Friesen Has $8,260 Beach Blast, Roars from 23rd to Win Georgetown Tuesday Night
Written by Chris Moore
GEORGETOWN, DE – What. A. Finish.
The Georgetown Speedway faithful were treated to a fantastic night of racing Tuesday. Despite rain threatening all throughout the evening, the seventh running of the Melon 1 ‘Blast at the Beach’ presented by Earth Movers LLC saw Sprakers, N.Y.’s, Stewart Friesen with a last-lap pass.
For Friesen, it was his eighth Bob Hilbert Sportswear Short Track Super Series (STSS) Fueled by Sunoco victory of 2020. For the win, Friesen picked up an extra $2,000 courtesy of the Stockley Tavern “Delaware Double-Down,” after winning the ‘Diamond State 50’ at Delaware International Speedway (Delmar, Del.) two weeks prior.
Friesen took home $8,260: $6,000 from the posted purse, $2,000 from the Stockley Tavern, $200 as the Stockley Materials Hard Charger and an additional $60 through the Taylor & Messick ‘Lucky 7’ lap money.
A large crowd was in attendance and treated to a full, four division show, as 105 cars totaled with 36 STSS Modifieds and Crate 602 Sportsman filling the pit area.
The event served as Round No. 6 of the Velocita-USA South Region presented by Sunglass Central and Design for Vision and the fifth Crate 602 Sportsman South event of the 2020 season.
The 35-lap STSS Modified main event saw Neshanic Station, N.J.’s, Matt Stangle and Bechtelsville, PA’s, Jeff Strunk lead the field to the drop of the green flag following the Beyea Custom Headers redraw. Stangle would lead the opening 13 laps of the event with Strunk following not far behind.
The two drivers making the biggest moves were Middletown, N.Y.’s, Anthony Perrego, who started eighth, had climbed his way to third and was chasing the top two. The other was Stewart Friesen, who started in 23rd position after qualifying through the consolation race. After a lap-13 yellow, Friesen had already climbed into the 10th position.
“This is the fastest place we race on for our style of cars, bar none,” Friesen said after his first start since March on the resurfaced half-mile track.
On the ensuing restart, Stangle chose the top side, and would regret it. Stangle struggled to get thru turns one and two, and fell back to fourth. Milford, N.J.’s Billy Pauch Jr., the defending winner of the ‘Blast at the Beach,’ made his presence known as he went from fourth to second, leaving Perrego to remain in third.
With yellows on laps 20 and 23, Friesen and Pauch Jr. made their moves. Friesen went from fifth to third on the lap 20 restart and Pauch Jr. took the lead on the lap 23 restart. One lap later, Friesen worked underneath Strunk and take the runner-up spot.
A lap-27 yellow set up an eight-lap dash for the record books. Pauch Jr. jumped out to the lead and pulled away by five car-lengths with four laps to go, and appeared to be on his way to his second ‘Blast at the Beach’ win.
Friesen would have none of it. In the remaining laps Friesen dropped to the middle groove and began to reel Billy Jr. in, before throwing a slide job for the lead at Pauch coming to the white flag.
“There was a little bit of ground I could use to launch up the hill and try to block him (Pauch) off as best I could. He crossed over and it was close, but we’ve got a great racecar,” Friesen said of his dramatic pass to win the race.
Pauch Jr. held on to the runner-up position in his Rick Holsten owned No. 96 with Anthony Perrego, in the Brian Smith-owned No. 44 rounding out the podium. Waterloo, N.Y.’s, Matt Sheppard rebounded from a lap-13 flat tire to grab fourth in his Hurlock Auto and Speed No. 9s and Jeff Strunk brought the Glenn Hyneman-owned No. 126, a brand-new Bicknell chassis, to atop-five finish.
Tyler Dippel finished sixth in his family-owned No. 1 car. Kings Ferry, N.Y.’s Mike Mahaney grabbed the seventh spot and Larry Wight of Phoenix, N.Y., finished eighth after starting 25th. Ryan Godown, of Ringoes, N.J., finished in ninth driving for Eugene Mills in a second No. 30 and Boyertown, Pa.’s Mike Gular rounded out the top-10.
