Holding Off Star-Studded ‘South Jersey Shootout’ STSS Field; 52 Modifieds Jam Bridgeport Pit Area For Second 2016 Velocita South Region Event
Written by Cody Manmiller
BRIDGEPORT, NJ – Wade Hendrickson used a front-row starting spot to conquer the ‘South Jersey Shootout’ at Bridgeport Speedway and lead all 40 laps in the second race of the Bob Hilbert Sportswear Short Track Super Series (STSS) Fueled by VP Velocita South Region.
The dominating effort was Hendrickson’s first career STSS victory in a limited amount of starts, and it was worth $5,280 including lap money and bonuses.
“I guess these old guys aren’t washed up after all,” Hendrickson said in Victory Lane with his car parked bumper-to-bumper with runner-up finisher Billy Pauch Sr.
Hendrickson, of Lawrenceville, N.J., advanced in the final heat race from third to second qualifying him for the redraw.
“We weren’t that good in the heat race,” said Hendrickson. “We probably wouldn’t have qualified if we started deeper.”
As the final driver to redraw, Hendrickson was left with the only number unpicked: one.
“Usually I’m not lucky drawing,” he said. “Then it was perfect that I didn’t have to draw. It worked out well.”
“The Flying Farmer” in the Craig Pondish Racing No. 6 took the early lead at the drop of the green flag ahead of Jimmy Horton, David Hunt, Pauch and John McClelland.
As the top-five began to settle in, it was Ryan Godown and Stewart Friesen wreaking havoc on the rest of the field from the eighth and ninth-place starting positions, respectively.
By lap three Friesen had already broken into the top-five after getting around McClelland, and Godown was sixth a lap later. Pauch, the next victim, quickly fell prey to the hard-charging duo as they both went around by lap eight. Meanwhile, Hendrickson built a significant lead over Horton and Hunt.
Hendrickson neared lapped traffic on lap 13 just as Hunt made his move on the bottom past Horton with Friesen and Godown lurking just behind. The group of four then rapidly drew closer to Hendrickson.
With Hunt and Horton using the bottom lane, Friesen and Godown worked the outside. Friesen finally raced around Horton on lap 15 after a pair of laps running side by side. Godown followed one lap later, and the trio of Hunt, Friesen and Godown were almost on Hendrickson’s bumper.
“My tire was too soft,” Hendrickson said, standing next to his flat right-rear. “I had to go easy in the middle of the race to save it.”
As the field reached the halfway point, Pauch began to get in on the action, creating a five-car battle for the top spot using all lanes on the track. Pauch passed Godown for fourth on lap 22, but a caution for a slowing Jordan Watson would give Godown the spot on the restart.
“I ran the bottom the whole way,” Pauch said. “I got by Godown when the yellow came out, but I wanted the bottom, so it worked out.”
On the ensuing restart, Hendrickson led Friesen, Pauch, Hunt, Godown and Anthony Perrego, the winner of the Velocita South Region opener at Georgetown Speedway.
Pauch passed Friesen a few laps later and made his final charge for the win.
“I should have pushed him a little harder,” Pauch said. “But finishing one-two with him is a pretty good night.”
Hendrickson, and his right-rear tire, rode to the checkered flag without too much trouble. Pauch settled for second.
Friesen rounded out the podium, crossing the line in third.
“We had a great race car and race team this weekend,” Friesen said. “It was a really racy track, and we were on the top, but the bottom just got too good too quick at the end.”
The defending Halmar International North Region champion was able build off his eighth-place finish at Velocita South Region-opening Georgetown (Del.) Speedway Melvin L. Joseph Memorial.
“I’m happy with tonight, and now we move on,” the Sprakers, N.Y. driver said. “Next stop is Big Diamond (Pa.) on May 10.”
Hunt grabbed fourth, his best career STSS finish.
Godown, of Ringoes, N.J., settled for fifth, his second top-five in as many races in the seven-race Velocita South Region.
Finishing sixth through 10th, respectively, were Perrego, aboard the New York Truck Parts No. 55 small-block after losing his big-block powerplant in hot laps; defending ‘South Jersey Shootout’ winner Rick Laubach of Hellertown, Pa. from 13th; Hard Charger Dominick Buffalino raced from 24th; McClelland settled for a solid finish after running in the top-10 for the duration of the event; Jeff Strunk, of Boyertown, Pa., completed the top-10 in the Glenn Hyneman No. 126.
