Billy Pauch Jr. Fights Off Titans Friesen & Sheppard in BAPS STSS Thriller

Written by Chris Moore

NEWBERRYTOWN, PA – Some races are won with setup, some races are won with motor. The fifth Bob Hilbert Sportswear Short Track Super Series (STSS) Fueled by Sunoco York County Nationals was won behind the wheel by Billy Pauch Jr.

After a phenomenal battle with Matt Sheppard and Stewart Friesen, Pauch Jr. grabbed the $5,050 payday and his second consecutive STSS Velocita-USA South Region presented by Design for Vision and Sunglass Central victory. He also took home a pair of Oakley Sunglasses from Design for Vision and Sunglass Central.

Pauch Jr. and the Rick Holsten team maintained their point lead in the STSS South Region battle with the hard-fought conquest.

The 50-lap main began with David Van Horn and Richie Pratt Jr. on the front row following the Beyea Custom Headers redraw. Van Horn’s night took an unfortunate turn just two laps in, as he brought out a yellow for a right-rear flat tire.

Pratt Jr. inherited the lead over Rick Laubach’s Ryan Kerr-owned No. 1K.

A major shake-up came on lap seven when Stewart Friesen spun between turns three and four racing for fifth and had to restart at the rear of the field.

When racing resumed from the Friesen spin, Laubach drove around Pratt Jr. for the lead. The man on the move would fully plant himself in the thick of things, as Pauch Jr. had climbed into second from his 10th starting position.

The war was on from there. Pauch Jr. stalked Laubach for several laps, waiting for a mistake. While the lead pair duked it out, “Super Matt” Sheppard had climbed to third and caught the top two.

At the Precision Hydraulic & Oil Halfway Point, Laubach, Pauch Jr. and Sheppard were nose-to-tail working in lap traffic while fighting for the lead. Multiple three-wide battles and slide jobs highlighted an incredible battle between three of Modified racing’s best.

Pauch Jr. ultimately made the move on lap 33, slipping underneath the “Quaker Shaker” with Sheppard following him through for second.

Meanwhile, Friesen was on the charge. He had driven into the top five, and got by Laubach on lap 36 and began reeling in the leaders.

Yellows on lap 40 and 44 gave Friesen and Sheppard perfect opportunities to get by the “Kid’s Kid,” but Billy Jr. was one step ahead of the other two, racing to his fourth career STSS win.

Milford, N.J.’s Pauch Jr. credited team owner Holsten for his success on the STSS this season.

“Rick Holsten’s given me a great ride, and we’re fast everywhere,” Pauch Jr. said. “I don’t know what else to say, Rick Holsten’s the man.”

Friesen, of Sprakers, N.Y., ended his surge from last in the runner-up position, dicing with Sheppard in the final laps. Savannah, N.Y.’s Sheppard brought the Hurlock Auto & Speed No. 9s home third.

Craig Von Dohren of Oley, Pa., authored a stout drive in the B. Brueche Jr. and Sons No. 30 to finish fourth and Phoenix, N.Y.’s Larry Wight, debuting a new Bicknell for Delaware car owner Gary Simpson, finished fifth after starting 11th.

Boyertown, Pa.’s Mike Gular was the Pioneer Pole Buildings Inc. Hard Charger for the night, coming from 22nd starting position to finish sixth in the Terry Fasnacht-owned No. 2A. Andy Bachetti out of Sheffield, Mass., finished in seventh. Laubach and Pratt both ultimately faded to eighth and ninth, respectively. Sprakers, N.Y.’s Jessica Friesen, making a rare STSS start outside of New York, rounded out the top-10.

Ad-Art Sign Company heat winners were Pauch Jr., Wight and Stewart Friesen. Jessica Friesen won the consolation.

The next scheduled Bob Hilbert Sportswear Short Track Super Series (STSS) Fueled By Sunoco Velocita-USA South Region Modified event is Tuesday, Aug. 25 at Del.’s Georgetown Speedway with the annual ‘Blast at the Beach’ special. Keep posted for pending make-up dates.

To learn more about the Short Track Super Series Fueled By Sunoco, visit, e-mail, 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.


Bob Hilbert Sportswear Short Track Super Series Fueled By Sunoco Modified Velocita-USA South Region Event No. 4 Feature Finish (50 laps): BILLY PAUCH JR., Stewart Friesen, Matt Sheppard, Craig Von Dohren, Larry Wight, Mike Gular, Andy Bachetti, Rick Laubach, Richie Pratt Jr., Jessica Friesen, Danny Bouc, David Van Horn, Mike Mahaney, Ricky Davis, Brandon Grosso, Danny Hieber, Rick Regalski, Eric Williams, Kyle Coffey, Doug Manmiller, Brett Tonkin, Tyler Dippel, Jared Umbenhauer, Jordan Watson, Josh Delea, Skylar Sherriff, Jeff Strunk, Ryan Watt.

Did Not Start: Corey Cormier

Ad-Art Sign Company Heat Winner Bonuses ($50 Each): Billy Pauch Jr., Larry Wight & Stewart Friesen
American Racer/Lias Tire Bonuses (FREE Tire Certificate): Jessica Friesen (10th) & Brandon Grosso (15th)
Beyea Custom Headers Redraw Bonus ($50): Stewart Friesen (12th)
Behrent’s Performance Warehouse Bonuses ($50 Gift Cards): Craig Von Dohren (fourth) & Richie Pratt Jr. (ninth)
Bill Brown & Company Heat-Race Hard Charger ($50): Richie Pratt Jr.
Danny’s Pizza Pizzazz Spec Heat Bonus ($500 – $250 – $100): Unclaimed (no registered Spec Cars)
Design for Vision/Sunglass Central Bonus (Oakley Sunglasses): Billy Pauch Jr.
EIBACH Springs Bonus ($100): Mike Gular (sixth)
Henry’s Exhaust Systems Power Position ($50 Bonus): Danny Bouc (11th)
Pioneer Pole Buildings Inc. Hard Charger ($250): Mike Gular (22nd to sixth)
Precision Hydraulic & Oil Halfway Leader ($200): Rick Laubach
Racing Optics Bonus (Tearoff Sleeve): Matt Sheppard (third)
Sunoco Race Fuels/Insinger Performance Bonuses ($50 Certificates): Stewart Friesen (second), David Van Horn (12th) & Tyler Dippel (22nd)
Wilwood Brakes Bonus ($75 Certificate): Andy Bachetti (seventh)