NEW EGYPT, N.J. — Twenty-six-year-old Ryan Smith scored his first 410 sprint car victory Tuesday night in the Jersey Rush 4 at the New Egypt Speedway.
The event, sponsored by NAPA Auto Parts and Pioneer Pole Buildings, saw Billy Pauch hold off two late race challenges from Jimmy Blewett and Doug Manmiller to win the modified feature.
In the 30-lap Jersey Rush sprint feature, Ryan Smith took the lead at the drop of the green followed by Mark Smith and Freddie Rahmer.
Smith quickly established a comfortable lead with J.J. Grasso and Lucas Wolfe on the move to the front. On lap 10, the first caution was displayed for Joey Hershey who stopped in turn four. On the restart, Smith now had to contend with M. Smith and two-time Jersey Rush winner Grasso. At the halfway mark, R. Smith was on top followed by M. Smith, Grasso, ahmer and Lucas Wolfe.
By lap 19, the battle was now between Mark Smith and Grasso for second. On lap 21, Grasso moved into second and began the task of chasing down Ryan Smith.
Following a lap-23 restart, Wolfe made a strong run and advanced to second, passing Grasso going into turn one. With five laps remaining, Wolfe was reeling in R. Smith as slower traffic was making the race very interesting. On lap 27, Wolfe pulled along side of Smith but the pass was not going to be completed this time.
Smith pulled a two-car length advantage but with two laps remaining, Wolfe was back in the hunt. With the white flag waving, Wolfe took another run for the lead but Ryan Smith was not to be denied the $5,000 payday. Wolfe finished second, ahead of Grasso, Kyle Reinhardt and Rahmer.
In the 30-lap modified feature, Neal Williams set the pace for the first two circuits with Billy Pauch taking the lead on lap three. Williams fought back to try and regain the lead but Pauch held on to the top spot. On lap eight Doug Manmiller moved into second and by lap 12, Manmiller was challenging Pauch for the lead.
At the halfway point, Pauch and Manmiller were at the front of the pack with Jimmy Blewett third, Williams fourth and Keith Hoffman. On lap 18, Blewett moved into second and now it was up to him to take the win away from Pauch.
In the final two laps, Blewett caught Pauch and offered several challenges but at the drop of the checkered flag, the $3,000 payoff went to Pauch. Blewett was second with Doug Manmiller third.
Ryan Smith, Lucas Wolfe, J.J. Grasso, Kyle Reinhardt, Freddie Rahmer, Greg Hodnett, Davey Sammons, Mark Smith, Davie Franek, Mark Bitner, Troy Betts, Billy Pauch Jr., Tyler Ross, Logan Wagner, Brian Carber, Billy Dietrich, Brandon Rahmer, Rick Lafferty, Kyle Purks, Jeff Fithian, Lance Dewease, Ed Aikin, Joey Hershey, Karl Freyer, Kevin Nagy.