Grasso & Pauch Master The Jersey Rush

J.J. Grasso en route to victory at New Egypt (N.J.) Speedway. (Bruce Bennett photo)
J.J. Grasso en route to victory at New Egypt (N.J.) Speedway. (Bruce Bennett photo)
J.J. Grasso en route to victory at New Egypt (N.J.) Speedway. (Bruce Bennett photo)

NEW EGYPT, N.J. ā€” The third year of the NAPA Auto Parts/Pioneer Pole Buildings Jersey Rush was another success with J.J. Grasso taking the $5,000 victory in the 30 lap 410 sprint feature as Billy Pauch held off a determined Ryan Godown to pocket the $3,000 win in the thirty lap modified feature on Tuesday at New Egypt Speedway.

A field of 26 modifieds and 24 sprint cars took part in the racing program that opened with the CnB Mushroom sprint car time trials. Lance Dewease not only set fast time but established a new one lap track record with a time of 13.340 or an average speed of 118.066 mph for the 7/16th ā€œDā€ shaped speedway.

Sprint heat race winners were Grasso, Ryan Bohlke and Kyle Reinhardt. Modified heat race winners were Roco Infante, Neal Williams and David Van Horn as Wade Hendrickson was the modified consolation.

In the 30 lap Jersey Rush for sprint cars Grasso, the winner of inaugural Jersey Rush in 2011, jumped to a commanding lead followed by Fred Rahmer and Greg Hodnett. Grasso ran to hide from the field as the battle was shaping up for the runner-up spot between Rahmer and Hodnett with Mark Smith and Ryan Smith making up the top five. The battle for second came to an end on lap twelve when Greg Hodnett came to a stop in turn four, displaying the first caution of the race.

The restart offered Rahmer a shot at the leader but when the green flag feel, Grasso was off and once again setting a blistering pace. At the halfway point, Grasso remained the leader followed by Rahmer, Mark Smith, Ryan Smith and Ryan Bohlke.

As the race went on, Grasso appeared to be getting faster and opening a bigger lead over Rahmer. Slower traffic was now a problem but Grasso did a masterful job getting around the lapped traffic.

As the checkered flag waved, Grasso had accumulated a half lap lead over second place finisher Rahmer.

The 30-modified feature was a thriller with Eric Corman leading the first lap as David Van Horn took over the top spot on lap two. By lap three, Pauch was on a charge and racing in third. Van Horn quickly established a comfortable lead as Corman had to deal with Pauch. By lap 11, Pauch moved into second. Pauch quickly began to reel in Van Horn and on lap 13, he became the new leader. The race was far from over as Ryan Godown was now on a drive and racing in the second and catching Pauch with each lap.

On lap 22, Godown continued the battle with Pauch for the lead. On at least three occasions, Godown nosed ahead of Pauch but with a strong run off turn two, Pauch remained the leader. For the final two laps, Godown stayed with Pauch looking for an opportunity to take the lead. Pauch never fumbled and went on to take the victory over Godown, Sammy Piazza, Jimmy Blewett and David VanHorn.

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