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Matt Westfall proudly kneeling after his first career SpeedSTR Feature Victory.
Making the tow to race from Ohio made this win even more special.
Ty's Racing Photos.

Story by Barry Angstadt

Kutztown, PA -  He's been fast and a consistent top-five finisher during the first half of the season, but the Flyin' Buckeye, Matt Westfall, just couldn't catch the right breaks to put his No. 54 into Victory Lane at the JeffreyHogueRealtor.com Action Track USA on the Kutztown Fairgrounds. As the campaign's second half began on Wednesday night, however, Lady Luck finally grinned on Westfall, and his first career win in a USAC All Pro SpeedSTR became a reality. 

  "We've been quick, but had the car way too tight for most of the races. Then, at the last race (on June 21), we finally got if freed up, but it was too loose. Tonight, we hit it right on the money and got the win. Tough break for the 56 though...it was his race until he had problems," summed up Westfall, who took the winner's share of the purse back home to Pleasant Hill, Ohio. 

  The 56 he was referring to was Steve Buckwalter, the race leader until he suffered a broken gear in the rear end of his machine, forcing him to slow and pull off the track with just three laps remaining in the AEI Equipment & Services 30-lap feature race for the SpeedSTRs. Buckwalter's misfortune handed the top spot to Westfall, and he kept the Milt Aquilini-owned, Ferris Mowers No. 54 out front over the final few laps to secure the victory.

  Westfall was indirectly aided by Tim Buckwalter, who pulled alongside runner-up Billy Pauch Jr. with two to go and battled Pauch right down to the checkered flag, allowing Westfall to pull away by a few car lengths. 

  "I love flying in here on Wednesdays and racing Milt's car...this is one bada_ _ race track and the racing is awesome. We've struggled with our Sprint Car deal back home, this year, so this (win) is a big boost for me," said Westfall, who started tenth. As the fierce racing in front of him sorted itself out, he jumped to the high groove and moved into fourth position during the middle stages of the race. Staying committed to the outside line, Westfall zipped past Pauch and Hoch to claim second on the same restart, with seven to go, that Steve Buckwalter used to grab the lead. 

  Pauch nipped T. Buckwalter for runner-up honors by less than one-tenth of a second. "I was good down low tonight, but had to run the top at the end," explained Pauch, a two-time SpeedSTR point champion at the Berks County oval. "Circumstances just didn't go our way tonight, but we still came out of it with a good solid finish."

  Tim Buckwalter, the current point leader and four-time winner this season, had a tough time getting through traffic after starting 11th. "The track was really good, making it tough to pass because everybody was fast."

  With his third-place finish, Buckwalter increased his lead in the standings to 155 over Westfall, who used his victory to jump over Pauch Jr. and into second place in the point chase. Pauch fell to third, but is just 15 points behind Westfall.

  Mike Bednar ran a steady race to finish fourth, barely beating Dylan Hoch to the stripe. Hoch, in his best-ever SpeedSTR outing, led the first 23 circuits before Steve Buckwalter got by him on a restart. Although he faded a bit over the last seven tours, Hoch hung on for a top five finish. Tom Mayberry, Tyler Ross, Steve Drevicki, Stephen Nederostek, and Matt Janisch completed the top ten.

  With a time of 11.911 seconds, Mike Bednar topped the 26-car field in the Timed Dashes on Wednesday. He and Westfall locked themselves into the main event by being the two quickest SpeedSTRs in the Timed Dashes.

  Heat race victories went to Tim Buckwalter, Nederostek, and Brad Brightbill. John Bockhorn won the B-Main.


You can see Dave looking towards Heaven in this photograph, I'm sure he was
thanking his father who passed away exactly a year ago for giving him the tools
needed to win on such an emotional night for the All-Star Slingshot Driver.
Ty's Racing Photos.

Austin Stufflet led the opening lap of the All Star Slingshots' 20-lap feature before Dakota Kohler slipped past him to set the pace from laps two through five. Seth Spayd passed Kohler on a restart with five down but Spayd, bidding for his third victory of the season, would soon have company in the form of Dave Carraghan from Emmaus, PA.

  Carraghan harassed Spayd and finally took the lead on the home stretch at the halfway point. Carraghan went on to record an emotional victory as his first triumph of the 2017 campaign came exactly one year after his father's passing. Carraghan also won the Slingshot feature at Action Track USA on July 20, 2016, which was his first race after losing his dad.

