NST: Susquehanna preview

Paulus looking forward to racing at home again Last month, Brian Paulus finally got reacquainted with the track that started it all for him. On Aug. 3, the native of Mechanicsburg, Pa. hopes for better luck at Susquehanna Speedway Park in...

Paulus looking forward to racing at home again

Last month, Brian Paulus finally got reacquainted with the track that started it all for him.

On Aug. 3, the native of Mechanicsburg, Pa. hopes for better luck at Susquehanna Speedway Park in Newberrytown, Pa.

Paulus and his fellow National Sprint Tour competitors will take on the famed PA Posse at Susquehanna before racing Aug. 5 at Selinsgrove Speedway in Selinsgrove and then Aug. 6 at Hagerstown Speedway in Hagerstown, Md.

Racers will have a 25-lap main event at Susquehanna, followed later by a 15-lap main.

"It's always a good deal to have a week to be at home with family and friends," Paulus said. "You get to have a home cooked meal and that sort of thing."

Once away from the dinner table, the three races present Paulus with a chance to roll down memory lane.

"They are tracks I went to as a kid," Paulus said. "The first day I ever raced was at Susquehanna. I idled it around the inside guardrail. Selinsgrove was my third or fourth track I raced at. They're tracks I've been going to since I was a little kid. I always enjoyed racing at them. It's nice to race at them."

Before the NST raced at Susquehanna in early June -- which was converted from a two-day show to a one-day show due to rain -- Paulus said he hadn't raced there since 1998.

"It was great," Paulus said of returning to Susquehanna. "It was one of those situations where the weather threatened us all weekend. The track conditions were actually pretty decent considering that. From what I saw, the show was pretty decent. The local favorites all ran pretty strong. Luckily for us, one of our guys (Danny Lasoski) won the show."

Paulus was able to watch the race due to continued bad luck. An engine fire ended his night early. That was followed by a 13th place run at Hagerstown and a 21st at Selinsgrove.

"There were definitely struggles that weekend," Paulus said. "We had the engine fire, then at Hagerstown we were pretty decent until the feature. At Selinsgrove we broke the motor. We were running well at those races, but had bad results. We just brush it off and go to the next race."

The weekend was yet another example of a frustrating season.

"We've had a lot of top-10s, but not a top-five yet," said Paulus, currently 9th in NST points with 12 top-10 finishes. "We can't seem to get the car to go. My confidence is down. We hope to have a night where everything goes perfect. We know we're a 7th place or 8th place car, but we want to get into the top-five. We know we're fast enough to be up there, we just need to get up there.

"I think it's mental as much as anything else," Paulus added as to what's been holding himself and the team back. "We struggled so much early in the year, and couldn't get things figured out. We went through some employees. We were 15th, then we got into the top-10."

Paulus is hopeful a trip home is exactly what's needed to get some top-five runs and a confident boost heading into the Knoxville Nationals the following week.

"It would be a good deal to start building the momentum," he said.

Paulus knows getting a top-five is no easy task when racing members of the PA Posse on their home turf.

"The only difference between the PA Posse and the National Sprint Tour drivers is that the top drivers in Central PA have put together businesses, families of something that has tied them into staying at home," Paulus said. "You have guys like Fred Rahmer, Lance Dewease, Greg Hodnett and Mike Erdley. "There's something that got them tied into being a Central PA racer rather than a touring racer."

Lasoski looks to make it a season sweep at Susquehanna on Thursday. Lasoski has six wins on the season so far and heads into the weekend 51 points ahead of Tim Kaeding and 58 ahead of Steve Kinser. Rounding out the top-10 are Jason Meyers, Jason Solwold, Jason Sides, Paul McMahan, Shane Stewart, Paulus and inured Pennsylvania native Tim Shaffer.

General admission ticket prices for the Susquehanna NST race have been lowered to only $20. There will be a limited number of tickets available for advance purchase for the main grandstand area only.There will also be a limit of 400 children tickets (ages 6-12) available, while children ages 5 and under will be admitted free.

All seating will be on a first-come, first-serve basis with the exception of the annual reserved seats. All advance ticket purchasers will be permitted to enter the grandstands one hour prior to the sale of grandstand tickets on raceway in order to pick their seats.Cooler size limits will be strictly enforced.

For more information on the track, visit www.sspracing.net or call (717) 292-1696. For more information on the series, visit www.nationalsprinttour.com.

-nst

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Series Sprint
Drivers Tim Shaffer , Danny Lasoski , Steve Kinser , Brian Paulus , Jason Meyers , Jason Sides , Paul McMahan , Shane Stewart , Tim Kaeding