</pre> Minersville, PA - (November 24) - Keith Hoffman of Whitehall, PA and the Bashore Trucking Racing, the 2000 Big Diamond Raceway NASCAR Weekly Racing Series Modified champions, led the list of drivers honored at the Big Diamond Awards Banquet on Friday night at St. Nicholas Hall in Primrose, PA. Other champions receiving accolades were from the track's NASCAR EXIDE Sportsman division, Gary Hager of Stewartsville, NJ, and NASCAR ACCEL Roadrunner class, Dean Ulsh of Auburn, PA, as well as the Motor Truck Equipment Co. Kenworth Cummins NASCAR PA Modified Series Champion, Jeff Strunk of Bethel, PA. Hoffman, who collected his championship payout at the NASCAR WRS Banquet in Orlando, Florida last week, received the bulk of the hardware at the Big Diamond banquet. The truck was loaded for the return trip to Whitehall with the track's traditional championship statue, a beautiful champion's ring from NASR JEWELERS of Pottsville's Fairlane Village Mall, champion's jackets from both Weikel Racewear and American Racer Tires, an equipment bag from Simpson Racing Products, and a special champion's plaque from NASCAR representative, Bob Duvall. Keith's wife, Tiffany, shared in the championship receiving a champion's Longaberger basket, a bottle of Big Diamond Champion's wine, chocolates and candles for her efforts in supporting Keith's championship run. A significant woman in the racing careers of the top three in each class, be they a wife, a girl friend or their mother) received similar awards from the track. Likewise Jason Bashore, the modified championship crew chief, received a glass champion's Borg Warner Crew Chief trophy from NASCAR and a plaque from True Value Hardware as the track's Modified Mechanic of the Year. Jason had his hands full as he also collected the championship statue and hardware for his father and car owner, Barry Bashore.
<pre> Final 2000 Big Diamond Raceway NASCAR Weekly Racing Series Top 20 1 5 KEITH HOFFMAN WHITEHALL PA 2421 (2 Feature Wins) (Car Owner, Barry Bashore) 2 85A DUANE HOWARD OLEY PA 2412 (3 Feature Wins) (Owner, Cary Duncan) 3 W9 JEFF STRUNK BETHEL PA 2141 (1 Feature Win) (Owner, Harring Motorsports) 4 14B TERRY MEITZLER KUTZTOWN PA 2106 (Owner, Dick Biever) 5 88T MEME DESANTIS BLANDON PA 2084 (2 Feature Wins) (Owner, Dennis Eisenhard, Jr.) 6 33 RAY SWINEHART BECHTELSVILLE PA 2041 (2 Feature Wins) 7 357 GLENN STRUNK BECHTELSVILLE PA 2002 8 9 JIM HAUER LEBANON PA 1958 (1 Feature Win) 9 21K KYLE WEISS HAMBURG PA 1925 10 87 KERRY KRATZ BECHTELSVILLE PA 1851 11 Y2Z DOUG MANMILLER WYOMISSING PA 1766 12 58S SHAWN REIMERT OLEY PA 1761 13 386 BARRY READINGER FLEETWOOD PA 1754 14 55 DENNIS BAILEY KUTZTOWN PA 1712 15 101 KEVIN GRAVER JR LEHIGHTON PA 1682 16 100 TOM POMPEI QUAKERTOWN PA 1587 (1 Feature Win) 17 19 TOM UMBENHAUER RICHLAND PA 1584 (2 Feature Wins) 18 102 TIM FITZPATRICK MINERSVILLE PA 1529 19 18C CRAIG WHITMOYER HAMBURG PA 1501 20 4 TODD BASHORE BETHEL PA 1493 (Other Feature Winners - Craig Von Dohren - 1, Billy Pauch - 1)
</pre> Jeff Strunk captured the rich Motor Truck Equipment Co. Kenworth Cummins NASCAR PA Modified Series title for the second straight year in a close, down-to-the-wire battle with Terry Meitzler. While the top 15 in the series received their hardware last week at the Grandview Speedway Awards Banquet, the $40,000 point fund was paid out at the Big Diamond affair with Jeff Strunk and Harring Motorsports receiving the $15,000 title check.
