Big Diamond 'Coal Cracker' preview

Minersville, PA - (Aug. 29) The highlight of the 2001 racing season at Big Diamond Raceway, the 22nd Annual Coal Cracker 100 for 358 Modifieds, will take the green flag on Friday night, August 31. The 22nd Annual Coal Cracker 100, paying ...

Minersville, PA - (Aug. 29) The highlight of the 2001 racing season at Big Diamond Raceway, the 22nd Annual Coal Cracker 100 for 358 Modifieds, will take the green flag on Friday night, August 31. The 22nd Annual Coal Cracker 100, paying $10,000-to-win, will see the event broken up into two, 50-lap segments for a fuel stop due to the limited fuel capacity of the Modifieds running at Big Diamond. But all 100 laps counted will be green flag racing laps. No caution laps will count toward the 100 lap distance.

The roadrunners will also compete in a 20-lap championship feature which will carry NASCAR points on the Coal Cracker card that carries an 8pm starting time. The rain date for the Coal Cracker 100 is Sunday night, Sept. 2. To eliminate concerns regarding the ability of cars to make the full 100-lap distance on their fuel tank capacity and potential safety hazards related of "live" race pit stops, the red flag will fly on lap 50 and two crew members per car will be permitted to refuel the cars on the speedway in turn two. No other work will be permitted with the exception of providing the driver with tear offs and refreshment, if desired.

Any work on the car, be it as minimal as sheet metal removal or tire pressure adjustment, must be done in the pit area with the car being required to start at the rear. Penalties for such work taking place on the track can range from being placed at the rear to a one lap penalty depending upon the infraction.

Further, cars wishing to pit for service at this time will be directed to stop in single file between the starter's stand and the fourth turn. Those cars will not be permitted to move to the pits until all cars have stopped and crews are permitted to take to the track to begin refueling cars in turn two. At that point cars wishing to pit will be released to the pits behind push trucks that they will be required to follow at a controlled speed through each of the three rows of the pits to their pit stalls. When they complete their work they will move to the pit gate and line-up single file to join the rear of the field of cars remaining on the track for refueling.

Among the drivers expected to try to crack the winner's circle for this rich event are Duane Howard (Oley), Keith Hoffman (Whitehall), Craig Von Dohren (Barto), Jeff Strunk (Bethel), Terry Meitzler (Kutztown), Jim Hauer (Lebanon), Steve Bottcher (Lehighton), Glenn Strunk (Bechtelsville), Meme DeSantis (Temple), Ray Swinehart (Bechtelsville), Kyle Weiss (Hamburg), Dave Dissinger (Mohrsville), Larry Kelleher (Scranton), Tom Mayberry (Sellersville), Rick Schaffer (Woxall), Shawn Reimert (Oley), Dennis Bailey (Kutztown), Tom Umbenhauer (Richland), Joe Biasi (New Ringgold), Barry Readinger (Fleetwood) and more. 2000 Coal Cracker winner Billy Pauch (Frenchtown, NJ) has not yet filed an entry but is expected.

Additionally Sportsman stock cars will be permitted to compete in the Coal Cracker 100 provided they have a Big Diamond Raceway inspected and sealed engine prior to arriving at the track for the 100 on Friday. Sportsman cars meeting this requirement will be permitted to run their car totally under the normal Big Diamond Raceway Sportsman rules or they will be permitted to replace their carburetor with a 650 carburetor.

But the important fact is that the Sportsman wishing to compete in the 100 must have their engines inspected and sealed prior to August 31.

The entry fee for the 100, which includes the driver's pit pass, is $65 for NASCAR member drivers and $80 for non-members. Drivers will not be permitted to draw for starting positions for a car without a paid entry fee.

The track will also be open on Thursday night, August 30 at 7:30, for a special open practice night for Modifieds and Roadrunners, in preparation for their Coal Cracker races on Friday, as well as any other division. The NASCAR ShorTrack Sportsman will also be in competition in a 20-lap event. This event will again require Sportsman competitors to meet all Big Diamond Sportsman car specifications with one allowance only. Outsiders will be able to run their local track's track tire with the exception of East Windsor Speedway's track tire, which is more like drag rubber than the more common tires used at Big Diamond and other Sportsman tracks. Also absolutely no sail panel bodies are permitted as the statement in the rulebook for one-week grace tolerance of body non-conformities does not apply to such blatantly illegal bodies.

-BDR

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Series NASCAR , Stock car
Drivers Billy Pauch