By Shawn Wood
For The Daily Item
SELINSGROVE -- Billy Pauch Sr. added another first in his long and storied career in winning last year's Race of Champions Icebreaker 40-lap big block modified feature at Selinsgrove Speedway.
It was the first time he had won a modified feature at the track where he's scored seven 410 sprint car wins.
He's the only driver in the history of the RoC to win a race on both dirt and asphalt.
"Last year, winning with the modified race at Selinsgrove with all of the good guys there was pretty neat," he said. "I'm looking forward to racing there this weekend. It's one of the highlights of the year going there."
The ground-pounding big block modifieds return Saturday for the Icebreaker VI. The 40-lap feature pays $5,000 to win. The pro stocks are Saturday's support division.
The race serves as the Northeast opener for the big blocks and the first for a 12-race season for the Race of Champions.
The two-day weekend begins tonight with a 25-lap, $2,500-to-win 358 modified feature. The roadrunners will round out the two-division show. The race is the Northeast opener for the 358s. The big blocks will have several hot-lap sessions during the evening.
Saturday's program has a rain date of Sunday with it being a modified-only show.
Other past winners of the Icebreaker were Rick Laubach, 2008; Danny Johnson, 2009; Matt Sheppard, 2010; and Johnson, 2011.
Johnson won last year's RoC title by 18 points over Jimmy Phelps.
Duane Howard won last year's 358 modified feature. Pat Ward won the first two small block features in 2009 and 2010, while Jeff Strunk won the race in 2011.
Last year's modified win at Selinsgrove for Pauch was one of eight during 2012. He enters this season needing seven wins to reach 700 for his career.