NEW EGYPT, N.J. – It had been four years and 15 days since David Van Horn Jr. reached victory lane with the Bob Hilbert Sportswear Short Track Super Series fueled By Sunoco.
On Tuesday night at New Egypt Speedway, Van Horn picked up his first series win since August 5, 2015 in style, topping ‘Dirty Jersey 6’ for a $6,250 payday in round six of the STSS Velocita-USA South Region presented by Design for Vision and Sunglass Central.
The win – Van Horn’s second with the series – came at the controls of Fred Vahlsing’s VAHLCO Wheels-sponsored No. 323ov with big-block power between the frame rails.
Van Horn, whose prior checkered flag came at Delaware Int’l Speedway in Delmar, Del., felt he brought the right combination to the unique D-shaped seven-sixteenths-mile track.
“It was awesome,” reflected Van Horn, who resides in Ringoes, N.J. “Even last week, when the track was slick here, the car was perfect. Tonight the track had a little more bite. The bottom was the place to be early, then the top cleaned off and I moved up.
“It feels good to win one of these (STSS) races again. The competition is always tough.”
Van Horn started third in the 40-lap main event. From the pole, veteran Wade Hendrickson shot into the lead and paced the opening four circuits before Van Horn took command for the first time.
Hendrickson held second position through a lap-15 restart when Danny Bouc – driving the Craig and Leslie Pondish No. 6 – rolled the extreme outside lane to second after starting ninth.
Bouc continued his drive toward the front, sweeping by Van Horn to take the lead before a caution on the 19th lap.
Bouc picked the outside lane for the restart, but Van Horn was ready. DVH surged off the bottom to lead the Precision Hydraulic & Oil Halfway Lap. Van Horn then changed his line to the outside with Bouc in pursuit.
Bouc’s effort stalled on lap 24 with a flat right-rear tire. Van Horn led Hendrickson and an emerging Brandon Grosso, who started seventh.
Grosso took over the runner-up spot on the 26th lap. Despite four cautions in the race’s final 14 circuits, Van Horn was flawless, powering to a victory at the track where he is the defending champion.
Grosso finished a stout second, collecting the $3,000 payday that accompanied it. Ryan Watt righted his New Egypt misfortunes with a third-place result in the Ron Roberts-owned No. 14W.
Mike Gular placed fourth with Terry Fasnacht’s No. 2A. Hendrickson was fifth in Pat Michael’s No. 51M.
Finishing sixth through 10th, respectively, were Andy Bachetti, 12th-starter Duane Howard, Craig Von Dohren, track regular Cale Ross and a resurgent Bouc.
The Capitol Renegade United Racing Club 360 sprint cars returned to New Egypt for the $2,000-to-win ‘Turnpike 25’ event. Wantage, N.J.’s Davie Franek took home the cash.
After a mid-race challenge from J.J. Grasso,who succumbed to a flat tire, Franek motored away for the triumph on Garden State soil.
Adam Carberry, Josh Weller, Tyler Ross and Ryan Stillwaggon completed the front five.
Steve Davis of Jackson, N.J., led wire-to-wire in the 20-lap STSS Crate 602 Sportsman main event, taking home a $1,500 payday aboard the Howie Finch Jr. Hig Fab Chassis.
David Van Horn Jr., Brandon Grosso, Ryan Watt, Mike Gular, Wade Hendrickson, Andy Bachetti, Duane Howard, Craig Von Dohren, Cale Ross, Danny Bouc, Jimmy Blewett, Jeff Strunk, Rick Laubach, Anthony Perrego, Jordan Watson, Matt Sheppard, Richie Pratt Jr., Mike Butler, Rich Rutski, Billy Osmun, Jeremy Smith, Jimmy Horton, Matt Stangle, Pat Wall, Ryan Krachun, Billy Pauch Jr.