Category Archives: Short Track Super Series

RIGHT PLACE, RIGHT TIME FOR PRATT AT TRI-COUNTY FOR $5,000

By BOBBY SWEENEY

BRASSTOWN, NC – Richie Pratt Jr. scored his first Bob Hilbert Sportswear Short Track Super Series (STSS) Fueled By Sunoco win in dramatic fashion, taking the lead at halfway after the top four drivers piled-up before then holding off a high-flying Alex Yankowski for the Tri-County Racetrack trophy in the Hurlock Auto and Speed ‘Return to Racing’ 50-lap feature.

“Last night we were in the wrong place at the wrong time on the second lap, but tonight we were in the right place,” Pratt said. “The top four all had problems and we were there to capitalize on it.”

Stewart Friesen picked up where he left off Thursday night, leading the way at the start of Friday’s 50-lap feature and leaving Richie Pratt and Tyler Dippel to battle for second.

That battle didn’t last as long as hoped, as Dippel went around on lap five. A big pileup on the restart sent Larry Wight’s brand new Teo Pro Car flipping in its first event, but Wight continued on track and Friesen continued to lead.

Billy Pauch Jr. and Matt Sheppard were on the move, with Pauch slotting into second by lap 10 and Sheppard up to fourth before a lap 15 caution.

Friesen continued to be blisteringly quick up top, setting the pace again on the restart. Pauch, Sheppard, and Umbenhauer kept Friesen honest in traffic, but traffic flipped the race on its heels at halfway.

On lap 24, Tyler Dippel ended up sideways in turn three, and the entire top four of Friesen, Pauch, Sheppard, and Umbenhauer all ended up in it.

“Believe it or not, when I was following Friesen, he taught me how to drive the track a little better, and that helped when we got out front again,” commented Pratt. “We ran a good race, and I can’t believe we’re here.”

Pratt was now the leader, with Danny Tyler, Danny Creeden, Erick Rudolph, and Alex Yankowski the new-look top five.

While Tyler and Creeden fought tooth-and-nail for second, Pratt had none of it and drove away. Yankowski, Modified sophomore, held close to the battle for second, but Pratt’s lead continued to grow through lapped traffic.

By the time Jessica Friesen broke and drew a caution on lap 39, Pratt was up by over a straightaway.

Creeden was the big loser on the restart, dropping a couple spots on the green. Yankowski was the big winner, slipping into third and then disposing of Tyler for second on lap 42.

Pratt had jumped out to a two-plus second lead on the initial green, but once in second, Yankowski closed in. By lap 47, Yankowski was within a couple car-lengths, but both drivers were wide open around the top.

Wight’s battered car finally gave out with three laps left after a respectable drive back into the top ten, placing Yankowski right on Pratt’s tail. The pair hung status-quo on the single file restart, but a crash involving Creeden, Schilling, and Britten drew the yellow on the final circuit.

Despite an increasing amount of smoke from his car, Pratt was unfazed on the restart, gapping Yankowski to score the $5,00 payday at Tri-County Racetrack.

Heavy afternoon rains made an already fast track even faster, with times barely slowing down throughout the night. The result was a tall physical toll on the drivers and their equipment.

“I’m definitely out of shape, I’m whooped right now,” noted Pratt. “Under those long green flag runs I was having a hard time keeping my head up. My shield was fogging up and everything but we made it, I have to thank my crew because they spent all night putting this thing back together after ending up on our side last night. I was told I was smoking when I got out of the car, but nothing on the gauges. We’ll take a look at that, and see if we have to switch to the other car tomorrow.”

Yankowski is in his sophomore year of Modified racing, and somewhere near his sophomore year of high school. The teenager demonstrated the patience of a veteran in his march towards the front and a runner-up finish.

“Long runs we had a good car,” said Yankowski, “On the restarts I just wasn’t in the right spots and that hurt us. We found a little bit of an issue after last night, got it fixed, and we’re happy with the results. We were good the whole race, we just needed to find a little bit of clean air. This track is different, I’ve only been to Fulton once and this reminds me a little bit of it, but this is really a whole new animal.”

Friesen led the first half of the event, but was caught up in a wreck with the other frontrunners. Unlike last night, Friesen wasn’t able to reach the lead after the incident, but still drove back to a podium.

