Toth, Dirkes and Kassekert Pick Up Wins, Bill is Crowned Rookie Champion
Bridgeport, NJ – For the first time this season, defending Foley Cat Modified Champion, Billy Pauch drove to the Weaknecht Archery Victory Lane to celebrate his victory at the end of thirty laps of non-stop racing. “Not bad for an old guy,” Pauch quipped from the Winner’s Circle after exiting his K&A Excavating sponsored No. 1. Pauch became the ninth different winner in the Modified ranks this season on Scrappy’s Auto Service Night at the Bridgeport Motorsports Park.
Joe Toth put the Belmont’s Garage No. 14 in the Winner’s Circle in the South Jersey Overhead Door 602 Sportsman Feature. Jeff Dirkes earned his second win of the season as he drove to the finish line, side by side with Jeramy Doerr.
Shane Kassekert earned his first victory in the DA’s Auto Body & Repair Rookie division, picking up the win on Graduation Night while Ethan Bill was crowned as the 2021 Rookie Champion.
Jim Gallagher Jr. put his Elite Welding No. 31 out in front at the wave of the green flag and immediately began to put some distance between himself and the rest of the field. Gallagher led the way for the first ten laps with Pauch reeling in the leader a little each lap. Pauch challenged Gallagher for the lead on lap eleven. Clay Butler and Sam Martz trailed the leaders while Ryan Godown and Billy Osmun III battled for fourth.
Pauch pulled away from the field and soon found himself in lapped traffic. On lap fifteen, Pauch, Gallagher and Butler continued to lead the way while Ryan Krachun put his Amwell Auto Body No. 29 on the top of the track and drove by both Godown and Martz to race in fourth.
Pauch was well ahead of the field when Krachun took over second on lap seventeen. Godown, Gallagher and Martz completed the top five with ten laps to go but Alex Yankowski was on his way to challenge the top five.
Gallagher, Martz and Yankowski had a torrid battle for fourth. Gallagher pulled of the track with overheating issues and Yankowski took over fourth.
With five laps remaining, Krachun was able to narrow the margin somewhat but it was Pauch who drove to the checkered flag for the victory over Krachun, Godown, Yankowski and Martz. Joseph Watson finished sixth followed by Osmun, Ryan Watt, Jordan Watson and Matt Stangle. Both Watt and Stangle came from deep in the pack, sharing starting spot in row number nine.
Joe Toth was behind the wheel of the Belmont No. 14 this week, prepping for next week’s All American 40 for the 602 Crate Sportsman competitors. Toth, who has a Modified win to his credit this season, was forced to park his Modified due to some motor issues.
Toth went to work on race leader, Steve Davis and secured the lead just before the halfway mark. Davis wasn’t about to go away but Toth was able to answer Davis’ slide jobs with a crossover move to secure the lead.
Toth took the win over Davis, Matt Ellery, Tom Sherby and first state invader, Bryan Brobst rounding out the top five. Howie Finch finished sixth ahead of current point leader, Sammy Martz, Jr. Michael White, Ryan Higgs and Adam White rounded out the top ten.
Sixteen year old, Shane Kassekert came close to winning a Rookie feature earlier this season. Kassekert ran the high line and was the leader on the final lap but Ethan Bill was able to win the drag race to the checkered flag. This week there would be no last minute challenge as Kassekert raced to the victory on graduation night. Bill finished second and was crowned as the 2021 Rookie Champion. Mike Creamer finished third followed by Ethan Young and Zach Steffey.
With one win to this credit from earlier this season, Mike Hughes grabbed the lead in the Sunbelt Rental Street Stock feature. Jeramy Doerr and Jeff Dirkes were racing hard for second right behind the leader. Doerr had the lead at the end of five laps after a three wide battle for the top spot.
Dirkes dogged the leader for the remaining laps, timing his challenge for the final turn on the last lap. Dirkes won the race on the homestretch by the narrowest of margins over Doerr, Gary Klimeczak, Nick Sandone III and John Parker. Dirkes waited until the end of the race to make his move. “I didn’t want to give him (Doerr) another chance,” Dirkes explained.
The 602 Crate Sportsman will take center stage next Saturday night as they compete in the All American 40 for the first time. The Modifieds and Street Stocks will make it a triple header show on the eve of the nation’s birthday.
FOLEY CAT MODIFIEDS (30 laps): 1. Billy Pauch, 2. Ryan Krachun, 3. Ryan Godown, 4. Alex Yankowski, 5. Sam Martz, 6. Joseph Watson, 7. Billy Osmun III, 8. Ryan Watt, 9. Jordan Watson, 10. Matt Stangle, 11. Neal Williams, 12. Clay Butler, 13. Tommy Beamer, 14. Mike Franz, 15. Troy Ale, 16. Ron Roberts 17. Billy Lasko, 18. Jim Gallagher Jr., 19. Kevin Sockriter, 20. Tom Moore Jr., 21. Jim Britt, 22. Dominick Buffalino, 23. Brad Brightbill, 24. Brett Ballard
South Jersey Overhead Door 602 Sportsman (25 laps): 1. Joe Toth, 2. Steve Davis, 3. Matt Elery, 4. Bryan Brobst, 5. Tom Sherby, 6. Howie Finch, 7. Sammy Martz Jr., 8. Michael White, 9. Ryan Higgs, 10. Adam White, 11. Travis Hill, 12. Jim Dallett, 13. Brad Cicio, 14. Billy Chester, 15. Josh Bricker, 16. Scott Hulmes, 17. Nick Desantis, 18. Ryan Godown Jr., 19. Wayne Weaver, 20. Ethan Bill, 21. Andy Walko, 22. Joel Smith, 23. Pete Serra, 24. Zach Steffey, 25. Shane Kassekert, 26. Joe Brown, 27. Bob Lineman Jr.
Sunbelt Rentals Street Stocks (15 laps): 1. Jeff Dirkes, 2. Jeramy Doerr, 3. Gary Klimeczak, 4. Nick Sandone III, 5. John Parker, 6. Tom Wills Jr., 7. Mike Hughes
D.A.’s Auto Body & Repair Rookies (7 laps): 1. Shane Kassekert, 2. Ethan Bill, 3. Mike Creamer, 4. Ethan Young, 5. Zach Steffey, 6. Courtney Pickens