It’s a Triple for Tim Buckwalter on Sunday Night at Action Track USA…Barry Angstadt
Douglassville, PA Driver Wins Features In Three Different Classes During Season Finale
Kutztown, PA (August 20)— Every race track wants to end its season with an exciting, drama-filled event that will leave the fans salivating for more until the next year’s opener. After Sunday night at Championship Energy Action Track USA on the Kutztown Fairgrounds, race organizers Rich Tobias & Doug Rose are telling other promoters, “here, hold my beer.”
For the first time in the 11-year reign of Tobias & Rose, the USAC East Coast Sprint Cars, the Speedway Entertainment All Pro SpeedSTRs, and the Hyper Racing 600 Sprints appeared on the same program at the Berks County bullring. Following a long list of “Firsts” that occurred at Action Track USA in 2023, it was only fitting that one driver swept all three main events in the track’s final racing card of the year. And that driver had the large crowd howling during each 30 lap contest.
Douglassville, PA throttle-jockey Tim Buckwalter picked up the ride in Rob Hummer’s Rodota Trucking & Excavating No. 20 for the USAC East Coast portion of the Dick Tobias Classic. He was also gunning for his second straight point title in the SpeedSTR class, and in search of his first win of the year in the 600 Sprints.
In the evening’s first 30 lap main, Kenny Miller III grabbed the lead at the start, beating USAC East Coast pole sitter Austin Graby off turn two. By lap five, the top four consisted of Miller, JT Ferry, Steven Drevicki, and eighth starting Tim Buckwalter. On a restart with ten complete, Buckwalter found the top side to his liking, ripping the lip and powering past Drevicki and Ferry in one swoop to go from fourth to second.
A slide fest ensued for the race lead between Miller and Buckwalter, with Drevicki and Briggs Danner joining the fun as the top four rumbled around the oval in close quarters formation. Buckwalter threw a slider on Miller in turn four with 11 to go. Miller returned the favor just one tour later and led Buckwalter down the home stretch. Entering turn one, Buckwalter executed his own slider and, depending upon one’s point of view or which driver you speak to, the slide job did not quite work out as Buckwalter intended.
The end result was Miller spinning and collecting Drevicki and Danner while Buckwalter dashed away as the race leader.
When the race went back to green, Joey Amantea was now the runner-up with ten revolutions remaining. Amantea hung with Buckwalter on the restart, sliding the No. 20 in three and four and coming away with the top spot. In a deja vu` scene, Buckwalter attempted to slide Amantea in turn one and this time the result was a flipping No. 88J as Buckwalter once again drove away unscathed.
Christian Bruno was the new runner-up and Bobby Butler was sitting in third, and they chased Buckwalter all the way to victory lane; a victory lane in which the loud chorus of “boos” cascaded down upon Buckwalter and the No. 20 crew. The winning driver simply and calmly acknowledged the noisy and raucous crowd.
“Thanks to all these fans for coming out,” he said. “Whether they are booing or cheering, we need them here in order to put on a show.”
“I‘ve been driven like that all year long,” Buckwalter continued. “You got to be aggressive in these cars on this track. I had Miller cleared going into one and Joey just didn’t lift when I slid him. I’ve been on the other side of these things, too. I know how they feel.”
Bruno, Butler, Preston Lattomus, and Billy Pauch Jr. made up the top five.
With the big crowd still riled up, the SpeedSTR portion of the Dick Tobias Classic went green. Buckwalter carried a 65 point lead over Mike Bednar into the finale, and he stayed in Bednar’s tire tracks during the first half of the 30 lapper as both pilots navigated their way forward.
Up front, an exciting three car scuffle for the top spot saw Briggs Danner shoot through the middle to grab the point over Dustin Morris and Shea Wills. Danner started sixth, and soon he had eighth-starter Matt Janisch trailing him in second spot. Seventh starting Bednar and 13th starter Buckwalter pulled into third and fourth just prior to the halfway mark. Buckwalter and Bednar would sneak past Janisch to run second and third before trading that position with one another on several occasions. Buckwalter finally claimed the spot with eight circuits left to run.
