Big Diamond race report 2002-06-28

Meme Desantis tops stars in Big Diamond NASCAR Modifieds; Scott takes Sportsman win, Roadrunner honors to Miller. Minersville, PA - June 28, 2002 - Meme DeSantis of Temple, PA captured his second NASCAR Weekly Racing Modified feature win of the...

Meme Desantis tops stars in Big Diamond NASCAR Modifieds; Scott takes Sportsman win, Roadrunner honors to Miller.

Minersville, PA - June 28, 2002 - Meme DeSantis of Temple, PA captured his second NASCAR Weekly Racing Modified feature win of the season at Big Diamond Raceway on Friday night. Ed Scott of New Tripoli, PA took his second Sportsman feature win of the year as did Dave Miller of Pine Grove, PA in the roadrunners.

The modified top five looked like a "Who's Who of Modified Racing" as DeSantis held off Keith Hoffman (Whitehall, PA), Duane Howard (Oley, PA), Craig Von Dohren (Barto, PA) and Kyle Weiss (Hamburg, PA) for the win the Norm's Save Station/ASKO Roofing 357. Completing the second five were Steve Bottcher (Lehighton, PA), Tom Pompei (Sellersville, PA), Brian Johnson (Quakertown, PA), Dave Dissinger (Mohrsville, PA) and Kevin Hartnett (Perkasie, PA).

"We struggled the last two of three times out but tonight we had a strong motor and ran well," commented DeSantis following his $2000 victory. "The team is just great and Norm (Hansell, car owner) gives us all we need."

When asked about the competition level at Big Diamond with the shorter field in recent weeks DeSantis replied, "The good cars aren't leaving. They are still here. He (Fritz) didn't regrade the track tonight and it was a real, two-groove racetrack. This is what racing is all about."

Tom Pompei got away on top in the Pompei Masonry 100 ahead of fellow front row starter, Barry Readinger (Fleetwood, PA) in the Devine Transport 70D, in the Modified 25-lap main event. Kyle Weiss started eighth in the Brickel's Collectibles 21K and shot to third by the close of lap two in search of his third win of the year. Weiss took second on lap three and was in front of the pack on lap 4 with an outside pass on the backstretch. But right behind Weiss came a strong pack of cars including Steve Bottcher, Meme DeSantis, Keith Hoffman and Duane Howard, who filled the third through sixth spots by lap 4 as well.

As DeSantis moved by Bottcher, in the Kerry Hertzog Auto 77 of Klinger Motorsports/ Eisenhard Racing, and Pompei by lap eight, Craig Von Dohren, who started 22nd in the Mrs. T's Pierogies 114 after winning the consolation, joined the fast pack, battling for sixth with Howard and the Big Spring Car Wash 126. DeSantis, who started eleventh in the event, was all over the leader and on a lap 13 restart he caught the outside cushion in turn one and rocketed around Weiss for the lead. The race was far from over as Weiss refused to yield and actually powered back under DeSantis to lead down the backstretch on lap 18 only to see Meme regain the lead coming off turn four. On lap 19 Weiss tried the outside of DeSantis and found the door closed but now Keith Hoffman in the Abbi Electric #1 surged under him for second. Hoffman made a run at the lead to no avail.

Modified heat winners were Tom Pompei, Shawn Reimert (Oley, PA), and Kyle Weiss. Craig Von Dohren captured the consolation win after a flat tire knocked him out of his heat.

In the 20-lap Sportsman feature Ed Scott was the winner over point leader Craig Whitmoyer (Hamburg, PA), Darren Dreher (Schuylkill Haven, PA), Brent Boyer (Bloomsburg, PA) and Billy Moyer, Jr. (Pine Grove, PA).

Gary Wagner, Jr. of Womelsdorf, PA put his 47 out in front in the early going. In his first full year at Big Diamond after a shortened rookie year, Wagner looked very smooth in the Reading Humane Society 47 and paced Lance Hoch and Stan Struble through the early laps. Veteran Ed Scott, who started eleventh in his Devine Transport 002, worked his way through the field to second on lap four. He pursued Wagner until he moved around the leader in turn two on lap 9 to take the lead. Wagner's strong run ended when he and Andy Fayash got crossed up one lap later moving Darren Dreher to second. Dreher held second until lap 15 when Brent Boyer in the Stola Fab 19 took the spot but before Boyer could threaten Scott, Craig Whitmoyer overtook Boyer. By then it was too later as Scott was too strong for Whitmoyer and his ELCO Machine and Tool 99 to offer him any real threat to the checkered flag.

Sportsman heat winners were Dale Hartz (Hamburg, PA) and Ed Winters (Reading, PA).

Dave Miller in the Detweiler Towing #1 was followed across the finish line in the Roadrunner main by Rodney Ulsh (Summit Station, PA), Kevin Holland (Pine Grove, PA), Dave Winslow (Fleetwood, PA) and Steve Fessler (Schuylkill Haven, PA).

Derek Bender (Tremont) led the first lap of the roadrunner 15-lapper. Steve Fessler, Sr. (Schuylkill Haven, PA) led the second and Marty Shappell (Pottsvile), the third. But that was all she wrote as Dave Miller powered his red, white and blue #1 to the front on lap four and never looked back. Meanwhile Miller's chief rival, Doug Hendricks (Auburn, PA) had nothing but trouble and dropped out by lap four with a flat tire.

Marty Shappell ran a strong second right to the finish but was disqualified in a post race inspection moving Rodney Ulsh to second in the official finish.

Roadrunner heat winners were Derek Bender and Kevin Holland.

Racing returns to Big Diamond on Tuesday night, July 2, at 7:30 PA with the 410 Sprints participating in Pennsylvania Sprint Speedweek. The NASCAR Sportsman will also be on the card.

Then on Friday, July 5, it is the annual Georgie Stevenson Memorial at Big Diamond. The Modifieds will go in a program culminating with two, 20-lap features paying $1700 to win each. The Sportsman and Roadrunners will also be on the card that will also feature an awesome fireworks display. Racing starts at 8PM.

Contact Big Diamond Raceway for more information by phone at (570) 544-6434 or on the Internet at www.bigdiamondraceway.com.

-bdr-

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