Big Diamond rained out 2002-04-28

Minersville, PA - April 28 - Heavy rain Saturday night and Sunday morning, accompanied by a severe storm warning for the afternoon, forced promoters at Big Diamond Raceway to postpone their racing on Sunday, April 28. The final Spring Sunday ...

Minersville, PA - April 28 - Heavy rain Saturday night and Sunday morning, accompanied by a severe storm warning for the afternoon, forced promoters at Big Diamond Raceway to postpone their racing on Sunday, April 28.

The final Spring Sunday Showdown at Big Diamond Raceway is set for this Sunday, May 5, at 4PM with the Modified Stocks, Sportsman Stocks and Roadrunners battling in 'NASCAR Weekly Racing Series presented by Dodge' action. It will also be Big Diamond's kickoff date for the national Valvoline Cup, with each Big Diamond division competing in their own group in similar divisions across the country.

The event will feature the regular Big Diamond modified stars like defending champion Keith Hoffman (Whitehall, PA); past champions Jeff Strunk (Bethel, PA) and Duane Howard (Oley, PA); feature winners Meme DeSantis (Temple, PA) and Kyle Weiss (Hamburg, PA); past Grandview champion Terry Meitzler (Kutztown, PA), defending Grandview champion and all-time leading Big Diamond feature winner, Craig Von Dohren (Barto, PA), this week's Grandview feature winner, Ray Swinehart (Bechtelsville, PA); new regulars Steve Bottcher (Lehighton, PA), Rick Laubach (Quakertown, PA) and Brian Johnson (Quakertown, PA); and many others.

Todd Burley (Spencerport, NY) was happy about the rain-out this week as he was unable to be at Big Diamond due to commitments to a New England-based DIRT Modified team. He returns this Sunday, having gotten past his last conflict of the year and looks to make a run at Big Diamond Rookie of the Year honors and track championship behind the wheel of the 5 car of the defending modified championship owners, the Bashore Trucking team of Barry and Todd Bashore.

This Sunday will also likely be past Big Diamond champion Kenny Brightbill's last shot at a win until later in the season. Brightbill (Sinking Spring, PA) has been a Sunday regular thus far, but currently is committed to a big block modified ride on Friday evenings. Some bad luck in the first two events put him in a good handicapping position to make run at a Big Diamond win this week.

In the Sportsman action, Scott Singley of Milford, NJ looked like he was stating his case to be considered the favorite for the Big Diamond championship in winning the season opener. But Craig Whitmoyer (Hamburg, PA), Jesse Sterling (Lehighton, PA), Ed Scott (New Tripoli, PA), Tom Brennan (Pottsville, PA), Shawn Fitzpatrick (Pottsville, PA), Billy Moyer, Jr. (Pine Grove, PA), Jeff Graby (Lebanon, PA), and Chris Clemens (Coopersburg, PA) are among others that have answered with their own strong cases to challenge for the title.

While Singley is a New Jeresy star calling Big Diamond his home track, veteran driver Paul Marra, Sr, of Bordenton, NJ has been a Sunday Big Diamond regular as a rookie at the track. Marra has been very consistent placing his 93.3 sportsman in eleventh in points. He would love nothing more than a win in his pocket to reward his long trip to Minersville and carry him over until he can return to Diamond for Wednesday and Sunday specials later in the season.

The sportsman division is wide open in 2002 as defending champion Dave Dissinger is not defending his crown. Dave is spending Saturday nights racing at various Modified tracks in the Northeast, taking the racing a bit more casually this season. But Dissinger's presence is still felt as he is active in the shop and in the Big Diamond pits with the 2002 feature winner, Craig Whitmoyer. Also Dissinger's Sportsman understudy, Andy Fayash, Jr. is in action full time this year.

The roadrunner field is as strong as ever. There are three drivers, Doug Hendricks (Auburn, PA), Rodney Ulsh (Summit Station, PA), and Dave Miller (Pine Grove, PA), that have from time to time dominated the division. But others like Dave Winslow (Fleetwood, PA), Steve Fessler (Minersville, PA), Phil Levering (Parkerford, PA) and Barry Schrader (Orwigsburg, PA) are rising stars that have already served notice that they are major threats to the 'Big Three.'

Racing this Sunday, May 5, gets underway at 4 PM, to enable fans to get home at a decent hour to get sufficient sleep in preparation for school or work on Monday. When action shifts to Friday nights on May 10, the starting time will move to 8PM.

-bds-

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Series NASCAR
Drivers Brian Johnson