A yellow with four laps remaining became Danner’s undoing. His advantage was wiped out by the caution, but he held serve on the restart, keeping Buckwalter at bay until they saw the two-to-go signal. Buckwalter made the move under Danner in one and two, then led the Allentown, PA driver to the white flag. Danner made one final try to wrestle the lead from Buckwalter in turn three, but the No. 52 ducked back under him as they blasted off turn four. In a drag race to the checkered, Buckwalter prevailed for his fourth SpeedSTR triumph of the season at Action Track USA. He beat Danner to the stripe by a paltry 0.194 seconds. Bednar finished third with Janisch and Dustin Morris rounding out the top five.
The victory naturally guaranteed Buckwalter his second consecutive SpeedSTR point title and third overall at Berks County’s baddest bullring. Bednar and Danner were second and third in the final standings.
The victory moves Buckwalter within two of the speedway’s all time SpeedSTR win leader, Billy Pauch Jr., who went winless in 2023. Pauch Jr. has 24 career triumphs while Buckwalter now has 22.
In the final feature of the season at Action Track USA—contested by the Hyper Racing 600 Sprints—Buckwalter rolled off on the outside of row one and snatched the top spot from Evan Nolf on the initial trip around the clay. Nolf gave him a good fight for a few tours, but eventually fell back into the clutches of Zack Bealer, Jacob Severn, Connor Gross (who was in contention for the point title, trailing Christian Bruno by 82 as the night began), and Steven Snyder Jr.
At the halfway mark of the 30 lap Dick Tobias Classic for the 600’s, it was Tim Buckwalter showing the way over Gross, Z. Bealer, and Bruno, who had taken the initial green in tenth.
On a restart with 12 circuits left to run, Buckwalter motored away as Bealer, Bruno, Gross, and Snyder jostled for positions two through five. Gross had a big run on the bottom of three and four but climbed the left rear tire of Bealer’s car and fell back a few spots.
Buckwalter maintained a slim lead over the duration of the race with Bruno and Snyder waging war for the runner-up position. Gross was able to work past Bealer to run fourth and that is the way they finished as Buckwalter crossed the line with a lead of a half-second over Bruno, whose runner-up effort clinched his second straight 600 Sprint point crown at the track situated on the Kutztown Fairgrounds. Snyder produced a podium finish of third with Gross and Z. Bealer finishing fourth and fifth, respectively.
Buckwalter is the track’s all time leader in 600 Sprint wins, and Sunday’s triumph pushed his total to 20…and the victory was his lone 600 Sprint win of the ‘23 season at Action Track USA. Steven Snyder Jr. is second on the all time win list with 11, although one of his victories came with a wing (on August 11 of this year).
The Dick Tobias Classic featured a Slingshot Matinee, with the All Star and Junior Slingers competing on Sunday afternoon, while the other three divisions raced in the evening.
Dave Carraghan ended the season on a strong note, winning his second straight All Star Slingshot feature in Sunday afternoon’s 25 lap season finale. The victory was Carraghan’s seventh at Action Track USA, giving him sole possession of third place on the Slingshots’ All Time Win List at the Berks County oval.
The Emmaus, PA hot shoe started second and wrangled the lead from Shawn Dengler on the fourth trip around the clay. Other big names on the move included Brett Bieber, who catapaulted from seventh to third by the time lap two was scored, and Terry Noll—in his first start of the season at Action Track USA—who rumbled from ninth on the starting grid to run fifth on the second circuit. And runner-up in points Tyler Hoch started 22nd, but blasted his way to sixth as lap five was scored.
Carraghan held serve out front as the remainder of top five positions changed frequently. On a restart with six to go, Bieber was second followed by Luke McCloskey, Noll, and Jax Yohn. Bieber could not keep pace with the high flying Carraghan, who raced under the checkered flag for his second consecutive and third overall win of 2023. By virtue of his second place finish on Wednesday, Bieber had already clinched his third straight and fourth overall point title at Berks County’s baddest bullring. He finished second to Carraghan on Sunday.
McCloskey was third, followed by Hoch (from 22nd), Yohn, and Noll.
