Paulie Hartwig Goes Back-To-Back At Bloomsburg Fair Raceway; Wins Thursday Night
Story By: DINO OBERTO / BLOOMSBURG FAIR RACEWAY – BLOOMSBURG, PA – Not only did Briggs Danner sweep both Twin 17-lap All Pro SpeedSTR features Thursday evening at Bloomsburg Fair Raceway, but the Allentown hot shoe becomes the winningest driver at the track with five wins, adding to his previous victories that came with the USAC East Coast Sprint cars.
It was also his third straight victory in a SpeedSTR after scoring Sunday’s season opener at Action Track USA at the Kutztown Fairgrounds.
“I don’t know what it is about this place, it’s kind of technical so I feel that as a driver you can do things to make up for what your car couldn’t and we’re happy with where we are at and always look forward to racing here,” said Danner, who is also the only driver to take a win in each of the three seasons thus far.
Second starting Danner wasted little time in the opening feature as he grabbed the lead away from pole sitter Louden Reimert by beating him off turn two on the opening circuit and then held off co-point leaders Steve Buckwalter and Eddie Strada.
The trio ran closely, however, Danner never let them get close enough as he pitched his way through the corners perfectly which gave him good exit speed for the straights. With constant laps in that manner he was able to maintain the lead and go on to collect his first Bloomsburg win of the season.
Buckwalter tried to make the best of a few restarts but each time Danner was able to keep him at bay and he also had the deal with the fact that Strada was nipping at his heels.
Mike Bednar, in his first start of the year here, had a great duel with Doug Snyder for fourth and fifth respectively.
In the second main Danner would roll off eighth after an invert. Front row starters Sammy Mertz Jr., and Mark Manieri brought the field to the green with Martz jumping out front.
On lap four Manieri was able to pull inside of Martz who suddenly began slowing and take control of the race with Strada and Danner in tow.
With a dozen laps in Danner, now second, was all over Manieri’s tail and two laps later he would make his race winning move, similar to his first one by getting a good bite off the second corner. Then over the remaining circuits he had no problem keeping himself well ahead of Manieri and punctuating his perfect night with win number two.
“Coming into these kind of races that they’re going to do an invert and then that second feature is tough after doing good in the first one but the track really came around for us and there was a bottom there if you felt good enough to use it and the track was pretty racy,” said Danner.
“Once I had first place I knew I had to go and keep my momentum. The track was great and there was good passing.”
Third went to Buckwalter, giving him top three finishes in each race thus far. Bednar repeated his earlier finish with another fourth while Cale Zangli rounded out the top five.
At just 12 years old Paulie Hartwig III is proving to be the real deal. For the second time in a row and third straight in as many starts the youngster from Galloway, NJ raced to a solid triumph with the 602 Crate Modifieds. Hartwig not only won consecutively at Bloomsburg but also notched a victory the past Friday at Big Diamond Speedway for his three race win streak.
Hartwig started sixth but needed only one lap to begin his charge towards leader Ralph Mele. In-between was Craig Whitmoyer and Hartwig made quick work of him by the third go-around. And keeping his push to the front going he then disposed of Mele on the ensuing lap by slipping to the inside of him in turn three.
The rest of the way would be no contest as he was far and away head and shoulders over the rest of the pack, pulling away at times to a straightaway lead. The only time anyone would get up close was during restarts but each time thereafter Hartwig darted out ahead, leaving everyone else to battle for second.
“This car has really been on point and I have to thank all my guys who keep working hard back in the shop and I’m really happy to show them how much it paid off with another win. The bottom was very smooth just like last week and that’s where I like running,” said Hartwig.
Although Hartwig was well clear of the pack, second place was hotly contested as Whitmoyer had a great battle in holding off the likes of Mele then Matt Yoder and finally Brandon Edgar.
For the third time in as many races a new winner emerged in the 4-Cylinder Stocks as Tim Raup of Danville took top honors.
Raup jumped out front from the get-go and would never look back as he cruised to his first Bloomsburg win. Meanwhile second spot was a hard fought affair as Kevin Doud fought tooth and nail with Nick McDaniel.
It appears that no one can stop Andrew Turpin of Saylorsburg in the Slingshots as for the third straight time the he was the star of the class and remains undefeated. Austin Kroboth has been working hard to keep pace with him, notching runner-up for the second time.
1st SpeedSTR feature finish (17 laps): 1. Briggs Danner, 2, Steve Buckwalter, 3. Eddie Strada, 4. Mike Bednar, 5. Doug Snyder, 6. Alex Bright, 7. Mark Manieri, 8. Sammy Martz Jr., 9. Cale Zangli, 10. TJ Mayberry, 11. Louden Reimert DNS: Eric Heydenreich
2nd SpeedSTR feature finish (17 laps): 1. Danner, 2. Manieri, 3. Buckwalter, 4. Bednar, 5. Zangli. 6. Bright, 7. Snyder, 8. Strada, 9. Martz Jr. DNS: Mayberry, Reimert, Heydenreich
602 Crate Modified feature finish (20 laps): 1. Paulie Hartwig II, 2. Craig Whitmoyer, 3. Brandon Edgar, 4. Matt Yoder, 5. Mike Schane, 6. TJ Mayberry, 7. Brandon Oleski, 8. Logan Starr, 9. Mike Loney, 10. Mia Guy, 11. Ryan Graver, 12. Tyler Peet, 13. John McGeoy, 14. Ralph Mele, 15. Joe Wilgus
FWD 4-Cylinder Stock feature finish (15 laps): 1. Tim Raup, 2. Kevin Doud, 3. Nick McDaniel, 4. Jimmy Moyer, 5. Luke Hoffner DNS: Tim Campbell
Slingshots feature finish (10 laps): 1. Andrew Turpin, 2. Austin Kroboth, 3. Dylan Starr, 4. Nathan Abrams