had a very successful season finale on Sunday. Even though he did not win either of the features in which he competed, the Milford, N.J. ace secured point championships in the USAC SpeedSTR division (his third title at Action Track USA) and in the Hyper Racing 600 Sprint class.
The 30-lap SpeedSTR main began with Stephen Nederostek grabbing the early lead, then fending off the challenges of Matt Janisch and TJ Mayberry. Sixth-starting Briggs Danner was the man on the move, winging his way third on the sixth trip around the racy oval. Janisch pushed his No. 48 to the lead on lap ten, leaving Nederostek to battle with Danner for the runner-up spot.
Danner claimed second a few circuits later, then engaged in a “slider-fest” with Janisch, trading slide jobs at both ends of the progressively banked speedway. Danner finally cleared the Janisch machine on the backstretch of lap 17 and went on to record the victory, his fourth of the season, by more than 1.5-seconds over Janisch. Tim Buckwalter, who had won the previous two SpeedSTR events at the Berks County race place, slipped past Nederostek to take over the third position with eight to go, and that is where he finished. Steve Drevicki and Pauch Jr. completed the top five.
The 30-lapper went nonstop, the first time in the six-year history of Action Track USA that the SpeedSTRs ran an entire feature clean and green. Danner’s winning time was 6:16.153 in an entertaining race highlighted by intensely competitive action throughout the field.
Quick calculations after the feature indicated that Pauch Jr. won the championship by 135 points over last year’s champ, Tim Buckwalter. USAC All-Pro SpeedSTRs (30 Laps) —1. Briggs Danner 2. Matt Janisch 3. Tim Buckwalter 4. Steve Drevicki 5. Billy Pauch Jr. 6. Steven Nederostek 7. Matt Westfall 8. Pat Bealer 9. Alex Yankowski 10. Andy Haus 11. TJ Mayberry 12. Kevin Graver 13. Lou Cicconi 14. Jason Musser 15. Tom Mayberry 16. Steve Buckwalter 17. Tim Iulg 18. Ed Kenderdine. Hyper Racing 600 Sprints (25 Laps) — 1. Damon Paul 2. Billy Koch 3. Andrew Layser 4. Alex Bright 5. Nash Ely 6. Bobby Butler 7. Billy Pauch Jr. 8. Joe Kay 9. Colin White 10. Chad Sandt 11. Mike Butler 12. Zach Bealer 13. Wayne Scott 14. Jay Hartman 15. Matt Westfall 16. Mike Thompson 17. Nate Schumaker 18. Lou Cicconi 19. Eric Ankiewicz 20. Jack Conover 21. Christian Bruno 22. Joey Amantea 23. Mike Fauci 24. Aaron Bolinger 25. Jim Radney 26. Jacob Severn 27. Jimmy Glenn 28. Tim Buckwalter. DNS: Jared Lily, Tyler Lindsay. All-Star Slingshots Kutztown Komet 100 (100 Laps) — 1. Jared Silfee 2. CJ Fritz 3. Justin Thompson 4. Dave Carraghan 5. Dylan Hoch 6. Cody Kline 7. Brett Bieber 8. Matt Miller 9. Dakota Kohler 10. Anthony Raisner 11. Louden Reimert 12. Tanner VanDoren 13. Craig Whitmoyer 14. Scott Neary 15. Gavin Danner 16. Nico Flammer 17. Joe Toth DNS: Austin Daniels, Joey Kalafut. Junior Slingshots (15 Laps) — 1. Tyler Ulsh 2. Casey Huffcut 3. Shelby McLaughlin 4. Logan Bauman 5. Joey Kalafut 6. Aidan Donaldson 7. Aaron Diller 8. Payton Nemeth 9. Wyatt Tashler 10. James Hendricks 11. Jax Yohn 12. Makayla Kohler. EG Mayor 600 Sprints Mad Scramble (10 Laps) - 1.Mike Fauci ($25 & transfers to A-Main), 2.Nate Schumaker (Hoosier RR Tire), 3.Lou Cicconi (Vahlco Wheel), 4.Christian Bruno (10 gallons of methanol from Road Runner Race Fuels/VP Fuel), 5.Chad Sandt (RTS Gift Certificate), 6.Zach Bealer (Hyper Racing Gift Certificate), 7.Jared Lilly (Set of 4 FK Rod Ends), 8.Mike Butler (TSL Shocks Gift Certificate), 9.Bobby Butler (Saldana Racing Products Gift Certificate), 10.Jack Conover (Free Registration at Action Track USA), 11.Tyler Kehs (Pyrotect Racing Cells Gift Certificate), 12.Matt Westfall, 13.Fred Heinly, 14.Doug Snyder, 15.Rebecca LaMothe, 16.Scott Slater, 17.Jason Rochelle, 18.Jason Muldowney, 19.Don Colaluce, 20.Carmen Leggio, 21.Tom Scott Jr., 22.Ryan Conrad, 23.Macy Litchauer, 24.Billy Koch.
A “flame burp” pops from the exhaust as Damon Paul (#144) and Jay Hartman get off the gas and slide into turn one. Paul was really dialed-in and took his second victory of the season in the Wingless 600 Micro Sprint A Main later in the night.
Billy Pauch Jr. (#96s) and Damon Paul (#144) battle wheel-to-wheel exiting turn four on the front straight. By night’s end, Paul would take his second win of the season and Pauch Jr. would claim the 2018 point championship in the highly competitive Wingless 600 Micro Sprint division.
Briggs Danner (#78), who entered the 2018 season winless at Action Track USA, chalked up his fourth win of the season in the USAC SpeedSTR division. Danner is pictured here dueling for the lead with Matt Janisch (#48) who crossed the line in second place at the checkers.