“Sometimes that how it goes,” Friesen stated. “Modifieds on this bullring are crazy. It was fun to come down here and check out a new part of the country and get some racing in. We’re looking forward to heading to ‘the place your mama warned you about,’ Cherokee, another new place. Our car is kind of in one piece, we’ll be ready.”

Tyler ended up finishing in fourth while Johnson captured his second top five of the week by finishing in fifth.

Racing resumes tonight at Cherokee Speedway in Gaffney, S.C., with the STSS Modifieds racing 40 laps for $4,000 to win plus STSS Crate 602 Sportsman running 35 laps for $1,500 to win and a V-8 Run What You Brung. Dirt Track Digest TV will be live at 7 p.m.

The Short Track Super Series “Return to Racing” is presented by Hurlock Auto & Speed Supply, Mike’s Racing Heads, Competition Carburetion, St. Lawrence Radiology, Evergreen Fuels Inc., K&B Auto, The Scumgang, Midstate Recycling, Manmiller Electric and a host of special award, bonus and purse booster contributors.

To learn more about the Short Track Super Series Fueled By Sunoco, visit www.shorttracksuperseries.com, e-mail bdmotorsportsmedia@gmail.com,  check out ‘Short Track Super Series’ on Facebook or @ShortTrackSS on Twitter or Instagram.

The Short Track Super Series is presented by American Racer/Lias Tire, Sunoco Race Fuel, Insinger Performance, Bob Hilbert Sportswear, Halmar International, Velocita-USA, Design for Vision/Sunglass Central, Evergreen Fuels Inc., ATL Racing Fuel Cells, Behrent’s Performance Warehouse, Beyea Custom Headers, Bicknell Racing Products, Dirt Track Digest, EIBACH Springs, Fast Axle, Henry’s Exhaust, Hig Fab, HyperCo, Kirkey Racing Fabrication, Land Hoe Maintenance, K&N, MJK Home Maintenance, Precision Hydraulic & Oil, QA1, Racing Optics, Superior Remodeling, Teo-Pro Car, VAHLCO, Velocita, WELD Racing & Wilwood.

HURLOCK AUTO & SPEED RACE SUMMARY – TRI-COUNTY RACETRACK FRIDAY, MAY 22

Bob Hilbert Sportswear Short Track Super Series Fueled By Sunoco Modified Feature Finish (50 laps): RICHIE PRATT JR., Alex Yankowski, Stewart Friesen, Danny Tyler, Danny Johnson, Billy Decker, Brett Tonkin, Erick Rudolph, J.R. Hurlburt, Allison Ricci, Peter Britten, David Schilling, Dillon Groover, Danny Creeden, Larry Wight, Jeff Strunk, Billy Pauch Jr., Jessica Friesen, Michael Maresca, Jared Umbenhauer, Anthony Perrego, Matt Sheppard, Andy Bachetti, Tyler Dippel, Josh Delea, Alan Johnson, H.J. Bunting, Tyler Siri, Danny Bouc.

Did Not Start: Billy Van Pelt

Fan Bonus Money ($600 Total): Danny Creeden (13th), Jeff Strunk (15th), Jared Umbenhauer (19th), Anthony Perrego (20th), Matt Sheppard (21st) & H.J. Bunting (27th)Bill Brown & Company Heat Hard Charger ($50): Tyler Siri (6th to 3rd)
Competition Carburetor Fastest Feature Lap ($50): 
Stewart Friesen (13.004 seconds)
Consistency Award By Jim & Missy Bowman ($150): Stewart Friesen (1st and 3rd)
Gary Simpson Contracting Top-5 Finishers Longest Tow ($120): 
Stewart Friesen (929 miles)
Heat No. 1 Winner/Linda’s Speedway ($50): 
David Schilling
Heat No. 2 Winner/Insinger Performance ($50): 
Andy Bachetti
Heat No. 3 Winner/Accord Speedway ($50): 
Billy Pauch Jr.
Heat No. 4 Winner/Lias Tire Company ($50): 
Erick Rudolph
Diversified Machine Inc. (DMI) Heat Winners ($100 Certificates): 
David Schilling, Andy Bachetti, Billy Pauch Jr. & Erick Rudolph
KB’S Racing Photos Halfway Leader ($50): 
Richie Pratt Jr.
Matt Becker Last-Place Finisher ($100): 
Danny Bouc
Most Improved Driver Friday to Saturday from Jim & Missy Bowman ($100): 
Richie Pratt Jr (22nd to 1st)
On-Track Automotive Ironman ($150): 
David Schilling (11th)
Pigskin Pros Most Vehicles Passed ($150): 
Danny Johnson (29th to 5th)
Scumgang First On The Hook ($100): 
Jessica Friesen
Scumgang Hot Lap Hero ($169): 
Stewart Friesen (13.107 seconds)
Tyler White First Feature DNF ($150): 
Danny Bouc
Winner’s Circle Last Car On Last Lap ($100): 
David Schilling (11th)