A stout field of 52 Modifieds attempted to qualify.
Colonial Pipeline/811 Dig Safe heat winners, pocketing $50 each, were David Hunt, Ryan Godown, Stewart Friesen, Jimmy Horton and Anthony Perrego. Consolation victors were Jamie Mills, Tommy Beamer and Brett Hearn.
In support-division action, Brandon Grosso of Montgomery, N.J., topped the 20-lap Sportsman main event, his second win of the weekend after scoring a Friday checkered at Big Diamond.
Brian Carber of Pipersville, Pa., utilized an outside pass with two laps remaining to win the $1,000 XCel 600 Modified top prize on the Spirit Auto Center Speedway inner quarter-mile track.
The Outlaw Stock 15-lap feature was topped in dominant fashion by T.J. Henry of Felton, Del.
The Bob Hilbert Sportswear Short Track Super Series Fueled By VP heads to the Coal Region of Pennsylvania Tuesday, May 10 (rain date: May 17) for the Anthracite Assault combination North and South Region event at Big Diamond Speedway. Modifieds race 50 laps for $5,000 to win, $1,000 for 10th and $400 to take the green flag. Also in action: the inaugural STSS Open Sportsman event and XCel 600 Modifieds.
To learn more about the Short Track Super Series Fueled By VP or BD Motorsports Media LLC, visit www.shorttracksuperseries.com or www.bdmotorsportsmedia.com, call 845.728.2781 during business hours, e-mail email@example.com, “like” Short Track Super Series on Facebook or follow @ShortTrackSS on Twitter.
SHOOTOUT SHORTS: A 70-degree, sunny afternoon kept the Keith Hoffman-led track crew busy throughout the program using both the quarter-mile and five-eighths-mile tracks. Despite the challenges, side-by-side racing prevailed throughout the afternoon and evening….
The win for Wade Hendrickson occurred with a Ford small-block engine which had arrived during the week for the Craig Pondish team. Hendrickson had driven his own No. Z1 in the opening two events of the season at Bridgeport….
Anthony Perrego arrived in South Jersey planning to utilize his Gary Mann-owned No. 55 big-block. However, the engine expired in that mount during hot laps relegating Perrego to a small-block, which he drove to a sixth-place finish….
A late-arriving, but strong crowd took in the program, which featured more than 100 race cars in competition….
Stewart Friesen (76) and Ryan Godown (89) both earned top-five finishes after initial poor draws through the gate. Both, in fact, won their heat events Godown’s qualifying victory came after a penalty of two rows during his eight-lap qualifier….
A lengthy post-race tech inspection included a check of cubic inch for the top-three finishers of the main event. There was also a pre-race check of Tommy Meier, the most recent race winner at Orange County Fair Speedway in Middletown, N.Y….
The STSS Modified field included participants from New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maryland and New York….
‘South Jersey Shootout’ Race Summary – Bridgeport Speedway April 17, 2016
‘South Jersey Shootout’ Bob Hilbert Sportswear Short Track Super Series Fueled By VP Velocita South Region Event No. 2 Modified Feature Finish (40 Laps): WADE HENDRICKSON ($5,280), Billy Pauch Sr., Stewart Friesen, David Hunt, Ryan Godown, Anthony Perrego, Rick Laubach, Dominick Buffalino, John McClelland, Jeff Strunk, Jamie Mills, Brett Kressley, Ryan Watt, Duane Howard, Richie Pratt Jr., Craig Von Dohren, Billy Pauch Jr., Danny Creeden, David Van Horn Jr., Tyler Dippel, Tommy Meier, Ron Roberts, Jordan Watson, Brett Hearn, Jimmy Horton, Tommy Beamer, Andy Bachetti.
