Myerstown, PA - The USAC All Pro SpeedSTR division, created by Speedway Entertainment's Rich Tobias, seem to attract champions and all star caliber drivers from other divisions of motorsports. Dirt Modified legends Billy Pauch Sr. and Kenny Brightbill are prime examples of this, as is Billy Pauch Jr., who has driven (successfully) just about every type of race car, both big and small, that compete at tracks all over the northeast. Pauch Jr. is now a two-time SpeedSTR point champion at the JeffreyHogueRealtor.com Action Track USA on the Kutztown Fairgrounds and Brightbill has etched his name on the Action Track's list of point champions, too. And Pauch Sr. has numerous SpeedSTR victories over the past few years, along with the 2014 National Tour Championship.
Two of the most recent champions to declare their intent to compete in SpeedSTR activity in 2016 are Steve Drevicki (the 2014 and 2015 ARDC Midget Champion) and Dylan Hoch (the 2014 All Star Slingshot National Tour Champion).
Drevicki, from Reading, will steer a SpeedSTR purchased by Jeff Stricker of Roadrunner Race Fuels, when the Action Track USA opens for business in May of '16. "I'm going to run my own 358 Sprint Car at Lincoln on Saturday nights because we just decided it was time to do something different," said Drevicki, who has an Engineering degree from Penn State. "I had a blast driving the Midget and I was fortunate enough to win a pair of point titles with ARDC, but we've always had an eye on driving big Sprint Cars. And then to have Jeff call and ask me to drive the SpeedSTR for him on Wednesday nights at Action Track USA, well, that was just to good to pass up."
"The (SpeedSTR) competition at Kutztown is awesome; the group of drivers in that class is excellent," continued Drevicki. "I am very anxious to race with those guys and try to put Jeff's car in victory lane. It's gonna be fun."
Drevicki and his dad, Dave, will maintain the SpeedSTR in the family's race shop.
While he will continue to pursue another National Slingshot title as well as a point crown in the Action Track USA All Star Slingshot division, Dylan Hoch is ready to branch out and do some SpeedSTR racing, too.
"It's funny, really, but the SpeedSTR is just one foot longer and one foot wider than a Slingshot," noted Lance Hoch, Dylan's dad and crew chief. "It's quite a bit taller and there's obviously a lot more horsepower than the Slinger, but we think Dylan is ready for this next step."
Hoch, who hails from Mertztown, PA, will buckle into his recently purchased SpeedSTR, a used machine from Canada that ended up belonging to Paul Lotier Jr., and make his debut at Linda's Speedway in the spring of 2016. "We want to start slowly and get comfortable in the car," explained Dylan, "so we'll run the SpeedSTR events at Linda's and probably enter one or two races at Kutztown before the end of their season."
Lotier is currently updating the car, going over the chassis and adding power steering, before sending it back to the Hochs. "The engine is pretty fresh and it's got a new rear," said Lance. "It's an older car but it's really in good shape."
Simple economics was given as the reason for Hoch's move to the SpeedSTR class. "We looked at several other divisions," said Dylan, "but in the end, it just made sense to make the gradual switch to these cars. We can run them close to home - Linda's is about an hour away and Kutztown is just minutes from our place - and the payout is pretty good compared to a lot of other classes."
Lance Hoch added, "the return on investment is quite a bit better with the SpeedSTRs than it is with other classes. If you can qualify through your heat or consi at Action Track, it's $200 to take the green in the feature. The outstanding field of drivers in that class will only help Dylan get better as he learns from them. And again, it just makes sense to run a SpeedSTR when you look at the purse versus the cost to run them."
The Hochs would like to visit the new Silo Speedway that is being built just south of Dover, DE, but admit it will be tough to get there on Friday nights. They did not rule out occasional appearances at the new quarter-mile facility, though, where SpeedSTRs and Slingshots will be featured on Fridays beginning in the spring of '16.
Steve Drevicki and Dylan Hoch...just two of a group of "Neby BARRY ANGSTADTw Young Guns" who will tackle the USAC All Pro SpeedSTR division in 2016.