STEWART FRIESEN WINS NIGHT NO. 1 OF STSS RETURN TO RACING AT TRI-COUNTY

Written by Bobby Sweeney

BRASSTOWN, NC – The Bob Hilbert Sportswear Short Track Super Series (STSS) Fueled By Sunoco made a wild return to racing at Tri-County Racetrack, with Stewart Friesen completing a “spin and win” to grab the checkered in the Hurlock Auto and Speed 40-lap feature event while picking up the $3,000 payday.

“It was an awesome race car,” mentioned Friesen.  “Thanks to Halmar, thanks to all my guys.  There is a lot of great things going on.  Halmar is delivering food and trying to raise money to help out people in need.  People Upstate (New York) and in the Northeast hopefully get some satisfaction watching these cars down here in the south.  This is awesome.”

The event was streamed live via Dirt Track Digest TV, kicking off a three-race swing through the Carolinas by the STSS.

Billy Pauch Jr., set the pace at the start of the first Modified feature in two and a half months, with Tyler Siri and Larry Wight battling for second.

Cautions were the name of the game early, with a lap two pileup collecting Mike Maresca, Alan Johnson, and Danny Bouc.

A second major pile-up on lap three was triggered by a rare mistake by Friesen, as the Halmar No. 44 spun and collected Allison Ricci, Erick Rudolph, Tyler Dippel, and sent Richie Pratt on his side.

“I feel awful,” commented Friesen.  “I just got in the slime in three.   I got in there and it got right out from underneath me.  We tore up some cars.  I apologize for that.  That was my mistake.  I’ll be helping a lot of people bang tin tomorrow morning.”

Following another wreck and restart on lap seven, Jared Umbenhauer launched from fourth to second, past Siri and Wight. Umbenhauer immediately pressured Pauch for the top spot, with Pauch high and Umbenhauer low.

By lap 15, Pauch had finally put a car-length between himself and Umbenhauer, turning attention to a charging Friesen.

By the time the yellow flew on lap 21 for Bouc slowing, Friesen had cracked the top five from the tail.

On the restart, Friesen darted by Wight and Umbenhauer to grab second, putting up a heavy challenge on Pauch in an instant.

The pair went to war, with Friesen clawing down low to remain side-by-side with Pauch for laps on end.

High-side momentum kept Pauch out front, with the incessant battle halting on lap 30 for Alan Johnson slowing.

Wight and Umbenhauer were having a battle of their own for third behind Pauch and Friesen, but this battle ended with Umbenhauer heading pit-side with a flat under the yellow.

On the 10-to-go restart, Friesen slid under Pauch in the first set of turns to snag the lead. With clean track, Friesen moved up to the top-side previously occupied by Pauch, but Pauch didn’t let Friesen walk away, remaining within a couple car-lengths in the final laps.

“He was tough,” said Friesen.  “He had the preferred line up ripping the top.  Mr. Cook (Ray Cook, speedway promoter) told us all night long that you ‘got to get up there on the top.’  We finally got up there down in one and two.  It was an awesome race track.  We were able to get off of turn on that second to last restart.”

With two to go, Maresca slowed with a flat tire, restacking the pack.  A flawless restart by Friesen set him up for success, leaving Pauch to fend off Wight. After a wide-open 40 laps, it was Friesen winning the Short Track Super Series re-opener at Tri-County Racetrack.