  Spayd chased Carraghan to the checkered, with June 21st winner Jared Silfee earning third place money. Travis Bieber and Zac Kistler (in his best-ever finish at the Kutztown speedway) recording a fifth-place effort.

  Thirty Slingshots signed in for competition on Wednesday. Heat race winners included Dakota Kohler, Travis Bieber, and Seth Spayd. The B-Main victory went to Tanner Van Doren. Joey Vaccaro won a special Mad Scramble for the Slingshot drivers who did not qualify for the 40-lap feature on June 21.

Action Track Side bites:

The JeffreyHogueRealtor.com Action Track USA wishes to thank the evening's sponsor, AEI Equipment Service of Tamaqua, PA. A division of Ankiewicz Enterprises, AEI Equipment offers a top line of manufacturers of construction and excavation equipment. The equipment may be purchased or rented from AEI.

  On Wednesday, July 19, Action Track USA will honor its very first SpeedSTR point champion, Kenny Brightbill, and recognize his 50 years of driving race cars. Prior to the races, and periodically throughout the night on Wednesday, the 2015 Most Popular Driver recipient will sign autographs and pose for photos at a table behind the grandstands. In addition to competing in his SpeedSTR that night, Brightbill will also take on his sons, Brad and Keith, in a three-lap match race. He will also have his great looking 50th Anniversary T-Shirts on sale at the event.

  Kenny Brightbill Night begins - on the track - with warm-ups, Mad Scramble, and Timed Dashes at 6:15. Heat races will follow the hot lap/ Mad Scramble/ Timed Dashes. The Junior Slingshots will make their third appearance of the season, joining the USAC All Pro SpeedSTRs, the Hyper Racing 600 Sprints, and the All Star Slingshots.

  For your midweek motorsports adrenaline rush, and to help celebrate Kenny Brightbill's 50th (and final) season in racing, come on out to the JeffreyHogueRealtor.com Action Track USA on the Kutztown Fairgrounds on Wednesday, July 19! 



USAC All-Pro SpeedSTR A-Main # 1 (30 Laps) -- 1. Matt Westfall 2. Billy Pauch Jr. 3. Tim Buckwalter 4. Mike Bednar 5. Dylan Hoch 6. Tom Mayberry 7. Tyler Ross 8. Steve Drevicki 9. Stephen Nederostek 10. Matt Janisch 11. TJ Mayberry 12 Tim Iulg 13. Briggs Danner 14. Keith Prutzman 15. Ray Nemeth 16. Steve Buckwalter 17. James Morris 18. Austin Graby 19. John Bockhorn 20. Kenny Brightbill 21. Ed Kenderdine 22. Brad Brightbill 23. Jason Rochelle 24. Jeff Hartman. DNQ: Andy Haus, Louden Reimert.

All-Star Slingshot Feature (20 Laps) -- 1. Dave Carraghan 2. Seth Spayd 3. Jared Silfee 4. Travis Bieber 5. Zac Kistler 6. Anthony Raisner 7. Kyle Herve 8. Dylan Hoch 9. Nick Vinciguerra 10. Brett Bieber 11. Gavin Danner 12. Matt Miller 13. Tayllor Schoenly 14. John Arms 15. Ryan Conrad 16. Tyler Ulsh 17. Tim Roeder 18. Blaire Schoenly 19. Dakota Kohler 20. Dylan Swinehart 21. Joey Vaccaro 22. Austin Daniels 23. Austin Stufflet 24. Tanner VanDoren 25. Alex Yankowski 26. Kyle Smith. DNQ: Rodney Ulsh, Ashley Therine, Ryan Davey, Myron Moyer

All-Star Slingshot Mad Scramble (8 Laps) -- 1.Joey Vaccaro (Transfers to Feature), 2.Tanner Van Doren (RR Tire), 3.Rodney Ulsh (Rear Bumper), 4.Gavin Danner (Front Tire), 5.Tayllor Schoenly (Steel Wheel), 6.Ryan Davey (Front Spindle), 7.Austin Stufflet (Coil Kit), 8.Kyle Smith (Rear Axle), 9.Ryan Conrad (4 qts. oil), 10.Anthony Raisner (Rear Axle), 11.Austin Daniels (K&N Air Filter), 12.Zac Kistler (Free Action Track Car Registration), 13.Dylan Swinehart, 14.Myron Moyer, 15.Kyle Herve, 16.Tyler Ulsh, 17.Ashley Therine

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