GEORGETOWN, DE – There are plenty of lines on Duane Howard’s established racing resume.
After Wednesday night, he can add another one.
Howard, the Oley, Pa., veteran, won his first-ever Bob Hilbert Sportswear Short Track Super Series (STSS) Fueled By VP event at Georgetown Speedway, annexing the ‘Blast at the Beach 4’ presented by K&B Auto, Clark’s Pools, All County Garage Door and American Portable Mini-Storage.
The win for Howard and the Norm Hansell Motorsports team was worth $6,510 for 35 laps around the historic half-mile oval: $5,000 from the posted purse, $500 from Clark’s Pools, $450 from Ad-Art Sign Company and Danny’s Pizza Pizzazz as the Halfway Leader and an additional $260 in lap money.
“These Short Track Super Series races bring out the best competition,” Howard said in Victory Lane. “We’ve had a very consistent year but not a winning year. To get a big one like this is big for our team.”
The ‘Blast at the Beach 4’ went off 24 hours after its scheduled date due to a coastal storm that brought more than two inches of rain and wind to the area on Tuesday.
Howard started the event – Round No. 6 of the STSS Velocita South Region – from sixth position. At the outset of the main, New Jersey’s David Van Horn Jr. put the Fred Vahlsing-owned No. 323ov into the lead.
Van Horn led the opening three laps before Ryan Godown – driving the Petruska family No. 66 – took command.
Godown, aboard a Bicknell car with less than a handful of races on it, set the pace through a pivotal restart on lap nine. Howard, from the outside lane, was able to sweep around the leader in turn one.
Godown, meanwhile, pushed up the track and both Van Horn and Ryan Watt swept past. Watt had been working his way back through traffic after an early miscue when he slipped off the top of the speedway and fell back to the back-half of the top-10.
Watt drove past Van Horn and set his sights on race-leading Howard during the second half of the main. On several occasions, Watt pulled to the back bumper of Howard but couldn’t complete the pass.
Howard held on to become the 21st winner in the 45-race history of the Short Track Super Series.
“We needed this going into the big end-of-the-year races,” Howard said.
Watt, of Boyertown, Pa., settled for a $3,200 second-place finish in the Ron Roberts-owned car and unofficially takes over the STSS Velocita-USA point lead by a single point.
Van Horn, of Milford, N.J., settled for third-place money, followed by Jamie Mills of Milford, Del., with a late-race outside move and Ringoes, N.J.’s Ryan Godown.
Finishing sixth through 10th, respectively, were Stewart Friesen of Sprakers, N.Y., after starting eighth in the Halmar International No. 44 small-block; Friesen’s teammate Jimmy Horton of Neshanic Station, N.J., recovering from an opening-lap trip to the pit area; Stockley Tavern $500 Hard Charger Jeremy Smith of Triangle, N.Y., who started dead last; Jordan Watson of Milford, Del., racing back through traffic following an early flat tire; and Matt Jester of Milford, Del., who went to the rear on lap one after slipping off the top of turn two.
$200 Will Brown’s Truck Repair heat winners were Craig Von Dohren, Watt and Van Horn. The consolation was annexed by Brett Kressley.
Jordn Justice of Laurel, Del., earned $1,100 for his efforts in the 20-lap L&J Sheet Metal Crate 602 Sportsman feature. Justice took the win in dramatic fashion. Racing toward the white flag, Justice darted inside of leader David Crossman through turns three and four. Sparks flew momentarily with Justice emerging as the leader.
Unfortunately for Crossman, his strong run ended moments later with a spin in turns one and two.
“We were racing hard for the win,” Justice said in Victory Lane. “I didn’t want to get into him (Crossman) at all. He left a lane and we rubbed a little bit there.”
Matt Stangle lined up behind Justice for the one-lap shootout and settled for second-place. Greg Humlhanz returned to racing after more than a year away in a back-up Justice car and drove to third, with Andy Hammond and Mike Hough completing the front five.
