By CHARLIE BROWN, DELMAR, DE – Veteran dirt modified driver, Billy Pauch of Frenchtown, N.J. said that he wished that he lived a couple of hours closer to the Delaware International Speedway and with good reason. Pauch captured the 50-lap Small Block Modified feature on Friday night then stayed over to Sunday night after rain postponed Saturday’s racing. He then led flag to flag adding $8068 to his weekend sweep.
Qualifying heats on Friday night were won by Pauch, former two-time Fall Champion, Jimmy Horton and defending Fall Champion Rick Laubach. Pauch’s fastest lap in the qualifier was two one-thousandths of a second faster than Laubach’s time putting Pauch on the pole.
The yellow was out after one circuit when Jamie Mills, who was running in fifth went up in smoke and slowed. Pauch controlled the restart while Laubach held off Horton for second. David VanHorn, Jr. quickly worked into third with Matt Jester following into fourth.
Ryan Watt was on the move cracking the top five by the ninth lap then passing both Jester and VanHorn for third on lap ten. Five laps later Watt was up to second as Laubach got shuffled back to fifth. Jordan Watson had started in the rear of the field after winning the AC Delco Modified main and had climbed to eighth before getting around and bringing out the yellow on lap 18. On the restart Jester got by Watt to take second.
Watt cranked it back up and regained the spot four laps later and Laubach got back by VanHorn for fourth. By halfway the top five remained the same with Pauch pulling away with a three second lead. H.J. Bunting climbed into the top five with 20 to go. Watson had climbed all the way back to eighth but tangled with a lapped car to bring out the final yellow with six to go.
Pauch never faltered in the final five laps to record the weekend sweep. Watt finished in the second spot with Laubach getting by Jester with three to go to climb back to third. Weekly racers Jester and Bunting finished fourth and fifth.
Pauch climbed on the roof of his car with a broom to celebrate the sweep of the weekend. “We’re happy and we’re still having fun,” said Puach. “Every time we come down here it’s a good time. We enjoy coming down here. We try to get here when we can. Hopefully next year we will be here a little more often.” With his two victories during the weekend plus lap money and the Brest Cancer Awareness support bonuses Pauch earned $13,338.
Big Block Modified Finish: 1. Billy Pauch; 2. Ryan Watt; 3. Rick Laubach; 4. Matt Jester; 5. HJ Bunting; 6. David VanHorn Jr; 7. Howard ONeal; 8. Brad Brightbill; 9. Dale Hawkins; 10. Shawn Ward; 11. Scott Hulmes; 12. Scott VanGorder;13. Eric Kormann; 14. Jordan Watson; 15. Ryan Anderson; 16. Matt Hawkins; 17. Dave Shirk; 18. Kyle Borror; 19. Pete Serra; 20. Drew Simmons; 21. Donnie Radd; 22. Sean Gunther; 23. Jimmy Horton; 24. Richie Pratt; 25. Steve Warner; 26. Jamie Mills; 27. Michael White; 28. Brad Trice; DNS: Ron Roberts Jr; Wade Hendrickson; Mike Iles; Chris Grbac.