Story By: CHRIS MOORE / SHORT TRACK SUPER SERIES – GEORGETOWN, DE – The Bob Hilbert Sportswear Short Track Super Series (STSS) Fueled By Sunoco heads to Georgetown Speedway Tuesday for the first time of the 2023 season.
The Rent Equip/Party Central South Region takes center stage for Round No. 4 of the $15,000 championship chase in the 10th annual ‘Blast at the Beach.’
The night’s 35-lap affair carries a $6,000-to-win figure, with $1,000 reserved for 10th and $500 to take the green.
The STSS heads to Georgetown Speedway on the heels of the first-ever appearance from the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series at the newly configured oval, in which the ultra-wide four-tenths-mile oval saw its most favorable track conditions of the year.
In a typical year, the ‘Blast at the Beach’ would serve as the second visit by the South Region for the STSS. However, after an adjusted early season schedule, and the ‘Melvin L. Joseph Memorial’ transitioning to the title of the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series invasion, this year’s ‘Blast at the Beach’ is the first visit from the STSS of 2023.
The STSS returns to Georgetown Speedway to crown the South Region champion on October 27-28 in the ‘Mid-Atlantic Championship’ weekend.
Guess who. Savannah, N.Y.’s Matt Sheppard enters Georgetown as the South Region point leader following his victory in the ‘Dirty Jersey’ at New Egypt (N.J.) Speedway. Sheppard also holds the title of the defending winner of the ‘Blast at the Beach,’ having topped the event for the first time in 2022.
Frenchtown, N.J.’s Billy Pauch Jr. is one lap away from being a three-time ‘Blast at the Beach’ winner. The 2019 and 2021 winner sits second in South Region points by just one point and holds an STSS win in Southern Delaware at Delaware International Speedway back in May and won the last race at Georgetown earlier this month.
Neshanic Station, N.J.’s Matt Stangle is still in search of career win number one with the STSS. Stangle heads to a place he currently leads the Millman’s NAPA Modifieds standings at in Georgetown Speedway. Stangle has three top-fives in four races at Georgetown and sits third in South Region points.
While his Georgetown Speedway history doesn’t stand out, King Ferry, N.Y.’s Mike Mahaney appears to have returned to form. Mahaney has climbed to fourth in South Region standings after a top five in the ‘Dirty Jersey.’ The 2021 South Region champion returns to the site of his title clinching racetrack.
In four races this season at Georgetown, Ryan Krachun has finished outside the top four just once. The Neshanic Station, N.J., native looks to return to Georgetown Victory Lane with his first STSS victory in sight.
Ringoes, N.J.’s Ryan Godown struggled in the early going on the STSS tour in 2023. The Ringoes Rocket native however ran fourth in the ‘Dirty Jersey’ and was a runner-up at Georgetown back in June. He’ll look to return to Bicknell Racing Products Victory Lane with the STSS.
ALSO IN ACTION
The STSS Crate 602 Sportsman join the racing card in Round No. 4 of the Belmont’s Garage South Region for a $1,500-to-win, 25-lap feature.
Upper Makefield, Pa.’s Joe Toth heads into Southern Delaware with a 62-point advantage over Spencertown, N.Y.’s Dylan Madsen. Fleetwood, Pa.’s Kyle Smith rounds out the top three, 75 markers behind Toth.
ON THE HORIZON
The month of September kicks off the proverbial ‘big money season’ with the STSS. Next Sunday, Sept. 3, the Ollie’s Elite Series fires back to life for Round No. 2 at Utica-Rome (N.Y.) Speedway with a $12,000-to-win 50-lap affair.
Two weeks later – Thurs.-Sat., Sept. 14-16 – the biggest race of the 2023 season takes at Fonda (N.Y.) Speedway with the ‘Fonda 200.’ Round No. 3 of the Ollie’s Elite Series pays a whopping $53,000-to-win, the biggest winners share of the Northeast Modified season.
Both events serve as River Valley Builders North Region events as well.