Big Diamond race notes 2001-09-07

Minersville, PA - Sept. 7. 2001 - Still bitter over his last lap loss of the Coal Cracker 100 one week earlier, Craig Von Dohren of Barto, Pa let his driving send his message as he captured the season-ending 25-lap NASCAR Weekly Racing Series ...

Minersville, PA - Sept. 7. 2001 - Still bitter over his last lap loss of the Coal Cracker 100 one week earlier, Craig Von Dohren of Barto, Pa let his driving send his message as he captured the season-ending 25-lap NASCAR Weekly Racing Series Modified feature at Big Diamond Raceway on Friday night on West Side Wood Products/Dark 'n Go Tanning Salon Night. Following the win Von Dohren refused to discuss his win or his sponsors with track announcer, Bob Stull.

Keith Prutzman of Hamburg, PA did his sponsors proud on their race night as he captured his second Super Sportsman Tour 20-lap feature of the year while Dave Miller of Pine Grove, PA closed out the season with his seventh Roadrunner win of the year.

The season-ending action also saw Keith Hoffman of Whitehall, PA secure his second straight track championship in the modifieds with his second place finish. Likewise John Ulsh of Summit Station, PA took his first roadrunner championship with his fifth place finish. Last week Dave Dissinger of Mohrsville, PA was crowned the 2001 Big Diamond NASCAR ShorTrack Sportsman champion.

Steve Bottcher of Lehighton, PA charged from third starting spot with his TeoPro 77H to take the early lead in the 25-lap NASCAR WRS Modified feature over Johnny Ray (Reading, PA) and Tom Umbenhauer (Richland, PA). Umbenhauer grabbed second on lap two but Craig Von Dohren was flying in the BRB 114 and took third on the same lap after starting thirteenth. Two laps later and Von Dohren was second. Craig pressured Bottcher and on lap 10 in turn three, Bottcher ventured a bit too high overtaking a back marked and Von Dohren went through the middle to take the lead.

Point leader Keith Hoffman started fourteenth but was a bit more conservative in his run to the front with title contender Duane Howard (Oley, PA) starting right behind him. Hoffman took fourth on lap 5 and move up to second on lap 13 but that is as far as he was to progress. Howard got hung up in traffic and was not able to crack the top five until lap 13 when he moved by both Todd Bashore (Bethel, PA) and Kyle Weiss (Hamburg, PA) for fourth, his final pass of the night.

Craig Von Dohren captured his third win of the year followed by Keith Hoffman, Steve Bottcher, Duane Howard, Kyle Weiss, Todd Bashore (in his strongest run of the year as Hoffman's teammate), Tim Fitzpatrick (Branchdale, PA), Tom Umbenhauer, Terry Meitzler (Kutztown, PA) and Larry Kelleher (Scranton, PA). Heat winners in the 34-car field, which was held down due to Grandview Speedway's Freedom 76 scheduled the next night, were Meitzler, Bottcher and Fitzpatrick while Ray Swinehart (Bechtelsville, PA) took the consolation event.

Keith Prutzman had nothing but bad luck at the super sportsman cars' home base, Silver Spring Speedway in Mechanicsburg, PA this season but did capture a win at Lincoln Speedway in Abbottstown, PA this summer. Well apparently the past Big Diamond limited late model champion really likes the 3/8th-mile banked ovals as he went wire-to-wire to win at Big Diamond Friday, a track similar to Lincoln in configuration.

Prutzman started third in his West Side Wood Products/Westy Bar and Grill/Haus Automotive 28 but dove under pole sitter Bill Brown and Kirby Sites on lap one entering turn one to take the lead. The race went non-stop and Prutzman took the win in a 20-lap track record time of 6 minutes, 8.10 seconds. Past Big Diamond VW Sprint champion, Leroy Martin of Denver, Pa started fourth and took second from Sites on lap two but could not mount a challenge to the leader. The driver who was really making progress was Frankie Herr in the Highland's 3 as he started thirteenth and got up to fourth as the finish without the benefit of a caution after the initial start mix-up.

Keith Prutzman took the victory over Leroy Martin, Steve Cannon (who started fifth), Frankie Herr, Kirby Sites, Bill Schoffstall, Ken Carberry, Steve Wilbur, J. R. Fry and Howie Locke. Heat winners were Bill Brown, Herr and Schoffstall with Russ Mitten capturing the consolation. 33 sportsman were on hand. Page 2 - VON DOHREN WIN, HOFFMAN TITLE, PRUTZMAN CRUISES

Sportsman Tour title contender Carmen Perigo, Jr. flipped his 2A in turn one on the opening laps of the third heat and was uninjured but sidelined for the night. Craig Morrow also rolled his 6M over in the same turn in his heat and was shaken up complaining of some neck pain.

Dave Miller may look back to three weeks ago when he appeared to be taken out of the feature race in a front stretch crash by another competitor as the only thing that stood between him and the roadrunner championship. The dominant one was on his game again Friday as he charged from 12 starting spot in the roadrunner 15-lap feature to the lead by lap 10 for his seventh win of the year. Kirby Schlappich of Temple, Pa held the lead in his 77X from the drop of the green until lap 5 when Corey Renninger (Llewellyn, PA) took the lead. Renninger retired one lap later due to driving deem to be too aggressive by the flagman and Dave Winslow (Fleetwood, PA) took the lead. Winslow proved to be tough for Miller, who moved to second on lap six but Miller made his move on lap 10 for the win.

Dave Miller took the win over Dave Winslow, Jason Oswald (New Ringgold), Marc Berzowski (Llewellyn, PA) and John Ulsh (Summit Station, PA).

Based on the Friday results, Keith Hoffman ended the season with 2921 points in the Modified standings followed by Duane Howard with 2862, Craig Von Dohren with 2838, Kyle Weiss with 2421 and Jeff Strunk with 2393. Jeff Strunk's frustrating season ended on the same not as he apparently developed a flat tire on his w9 on the white flag lap while running sixth, dropping to fourteenth at the finish opening the door for Kyle Weiss to take fourth in the point standings.

-BDR

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Series NASCAR , Stock car
Drivers Bill Brown , Johnny R