Big Diamond race report 2002-06-21

Keith Hoffman cracks Big Diamond Modified winner's circle; Moyer gets 1st career Sportsman win, Hendricks tops Roadrunners. Minersville, PA - June 21 - Defending track champion, Keith Hoffman of Whitehall, PA, captured his first NASCAR Weekly ...

Keith Hoffman cracks Big Diamond Modified winner's circle; Moyer gets 1st career Sportsman win, Hendricks tops Roadrunners.

Minersville, PA - June 21 - Defending track champion, Keith Hoffman of Whitehall, PA, captured his first NASCAR Weekly Racing Series Modified win of the season on Friday's Kreiser Fuels Night at Big Diamond Raceway. Billy Moyer, Jr. (Pine Grove, PA) took his first career NASCAR Sportsman win while Doug Hendricks (Auburn, PA) returned Pritz Dodge victory lane in Roadrunner action.

Hoffman charged through the field with Duane Howard (Oley, PA) and Craig Von Dohren (Barto, PA) as each of the three seemed intent on getting to the front first, going three and four wide in traffic. With Jimmy Hauer (Lebanon, PA) leading and Hoffman running fourth on lap 16, Howard and Von Dohren got together racing for second with Howard spinning and both going to the rear. Hoffman took charge from there and took his first win in the 25-lapper over Kyle Weiss (Hamburg, PA), Shawn Reimert (Oley, PA), Jim Hauer, Terry Meitzler (Kutztown, PA), Steve Bottcher (Lehighton, PA), Jack Hartnett (Telford, PA), Dave Dissinger (Hamburg, PA), Larry Kelleher (Scranton, PA), and Dennis Bailey (Kutztown, PA).

Billy Moyer, Jr. overtook Daryl Dissinger (Mechanicsburg, PA) on lap 8 of the 15-lap Sportsman feature to take his first win over Tom Brennan (Pottsville, PA), Luke Wagner (Grantville, PA), Ed Scott (New Tripoli, PA), Lance Hoch (Topton, PA), Chris Clemens (Catasaqua, PA), John Heckler (Hatfield, PA), Darren Dreher (Schuylkill Haven, PA), Andy Fayash (Mary-D, PA), and Ed Winters (Reading, PA.)

Doug Hendricks took his fifth win of the year in the Roadrunners over Dave Winslow (Fleetwood, PA), Dave Miller (Pine Grove, PA), Perry Valariano (Temple, PA) and Steve Fessler (Schuylkill Haven, PA).

In the 25-lap Modified feature event, Barry Readinger (Fleetwood, PA) got away on top in the Devine Transport 70D with Jimmy Hauer and Dennis Bailey swapping second right behind him. While these three ran up front under green for the first nine laps, catching everyone's attention was the wild charge from through the field being put on by Duane Howard, Keith Hoffman and Craig Von Dohren. These three were battling each other tooth and nail while going three and four wide with other competitors as the charged up the leader board. Following a lap ten yellow Bailey faltered and Dave Gerhart (Lebanon, PA) took third followed by Howard, Von Dohren and Hoffman just after Hoffman regained control and avoided disaster after launching the Johnny Ray 1 over the rear tire of Howard's Glenn Hyneman 126.

Hauer took to the outside to get by Readinger in turn two on lap 13 with Von Dohren leading Howard by the 70d as well. One lap later Hoffman was by Readinger for fourth and Howard was by Von Dohren for second. Everything changed on lap 15 as Howard threw the 126 into turn two hard trying to set-up Hauer for a pass only to see Von Dohren have no where to go but into Howard. Howard spun and both cars were sent to the rear putting Hoffman on Hauer's tail.

The pass for the win came in turn two on lap 16 with Hoffman powering off the outside to take the lead. But the race was anything but over as Kyle Weiss, who started 15th, went by Hauer on lap 17 and chased down Hoffman. Three times Weiss drew beside Hoffman on the outside of the track but each time Hoffman shut the door before opening up a gap to the checkered flag.

"We should have been here (in the winner's circle) earlier this year," commented Hoffman. "Johnny (Ray) and the crew have done a great job and put me in good stuff. We just weren't quite there. My brother, Dave, was here to help tonight and we are almost there. With this competition, you need to really be on."

Carl Lieber (West Lawn, PA) took the early lead in the 20-lap Sportsman feature. Daryl Dissinger moved from fourth to second on lap one and pressure the leader until lap three when the leader lost the handle in turn two. Dissinger now assumed command with Darren Dreher, Lance Hoch, Ed Scott and Billy Moyer in close pursuit. Dreher and Scott bobbled with Moyer capitalizing to move to second. Tom Brennan also made his move and took third from Hoch on lap 7. A turn two spin by Chris Clemens (Catasaqua, PA), who had moved up to fifth, saw six other cars slide into a pile with seven complete. Following the restart, Moyer made his move on the inside of the front stretch as Dissinger got crossed up momentarily. Moyer charged on to his first win holding off the challenges of Brennan and Luke Wagner.

Rookie Perry Valariano, the grandson of the famous Sock Valariano who owned the Mushroom Special cars at the Reading Fairgrounds, took the early lead in the Roadrunner 15-lap main event. A lap one caution for problems with five cars, ironically, stopping at five separate locations around the speedway. Valariano held strong even though Doug Henricks was able to move his powerful 8JR around six cars, in addition to the five who had problems on lap one, to take second with one lap complete. Hendricks was just too strong and he took the lead on lap three, Dave Miller and Dave Winslow were charging through the field as well and took second and third on lap five. Miller made a run at Hendricks but then had his hands too full with Winslow to continue his threat. Winslow went under Miller in turn three on lap eight but, without the aide of a caution, he was unable to catch Hendricks.

Heat winners were Steve Bottcher, Duane Howard and Tom Pompei (Sellersville, PA) in the Modifieds, Ed Scott and Gary Wagner, Jr. (Womelsdorf, PA) in the Sportsman and Steve Fessler (Schuylkill Haven, PA) and Hendricks in the Roadrunners. Tim Fitzpatrick (Branchdale, PA) captured the Modified consolation.

This Tuesday, June 25, Big Diamond holds the second open practice session of the year at 7:30PM with cars from any division welcome with a $15 pit fee and no required membership. On Friday, June 28, at 8PM the NASCAR Weekly Racing Series Modifieds, Sportsman and Roadrunners challenge the 3/8th-mile oval in a program featuring at least 11 racing events including a feature for each division. On Tuesday night, July 2, at 7:30 the powerful 410 Sprints are joined by the NASCAR WRS ShorTrack Series Sportsman in Pennsylvania Sprint Speedweek by Carquest Auto Parts at Big Diamond. Then, on Friday, July 5, at 8PM it's the annual Georgie Stevenson Memorial Night with a card featuring the NASCAR Modifieds, Sportsman Stocks, and Roadrunnners with the modifieds racing in two feature events instead of the originally scheduled 50-lapper,

For more information on Big Diamond Raceway call the speedway at (570) 544-6434 or drop in on the Internet at www.bigdiamondraceway.com.

-bdr-

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Series NASCAR , Stock car
Drivers Johnny R