<pre> FINAL MOTOR TRUCK EQUIPMENT COMPANY KENWORTH CUMMINS NASCAR PA MODIFIED SERIES POINT STANDINGS
1. W9 JEFF STRUNK, BECHTELSVILLE, PA 8585 2. 14B/21A TERRY MEITZLER, KUTZTOWN, PA 8480 3. 88T MEME DESANTIS, TEMPLE, PA 7855 4. 87 KERRY KRATZ, BECHTELSVILLE, PA 7805 357 GLENN STRUNK, BECHTELSVILLE, PA 7805 6. 33 RAY SWINEHART, BECHTELSVILLE, PA 7780 7. 2Z/Y2Z DOUG MANMILLER, WYOMISSING, PA 7590 8. 55/81 DENNIS BAILEY, KUTZTOWN, PA 7225 9. 58S SHAWN REIMERT, OLEY, PA 7190 10. 54/99X SMOKEY WARREN, JONESTOWN, PA 6765 11. 70D/386 BARRY READINGER, FLEETWOOD, PA 6580 12. 1T JOHN WILLMAN, ZIONSVILLE, PA 6365 13. 19/78 TOM UMBENHAUER, RICHLAND, PA 5760 14. 42J JEFF SECHRIST, WOMELSDORF, PA 5755 15. 69T BOB TRAPPER, SCRANTON, PA 5095 16. 2T TRACY READINGER, LAURELDALE, PA 5080 17. 11X BRIAN ENGLE, LEESPORT, PA 4880
</pre> In addition to the point fund check mailed out from Daytona Beach by NASCAR, Big Diamond's 2000 EXIDE Sportsman king, Gary Hager, also received champion's jackets from Weikel and American Racer, driver's and owner's champion's plaques from Big Diamond, a champions plaque from NASCAR, a plaque for finishing runner-up in the Northeast Region NASCAR EXIDE Short Track standings and his Simpson equipment bag.
Final Big Diamond Raceway NASCAR ShorTrack Sportsman by EXIDE Top 15 1 44 GARY HAGER STEWARTSVILLE NJ 2794 (7 Feature Wins) (Car Owner, Gary Hager) 2 57 DONN EDGAR LEHIGHTON PA 2497 (1 Feature Win) (Car Owner, Donn Edgar) 3 3X JOHN PATCHOWSKI SCRANTON PA 2419 (Owner, John Patchoski) 4 26 TOM BRENNAN POTTSVILLE PA 2368 (Owner, Tom Brennan) 5 17 BILLY MOYER JR PINE GROVE PA 2269 (Owner, Billy Moyer, Jr.) 6 102 SHAWN FITZPATRICK POTTSVILLE PA 2259 (1 Feature Win) 7 B1 JOE BIASI NEW RINGGOLD PA 2205 (2 Feature Wins) 8 1L RYAN BAUER BETHLEHEM PA 2139 (1 Feature Win) 9 002 ED SCOTT NEW TRIPOLI PA 2133 10 35 LANCE HOCH TOPTON PA 2096 11 19 BRENT BOYER BLOOMSBURG PA 2009 12 13 LENNY LEIBOLD JR JONESTOWN PA 1988 13 57X RICKY RUTT PHILLIPSBURG NJ 1866 (1 Feature Win) 14 25 JOHN DEATRICH JR POTTSVILLE PA 1865 15 3 LUKE WAGNER GRANTVILLE PA 1853 (Other Feature Winners - 1 Each - Dave Dissinger, Kyle Strickler, Jeff Graby, John Heckler, and Kirby Sites)
</pre> The track's ACCEL Roadrunner champion for the second straight year, Dean Ulsh, also received a pair of champion's jackets, equipment bag, a clock plaque from the speedway and a champion's plaque from ACCEL and NASCAR. <pre> Final Big Diamond Raceway NASCAR ACCEL Roadrunner Top 10 1 3 DEAN ULSH AUBURN PA 2685 (4 Feature Wins) 2 25M MARK BERZOWSKI MINERSVILLE PA 2439 (1 Feature Win) 3 7 STEVE FESSLER SCHUYLKILL HAVEN PA 2403 (2 Feature Wins) 4 24 CHRIS EVITTS ORWIGSBURG PA 2260 (2 Feature Wins) 5 5 JOHN ULSH SUMMIT STATION PA 2240 (1 Feature Win) 6 77X KIRBY SCHLAPPICH TEMPLE PA 2107 7 15 DALE HARTZ HAMBURG PA 2067 (1 Feature Win) 8 8M KEN ECKERT JR MINERSVILLE PA 2048 9 18 JASON OSWALD NEW RINGGOLD PA 2020 (1 Feature Win) 10 00 GLENN ROWAN POTTSVILLE PA 1767 (2 Feature Wins) (Other Feature Winners - 1 Each - Willie Metz and Marty Shappell) </pre> The top 20 drivers and top five owners in the NASCAR Weekly Racing Series Modifieds, the top 15 drivers and top five owners in the NASCAR EXIDE