New Egypt, NJ – Ringoes, NJ native David Van Horn picked up his first career New Egypt Speedway track championship this past Saturday after Mother Nature washed out the New Egypt Speedway Modified points finale. It is VanHorn’s third career track championship as he won the Small-Block Modified championship in 2007 and backed it up with a Big-Block Modified title at the Orange County Fair Speedway in 2008, he is the ninth different Modified champion in the track’s 21-year history as a dirt track.
“It was a solid team effort, we were very consistent and that’s what it takes to win a championship. There’s a very talented field at New Egypt week in and week out. I have to thank Fred for giving me the opportunity to drive his car. Also if it weren’t for my dad and Jeff this season would not have been possible”, said VanHorn.
It was a duel between two of the most famous last names in New Jersey racing history in VanHorn and Billy Pauch Jr. as the pair finished one-two on opening night making it obvious from the onset of the 2018 season that it would be a two-car battle for the $10,000 New Egypt Speedway Modified crown.
After winning the first two races of 2018, Pauch Jr. led the points up until Memorial Day weekend where a mechanical failure relegated him to a 19th place finish handing the point lead over to VanHorn.
Consistency would be the key during the summer months, as VanHorn would not finish any worse than tenth but Pauch Jr. would not be far behind as following the June 16th event, VanHorn would hold just a two-point lead over Pauch Jr. after DVH finished to second to Pauch Jr. on the night
DVH would pick up his only New Egypt Speedway victory of 2018 in a show-up points only event during the Garden State Gunfight where he annihilated the field on his way to the $6,000 victory.
As the summer weeks clicked off the two would go tit for tat with each other, one week VanHorn would finish in front of Pauch Jr., the following week it would be vice versa and the week after that they would swap who finished in front of who yet again.
It all appeared to end though on August 18th as a blown motor would put VanHorn out of the feature with 22nd place finish handing the point lead back to Pauch Jr. who would finish second on the evening heading into Twin-20’s the next week with a 23-point lead.
The first Twin-20 on September 1st had VanHorn lining up in front of Pauch Jr. based off his handicapping from the previous three races. As the race went on Pauch Jr. made his way forward and around VanHorn running as high as sixth until disaster stuck with the Rick Holsten owned No. 96 running out of fuel on the last lap of the race forcing him to finish in the 13th position, seven spots behind VanHorn.
When the green flag dropped on the second Twin-20 due to the inversion, VanHorn already had a seven-position lead on Pauch Jr. heading into what would ultimately be the final Modified points race of 2018. DVH would work his way methodically through the field-finishing runner-up to Brandon Grosso with Pauch Jr. coming home in the sixth position.
Unfortunately Mother Nature would step in on Saturday September 9th ending the Modified points race handing the championship to VanHorn over Pauch Jr. by just five points.
“We overcame a lot this year, especially after that blown motor, I almost thought it was over. That goes to show you the perseverance and heart that our team has, our team never quits,” VanHorn said.
To tell you how close the two of them really were in 2018, VanHorn ends the 2018 NES points race without a points-paying win, nine Top-5’s and 13 Top-10’s in 15 points paying races, while Pauch Jr. had three wins, seven Top-5’s and 11 Top-10’s. The only time VanHorn failed to finish out of the Top-10 was on May 9th following a flat tire and August 18th with a blown motor.
VanHorn wins the 2018 championship with 795 points. Pauch Jr. would end the 2018 season second in points with 790 points followed by Danny Bouc in third with 743 points, Brandon Grosso fourth with 740 points after missing two races, John McClelland in fifth with 726 points, Kevin Vaclavicek in sixth with 693, Ryan Krachun seventh with 671, a trio of Modified rookies Davey Sammons eighth with 629 and JR Fulper ninth with 623 and Matt Stangle tenth with 616.
VanHorn also currently sits in the third place in the Short Track Super Series South Region behind Ryan Watt and Matt Sheppard.
New Egypt Speedway is located on Route 539 just minutes from Six Flags Great Adventure and the New Jersey Turnpike. A racy 7/16-mile D-shaped dirt oval, New Egypt Speedway serves Garden State race fans with some of the best competition in the country. New Egypt’s state-of-the-art facilities feature daylight-quality lighting and excellent sightlines from any seat in the house. The grandstands are fully wheelchair accessible with wide, clear, and well-groomed walkways. Concession facilities serve up everything from Jersey Burgers to ice cream treats at family-friendly prices.
-New Egypt Speedway Press Release
-Photo credit: Pete MacDonald