Two Straight for Danner; Gross Wins 600 Sprint Main on May 17Barry Angstadt
Kutztown, PA (May 17)— Wednesday’s temperature may have been downright chilly, but the on-track competition was absolutely sizzling as Championship Energy Action Track USA presented the Goldie & Elton Meitzler Memorial presented by Ankiewicz Enterprises of Tamaqua.
Briggs Danner and his family-led team certainly have that brand new SpeedSTR figured out. The Allentown, PA hot shoe captured his second consecutive victory in the Speedway Entertainment All Pro SpeedSTR main event.
Other winners included Connor Gross (Hyper Racing 600 Sprints); Brett Bieber (All Star Slingshots); and Darien Danyluk (Junior Slingshots). All four features were highlighted by fantastic wheel-to-wheel, edge of your seat racing with plenty of passing and side by side action.
The 30 lap main for the Speedway Entertainment All Pro SpeedSTRs began with polesitter Doug Snyder leading Cale Zangli but it wasn’t long before Tim Buckwalter and Louden Reimert entered the fray. As Buckwalter hounded Snyder for the top spot, Reimert went to the bottom and slipped by Buckwalter for second. On the seventh tour of the oval, Reimert zipped past Snyder to grab the lead.
Mike Bednar emerged from a three-wide fracas with Buckwalter and Snyder to secure the runner-up slot and began his pursuit of race leader Louden Reimert. The duo engaged in a wild battle for the number one position, with Bednar sticking his nose in front to lead lap 11.
Briggs Danner, who started tenth after winning the season opener on May 7, sliced his way into second on the 18th circuit. Danner was cooking on the top side and Bednar moved up the race track, too, to take away Danner’s line. Danner simply went to Slide Job City, throwing huge haymakers at both ends of the speedway, while Bednar fought back by turning left and driving back under his closest pursuer on the straightaways.
Danner was just too strong in the high groove, though, and he blasted around the outside of Bednar to snare the top spot with just nine revolutions remaining.
As Danner pulled away, a battle royale took place for second through fifth positions. Bednar, Buckwalter, Reimert and a fast closing Billy Pauch Sr. diced furiously over the final stage of the event. At the checkered, it was Danner notching his eighth career SpeedSTR victory at the bullring located on the Kutztown Fairgrounds. Buckwalter came out of that four car slugfest to finish in the runner-up slot, with Bednar, Reimert, and Pauch Sr. rounding out the top five.
Buckwalter and Bednar won heats for the 17 car SpeedSTR field.
Danner almost went two-for-two on Wednesday night, leading the Hyper Racing 600 Sprint feature for 16 tours before Connor Gross, from Asbury, NJ caught him and the pair of talented young lions engaged in a crowd-pleasing tussle for the lead. Trading sliders and swapping the point on several occasions. Gross eventually cleared Danner’s No. 99, then danced away to his second career Action Track USA triumph. Danner wound up second with Buckwalter, Preston Lattomus, and Steven Snyder Jr. completing the top five.
The 48 car field was split into four qualifying heats, with wins falling to Gunnar Pio, Danner, Preston Lattomus, and Colin White. Jacob Severn won the C-Main and Wayne Scott was victorious in the B-Main.
Oley, PA’s Brett Bieber and Rockaway, NJ’s Danny Buccafusca, two of the best throttle-jockeys to ever buckle into All Star Slingshots, put on quite a show in that division’s 20 lap main as they scuffled for the top spot just before and immediately after the halfway mark of the race. Bieber finally laid claim to the lead on the 11th circuit, then steadily motored away to a 1.3-second victory over Buccafusca. Jax Yohn, who fought with Buccafusca for the race lead in the early going, wound up third with Dave Carraghan and Dylan Hahn finishing fourth and fifth.
Heat wins for the 27 entires went to Buccafusca, Andrew Turpin, and opening night feature winner Tyler Hoch.
