(10/20/12) – Rick Laubach of Hellertown, Pa. has scored some big wins at Delaware International Speedway but never in the Delaware State Dirt Track Championships. That all changed on Saturday night as Laubach started on the pole of the 50-lap Big Block Modified Feature ad led wire to wire for his first win and a $6013 payday.
Laubach quickly established his line around the half-mile while H.J. Bunting and Billy Pauch competed for second. Matt Hawkins rolled to a stop on lap two bringing out the yellow and on the restart, Pauch used the outside line to grab second.
Laubach was clearly the quickest car but Pauch was able to stay within striking distance. Jamie Mills quickly climbed from seventh to fourth. By lap 12, Laubach was already encountering lapped traffic but by that point had a 1.62 second lead over Pauch.
The traffic problem for Laubach was alleviated when the caution came out for the second time on lap 15. On the restart Mills and Bunting started trading paint as Mills mad a bid for third but Bunting held his ground and the yellow again flew this time for David VanHorn who stopped in the first turn. The “yellow fever” continued as Tim Millman and Sean Merkel crashed on the back straight.
Ryan Watt was the quick car on the restart moving by Matt Jester into fifth and two laps later taking fourth from Mills. At the halfway sign Laubach maintained a comfortable lead over Pauch with Bunting being challenged by Watt for third and Mills getting back by Brad Trice to hold fifth.
Watt worked into third one lap later but that would be the end of his charge as he almost immediately began to slow. Mills moved back to fourth with Richie Pratt, Jr. now holding fifth. Doug Manmiller would be the next car on the move to experience problems as he got around bringing out the yellow on lap 29.
A long stretch of green saw Laubach open a 2.7 second lead over Pauch even though the pair were working traffic. That lead was erased when Trice got around bringing the yellow out once again on lap 42. Pratt took advantage of the restart to move past Mills into fourth.
Laubach’s only miscue of the race came shortly after the restart as it appeared that he was beginning to pick up the pace. With four to go Laubach got loose in the second turn and pushed up the banking. Fortunately he had already built enough of a lead that Pauch was unable to take advantage of the slip.
Pauch would have one more opportunity as Ron Roberts came to a stop with two laps to go. Laubach had done a good job of managing his tire wear and once again pulled away on the restart and drove to the checkered. Pauch would finish in the second spot with Bunting third. Fourth went to Pratt and Eric Kormann made a late race charge to finish in fifth.
Consolations were won by Howard O’Neal and Shawn Ward. Thanks go out to Carolyn Parsons who gave a $25 bonus to the first car finishing in any feature that sported the Cancer Awarness pink ribbon.
50-lap Big Block Modified Championship: 1. Rick Laubach; 2. Billy Pauch; 3. HJ Bunting; 4. Richie Pratt; 5. Eric Kormann; 6. Kevin Hirthler; 7. Brad Brightbill; 8. Jamie Mills; 9. David VanHorn Jr; 10. Kyle Borror; 11. Matt Jester; 12. Howard ONeal; 13. Larry Soloman; 14. Ron Roberts Jr; 15. Brad Trice; 16. Rick Holston; 17. Sean Merkel; 18. Doug Manmiller; 19. Matt Hawkins; 20. Kyle Fuller; 21. Sean Gunther; 22. Bob Sarkisian; 23. Bobby Watkins; 24. Ryan Watt; 25. Dave Gerhart; 26. Shawn Ward; 27. Scott Amburster Jr; 28. Tim Millman; 29. Michael White; 30. Glenn Reed. DNQ: Scott Hulmes; Chris Hitchens; Neal Huber; Steve Downs; Jason Smythe; George Richardson; Brad Roberts; Rick Wegner, Jr.; Beau Wilkins; Ray Swinehart.