Did Not Qualify: Bobby Varin, Ryan Krachun, Steve Davis, Doug Manmiller, Corey Andersen, Michael Sabia, Kyle Borror, Mike Franz, Jim Britt, Jack Swain, Sammy Martz, Kevin Sockriter, C.J. Jones, Ryan Forte, Brad Trice, Sammy Piazza, Anthony Moran, H.J. Bunting III, Jerry Higbie, Eric Vent, Shawn Ward, Clay Butler, Travis Hill, Michael White, Brian Krummel.
‘Lucky 7’ Lap Money Breakdown ($945 total): Wade Hendrickson ($280); Stewart Friesen ($120); Billy Pauch Sr. ($120); Ryan Godown ($120); David Hunt ($120); Johnny McClelland ($65); Jimmy Horton ($60); Anthony Perrego ($40); Rick Laubach ($20)
Allstar Performance Bonuses ($50 Certificates): Stewart Friesen (third) & Dominick Buffalino (eighths)
American Racer/Lias Tire Bonuses (FREE Tire): Jeff Strunk (10th) & Richie Pratt Jr. (15th)
ATL Fuel Cell Bonus ($200 Certificate): Ryan Godown (fifth)
Behrent’s Performance Warehouse Bonuses ($50 Gift Cards): David Hunt (fourth) & John McClelland (ninth)
Bob Hilbert Sportswear Bonuses ($100 Certificates): David Hunt (fourth) & Duane Howard (14th)
Dig Safe 811/Colonial Pipeline Heat Winner Bonuses ($50 Cash): David Hunt, Ryan Godown, Stewart Friesen, Jimmy Horton & Anthony Perrego
Dirt Track Digest Hard Charger Award ($150): Dominick Buffalino (24th to eighth)
Fast Axle Bonus ($50 Certificate): Rick Laubach (seventh)
QA1 Hard Charger Bonus ($50 Certificate): Dominick Buffalino (24th to eighth)
Racing Optics Bonus (Tear-Off Sleeve): Billy Pauch Sr. (second)
Vahlco Racing Wheels Bonus (FREE Wheel): Ryan Godown (fifth)
VP Racing Fuels Bonuses ($50 Credit): Stewart Friesen (third), Ryan Watt (13th) & Jordan Watson (23rd)
Wiz Fab Halfway Leader Bonus ($150 Cash): Wade Hendrickson
The 2016 Short Track Super Series is presented by American Racer/Lias Tire, VP Racing Fuel, Bob Hilbert Sportswear, Halmar International, Allstar Performance, ATL Racing Fuel Cells, Behrent’s Performance Warehouse, Bicknell Racing Products, COMP Performance Group, Dirt Track Digest, Fast Axle, Fox Racing Shocks, Hig Fab, Henry’s Exhaust, HyperCo, Kirkey Racing Fabrication, K&N, Race Pro Weekly, Racing Optics, Teo-Pro Car, Vahlco Wheels & Velocita
2016 Bob Hilbert Sportswear Short Track Super Series Fueled By VP Velocita South Region Schedule
Saturday, March 12 – Georgetown Speedway/Georgetown, DE – Melvin L. Joseph Memorial – WINNER: Anthony Perrego
Sunday, April 17 – Bridgeport Speedway/Bridgeport, NJ – South Jersey Shootout – WINNER: Wade Hendrickson
Tuesday, May 10 (Rain Date: May 17) – Big Diamond Speedway/Minersville, PA – Anthracite Assault (Combo)
Thursday, May 26 (Rain Date: TBA) – Delaware International Speedway/Delmar, DE – Diamond State 50
Tuesday, June 14 (Rain Date: June 15) – New Egypt Speedway/New Egypt, NJ – Dirty Jersey 4 – $10,000 to win!
Sunday, July 31 (Rain Date: Aug. 7) – Susquehanna Speedway Park/Newberrytown, PA – York County Nationals
Tuesday, Aug. 30 (Rain Date: Aug. 31) – Georgetown Speedway/Georgetown, DE – Blast at the Beach – Championship Points
Short Track Super Series Fueled By VP South Region Point Fund (*based on 7 events): 1. $8,500; 2. $4,500; 3. $3,000; 4. $2,000; 5. $1,500; 6. $1,250; 7. $1,200; 8. $1,150; 9. $1,100; 10. $1,050
*Drivers with perfect attendance outside the top-10 will receive $250 at year-end.