Story By: ERNIE SAXTON / INDOOR AUTO RACING CHAMPIONSHIP – ALLENTOWN, PA – Frenchtown, NJ’s Billy Pauch Jr. will make his first start in the Indoor Auto Racing Series Fueled By VP in several years at the Allentown Ironton Global sponsored Indoor Race at the PPL Center January 7-8, 2022.
Pauch, Jr. will be driving the Jason Simmons’ Fulton, NY-based No. 98 TQ Midget which is usually campaigned by Tyler Thompson.
“I originally had plans to drive for someone else, and with everything going on in preparation for the Short Track Super Series Elite Tour, I just didn’t think I had the time to do it right,” said Pauch Jr.
“I’m a lot more comfortable to go do it now. Jason called me on Tuesday and asked me if I wanted to drive and I said yes. I can’t wait to get behind the wheel for the first time on Friday night.”
Pauch has a career best TQ Midget finish of sixth which came back during the 2012 Gambler’s Classic on the concrete floor of Atlantic City’s Boardwalk Hall.
“I’ve never really raced indoors with a proven car. I was always beating my head against the ground and I swore I’d never go back unless it was a good car and Jason’s equipment is top notch,” said Pauch Jr.
Pauch Jr. is coming off of a career season in 2021 which saw him capture 16 victories in Dirt Modified, SpeedSTR and Micro Sprint action. He will now take on a field of 45 in hopes of winning his first ever TQ Midget feature victory next weekend.
Tickets for the two days of racing in Allentown are on sale now. To order online visit www.pplcenter.com. Tickets may also be purchased in person at the arena box office both days of the event.
Ironton Global and Ironton Telephone and Internet are the Allentown Indoor Auto Racing Series title sponsors. Ironton Global is the leading international provider of cloud-based communication services, headquartered in Coplay, PA.
The Allentown event, as well as 2022 Series events that follow in Atlantic City, NJ and Syracuse, NY are being presented by BELFOR Property Restoration Services, provider of professional 24/7 residential and commercial restoration services.
Future Homes of Kunkletown, PA, a home construction company, specializing in residential, multi-family, and energy efficient buildings, has also returned as the presenting sponsor for the Saturday night card of racing in Allentown.
The 34-year-old third generation driver is no stranger to racing indoors. He has competed on both the dirt and the concrete on the Indoor Auto Racing Championship and at the Chili Bowl Midget Nationals in Tulsa, OK.
In fact, he had to turn down a high-profile ride for the upcoming Chili Bowl in a couple of weeks due to the amount of traveling he is planning on doing early on in 2022 with Rick Holsten’s No. 96 Dirt Modified.
The Frenchtown, NJ driver has a pair of runner-up finishes in the East Coast Indoor Dirt Nationals in Trenton which will hopefully return in 2023.
Car owner Simmons is a many-time winning car owner in Supermodified competition with Tyler Thompson at N.Y.’s Oswego Speedway, has also branched out into the Dirt Modified world the past couple of year with Rocky Warner as his driver.
Pauch will have a Simmons teammate in Missy Bootes of Carlisle, Pa., who will drive Simmons’ No. 97.
Pauch will be facing intense competition in his quest for success in Simmons’ car. TQ Midget entries include Max McLaughlin, Mooresville, NC who will be making his Indoor Series debut in a TQ owned by Caprara Motorsports. Indoor kart winner Doug Stearly of Collegeville, PA will also be making his TQ debut in a car owned by Ken Sebring.
The biggest Indoor Auto Racing Series PPL Center TQ Midget race winner Ryan Flores of Mooresville, N.C. has entered and team cars entered by Trey Hoddick will be driven by Mike Christopher, Jr. of Wolcott, CT, and past Indoor feature Scott Kreutter of Alden, NY.
All of the drivers and teams will be racing for much more than posted event purses.
Twenty-five awards provided by eight sponsors will be worth in excess of $4,000 over and above the posted purses. Friday night’s top achievers will share well over $3,500 in bonus bucks.
Ironton Auto Body will award $1,000 to each of the three TQ Midget Qualifiers winners on Friday night. Aqua Duck Water Transport has posted $200 for the TQ Midget Pole Dash winner. Mahoning Valley Speedway has posted $50 to the winners of the three Friday night TQ heat races.
Champ Kart and Slingshot competitors will also benefit Friday night with added money.
The Champ Kart fast timer will receive a $100 bonus from Dan Kapuscinski Motorsports Promotions. The three heat winners will each $50 courtesy of Pocono Raceway.
S&S Speedways has posted a Friday night fast time bonus of $100 and $50 to each of the three heat race winners.
Bonus awards for Saturday achievements are also plentiful and total $1,270.
Mahoning Valley Speedway will enrich the two B Main and three Heat winners $50 each while Bob Hilbert Sportswear will award the TQ Midget Dash winner $200.
Bonuses continue in each in features for the three divisions after the race through the courtesy of E. Schneider & Sons in Allentown, PA. The firm is celebrating 120 years in business by posting $240 – double the number of years of the company’s existence – with the ‘Scrapper Of The Race Award’. The driver will be determined by their never-give-up wheelmanship, and hard charging style.
The racing schedule calls for doors opening at 6:00 PM with racing getting underway at 7:30 PM on Friday. On Saturday, doors open and Fan Fest begins at 5 PM with racing starting at 7:00 PM sharp. The on-track Fan Fest is available at no extra charge to ticket holders who chose the option when making their purchase.
After Allentown, the series will head to Atlantic City’s Boardwalk Hall on January 28 & 29 for the NAPA KNOW Gambler’s Classic and conclude in Syracuse, NY at the NY State Fairgrounds Exposition Center on Friday and Saturday, March 11 & 12.