Wight wrestled the second position away from Pauch Jr., as they came to line.  The Phoenix, N.Y., driver was able to make the low lane go nearly as well as Friesen did up top.

“I could see Billy was having some problems,” commented Wight.  “I could see the flames coming out his car.  I could see he was having an ignition issue or something.  I was able to hit a couple good laps when he was he was trying to hold on.  We were able to race the line there.  It was really fun.”

New Jersey native Pauch Jr., was disappointed with the final spot on the podium after leading much of the race.  He had some ignition issues which hurt is efforts late in the race.

“I would say about lap 10 the ignition box started going out,” cited Pauch.  “I couldn’t go down the straightaways at all.  I just drove my butt off, for the lack of a better word.  I had to keep it wound up.  That one’s tough.  I thought we had the best car.  I wanted to win that one bad.”

Johnson, who started fourth, crossed the line fourth with Andy Bachetti coming from 25th to fifth.

The Short Track Super Series “Return to Racing” is presented by Hurlock Auto & Speed Supply, Mike’s Racing Heads, Competition Carburetion, St. Lawrence Radiology, Evergreen Fuels Inc., K&B Auto, The Scumgang, Midstate Recycling, Manmiller Electric and a host of special award, bonus and purse booster contributors.

Racing continues at Tri-County Racetrack on Friday night at 7 p.m., before the series moves to Cherokee Speedway in Gaffney, S.C., on Saturday. All events are available for viewing exclusively on Dirt Track Digest TV.

To learn more about the Short Track Super Series Fueled By Sunoco, visit www.shorttracksuperseries.com, e-mail bdmotorsportsmedia@gmail.com,  check out ‘Short Track Super Series’ on Facebook or @ShortTrackSS on Twitter or Instagram.

The Short Track Super Series is presented by American Racer/Lias Tire, Sunoco Race Fuel, Insinger Performance, Bob Hilbert Sportswear, Halmar International, /Velocita-USA, Design for Vision/Sunglass Central, Evergreen Fuels Inc., ATL Racing Fuel Cells, Behrent’s Performance Warehouse, Beyea Custom Headers, Bicknell Racing Products, Dirt Track Digest, EIBACH Springs, Fast Axle, Henry’s Exhaust, Hig Fab, HyperCo, Kirkey Racing Fabrication, Land Hoe Maintenance, K&N, MJK Home Maintenance, Precision Hydraulic & Oil, QA1, Racing Optics, Superior Remodeling, Teo-Pro Car, VAHLCO, Velocita, WELD Racing & Wilwood.

HURLOCK AUTO & SPEED RACE SUMMARY – TRI-COUNTY RACETRACK THURSDAY, MAY 21

Bob Hilbert Sportswear Short Track Super Series Fueled By Sunoco Modified Feature Finish (40 laps): STEWART FRIESEN, Larry Wight, Billy Pauch Jr., Danny Johnson, Andy Bachetti, Billy Decker, Tyler Siri, Alex Yankowski, Danny Creeden, Danny Tyler, Brett Tonkin, Jared Umbenhauer, J.R. Hurlburt, Michael Maresca, Alan Johnson, Allison Ricci, Danny Bouc, David Schilling, Anthony Perrego, Dillon Groover, Jeff Strunk, Richie Pratt Jr, Billy Van Pelt, Tyler Dippel, Erick Rudolph, H.J. Bunting, Matt Sheppard, Peter Britten          

Did Not Start: Jessica Friesen, Jeremy Smith, Josh Delea.

Fan Bonus Money ($100 Each): Brett Tonkin (11th), Alan Johnson (15th), Danny Bouc (17th), Dillon Groover (20th) & Peter Britten (28th)

Bill Brown & Company Heat Hard Charger ($50): Billy Decker (8th to 4th)
Competition Carburetor Fastest Feature Lap ($50): 
Stewart Friesen (13.051 seconds)
Heat No. 1 Winner/Linda’s Speedway ($50): Jared Umbenhauer
Heat No. 2 Winner/Insinger Performance ($50): 
Danny Creeden
Heat No. 3 Winner/Accord Speedway ($50): 
Allison Ricci
Heat No. 4 Winner/Lias Tire Company ($50): Billy Pauch Jr.
KB’S Racing Photos Halfway Leader ($50): 
Billy Pauch Jr.
Danny’s Pizza Pizzazz Halfway Leader ($200): 
Billy Pauch Jr.
On-Track Automotive Ironman ($150): 
J.R. Hurlburt (13th)
Pigskin Pros Most Vehicles Passed ($150):  
Andy Bachetti (25th to 5th)
Scumgang Hot Lap Hero ($100): 
Stewart Friesen (12.716 seconds)

