First State Frontrunner: Jordan Watson Tops Georgetown Speedway Deron Rust Memorial
Written by Chris Moore
GEORGETOWN, DE – Jordan Watson topped the Millman’s NAPA Auto Parts Modified 33-lap feature on Deron Rust Memorial Night at Georgetown Speedway for his first win of the 2023 season.
The Milford, Del., native took home a $3,960 paycheck – in honor of Deron’s No. 396 as a driver – and his first NASCAR Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series triumph.
Auto Gallery of DE presented the evening’s events, run before a large crowd at the Sussex County venue.
Watson staved off several different challengers, some of whom took the lead away at points of the race, to pick up the victory.
“They were all pretty good guys too,” proclaimed Watson of his contenders. “I was so unsure of what to do in one and two, there were spots of bite, and it was clean on the top early.
“(Ryan) Krachun got by me early and then Billy (Pauch Jr.) got me a little later, but he showed me a line and I had to try to make my car work through it.”
Krachun, of Neshanic, N.J., and Watson occupied the front row at the drop of Tanner Hollins’ green flags.
Krachun raced to the early lead while Pipersville, Pa.’s Danny Bouc quickly moved up from his seventh starting position into fourth.
Watson would race around Krachun at the completion of lap two on the outside groove and began to set the pace.
Yellow flags plagued the early portion of the race. A lap-five restart saw Krachun begin to fade, allowing Frenchtown, N.J.’s Billy Pauch Jr. slide underneath him for the runner-up spot with Watson back out front.
Milford, Del.’s H.J. Bunting began to make his march known from the 10th starting spot. Bunting used the outside groove to get to the fourth spot by the completion of lap seven.
Another restart one lap later moved Pauch Jr. up alongside Watson and pulled the hard charging Bunting up to the back bumper of the leaders.
Watson and Pauch Jr. waged a side-by-side battle for the top spot while Bunting moved into a podium spot on the restart.
Pauch Jr. wrestled the lead away on the next restart and began to pull away while Bouc was climbing back forward, getting by Bunting and into the top three.
The field would again restack on lap 18 for another restart, one that provided a shakeup at the front of the field.
Watson first cleared Pauch Jr. on the bottom groove to take the lead away. Pauch Jr. slid high into turn one the next go-around, allowing Bouc to take the runner-up spot.
Pauch Jr. settled into a rhythm, getting back by Bouc for second and then closing in on Watson for the lead before another yellow flew on lap 24. The yellow ended Pauch Jr.’s race, as he went to the pit area with suspension issues after running over debris and retired for the evening.
Bouc, like Pauch Jr., had issues curtail his top-three performance, when right-rear issues sent the No. 6 to the pits.
Watson raced away with the win, his first of 2023 on Deron Rust Memorial Night.
“The Rusts are great people and I appreciate everything they did to keep Georgetown open and it’s great seeing them here every race,” recalled Watson of his fond memories of Deron Rust and his family, still integral employees of the speedway.
Ringoes, N.J.’s Ryan Godown used a late-race charge to grab the runner-up spot and Neshanic Station, N.J.’s Matt Stangle came from the 14th starting position to round out the podium.
Montgomery, N.J.’s Brandon Grosso and Milford, Del.’s Joseph Watson rounded out the top five.
Finishing sixth through 10th, respectively, were Langhorne, Pa.’s Danny Hieber; Georgetown, Del.’s Carson Wright, who rebounded after bringing out an early race yellow; Georgetown, Del.’s Sean Metz, who claimed the Ad-Art Sign Company Spec Small-Block $250 Bonus; Georgetown, Del.’s Norman Short Jr.; and Gilbertsville, Pa.’s Sean Weiss.
Upper Makefield, Pa.’s Joe Toth claimed his first Blue Hen Dispose-All Crate 602 Sportsman win of the season at Georgetown Speedway.
Toth started on the pole and led all 20-laps for the $1,396 victory over Scott Hitchens, Ryan Simmons, Jordn Justice, and Tom Moore Jr.
Georgetown, Del.’s Matt Hill was triumphant in the First State Chevrolet RUSH Late Model feature for the $1,000 win.
After exchanging the lead in the final laps with Trevor Collins, Hill completed a bold, last-turn inside maneuver to beat Collins to the line. Derek Magee placed third.
Jamie Eichholz used the outside lane to win an exciting Southern Delaware Vintage Stock Car Club feature. Nathan Austin finished second overall and was the Sportsman winner of the 12-lap event.
Melvin Joseph Jr. was victorious again in the 12-lap Little Lincoln feature, racing from the 10th starting spot for the win.
Jerry Hill continued his hot start to 2023 with another Delaware Super Trucks triumph over Dale Elliott and Steve Portillo.
Ashley Merritt rounded out the evening with her first win of the season at Georgetown Speedway with the Delmarva Chargers in the 12-lap main. Merritt topped Tyler Hottle and Ron Falkner for the win.
