NEW EGYPT, N.J. – Gary Butler beat the best of the best Thursday night at New Egypt Speedway as he took top honors in the $10,000 to win All-Star Cup Shootout.
Butler led 30 of the 40 laps, beating veteran Craig Von Dohren who was crowned the All-Star Cup Series champion. Von Dohren’s second place finish was just enough as he held off Ryan Godown by one point despite a late race charge by Godown to finish fifth.
“During the pre-race fan fest most of the fans were by passing us to go see the top invaders,” Butler said. “That got me fired up and I really wanted to prove something.”
Butler lined up on the pole by the luck of the draw, with top invader Stewart Friesen lined up right next to him. Butler wasted no time as he charged into the lead at the onset as heat winner Friesen fell back to tenth quickly. Neal Williams and Billy Pauch Jr. took up the chase with Pauch Jr. grabbing second and immediately trying to rundown Butler.
Ten laps into the event Pauch had just caught Butler when the yellow flag appeared, but the restart saw Butler continue to keep command. Pauch was relentless thru several more caution flags and on lap 18 he finally charged around Butler into the lead. For the next 10 laps Pauch lead the event and looked poised to run away from the field however yellows kept closing the field back up. Finally on lap 28 Butler got the restart he was looking for and surged back out in front.
Two laps later it was Pauch slowing with problems forcing him to pit and return to the rear of the field. At this point with 10 laps remaining the race was red flagged for a fuel only stop on the track. Once the cars were refueled Butler picked up where he left off, as Craig Von Dohren took over the runner up spot. Von Dohren gave it everything he had but he was no match on this night for the speedy Butler who took his fourth event at NES this season.
Von Dohren settled for second and the Series championship collecting $2500 in cash and $2500 in tires from Lias Tire as champion. Rocco Infante drove a very impressive race quitly coming up to take third, followed by Neal Williams and Ryan Godown, who was making a late race charge from the back. Stewart Friesen finished in sixth, followed by Frank Cozze, Keith Hoffman, 6 time NES champion Billy Pauch and David Van Horn rounding out the top ten.
In the companion $1,000 to win Sportsman feature, NES 2013 champion Bob Lineman, Jr. took the victory going away. Kevin Vaclavicek held on for second as Mike Butler came home third. Will Dupree finished fourth and Chuck Steuer in his Crate Sportsman completed the top five.