CRATE 602 SPORTSMAN ADDED TO STSS RETURN TO RACING AT CHEROKEE

GAFFNEY, SC – The Bob Hilbert Sportswear Short Track Super Series Hurlock Auto & Speed Supply “Return to Racing” for the Modified division has gained traction in a few short weeks.

Now, the Crate 602 Sportsman division will have its chance.

This Saturday (May 23), the STSS Crate 602 Sportsman will join their Modified counterparts on the storied Cherokee Raceway in Gaffney, S.C., running a 35-lap, $1,500-to-win, $150-to-start event. Just as bonus bucks are being accepted for the Modifieds, any individuals or businesses may contribute to the pay structure for this event. Those wishing to contribute should PayPal: bdmotorsportsmedia@gmail.com or Venmo: @Brett-Deyo-1.

“We wanted to give our Crate 602 Sportsman drivers the option to get away on Memorial Day weekend,” STSS organizer Brett Deyo said. “I’ve had so many questions about adding the Crates to a show.  I know it isn’t ideal and the addition comes at the last minute, but the Northeast has been quiet for so long, racers are anxious.

“As soon as this announcement hit social media, my phone has been buzzing, so the interest is there.”

Drivers will follow STSS South Region Crate 602 Sportsman specs (6,200 rev chip and 2,350 lbs. minimum weight). The tire rule is as follows: left-front – 33 compound; right-front – 38 or 44 compound; left-rear – 44 compound; right-rear 48 or 53 compound.

Heats will be determined by a draw for position with a redraw of top qualifiers for the feature. Qualifying events will be 10 laps.

For the Cherokee event only, there is no limit on the number of crew members in the pit area.

The “Return to Racing” for the STSS is highlighted by two events for the Modifieds at Ray Cook’s Tri-County Racetrack in Brasstown, N.C., on Thursday (May 21) and Friday (May 22) paying $3,000 and $5,000 to win for 40 and 50 laps, respectively, before venturing to Cherokee Speedway on Saturday (May 23) with a $4,000-to-win 40-lap Modified event joined by the STSS Modifieds and the track’s “Run What You Brung” full-fender division.

Hot laps begin at 7 p.m. each night, with racing at 7:30 p.m.

These events will be streamed live on Dirt Track Digest TV (www.dirttrackdigest.tv) exclusively with single-night and package pricing available.

Cherokee Speedway is a high-banked, three-eighths-mile oval located at 153 Speedway Road Gaffney, SC 29341. To learn more, call 864.489.1969 or visit www.cherokeespeedwaysc.com.

Tri-County Racetrack, operated by Late Model star Ray Cook, measures one-quarter mile through the center. The speedway address is 10456 Old US 64 Brasstown, NC 28902. On the web: www.tricountyracetrack.net.  Track phone is 828.837.3815.

Reminder: the STSS Modified events at Tri-County are invite only with teams allowed to bring a maximum of 8 people in the pits.

The Cherokee event is open for all competitors – Modified and Crate 602 Sportsman – and there are no pit-area attendance limits.

As of Sunday (May 17), the grandstand areas will not be open to the general public at either facility.

The Short Track Super Series “Return to Racing” is presented by Hurlock Auto & Speed Supply, Mike’s Racing Heads, Competition Carburetion, St. Lawrence Radiology, Evergreen Fuels Inc., K&B Auto, The Scumgang, Midstate Recycling, Manmiller Electric and a host of special award, bonus and purse booster contributors.

To learn more about the Short Track Super Series Fueled By Sunoco, visit www.shorttracksuperseries.com, e-mail bdmotorsportsmedia@gmail.com,  check out ‘Short Track Super Series’ on Facebook or @ShortTrackSS on Twitter or Instagram.