USAC Eastern Storm Tour invades New Jersey.....

New Egypt, NJ (June 3, 2010)
For the first time in thirty-two years, the USAC National Sprint Tour returned to the state of New Jersey for their first ever visit to the New Egypt Speedway on Thursday night.  The blockbuster double header  showcased the AMSOIL USAC Wingless Sprint cars and Big Block Modifieds in this first time ever presentation in New Jersey.    Levi Jones of Olney, IL collected  $6,000 after winning the  40 lap sprint feature  as Oley, PA driver Duane Howard earned  $3,000 for winning the 30 lap Big Block Modified feature.   With threatening skies in the area and a threat for severe thunderstorms, a large crowd turned out for this first time ever spectacular event promoted by Thunder on the Hill organizers Bob Miller, Bruce and Kenny  Rogers.  The show started promptly at 7:30 PM and was completed minutes before 10 PM.

In sprint car time trials, Levi Jones set a one lap track record of 15.726 seconds for the three-eighth mile New Egypt Speedway.   Three USAC sprint heats were presented with victories going to Shane Hmiel, Chris Windom and Tracy Hines.

Qualifying for the modifieds saw heat race victories go to Duane Howard, Rick Laubach and Bob Drayton as Ryan Godown won the consolation.

With rain fast approaching the area, the AMSOIL USAC sprint feature was called to the speedway.   At the drop of the green flag Chase Stockon jumped into the early lead with Damion Gardner and Dave Darland in the hunt.   Levi Jones, winner of the first two events on the USAC Eastern Storm Tour (Grandview Tuesday night and Lincoln Speedway Wednesday night)  advanced from fourth to second on lap six.   Jones now had the task of chasing down racer leader Chase Stockon who has over a backstretch lead.   At the halfway point of the race, Stockon still had a comfortable lead  but all that came to a halt when the yellow was displayed on lap twenty-one for Casey Shuman who stopped in turn four.

The restart saw Stockon with his hands full as Levi Jones looked for a lane to make the pass.   By lap twenty-four Jones was the race leader followed by Stockon, Dave Darland, Chris Windom and Bryan Clauson.

As Jones dominated the USAC field, there was plenty of shuffling for the rest of the top five positions.   By lap twenty-nine Windom moved into second with Clauson third.   Windom, still looking for his first career URC win broke away from the rest of the pack and began to chase down Levi Jones.   The race for third was shaping up as Stockon, Darland and Clauson were racing under a blanket and swapping spots through each turn.

With the checker flag waiving, Levi Jones took the win followed by Chris Windom, Bryan Clauson, Dave Darland and Chase Stockon.

The thirty lap Big Block Modified feature was a thriller as well with Frank Cozze leading the first lap followed by Grandview Speedway defending champion Duane Howard, Rick Laubach, Sam Martz and Billy Pauch.   On lap two, Howard made an inside move that earned him the lead.   Cozze, Pauch and Laubach were in a heated battle for second but on lap six, Pauch moved into the runner-up spot.

A multi-car tangle on lap seven brought out the caution flag.   On the restart, Pauch nosed ahead of Howard for the lead going into turn one but with a strong run off turn two, Howard moved his BPG modified back into firm control of the lead.    A second yellow was displayed on lap ten when three cars tangled in turn four.

On the restart, Pauch tried once again to take the lead but Howard was up to the challenge.    When the field crossed for the halfway sign, Howard, Pauch, Cozze, Bob Drayton and Sam Martz made up the top five.  The final caution of the race came out on lap twenty and set up the race for a ten lap run to the checker.

Howard was again up to the challenge but only after holding off still another attempt from Pauch to take the lead.  On lap twenty-one Billy Pauch Jr. moved into the top but had to contend with challenges from Keith Hoffman and flying Ryan Godown who won the consolation.  By lap twenty-three, Pauch Jr moved into fourth and set his sights on Frank Cozze.

For the final five laps of the feature, Howard remained in control to take the win and pocket the $3,000 first place prize.   Billy Pauch finished second followed by Frank Cozze, Billy Pauch Jr and Keith Hoffman.

In post race inspection,  the Frank Cozze modified did not pass at the scale and was disqualified for being light.   That moved Pauch Jr to third, Hoffman fourth and Ryan Godown to fifth.
USAC Fast Time: Levi Jones (15.726)
HEAT 1- Shane Hmiel, Levi Jones, Ricky Williams, Dave Darland, Jerry Coons Jr.
HEAT 2- Chris Windom, Damion Gardner, Bryan Clauson, Kyle Robbins, Mark Bitner
HEAT 3- Tracy Hines, Bill Rose, Casey Shuman, Chase Stockton, Jeff Geiges

USAC FEATURE FINISH: Levi Jones, Chris Windom, Bryan Clauson, Dave Darland, Chase Stockon, Henry Clarke, Tracy Hines, Ricky Williams, Mark Bitner, Damion Gardner, Jerry Coons, Casey Shuman, Shane Hmiel, JR Berry, JC Bland, Kyle Robbins, Bill Rose, Jeff Geiges, Jonathan Swanson, Steve Petry, Landon Simon

HEAT 1- Duane Howard, Ryan Forte, Frank Cozze, Tom Carberry Jr., Mike Barone, Wade Hendrickson
HEAT 2- Rick Laubach, Sean Merkel, Billy Pauch, Sam Martz, Billy Pauch Jr., Keith Hoffman
HEAT 3- Bob Drayton, Ron Jon Koczon, John Stangle, Mark Forte Jr., Richie Pratt Jr., Dom Buffalino

BIG BLOCK MODIFIED CONSI QUALIFIERS: Ryan Godown, Frank Cozze Jr., Jimmy Horton, John Willman, Kevin Nagy, John Dixon

BIG BLOCK MODIFIED FEATURE FINISH: Duane Howard, Billy Pauch, Billy Pauch Jr., Keith Hoffman, Ryan Godown, Richie Pratt Jr., Wade Hendrickson, Sam Martz, Sean Merkel, John Willman, Frank Cozze Jr., John Stangle, Rick Laubach, Mike Barone, Ryan Forte, Bob Drayton, Jimmy Horton, Tommy Carberry Jr., Kevin Nagy, John Dixon, Mark Forte Jr., Ron Jon Koczon, Dom Buffalino
DQ: Frank Cozze