Jimmy Horton took the lead early in the 49-lap Short Track Super Series Melvin L Joseph Memorial at Georgetown Speedway (DE) and held it for the duration, fending off multiple challengers to score his first career STSS checkered flag.


Horton, a household name in Dirt Modifieds, bested second-place finisher Ryan Watt and third-place finisher Billy Pauch, Sr as the trio went three-wide after a restart following the eighth of what wound up being 14 cautions.


Dirt Mods 300x300 (1)Horton, a native of New Jersey is a former winner on the Super DIRTcar Big-Block Modified circuit and is considered a heavy contender for this season’s STSS North Championship.


“We lost the lead early on but guys started to slip up and we moved back into the lead and we just got better as the race went on.”  Horton told Speed51.com powered by JEGS. “We held up well through all the single-file restarts, I actually prefer them because then we can avoid wrecking on the restart.”


Watt, who lead the first 15 laps before Horton took the position, kept getting loose in turn four due to a crater in the turn.


“We had a really good car, we just kept hitting that hole in turn four,” Watt explained.  “It was in our line and we didn’t really want to change our line because it was working great for the other 75% of the track, the other three turns.”


Throughout the race, Watt attempted to navigate the obstacle in turn four in order to reel Horton back in, but ultimately came up short.


“We really tried to run below that hole in the turn; we thought we had a shot on the final restart, but Jimmy just got in there under me and we didn’t have anything after that.”


Third-place finisher Billy Pauch, Sr. had a strong run to kick off the Northeast Dirt Modified season.


“We had a good car but Ryan (Watt) kept catching that hole in four and would get into me and take downforce off my car, but to that point I was doing good and coming on really strong,” Pauch said.  “We still came home in third, and that’s not bad.”


Pennsylvania driver Duane Howard and former Short Track Super Series winner David Van Horn, Jr. completed the top five.


For a replay of Speed51.com’s Trackside Now coverage from Georgetown presented by FK Rod Ends, visit http://speed51.com/trackside-now-short-track-super-series-opener-at-georgetown-de/.


-By Reese Nobles, Speed51.com Mid-Atlantic Correspondent – Twitter: @RNoblesSpeed51

-Photo credit: Speed51.com



Pos # Driver
1 43H Jimmy   Horton
2 14W Ryan Watt
3 1P Billy   Pauch Sr
4 357 Duane Howard
5 323OV David   Van Horn
6 1 Tyler Dippel
7 1J Jordan   Watson
8 401 Frank Cozze
9 19K Brett   Kressley
10 30 Jamie Mills
11 4 Andy   Bachetti
12 7 Rick Laubach
13 14Z Ron   Roberts
14 43W Mike White
15 2T Clay   Tatman
16 51 Billy Pauch Jr
17 7W Shawn   Ward
18 66 Ryan Godown
19 28 Richie Pratt   Jr
20 9 Brad Trice
21 118 Jim Britt
22 20C Craig Hanson
23 46 Jeremy Smith
24 44 Stewart Friesen
25 27J Danny Johnson
26 6D Dillon Steuer
27 17 Scott Van   Gorder
28 55 Kevin Sockriter
29 90W Matt Jester
30 85 H.J Bunting

Horton Scores First Short Track SS Victory at Georgetown