The STSS Crate 602 Sportsman put on an outstanding race for their 25-lap, $1,500-to-win feature event. Dagsboro, Del.’s, Scott Hitchens came from 12th starting position to take the lead on lap 12. Hitchens would lead for good to grab his 21st career Georgetown win.
Montgomery, N.Y.’s Bobby Flood made the long tow down to grab the runner-up spot. Laurel, Del.’s Michael White took the third spot, with Newtown, Pa.’s, Joe Toth and Niskayuna, N.Y.’s, Tim Hartman Jr. rounded out the top-five.
Hitchens took over the STSS South Region point lead with his $1,675 conquest: the $1,500 winner’s share plus $70 from Evergreen Fuels Inc., $80 in lap money and $25 as the driver picking the worst available position – 12 – in the Beyea Custom Headers redraw.
Matt Smith won a thrilling 12-lap Delaware Super Truck feature, coming from 11th to top his two teammates, Dale Elliott and David Smith. A late race yellow allowed the three to duel to the checkered.
Robert Paczkowski won a dramatic Delmarva Charger feature. Joe Waters was leading coming to the checkered, before coming up lame, allowing ‘Pac-man’ to slip by and grab the win. Ashley Merritt and Joe Waters rounded out the top-three.
Next up for the Short Track Super Series, barring any regulation changes in New York State that would allow an event sooner, is the $53,000 ‘Speed Showcase 200’ at Port Royal (Pa.) Speedway Thursday, October 15-Saturday, October 17 with a Sunday rain date. Keep posted for further information on this blockbuster weekend!
To learn more about the Short Track Super Series Fueled By Sunoco, visit www.shorttracksuperseries.com, e-mail email@example.com, check out ‘Short Track Super Series’ on Facebook or @ShortTrackSS on Twitter or Instagram.
The Short Track Super Series is presented by American Racer/Lias Tire, Sunoco Race Fuel, Insinger Performance, Bob Hilbert Sportswear, Halmar International, Velocita-USA, Design for Vision/Sunglass Central, Rob Sherlock Roofing, ATL Racing Fuel Cells, Behrent’s Performance Warehouse, Beyea Custom Headers, Bicknell Racing Products, Dirt Track Digest, EIBACH Springs, Escape RV, Fast Axle, Fox Racing Shocks, Henry’s Exhaust, Hig Fab, HyperCo, Kirkey Racing Fabrication, Land Hoe Maintenance, K&N, MJK Home Maintenance, Precision Hydraulic & Oil, QA1, Racing Optics, Superior Remodeling, Teo-Pro Car, VAHLCO, Velocita, WELD Racing & Wilwood.
MELON 1 ‘BLAST AT THE BEACH’ PRESENTED BY EARTH MOVERS LLC RESULTS SUMMARY – GEORGETOWN SPEEDWAY TUESDAY, AUGUST 25
Bob Hilbert Sportswear Short Track Super Series Fueled By Sunoco Velocita-USA South Region Event No. 6 Modified Feature Finish (35 laps): STEWART FRIESEN, Billy Pauch Jr., Anthony Perrego, Matt Sheppard, Jeff Strunk, Tyler Dippel, Mike Mahaney, Larry Wight, Ryan Godown, Mike Gular, Rick Laubach, Ryan Watt, Ryan Krachun, Alex Yankowski, Jimmy Horton, Matt Stangle, David Van Horn Jr., Richie Pratt Jr., H.J. Bunting, Danny Bouc, Brandon Grosso, Joseph Watson, Ryan Riddle, Danny Hieber, Jordan Watson, Andy Bachetti, Brandon Hightower, Carson Wright.
Did Not Qualify: Scott Ambruster, Norman Short, Clay Tatman, Kevin Sockriter, Austin Hubbard, Matt Hawkins, Brett Ballard, Ricky Johnson.
