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Big Kahuna Inaugural to Hartman

New Egypt, NJ (May 29, 2011)
The first ever Big Kahuna Series Event took place at New Egypt Speedway on May 29th and the 4 division show featuring the SpeedSTR's, Sportsman Mods, Great American Enduro Racers and the Vintage Cars had a great track surface to display their talents.

Heats were used for qualifying and the 2 Sportsman heats were won by Bob Lineman Jr and Mike Lyons. The SpeedSTR heats were won by Gary Huber and Billy Pauch Jr. Richie Pratt lead from start to finish is claiming the Vintage qualifier.

The Great American Enduro Car Series was next on the agenda as the idea of running the 4 cylinder cars with the 6-8 cylinder, seemed a little intriguing for all parties involved, but when the green was given for the 100 lap grind everyone had their gas pedal punched to the floor. With individual payouts for each class on the line, the 4 cylinders were racing with the 6-8 cylindered cars but against the other 4 cylinder teams. Tom Wolf was setting a blistering pace on the freshly watered track surface and it didn't stop Wolf from being the early leader. As the track conditions changed Rick Latza moved by Wolf and also was beginning to encounter slower traffic as lap 25 was posted. Latza's lead would be short lived as the 120 headed to the pit area with mechanical problems. Chuck Detweiler was biding his time behind Latza and Wolf and with one of the top runners out of the way, it was time to make his move as the Engle Lettering #70 passed Wolf and just needed Lady Luck on his side to notch the first big car Big Kahuna Great American Enduro win as the Saturn of John Crosby took the 4 cylinder honors, running only 2 laps behind the big car winner. Mark Naftzinger finished second with Jim Watkins third. Trailing Crosby in the 4 cylinder class were Justin Dunn and Scott Dunn.

Continuing to stay within the presented time schedule the SpeedSTR's were next on the agenda with the 25 lap, $2000 to win feature on the grid. A quick trip to the pit area before the green for Jeff Hartman had the Bulldog Arts #5 zipping out of the pits just in time to take the green in the last spot. Some real dicing back and forth for the top 10 spots found Stan Ploski, Rick Schaffer, Gary Huber and Billy Pauch Jr. having their own private race in the early going, but it was Kyle Hieber and Darrell DelNero who had other ideas and joined the trio with the top 5 cars now running under a blanket. Pauch Jr was using a middle groove in the Fragile X #8 that had him pulling away from the field, only to have a flat tire halt his front running status. Quick pit work put Pauch back into the fray and the race continued on with Huber, Kyle Hieber and DelNero all out front at one time or another. A Brittany Wixon spin regrouped the field and there were now 2 cars attracting the most attention, since at one time they were both running in the rear. It was on this restart that they were 6 wide under the starters stand with everyone taking a different line heading into turn 1. Jeff Hartman got by Doug Sherwood and Freddie Rahmer to vault into 3rd with Billy Pauch Jr working the wheel to get past Mark Janisch, Stan Ploski and Don Zrinski to sit 6th at the 18 lap mark.

The final yellow, changed the running order and the top spot all in 1 turn. Hieber's Bucks County International #6 tightened up heading through turn 1 leaving the bottom groove and lead open for the taking as Hartman who disposed of DelNero and Rahmer the previous lap, now did the same to Hieber and he was the new leader heading down the backstretch. Hieber tried to regain the top spot heading into to turn 3 but Hartman was not to be denied. DelNero's #93 was now losing power and Rahmer's J&K Salvage #51 was in a podium finishing spot with 2 laps to go. Pauch Jr got by DelNero but his chance to catch Rahmer was running out.

With the white flag being signaled the top 3 was not going to change but a midpack battle shaped up with Don Zrinski nipping Matt Janisch in the Valvoline 3 for 8th as Janisch got to the line just ahead of Ploski.

The SpeedSTR feature had it all. Pit stop drama, 3 wide racing and the winner and 4th place finisher coming from deadlast as DelNero's 5th place run was done on an empty fuel cell as the Happy Acres 93 coasted back to the pit area. Passing was the norm on the well prepared speedway.

A 20 lap A Main awaited the Sportsman mods and they did nothing to disappoint the fans as a hotly contested battle for the win between Tim Apgar and Bob Lineman Jr gave the NES faithful something to cheer about. Bryan Kuhl had the sharp looking #37 up to the task in the early going but it was evident the Tim Apgar show was about to begin as the Weidel Realtors 98 quickly make it's way to the front. A Mike Butler spin in turn 1 brought out the first yellow and the restart left little doubt that Apgar wanted the win.

A frontstretch collision involving Dan Bouc, Clay Butler and Mark Herman took these 3 top 5 contenders out of the mix and left Bob LinemanJr one last shot at a $500 win in the Cenco Heating USA-1. The final green was shown and Lineman used a lowside move to get to Apgar's back bumper, but no further as Apgar took the Sportsman honors with Lineman a very close second. Bryan Kuhl slotted in for third after the 20 laps were completed.

The Vintage Racers completed the days racing festivities and there was no denying Richie Pratt Sr's chance to get the 28 out for some quick laps as his speeds were within the cars of foday as some of the local speedways. His original 1980's car bested the Tobias Tribute 17 piloted by Wayne Weaver and the Stan Hawk #5 with Tom Holding completing the top 4.

The first Big Kahuna Series event started off at 12:20PM and the checkered was thrown at 3:40PM for all competitive events. Next up on the Big Kahuna schedule is a June 26th show for SpeedSTR's, Great American Enduro's, wingless 305's, 358 and 360 sprints and possibly an added division. Stay tuned.

BIG KAHUNA RESULTS 5/29/11:

TOBIAS SPEEDSTRS
1. #5 Jeff Hartman, Flagtown, NJ 2. #6 Kyle Hieber, Langhorne, PA 3. #51 Freddie Rahmer, Salfordville, NJ 4. #8 Billy Pauch Jr., Frenchtown, NJ 5. #93D Darrell DelNero, Manville, NJ 6. #11 Gary Huber, Riverdale, NJ 7. #33 Doug Sherwood, Oldwick, NJ 8. #75 Don Zrinski, Piscataway, NJ 9. #3 Matt Janisch, Nazareth, PA 10. #4X Stan Ploski, Ringoes, NJ 11. #14 Scott Munroe, Reading, PA 12. #88 Brandon Rahmer, Salfordville, PA 13. #56 Gary Hieber, Langhorne, PA 14. #99 Al Arrisher, Lansdale, PA 15. #77 Rick Schaffer, Woxall, PA 16. #22 Kim Kamper, Wayne, NJ 17. #12 Tyler Potts, Milford, NJ 18. #15 Brittany Wixon, Reading, PA

SPORTSMAN
1. #98 Tim Apgar 2. #USA1 Bob Lineman Jr. 3. #37 Bryan Kuhl 4. #94M Rich Rutski 5. #4M Mike Butler 6. #21L Mike Lyons 7. #3V Kevin Vaclavicek 8. #14 Joe Funk 9. #64 Danny Bouc 10. #4B Clay Butler 11. #3H Mark Herman 12. #20 Ryan Simmons

GREAT AMERICAN ENDURO SERIES
1. #70 Chuck Detweiler 2. #3 Mark Naftzinger 3. #4 Jim Watkins

4-CYLNDER ENDURO

1. #49 John Crosby 2. #69 Justin Dunn 3. #03 Scott Dunn

VINTAGE STOCKS
1. #28 Richie Pratt Sr. 2. #17 Wayne Weaver 3. #17 Stan Hawk 4. #5 Tom Holding