Column By: BOBBY CHALMERS / RPW – PORT ROYAL, PA – Billy Pauch Jr. passed just about as many cars as Matt Sheppard did on Friday night in his 20-lap qualifying race at the Port Royal Speedway for Saturday night’s Speed Showcase 200.
In the end, both drivers had the same result…victory.
Pauch started in the eighth position and drive to the front as quickly as he could. He passed the likes of Larry Wight, last year’s 200-lap winner Mat Williamson and eventually race leader Erick Rudolph to score the victory in the final 20-lap heat race.
Pauch used the bottom groove of the race track to make all of his passes and it worked to perfection.
“The bottom is the exact opposite of where I’ve been every time I’ve been here,” Pauch said. “This is an entirely different package than I ran last night (Thursday). I wish I had run it last night now looking back because, man, is this thing good.”
Does Pauch feel like he has a car that can win the big 200-lapper on Saturday?
“I’m very happy with my car,” he said. “We’ve got a little fine-tuning to do. I think we have a top five car for Saturday night but to win the race I’ve got to be a little bit better.
What’s making his #96 machine so good this weekend and giving him the big boost of confidence?
”I can roll the middle of the race track,” he said. “That’s the first time I’ve rolled the middle and stuck here in a long time. I’m pretty tickled about it.”
Was Pauch happy the caution came out just passed halfway and he was brought right to the inside of leader Erick Rudolph?
“I honestly don’t know if I would have gotten Erick or not without it,” he said. “I was catching him but it always makes it easier when you catch a caution so we’re happy.”