Big Diamond Raceway's NASCAR champions honored at banquet; Keith Hoffman, Craig Whitmoyer, Rodney Ulsh wear 2002 crowns. Landingville, PA - Nov. 9 - The Big Diamond Raceway 2002 track champions Keith Hoffman of Whitehall in the NASCAR Weekly ...
Big Diamond Raceway's NASCAR champions honored at banquet; Keith Hoffman, Craig Whitmoyer, Rodney Ulsh wear 2002 crowns.
Landingville, PA - Nov. 9 - The Big Diamond Raceway 2002 track champions Keith Hoffman of Whitehall in the NASCAR Weekly Racing Series Modifieds, Craig Whitmoyer of Hamburg in the NASCAR ShorTrack Sportsman and Rodney Ulsh of Summit Station in the NASCAR Roadrunners were honored Saturday night, November 9, at the track's Awards Banquet at the Community Fire Company Social Hall in Landingville, PA.
Keith Hoffman successfully defending his track title behind the wheel of Abbi Electric/G&M Machine/ Hoffman Bros. Speed Supplies Troyer Modified #1 owned by Johnny Rea. It was the first year from the Hoffman/Rea combination as in 2001 Johnny was both a driver and owner. In addition to the Big Diamond track title, Hoffman finished third in the Northeast Region point standings in the NASCAR Weekly Racing Series presented by Dodge.
Hoffman won out in a thrilling point battle with Temple's Meme DeSantis in the Norm's Save Station/Berks' Hot Dogs 357, Barto's Craig Von Dohren in the Mrs. T's Pierogies/ Mystic Screen Printing #114 and Oley's Duane Howard in the Big Spring Car Wash and Self Storage #126, who eventually finished second through fourth respectively. Fifth in the final standings was Steve Bottcher of Lehighton in the Kerry Hertzog Auto Sales/Dave Sprout Excavating #77. Completing the top ten were Hamburg's Kyle Weiss in the Brickel's Racing Collectibles #21K, Kutztown's Terry Meitzler in the Orwigsburg Vending #14, Fleetwood's Barry Readinger in the All Star Racing Wheels/Devine Transport #70d, Oley's Shawn Reimert in the Generation II Construction #55 and Mahanoy Plane's Bruce Williams in the 901 Pub #901.
Craig Whitmoyer earned his first track championship with his ELCO Machine and Tool/Reppert's Automotive/ Team Turf/ Yerger's Archery #99 in the Sportsman. Whitmoyer also finished third in the Northeast Region point standings in the NASCAR Weekly Racing ShorTrack Series presented by Dodge.
While Craig's win total was superior to the competition, consistency put Pine Grove racer, Billy Moyer, Jr. and his B+G Value Market/Pine Grove Auto Sales #17 right on his tail to the final race. New Tripoli's Ed Scott in his Devine Transport #002, Pottsville's Tom Brennan in his TB Landscaping/Antonini Radiator/ Mobil1 #26 and Bloomsburg's Brent Boyer in the Boyer Oil Service/ Stola Fab #19 completed the top 5 in Sportsman points.
In a strange season of post-race inspection disqualifications and claim rule refusals, Rodney Ulsh took the roadrunner championship with the John Ulsh Auto Sales/ProShine/ Minersville Safe Deposit Bank #5 over Barry Schrader in the Tri-Valley Nurseries #77, Steve Fessler in the Fessler Contracting 7 and 713, Dave Winslow in his Kim's Catering #27X and Marty Shappell in the AGWAY Propane #117.
Awards were distributed to drivers in attendance finishing in the top 20 in the final 2002 Big Diamond Raceway Modified point standings, the top 15 in Sportsman points and the top 10 in roadrunner points.
Likewise, top five in car owners' points for both the modified and sportsman stocks were honored. Following modified championship owner, Johnny Rea, were Norm Hansell (Meme DeSantis' #357), BRB Racing (Craig Von Dohren's #114), Glenn Hyneman (Duane Howard's #126) and Dennis Eisenhart (Steve Bottcher's #77). Kathy Stoudt was the championship Sportsman car owner with Craig Whitmoyer's #99 followed by Billy Moyer. Jr. (#17), Ed Scott (#002), Tom Brennan (#26) and Wayne Boyer (Brent Boyer's #19).
Rookie of the Year awards were presented to Dale Roth driver of the #6 Modified sponsored by his father, Gene Roth's garage near Schafferstown, Daryl Dissinger, driver of the Madd Nellies #21K Sportsman and Jason Heffner, driver of the Prtiz Auto Sales #88 Roadrunner.
Most Improved Driver awards were earned by driver of the Service Electric Cable TV/Ironton Telephone/ Yocco's #TV2, Bobby "Gunther" Walsh in the Modifieds and the driver of the Fletcher Lettering and Graphics/Hyde Villa Machine #12, Carl Lieber in the Sportsman Stocks.
Art Bair distributed his Bair Racing Wheel and Wheel Repair Heat Win Challenge awards. The leading sportsman heat winner was Gary Wagner, Jr., who piloted the Proline Construction/Denny's Camaro Parts #47 to four heat wins in the highly competitive division. Gary was presented with a new bead-lock wheel. Doug Hendricks was the leading roadrunner heat winner and he received a lightweight racing wheel for his JR Trucking #8JR.
There was a tie between Keith Hoffman, Duane Howard and Kyle Weiss for the most heat wins. A drawing was conducted to determine who would receive the $250 reward from Art Bair and Weiss was the winner.
Another drawing was held by Ken Manchak of Lincoln Welders, the Official Welder of NASCAR. The drawing included all drivers in attendance from all divisions. Bruce Williams' name was drawn and he was presented with a Lincoln Welder.
NASCAR TrueValue Hardware Mechanic of the Year awards, based on ballots mailed by NASCAR members (one per member), went to Bruce Landis (#21K Modified), Mark Purcell (#415 Roadrunner) and Todd Shappell (#21K Sportsman). NASCAR WRS Marketing Coordinator, Kevin Navalainen, was on hand to assist in these and other NASCAR awards as well as sharing some words with the crowd in attendance. The champions were presented with a pair of championship jackets from Weikel racing Collectibles and American Racing Tires. The Rookie of the Year winners received embroidered Simpson Racing helmet bags. All other honorees received plaques.
It was announced that the 2002 schedule will be announced in two or three weeks but the rough draft presented to promoters Fritz and JoAnn Roehrig for consideration, comment and approval calls for a Sunday, March 30. Although it is anticipated that dates may be removed or changed and specials may be added, to give competitors and fans a general idea of the track's plans, tentatively 24 modified races dates with 25 features are being proposed. There are also 20 Sportsman dates, 27 roadrunner dates, seven (7) KARS 358 Sprint dates, two (2) URC Sprint dates and a 410 Sprint feature being proposed. Other specials are being considered.