Robert Smith of Delmar, Del., emerged from a three-truck battle for the lead in the 12-lap Delaware Super Truck headliner. Smith narrowly held off Matt Esham and Jerry Hill at the line. Matthew Smith and Shane Clogg completed the front five.
Tanner Marvel of Dagsboro, Del., scored a down-to-the-wire win in the 12-lap Delmarva Charger feature. Marvel was able to complete a pass of Ashley Merritt with two laps remaining and earn the $250 payday. Scott Calhoun, Derek Swafford, Merritt and Bud Sipple trailed.
The STSS Velocita South Region resumes on Saturday, September 30 at Bridgeport (N.J.) Speedway with ‘Dirty Jersey 5’ paying $5,000 to win, $1,000 for 10th and $400 to take the green flag plus Crate/Sportsman and Outlaw Stocks.
Georgetown Speedway is back in action one night prior – September 29 – with Modifieds paying $3,000 to win plus L&J Sheet Metal Crate 602 Sportsman, Southern Delaware Vintage Stock Cars, Little Lincolns, Delmarva Chargers and Delaware Super Trucks.
Georgetown Speedway, originally constructed by Melvin L. Joseph in 1949, is located at the intersection of Route 113 and Speedway Road in Georgetown, Del., just miles from the Delaware beaches and less than a 40-minute drive from Ocean City, Md.
A website is live for the speedway at www.thegeorgetownspeedway.com. Like Georgetown Speedway on Facebook, follow @thegtownspdwy on Twitter, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or contact Brett Deyo at 845.728.2781 during business hours for more information.
To learn more about the Short Track Super Series Fueled By VP or BD Motorsports Media LLC, visit www.shorttracksuperseries.com or www.bdmotorsportsmedia.com, call 845.728.2781 during business hours, e-mail email@example.com, “like” Short Track Super Series on Facebook or follow @ShortTrackSS on Twitter.
BEACH BITS: Despite the heavy rain on Tuesday, track conditions turned up smooth for Wednesday’s event after a full day of grading and reworking the oval’s clay surface. Drivers praised the track crew for their efforts battling the weather….
During the opening ceremonies, the fourth-turn grandstand was dedicated to the memory of Harry Dutton, a late pioneer of racing in the First State. Harry’s son, current racer Robert Dutton, offered memories of his father to a warm applause. In a class gesture, the Dutton family boosted the winner’s shares in each of the four divisions racing: $300 to the Modifieds, $100 for the Sportsman and $50 each to the Delmarva Chargers and Delaware Super Trucks….
A giveaway at intermission included 12 bicycles and 40 fully stocked backpacks, putting smiles on the faces of many young fans in attendance….
The ‘Blast at the Beach 4’ postponement worked well for Crate 602 Sportsman winner Justice. He was going to miss the event on Tuesday due to college commitments at Salisbury (Md.) University. The rainout allowed him to hop in the car Wednesday….
Two Sportsman standouts – Scott Hitchens and Brandon Grosso – made the move into big-block Modified racing for the first time on Wednesday night. Both completed the entire 35-lap distance….
Brett Kressley walked away from a wild flip in turn four on the opening lap of the feature. Kressley’s car became entangled in the catch fence requiring repairs….
Danny Johnson was scheduled to start the STSS Modified event from the pole. However, engine issues sidelined the Jeff Brown-owned No. 27J. Rick Laubach also failed to take the green flag when his Ryan Kerr No. 1K wouldn’t fire for the main….
The 2017 Short Track Super Series is presented by American Racer/Lias Tire, VP Racing Fuel, Bob Hilbert Sportswear, Halmar International, Allstar Performance, ATL Racing Fuel Cells, Behrent’s Performance Warehouse, Bicknell Racing Products, Dirt Track Digest, Fast Axle, Fox Racing Shocks, Hig Fab, Henry’s Exhaust, HyperCo, Keizer Wheels, Kirkey Racing Fabrication, K&N, QA1, Race Pro Weekly, Racing Optics, Speed51.com, Teo-Pro Car, Velocita, Weld & Wilwood.
