Big Diamond race report 2001-05-11

Minersville, PA (May 11) - Jeff Strunk of Bethel, PA piloted Keith Harring's Kenworth/ Cummins ...

Minersville, PA (May 11) - Jeff Strunk of Bethel, PA piloted Keith Harring's Kenworth/ Cummins #W9 to the $2000, 25-lap feature win at Big Diamond Raceway on Friday night in NASCAR Weekly Racing Series Modified action. It was Strunk's first win at the track of the 2001 season and came as part of the card on Kreiser Fuel's Tremont Quick Stop Night.

Dave Dissinger of Mohrsville, PA captured the $600 win in the NASCAR ShorTrack Sportsman 20-lap feature rain-delayed from April 20 in his Harmony Hill Assisted Living/Oak Hill Farms #88X. Dave then repeated that effort in the 20-lap feature as part of the regular program to raise his Big Diamond 2001 win total to three (3). Dave Miller of Pine Grove, PA drove his Heritage Ford-Kia/Wyler's Towing #1 to his first win of the year in the roadrunner 15-lap main event.

Strunk took the lead in the 25-lap NASCAR WRS Modified main on lap 8 from Jimmy Hauer (Lebanon, PA) after starting 6th in the 28-car field. Johnny Ray (Reading, PA), in his first season of competition at Big Diamond, moved his immaculate R1 into the lead at the drop of the initial green in the feature event but Hauer took the position with his #9 on lap 5 after starting fifth. Craig Von Dohren (Barto, PA) had the Mrs. T's Pierogies #114 flying from his 13th starting spot and was second by lap six. Following several yellows with seven laps complete, Von Dohren and Hauer restarted side-by-side and staged a war of wits as to who would get the jump. After a few starts with wheels rubbing, Hauer held off Von Dohren but in doing so opened the door for Strunk who was able to pull to his inside and finally complete the pass in turn three on lap 8.

Two time winner Duane Howard (Oley, PA) restarted at the rear after pitting with a flat tire on the Big Spring Car Wash #126 on lap six after moving from his sixteenth starting spot to seventh. While Von Dohren moved by Hauer for second on lap 10, all eyes were on Howard as he battled back through the field. Howard took fourth on lap 22 from Keith Hoffman (Whitehall, PA) and third from Hauer on lap 24 when the yellow that he needed flew with one to go as seventh running Johnny Ray slowed with a flat and was clipped by Kerry Kratz as he slowed on the outside to pit. Howard made an outside run at Von Dohren on the backstretch on the restart but ran out of room as Von Dohren held the spot to finish second behind the Gechter-powered, Olsen #W9 of Strunk. Howard finished third followed by Hauer and Hoffman.

Bob Trapper (Scranton, PA), who totally rebuilt Noe Racing 69 forward of the cockpit from last week's serious crash, finished sixth trailed by Terry Meitzler (Kutztown, PA), Ray Swinehart (Bechtelsville, PA), Jerry Higbie, Jr. (Slate Hill, NY), and Kyle Weiss (Hamburg, PA). Heat winners were Howard, J. Strunk, Meme DeSantis (Temple, PA), and Von Dohren while consolation honors went to Barry Readinger (Fleetwood, PA) and Kerry Kratz (Bechtelsville, PA),

Dave Dissinger started 7th in the opening NASCAR Sportsman feature and took the lead from Mike Schane (Hamlin, PA) on lap 7. Schane started on the pole in his sharp, black #M16 and was seeking his first Big Diamond win in his first season of competition at the track. On a lap 9 restart Schane was knocked out of contention as Brad Force (Sellersville, PA) made contact with him from behind resulting in a six-car tangle. Luke Wagner (Hershey, PA) who started sixth now took second but he was unable to overtake the fleet Morganti-powered, Troyer coil car of Dissinger.

Wagner finished a strong second followed by Tom Brennan (Pottsville, PA), Joe Biasi, Jr. (Tamaqua, PA), John Heckler (Hatfield, PA), Billy Moyer, Jr. (Pine Grove, PA), Jeff Graby (Grantville, PA), Jeff Ebersole (Palmyra, PA), Brad Grim (Coplay, PA) and Tom Cremer (Sinking Spring, PA). The consolation winner was Terry Bensinger (Schuylkill Haven, PA). Heats for this feature were run on April 20.

In the 2nd Sportsman feature Dissinger came from the 14th starting spot and overtook early leader Luke Wagner on lap 11. Wagner started second and took the lead from Brad Grim on the opening lap of the 20-lap event. Brent Boyer (Bloomsburg, PA) and Terry Bensinger challenged Wagner but it was Dissinger following Bensinger by Boyer on lap 9 and then passing Bensinger on lap 9 for second.

After Dissinger took the lead Wagner tried everything he had to challenge the 88x but he again finished second. Mike Schane came from 16th starting spot to third by lap nine but John Heckler passed him on lap 18 to take third at the finish. Mike Schane ended up fourth trailed by Jimmy Reppert (Hamburg, PA), in Dissinger's back-up 88J, Billy Moyer, Jr., Bensinger, Brad Force, Chris Clemens (Coopersburg, PA) and Jeff Ebersole. Heat winners were Wagner, Boyer and Heckler with Tom Brennan taking the consolation.

In the Roadrunners Dave Miller chased down Buck Crossley (Leesport, PA) on lap four to take his first win. Miller's #1 has been strong since the gates opened this season but bad luck and some required adjustments to bring the car within specifications hampered his results. It all came together Friday as started sixteenth but charged through the field to grab his first roadrunner win since 1999 over Crossley, Bill McNeal (Williamstown, PA), Barry Schrader (Orwigsburg, PA), John Ulsh (Summit Station, PA). Qualifying heat winners were Corey Renninger (Llewellyn, PA) and Buck Crossley.

Racing resumes next Friday, May 18, on Racing with Jesus Ministries Night at Big Diamond Raceway. The NASCAR-sanctioned action, which is also a Simpson Racing Products Contingency Night, gets underway at 8 PM featuring the Weekly racing Series Modifieds, the ShorTrack Sportsman and the Roadrunners.


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Drivers Johnny R
Teams Williams