Big Diamond adds Thursday race

Minersville, PA - (Aug. 22) - Big Diamond Raceway officials announced Monday that a special Thursday night, August 31, program will be added to the 2000 season schedule which enters it's final week this Friday. The NASCAR Exide ShorTrack Series...

Minersville, PA - (Aug. 22) - Big Diamond Raceway officials announced Monday that a special Thursday night, August 31, program will be added to the 2000 season schedule which enters it's final week this Friday. The NASCAR Exide ShorTrack Series Sportsman will put on a full racing program and the track will also be open for practice night for all teams to prepare for the on Friday night, September 1. On track action will start at 7:30pm The Sportsman will run in a heats, one or two consolations and a 20-lap feature event. The race will carry points and be the final NASCAR Exide ShorTrack Series point race. The point races for the Weekly Racing Series Modifieds and Accel Roadrunners end as of this Friday, August 25. The evening of speed will also act as a Fan Appreciation Night carrying a $4 admission price tag to the stands with all children 11 and under free. The pit fee for competitors planning to race with the Sportsman or to get in practice time with the Modifieds and Roadrunners will be $10. It has been an very odd season at Big Diamond will Gary Hager of Stewartsville, NJ looking very dominant with 7 wins in 16 races (one a non-point race) but there have also been 10 different winners as no one else has been a repeat winner. Joining Hager on the 2000 winners' list are Joe Biasi (New Ringgold, PA), Dave Dissinger (Mohrsville, PA), Donn Edgar (Lehighton, PA), Shawn Fitzpatrick (Pottsville, PA), Jeff Graby (Grantville, PA), John Heckler (Hatfield, PA), Ricky Rutt (Phillipsburg, NJ), Kirby Sites (Hamburg, PA) and Kyle Strickler (Sinking Spring, PA). The Sportsman will now see two more feature with this addition just as the Modifieds and Roadrunners do. The only difference is that both of the remaining Sportsman races are Exide ShorTrack Series point races while the point races for the WRS Modifieds and Accel Roadrunners end this Friday, August 25. The $10,000-to-win, 21st Annual Rieck's Printing/Post Digital Graphics Coal Cracker 100 for Modifieds and the Roadrunner 20 , will be the final event of the season at Big Diamond on Friday night, September 1. Should rain prevent the action from taking place on Friday, the event carries a Sunday evening, September 3 rain date. Earlier track officials announced that caution laps count in the Coal Cracker 100 to improve the race quality for fans and racers alike with the first lap and final two laps required to be run under green. The track has also initiated a new tradition for the Coal Cracker making past winners of the event since the initial run in 1979 guaranteed starters should they elect to compete. To eliminate concerns regarding the ability of cars to make the full 100-lap distance on their fuel tank capacity without a pit stop, caution flag laps will count in the 100 upon completion of the opening lap under green. The track elected to do this rather than detract from the attraction of a 100 lap race by interrupting it with a fuel stop. The race can not end under caution and will go "green-white-checkered" to complete the race. For a past winner of the Coal Cracker to be eligible for a guaranteed spot, they must have competed regularly in a full-size class in 2000 like modifieds, sportsman, sprints or late models or must have competed in a modified or sportsman at least once during the year at Big Diamond. The list of past Coal Cracker champs includes three-time winners Jeff Strunk (Bethel, PA) and Charlie Eckert (Auburn, PA); double winners Duane Howard (Oley, PA), Kenny Brightbill (Sinking Spring, PA) and Doug Hoffman (Allentown, PA); and Tom Mayberry (Sellersville, PA), Rick Schaffer (Woxall, PA), Richie Tobias (Annville, PA), Craig Von Dohren (Barto, PA), Fred Rahmer (Salfordville, PA), Billy Schinkel (Llewelyn, PA), Paul Koch (Neffs, PA) and Bob Emerich (Hamburg, PA). As Guaranteed Starters these drivers will be able to use their status to start at the rear of the 100 should they be unable to qualify, guaranteeing them a minimum of $325 payoff, if they decided to and/or are able to compete. Entries are being accepted now for the 21st Annual Coal Cracker National 100 by Rieck's Printing and Post Digital Graphics. The entry fee, which includes the driver's pit pass, is $65 for NASCAR member drivers and $80 for non-members. But drivers can enjoy a discount of $10 off both of these rates ($55 and $70 respectively) if they submit their entries by Sunday, August 27th. Lap sponsorships are also being accepted for the 2000 Rieck's Printing/Post Digital Graphics Coal Cracker. Laps cost $10 each and can be purchased by contacting Mary Bagley on Friday nights in the officials' tower, by calling 610- 659-1869 or via the Internet at baggroup@aol.com. For more information on Big Diamond Raceway check out the speedway's web site at www.bigdiamondraceway.com or call (570) 544-6434.

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Series NASCAR