‘BLAST AT THE BEACH 4’ RESULTS SUMMARY – GEORGETOWN SPEEDWAY AUGUST 30, 2017
Bob Hilbert Sportswear Short Track Super Series Fueled By VP Velocita South Region Event No. 6 Big-Block/Small-Block Modified Feature Finish (35 laps): DUANE HOWARD ($6,510), Ryan Watt, David Van Horn, Jamie Mills, Ryan Godown, Stewart Friesen, Jimmy Horton, Jeremy Smith, Jordan Watson, Matt Jester, Billy Pauch, Billy Pauch Jr., Jim Britt, H.J. Bunting, Scott Hitchens, Brandon Grosso, Robert Dutton, Kevin Sockriter, Craig Von Dohren, Clay Tatman, Ron Roberts, Shawn Ward, Neal Williams, Brett Kressley.
Did Not Start: Danny Johnson, Rick Laubach.
Did Not Qualify: Matt Hawkins, Dale Hawkins, Carson Wright, Michael White.
Lap Money Breakdown ($350): Duane Howard ($260); Ryan Godown ($60); David Van Horn ($30).
Ad-Art/Danny’s Pizza Pizzazz Halfway Leader Bonus ($450): Duane Howard (winner)
American Racer/Lias Tire Bonuses (FREE Tire): Matt Jester (10th) & Billy Pauch Jr. (12th)
ATL Fuel Cell Bonus ($200 Certificate): Ryan Godown (fifth)
Behrent’s Performance Warehouse Bonuses ($50 Gift Cards): Jamie Mills (fourth) & Jordan Watson (ninth)
Dutton Racing Winner’s Bonus ($300): Duane Howard (winner)
Fast Axle Bonus ($50 Certificate): Stewart Friesen (sixth)
Keizer Racing Wheels Bonus (FREE Wheel): Duane Howard (winner)
QA1 Hard Charger Bonus ($50 Certificate): Jeremy Smith (24th to eighth)
Stockley Tavern Hard Charger Award ($500): Jeremy Smith (24th to eighth)
VP Racing Fuels Bonuses ($50 Certificates): Ryan Watt (second), Billy Pauch Jr. (12th) & Shawn Ward (22nd)
Weld Wheels Bonus ($50 Certificate): Brandon Grosso (16th)
L&J Sheet Metal Crate 602 Sportsman Feature Finish (20 laps): JORDN JUSTICE ($1,100), Matt Stangle, Greg Humlhanz, Andy Hammond, Mike Hough, Adam White, Jeff Brown, David Jenkins, Jason Rush, Chuck Sayres, Matt Peck, Jon Callaway, Brandon Blades, Scott Hulmes, Nick Alberti, David Crossman, Dwayne Crockett, Trent Van Vorst, Daniel Johnson, Pete Serra, Sean Metz.
Did Not Start: Kevin Gardner, Ted Reynolds.
Danny’s Pizza Pizzazz Halfway Leader Bonus ($200): David Crossman
Dutton Racing Winner’s Bonus ($100): Jordn Justice
Delaware Super Truck Feature Finish (12 laps): ROBERT SMITH, Matt Esham, Jerry Hill, Matthew Smith, Shane Clogg, Kirk Miles, Marvin Smith, Dick Beauchamp, Rocky Whitley, J.R. Bergman, Dale Elliott, Tim Quay, Thomas Jackson, Billy Lockwood, Bobby Reed, Jimmy Hilman, David Smith.
Dutton Racing Winner’s Bonus ($50): Robert Smith
Delmarva Charger Feature Finish (12 laps): TANNER MARVEL, Scott Calhoun, Derek Swafford, Ashley Merritt, Bud Sipple, Chris “Tippy” Martinez, Randy Merritt, Todd Francis, Ben Knotts, Joe Waters, Robert Paczkowski.
Dutton Racing Winner’s Bonus ($50): Tanner Marvel