ShorTrack Series and the top ten drivers in the ACCEL Roadrunners received plaques for the 2000 accomplishments from the speedway. The top three drivers in each division received plaques from NASCAR, EXIDE, and ACCEL. Rookie of the Year and Most Improved Driver Awards were handed out in each class with the top rookie's receiving custom designed jackets from Weikel Racewear and the most improved pilots receiving plaques. In the Modifieds, Tom Umbenhauer (Richland) was named Rookie of the Year and Jim Hauer (Lebanon) was the Most Improved. Lenny Leibold, Jr. (Jonestown) was the top rookie while Ryan Bauer (Bethlehem) and Billy Moyer, Jr. (Pine Grove) shared in Most Improved honors in the EXIDE Sportsman. There were ties for both awards in the ACCEL Roadrunners with Kirby Schlappich (Temple) and John Ulsh (Summit Station) getting R-O-Y recognition and Steve Fessler (Schuylkill Haven) and Dale Hartz (Hamburg) deemed most improved. Awards for sponsors in attendance were presented to Craig and Jillian Post of Rieck's Printing and Post Digital Graphics, Joe Gavialis of J. R. Trucking, the Harring's of Motor Truck Equipment Company and Tom Viadek and Francis McDonald of Kenworth and Cummins respectively. Art Bair of Bair Wheel Repair presented awards for the 2000 Bair Wheel Repair Heat Win Challenge in the Modifieds and the Sportsman classes. The leading Modified heat winner, Keith Hoffman received $250 and a trophy for his 9 wins while Joe Biasi, Jr. tallied 10 Sportsman heat wins to earn a bead-lock wheel. These awards are in addition to the wheels Art hands out each year to the sportsman winner at the Georgie Stevenson Memorial and the Coal Cracker Modified 100 winner. Art also announced that this Bair Wheel Repair Heat Win Challenge will continue in 2001 as well as the Bair Wheel Repair Tire Changing Competition at the annual Big Diamond Car Show at the Fairlane Village Mall in March and the contingency awards at the Stevenson Memorial and Coal Cracker 100. Mechanics were also among the award winners this year. As mentioned earlier Jason Bashore received a championship crew chief's award from Borg Warner and the mechanic's award from True Value. Ralph Werley, a mechanic on the Kyle Weiss #21K Modified won the Northeast Region's NASCAR Weekly Racing Series True Value Mechanic of the Year Award. James Kost and Kerry Seigfried won True Value mechanic's awards in the Sportsman and Bryan Shappell won in the roadrunner division. Tentative plans currently call for Big Diamond Raceway to open the 2001 season on Sunday afternoon, April 1, at 2pm featuring the Modifieds, Sportsman and Roadrunners. Details on Big Diamond's 30th year of racing will be released in the coming weeks. Additional details are now being worked out and discussed for the 2001 season including possible special events and special divisions, holiday race dates, sponsor dates, payoff increases, car show dates and practice sessions.
www.bigdiamondraceway.com. The track's mailing address is PO Box 298, Minersville, Pa 17954. Rule books have been printed for the 2001 through 2003 seasons at Big Diamond Raceway and Grandview Speedway. You can contact either speedway to obtain your rule book.