Story By: BARRY ANGSTADT / ACTION TRACK USA – KUTZTOWN, PA – The Ronnie Tobias Memorial goes green this Wednesday, July 10, to kick off the second half of the 2019 season at Championship Energy Action Track USA on the Kutztown Fairgrounds.
The event that honors the memory of the late dirt Modified star features Twin 20’s for the USAC All Pro SpeedSTRs, a 25-lap main for the Hyper Racing EVO Injection 600 Sprints, a 20-lap feature for the All Star Slingshots, and a 15-lap main for the Junior Slingshots. A special twist has been added for the 600 Sprints…the top 12 in qualifying will compete in an 8-lap dash to determine the top 12 starting positions in their 25-lap feature.
Billy Pauch Sr. has been among the best SpeedSTR chauffeurs in the twin-feature format of the Ronnie Tobias Memorial. Pauch has three wins in the six previous Memorial events, while Briggs Danner, who swept both ends of the program last year, is the only other driver who has more than one triumph. Active SpeedSTR drivers who have single wins include Billy Pauch Jr., Rick Eckert, Tim Buckwalter, and Danner.
Last summer, during PA Midget Week, Logan Seavey executed a now-famous “fence climb” to avoid a car that had spun. As he clinched the 2018 USAC NOS Energy Drink National Midget Championship in November, he was reminded of the move that gained nationwide attention via ESPN’s Top Ten Plays of the Week. “Yeah, that was cool,” he admitted, “and next year (2019), we get to race at Kutztown, too!”
Clearly, the champ and his USAC Midget cohorts are eagerly anticipating their July 31 debut at the Berks County oval. Seavey, who is coming off a recent Indiana Midget Week title, will lead a strong contingent of midwestern wheel-twisters to the Keystone State along with current NOS Energy National Midget Championship leader Tyler Courtney. Known as “Sunshine”, Courtney has five victories and is the only driver with more than one triumph on the National tour so far this season. Seven drivers have a single win (through June 29) and the wildly competitive nature of the National Midget Series was demonstrated during Indiana Midget Week, when five different pilots picked up victories in the five race miniseries.
Expected to join Courtney and Seavey for PA Midget Week and the first-ever appearance at Action Track USA are Chris Windom, Kevin Thomas Jr., Zeb Wise, Tanner Thorson, Justin Grant, and several others who produce some of the wildest, most competitive, heart-pounding racing in the country in their clay tossing Midgets. Even three-time champion of the Chili Bowl Midget Nationals and NASCAR Xfinity driver Christopher Bell has stated his intention to run (at least) the first three races of PA Midget Week – and that includes Action track USA.
Pit gates open for each event at 4 p.m., with grandstand gates swinging open at 5:00. Warm-ups begin at 6:05 and qualifying activity gets underway right after the hot lap sessions.