ARDC return to Big Diamond

ARDC Midgets Return To Big Diamond For 1st Time in 32 Years Two Twin-20 Midget Feature Only Dates Set For May 20, August 19 Minersville, PA -- January 29, 2005 -- The American Racing Drivers Club (ARDC) Midgets will return to Big Diamond...

ARDC Midgets Return To Big Diamond For 1st Time in 32 Years

Two Twin-20 Midget Feature Only Dates Set For May 20, August 19

Minersville, PA -- January 29, 2005 -- The American Racing Drivers Club (ARDC) Midgets will return to Big Diamond Raceway in Minersville, PA this season for the first time in 32 years. In fact the midgets have been booked at the Schuylkill County oval for two dates, the first on May 20 and the second on August 19. Although there are still a few people that might recall that appearance when Wayne Woodward took the feature win, the track has totally changed from that old 1/3-mile configuration to today's 3/8-mile layout.

Plans call for the racing programs for the midgets to be added to the weekly three Big Diamond Raceway divisions to create a super card. But to make this program work, the midgets will run only hot laps and two 20-lap features. This streamlined format without heats will enable the card to be run off in a timely basis, giving the fans what they want to see... midget feature events, while not missing any of the weekly action of the NASCAR Modifieds, Sportsman Modifieds and Roadrunners. The midgets have been added to replace the KARS 358 Sprint shows originally on the Big Diamond schedule on May 27 and Aug. 19. Current plans call for the Sportsman Modifieds to return to the Big Diamond card on May 27 in a 20-lap feature carrying a Hoover Chevrolet Sportsman 50 qualifier.

It has also been decided that the May 20 date will be a wingless show for the midgets. The decision on whether the cars will be wingless or winged for the August 19 date will be left in the hands of the fans following the May 20 event.

Ray Bull is just one of the midget stars happy to see the Big Diamond shows added as the track is closer to his Bloomsburg, PA home than any other events on the schedule. Bull is ARDC's man to beat as he is gunning for his sixth consecutive ARDC title this year. But, there are several drivers who are determined to end his streak.

Mike Miller, Birdsboro, PA, finished second to Bull in the 2004 standings. Miller, who has captured numerous micro sprint titles during his long career, would like nothing better than to add an ARDC point crown to his resume.J Steve Buckwalter, the Royersford Rocket, is another chauffeur who can lay claim to several championships in the micro sprint division. Steve, who'sentering his third season of ARDC competition, is nowhungry for a midget title.

Tracy and Michele Miller, Mike's daughters, became the first females to ever qualify for an A-Main as part of the national Chili Bowl in Tulsa, Oklahoma just last month. They are out to improve their ARDC fortunes in 2005. Tracy finished 12th in points last season, but came very close to her first career win on a couple of occasions. Michele wound up fourth in points, and her consistency could propel her to a fight for the 2005 ARDC championship.

Donnie Trent, Honeybrook, PA, won the final ARDC race of 2004 and the veteran ARDC campaigner,cannot be overlooked in this year's race for the championship. Former club champion Ed Stimely, Jr. is going over his equipment during the off-season in preparation for a serious run at the title. Wheeling the Yetter midget, Stimely is a seasoned pilot with aspirations of another point crown in 2005.

Last season's Rookie of the Year, Mohnton, PA's Dave Shirk, plans to use the experience he gained in 2004 to contend for the championship. Driving as a teammate to Ray Bull and Carey Becker, Shirk will strap in to a brand new Stealth Chassis as he begins his second stint as a hired gun for Mega Motorsports.

Young gun Ryan Smith, from Kunkletown, PA, is making the move from micro sprints to the mighty midgets in 2005. Steering Shawn Burke's no. 54, Smith has progressed from title-winning campaigns in Tobias Slingshots to a micro sprint championship at the Kutztown Fairgrounds. He whetted his appetite for midget competition on two occasions in New York last summer, and then drove a third race for Burke in the ARDC season-ender.Those three events were enough to convince Smith that he wanted to do a full season in the midget ranks, and Burke is only too happy to provide the equipment.

Versatile Frank Polimeda and car owner Lou Zrinski are teaming up to run the entire ARDC schedule in 2005. Polimeda owns titles in micro sprints, and he's a proven race winner in TQ midgets, asphalt modifieds, and Legend Cars. "I see great things happening in ARDC," stated the Fort Lee, NJ, throttle-jockey. "The midgets are a lot of fun to drive, and the competition in ARDC is really tough. And it's improving all the time. I am very anxious for the new season to begin."

Big Diamond will open the 2005 season on Saturday afternoon, March 19, with a practice session. Racing starts on Saturday afternoon, March 26, with a special Micro-Sprint Open for the 270cc and the 600cc Micro Sprints along with the 600cc Modifieds. Following the racing that day the track will be open for additional practice time for all divisions.

The NASCAR Dodge Weekly Series Modifieds, Sportsman Modifieds and Roadrunners will kick off their Big Diamond racing season with Sunday afternoon racing on April 3 at 2 PM and April 10 at 4 PM. The format moves to the weekly Friday action on April 15 with a 7:30 starting time. The starting time moves to the usual 8 PM green flag on May 6 for the remainder of the year.

But even earlier the Big Diamond Pre-Season Car Show will run from March 6 through 12 at the Schuylkill Mall in Frackville, PA with all Big Diamond weekly as well as visiting and touring divisions participating.

-bdr/ardc-

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About this article
Series Midget
Drivers Mike Miller , Donnie Trent , Ray Bull , Ryan Smith