By CHARLIE BROWN, DELMAR, DE – Billy Pauch won his first Small Block Modified Fall Championship at the Delaware International Speedway back in 1989. Over the next 22 years he would add five more wins to his list. On Saturday night Pauch led early then chased Delaware’s Jamie Mills most of the distance before regaining the lead late in the race and driving to his seventh Fall Championship win.
Pauch started on the pole and led the first two laps before Jamie Mills, who started in fourth, rode the high groove to the front. A rash of cautions between laps 10 and 15, all for single car incidents kept the field tightly bunched. A switch to single file restarts allowed the field to settle down to some racing with Mills, Pauch, Ryan Watt, Wade Hendrickson and Craig Von Dohren holding down the top five.
Mills was racking up the lap money and by halfway was darting through heavy traffic. Doug Manmiller battled his way into the top five and David VanHorn, Jr. was on the move in sixth. The yellow was out again on lap 33 when Eric Kormann came to a stop. On the restart Pauch made a bid for the lead on the bottom in turn one but Mills held off the challenge. Pauch tried the low groove again on the following lap and again couldn’t make the pass. His break came in turn three when Mills slid high leaving the bottom lane open for Pauch to regain the lead.
Mills was still in the battle and tried to slide under Pauch in four on lap 41. Pauch fourth off the move to hold the top spot. Von Dohren was now picking up the pace as he drove into second with Hendrickson following into third. Pauch was able to keep a comfortable two second margin between himself and VonDohren to the checkered Van Horn got by Mills on the final lap for third and Watt held on to finish in fifth.
“It’s a great racetrack,” said Pauch. “It’s just about two hour too far from my house you know. We love coming down here and racing everybody. Jamie (Mills) set quite a pace there at the beginning. I wasn’t ready for that. We had to pick it up when we needed to pick it up.”
Pauch earned $5000 for the win plus another $245 in lap money and $25 from Carolyn Parson for supporting Breast Cancer Awareness on his car. Heats for the 36 cars were won by Pauch, Manmiller and Watt with Kevin Hirthler taking the consolation.
50-lap Small Block Finish: 1. Billy Pauch; 2. Craig VonDohren; 3. David VanHorn Jr; 4. Jamie Mills; 5. Ryan Watt; 6. Doug Manmiller; 7. Wade Hendrickson; 8. Jimmy Horton Sr; 9. Kevin Hirthler; 10. Brad Brightbill; 11. Mike Iles; 12. Kyle Borror; 13. Mike Gular; 14. Tom Maccherone; 15. Dwayne Heck; 16. Adam Weber; 17. Chuck Tucker; 18. Rick Laubach; 19. Chris Grbac; 20. Nate Christman; 21. Scott Hulmes; 22. Rocco Infante; 23. Eric Korrman; 24. Scott Van Gorder; 25. Bobby Firth; 26. Dennis Drain; 27. Ray Swinehart; 28. Richie Pratt Jr; 29. Keith Hoffman; 30. Justin Grim; DNQ: Steve Warner; Pete Serra; Drew Simmons; H J Bunting; Ron Roberts; George Richardson.