Stockley Tavern ‘Delaware Double-Down’ Bonus ($2,000): Stewart Friesen
Taylor & Messick Lap Money Breakdown ($700 Total): Anthony Perrego ($100); Jeff Strunk ($100); Billy Pauch Jr. ($80); Tyler Dippel ($80); Matt Stangle ($80); Stewart Friesen ($60); Matt Sheppard ($40); Mike Mahaney ($40); Danny Bouc ($40); Ryan Godown ($20); Ryan Krachun ($20); Alex Yankowski ($20); Richie Pratt Jr. ($20)
Ad-Art Sign Company Heat Winner Bonuses ($50 Each): Alex Yankowski, Billy Pauch Jr., Richie Pratt Jr. & Matt Stangle
American Racer/Lias Tire Bonuses (FREE Tire Certificate): Larry Wight (eighth) & Ryan Krachun (13th)
Beyea Custom Headers Redraw Bucks ($50): Billy Pauch Jr. (Started 12th)
Behrent’s Performance Warehouse Bonuses ($50 Gift Cards): Matt Sheppard (fourth) & Ryan Godown (ninth)
Bill Brown & Company Overall Heat-Race Hard Charger ($50): Billy Pauch Jr. (fourth to first)
Design for Vision/Sunglass Central Winner’s Shades (Oakley): Stewart Friesen
EIBACH Springs Bonus ($100 Certificate): Tyler Dippel(sixth)
Henry’s Exhaust Power Position ($50 Certificate): Rich Laubach (11th)
Holly Hill Farms Top Delaware Driver ($500): H.J. Bunting (19th)
Precision Hydraulic & Oil Halfway Leader Bonus ($200): Jeff Strunk
Racing Optics Bonus (Tearoff Sleeve): Anthony Perrego(third)
Stockley Materials Hard Charger ($200): Stewart Friesen (23rd to first)
Sunoco Race Fuels/Insinger Performance Bonuses ($50 Certificates): Billy Pauch Jr. (second), Ryan Watt (12th) & Joseph Watson (22nd)
Wilwood Brakes Bonus ($75 Certificate): Mike Mahaney(seventh)
Bob Hilbert Sportswear Short Track Super Series Fueled By Sunoco Crate 602 Sportsman South Region Event No. 5 Feature Finish (25 laps): SCOTT HITCHENS, Bobby Flood, Michael White, Joe Toth, Tim Hartman Jr., James Hill, Anthony Tramontana, Adam White, Paul Mancini, Justin Grosso, Stephen Kemery, Tanner Van Doren, Thomas Sherby, Greg Humlhanz, Brad Trice, Brandon Watkins, Greg Reed, John Stevenson, Sean Metz, Ryan Simmons, Rick Wegner Jr., Samantha Muller, David Dickey, Matt Peck, Tom Moore Jr., Jim Housworth.
Did Not Qualify: Trent Willey, Justin Eason, Greg Nailor Jr., William Adams, Jimmy Dallett, David Jenkins, Jim Gallagher, George Richardson, Robert Messick, Brad Roberts.
Taylor & Messick Lap Money Breakdown ($500 Total): Scott Hitchens ($80); Bobby Flood ($80); Joe Toth ($80); Michael White ($60); Tim Hartman Jr. ($60); Sean Metz ($60); James Hill ($40); Paul Mancini ($40).
American Racer/Lias Tire Bonus (FREE Tire Certificate): Adam White (eighth)
Beyea Custom Headers Redraw Bucks ($25): Scott Hitchens (Started 12th)
Evergreen Fuels Inc. Low Temperature Bonus ($70 – 70 Degrees): Scott Hitchens (Winner)
Delaware Super Truck Feature Finish (12 laps): MATTHEW SMITH, Dale Elliott, David Smith, Jerry Hill, J.R. Bergman, Kirk Miles Sr., Mark Townsend, Shane Clogg, Bill Dean, Cory Sapp, Michelle Jackson, Zach Phillips, Billy Lockwood, T.J. Hazlewood, Nate Benson, Dick Beauchamp, Thomas Jackson, Adam Smart, Trent Marine, Jesse West, Tim Quay.
Delmarva Charger Feature Finish (12 laps): ROBERT PACZKOWSKI, Ashley Merritt, Joe Waters, Chris Carroll, Chris Myers, Greg Nailor Jr., Randy Merritt, John Bailey, Paul Gary, Mike Harmon, Chris ‘Tippy’ Martinez.
Did Not Start: Jay Lowman