Georgetown Speedway fires back to life in less than three weeks on Thursday, June 22 for the ‘Summer Thunder’ event. The Millman’s NAPA Auto Parts Modifieds headline the event with a $4,000-to-win main event. The Blue-Hen Dispose-All Crate 602 Sportsman ($1,000-to-win), Little Lincolns, Delaware Super Trucks, and Delmarva Chargers round out the Thursday night program.
Pit gates open at 4 p.m., with grandstand gates unlocked at 5 p.m. Hot laps get underway at 6:30 p.m., with racing at 7:30 p.m.
Grandstand admission is $22. Seniors (ages 65-plus) and Students (ages 13-17) pay $18. Kids (ages 9-12) pay $10. Children 8 and under are FREE.
Pit admission is $40 (ages 13 and up), $35 (NASCAR Members), $10 for Kids (ages 6-12) and $2 for Children ages 5 and under.
All Georgetown Speedway events will again be streamed live on FloRacing (www.floracing.tv) produced by the Dirt Track Digest TV production team.
Georgetown Speedway, originally constructed by Melvin L. Joseph in 1949, is located at the intersection of Route 113 and Speedway Road in Georgetown, Del., just miles from the Delaware beaches and less than a 40-minute drive from Ocean City, Md.
A website is live for the speedway at www.thegeorgetownspeedway.com. Like Georgetown Speedway on Facebook, follow @thegtownspdwy on Twitter, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or contact the speedway hotline at 302.563.GTWN (4896).
‘DERON RUST MEMORIAL’ RESULTS SUMMARY – GEORGETOWN SPEEDWAY FRIDAY, JUNE 2, 2023
‘Deron Rust Memorial’ Millman’s NAPA Auto Parts Modified Feature Finish (33 laps): JORDAN WATSON, Ryan Godown, Matt Stangle, Brandon Grosso, Joseph Watson, Danny Hieber, Carson Wright, Sean Metz, Norman Short Jr., Sean Weiss, Danny Bouc, Tim Millman, H.J. Bunting, Billy Pauch Jr., Ryan Riddle, Ryan Krachun, Tom Solderich, John Willman, Tracy Gauger, James Hill, Tommy Wilkins.
Ad-Art Sign Company Top Spec Small-Block Bonus ($250): Sean Metz (8th)
‘Deron Rust Memorial’ Blue Hen Dispose-All Crate 602 Sportsman Feature Finish (20 laps): JOE TOTH, Scott Hitchens, Ryan Simmons, Jordn Justice, Tom Moore Jr., Greg Humlhanz, Michael White, Zac Weller, Ryan McKinney, Brandon Watkins, Adam White, Bobby Watkins, Greg Reed, Jason Musser, Matt Smith, Eric Kormann, T.J. Williams, Thomas Sherby, Trent Van Vorst, Jacob King, Robert Dutton, Brayden Benson, Ashley Metz, Jeff Marker, Luke Bunting.
Did Not Start: Jim Dallett, Jarod Millman
Did Not Qualify: Aaron Headley, Justin Zook, Freddy Massey, William Adams, John Stevenson, Rodney Cordrey, Brandon Reed, Wayne Weaver
First State Chevrolet RUSH Late Model Feature Finish (20 laps): MATT HILL, Trevor Collins, Derek Magee, Jerry Barker, David Smith, Joe Warren, Nick Davis, David Dill Jr., Ben Scott, David Parsons.
Southern Delaware Vintage Stock Car Feature Finish (12 laps): JAMIE EICHOLZ (Modified), Nathan Austin (Sportsman), Garrit Reagan, Jason Cahall, Terry Chaney, Roscoe Clough, Jason Dean, John Gladman, Maddy Jefferson, Luke Dill, Cale Pettyjohn, Mike Harman Jr., Glenn Lyon, Michael Patchett, Allan Austin, D.J. Cameron, Hunter Bensel, Donald Porter, Emily Farrell.
Little Lincoln Feature Finish (12 laps): MELVIN JOSEPH JR., Dylan Betts, Jordan Herbert, Tyler White, Bunky White, Eric Reed, Eric Bodenweiser, Bryan Piercy, James Harmon, Andrew Hopkins, Nathan Austin, Kirk Lawson, John Wothers, Hiram Lasher.
Delaware Super Truck Feature Finish (12 laps): JERRY HILL, Dale Elliott, Steve Portillo, Zack Phillips, Scott Trice, Troy Hopkins, Dan Streebig, L.J. Walbert, Michelle Jackson, Cameron Benson, Thomas Jackson.
Delmarva Charger Feature Finish (12 laps): ASHLEY MERRITT, Tyler Hottle, Ron Falkner, Robbie Strain, Wyatt Cummings, Billy Cummings, Randy Merritt, Craig Kelly, Jay Lowman, Randy Gallaway, Josh Dahling.