Slatington’s Darien Danyluk took advantage of Matthew Laubach’s misfortune to win his first Junior Slingshot feature at Action Track USA. Laubach went from fourth to first on the initial trip around the progressively banked oval, then drove away from the pack until the 11th revolution, when his No. 17 suddenly snapped sideways and stopped in turn two. Danyluk inherited the top spot and held off a determined Jocelynn Darinsig for the triumph. When the 15 lapper concluded, it was Danyluk earning the win over Darinsig, with Mason Noll, Cody Williamson, and Richie Rutski finishing in positions three through five.
Laubach won the lone heat race for the nine Junior Slinger entries.
The Ronnie Tobias Memorial takes center stage next Wednesday, May 24. Qualifying events and heart-stopping feature race action for the SpeedSTRs, 600 Sprints, All Star and Junior Slingshots will be on the menu. Pit gates open at 4 p.m. with grandstand gates opening at 5:00. Warm-ups are slated to begin at 6 p.m. with opening ceremonies and qualifying races immediately following the hot lap sessions.
NOTE: the photographs included below were taken by SDS Photography. The top photo shows SpeedSTR victor Briggs Danner posing with his No. 78 in victory lane, while the bottom photo has 600 Sprint winner Connor Gross posing with members of the Meitzler family as the Goldie & Elton Meitzler Memorial took the spotlight on Wednesday night at Kutztown’s Action Track USA.
SpeedSTR Feature, 30 laps: 1.Briggs Danner, 2.Tim Buckwalter, 3.Mike Bednar, 4.Louden Reimert, 5.Billy Pauch Sr., 6.Doug Snyder, 7.Shea Wills, 8.Dustin Morris, 9.Eddie Strada, 10.Mark Manieri, 11.Steve Young, 12.Cale Zangli, 13.Gary Wagner, 14.Matt Janisch, 15.Alex Bright, 16.TJ Mayberry. DNS: Sammy Martz Jr.
Hyper Racing 600 Sprint Feature, 25 laps: 1.Connor Gross, 2.Briggs Danner, 3.Tim Buckwalter, 4.Preston Lattomus, 5.Steven Snyder Jr., 6.Christian Bruno, 7.Alex Ruppert, 8.Zack Weisenfluh, 9.Zach Curtis, 10.Zack Bealer, 11.Jacob Severn, 12.Tyler Henry, 13.Jasper Zigafuse, 14.Cole Dewease, 15.Michael Nolf, 16.Pat Bealer, 17.Aidan Donaldson, 18.Julian Rexrode, 19.Shelby McLaughlin, 20.Tyler Lindsay, 21.Gunnar Pio, 22.Dan Bair, 23.Wayne Scott, 24.Colin White, 25.Eddie Strada, 26.Aidan Svanda, 27.James Roselli, 28.Joe Kay, 29.Adrianna Delliponti.
DNQ: Gabe Gerber, Morgan Rochelle-Bealer, Mason Peters, Corey Colaluce, Joe Nemeth, James Thomas, Connor Mirabelli, Jacob Homnick, Fred Heinly, Evan Nolf, Lukas Kostic, Weston Doklan, Garth Rickards, Jacob Fisher, Sonny Tete, Kaitlyn Swist, Kyle Herve, Richie Baker Jr., Sean Case.
All Star Slingshots Feature, 20 laps: 1.Brett Bieber, 2.Danny Buccafusca, 3.Jax Yohn, 4.Dave Carraghan, 5.Dylan Hahn, 6.Tyler Hoch, 7.Gavin Danner, 8.Amanda Angstadt, 9.Ryan Rochelle, 10.Faith Turnbaugh, 11.Austin Kroboth, 12.Luke McCloskey, 13.Lydia Navarro, 14.John Redner, 15.Brianna Snyder, 16.Tyler Lilick, 17.Griffin Hendershot, 18.Colton Lineman, 19.Mason Lineman, 20.Shawn Dengler, 21.James Hendricks, 22.Andrew Turpin, 23.Mike Maguire, 24.Scott Thunberg, 25.Tom Mawson, 26.Garrett Chillot, 27.Haley Thunberg
Junior Slingshot Feature, 15 laps: 1.Darien Danyluk, 2.Jocelynn Darinsig, 3.Mason Noll, 4.Cody Williamson, 5.Richie Rutski, 6.Ryan Rutski, 7.Matthew Laubach. DNS: Brenden Lilick, Carter Parsons.