Boyertown’s Chase Gular utilized a late race caution (with two to go) to wrestle the lead from Christopher Tittle in the 20 lap Junior Slingshot feature. A few laps earlier, Gular, who was third, passed Tittle and race leader Darian Danyluk before Tittle drove under both of them in a two-for-one move to snatch the top spot. The caution with two to go set up Gular’s race winning maneuver, as he ducked to the inside of Tittle’s Slinger entering turn one. Both cars slammed together in the sheet metal rubbing duel before Gular raced off of two with the lead. He went on to capture his third Junior Slingshot triumph of the year at Action Track USA over Tittle, Danyluk, Haley Burnatowski, and Zack Gerber.
USAC East Coast Sprint Cars, 30 laps: 1.Tim Buckwalter, 2.Christian Bruno, 3.Bobby Butler, 4.Preston Lattomus, 5.Billy Pauch Jr., 6.Austin Graby, 7.Billy Ney, 8.Scott Frack, 9.Ed Aikin, 10.Brenden Hires, 11.Dalton Herrick, 12.Aidan Borden, 13.Steve Drevicki, 14.JT Ferry, 15.Heidi Hedin, 16.Joey Amantea, 17.Kenny Miller III, 18.Briggs Danner, 19.Bruce Buckwalter Jr., 20.Mike Thompson.
DNQ: Lee Kauffman, Patrick Chilmonik.
Speedway Entertainment All Pro SpeedSTRs, 30 laps: 1.Tim Buckwalter, 2.Briggs Danner, 3.Mike Bednar, 4.Matt Janisch, 5.Dustin Morris, 6.TJ Mayberrry, 7.Kyle Herve, 8.Daniel Schumaker, 9.Cale Zangli, 10.Shea Wills, 11.Jason Muldowney, 12.Billy Pauch Jr., 13.Josh Dalrymple, 14.Aidan Ohst, 15.Gary Wagner, 16.Andy Ressler. DNS: Billy Pauch Sr.
Hyper Racing 600 Sprints, 30 laps: 1.Tim Buckwalter, 2.Christian Bruno, 3.Steven Snyder Jr., 4.Connor Gross, 5.Zack Bealer, 6.Billy Koch, 7.Jacob Severn, 8.Evan Nolf, 9.Gunnar Pio, 10.Tyler Henry, 11.Alex Ruppert, 12.James Roselli, 13.Zack Weisenfluh, 14.Zach Curtis, 15.Tyler Lindsay, 16.Aidan Donaldson, 17.Michael Nolf, 18.Shelby McLaughlin, 19.JT Ferry, 20.Fred Heinly, 21.Sonny Tete, 22.Joey Amantea, 23.Jasper Ziegafuse, 24.Preston Lattomus, 25.Kyle Lick, 26.Colin White, 27.Nate Freed, 28.Anthony Tramontana.
DNQ: Dallas Damask, Dan Leaper, Lukas Kostic, Dakota Barlet, Weston Doklan, Adam Buchel, Paul Mancini, Richie Baker Jr., Damian Bower, Kyle Herve, Jared Lilly, Cole Dewease, Adrianna Delliponti, Joe Nemeth, Amanda Onimus, Jesse Maurer.
All Star Slingshots, 25 laps: 1.Dave Carraghan, 2.Brett Bieber, 3.Luke McCloskey, 4.Tyler Hoch, 5.Jax Yohn, 6.Terry Noll, 7.Danny Lane Jr., 8.Shawn Dengler, 9.Colton Williams, 10.Ryan Rochelle, 11.Austin Kroboth, 12.Patrick Weiss, 13.Chase Schott, 14.Amanda Angstadt, 15.Gavin Danner, 16.Tyler Lilick, 17.Mason Lineman, 18.Colton Lineman, 19.Tom Mawson, 20.Chris Laureigh, 21. Darren Reppert, 22.Faith Turnbaugh, 23.Jonathan laureigh, 24.Mike Maguire, 25.Brianna Snyder, 26.Matt Kiefert.
DNS: Tyler Ulsh.
Junior Slingshots, 20 laps: 1.Chase Gular, 2.Christopher Tittle, 3.Darian Danyluk, 4.Haley Burnatowski, 5.Zack Gerber, 6.Jocelynn Darinsig, 7.Mason Noll, 8.Aubrey Romig, 9.Matthew Laubach, 10.Landon McNichol, 11.Charlie Geibel, 12.Billy Pauch III, 13.Brendan Lilick, 14.Lily Barrett.