WEATHER FRONT STALLS OVER PA, FORCES 2ND BIG DIAMOND RAIN OUT Minersville, PA - April 8 - Rain and generally cool and damp conditions forced Big Diamond Raceway at 8 AM to cancel their NASCAR racing card scheduled for Sunday afternoon, April 8.
WEATHER FRONT STALLS OVER PA, FORCES 2ND BIG DIAMOND RAIN OUT
Minersville, PA - April 8 - Rain and generally cool and damp conditions forced Big Diamond Raceway at 8 AM to cancel their NASCAR racing card scheduled for Sunday afternoon, April 8. The track will now open the season on Friday night, April 20 at 8 PM with a three division super-card featuring the NASCAR Weekly Racing Series Modifieds, the NASCAR ShorTrack Sportsman and the NASCAR Roadrunners.
The weathermen were calling for temperatures approaching 70 and clear skies for Sunday, throughout the week and even as late as Saturday. But a stubborn weather front stalled in west-central Pennsylvania leaving Big Diamond Raceway entrenched to fog and drizzle on Sunday morning with thunderstorms on the way, not only for later in the day, but the next several days.
"Often when you try to prepare a track when it is way too wet as it was for the originally scheduled opener, you can hurt the surface for the season," commented track spokesman Jeff Gromis, but that did not happen and the surface is sound. Fortunately when Fritz (Roehrig) got to the lower groove at that point and had equipment bog down in the saturated lower groove clay in turn three, he realized the writing was on the wall. I have seen many promoters bog graders down on track surfaces and spend hours and hours cutting more and more clay off the track to try to get an early season race in, only to cause problems for the season in getting that clay back on the track and getting it to knit properly."
Very warm and dry conditions at mid-week enable the track crew to make major progress on the track. Track equipment was able to scarify and generally turn over the lower groove that prevented racing last week. The preparations were made and the track surface was tightened up again late in the week prior to the Friday and Saturday rains. But the weather never broke as forecasted.
"We were counting on drier conditions and maybe some sun to help but those conditions never came on April 1," continued Gromis. "It never fails, if you cancel the night before or very early on race day, you get criticized, particularly when the weathermen tell everyone there is a good change of weather improving. Then, when things do not pan out and you need to cancel just before race time, your wrong again. We do sincerely apologize to those fans as well as the over 75 racing teams that did make the tow."
A large field of cars is expected for the opener as the additional three weeks from the original Opening Day scheduled will enable numerous teams to be ready to join the large field already registered. Gates will open on April 20 at 6 PM for the 8 PM racing card.
Leading the charge for Big Diamond's $2000-to-win weekly payoff in the NASCAR WRS Modifieds will be past champions Keith Hoffman, Jeff Strunk, Duane Howard and Dennis Bailey as well as Craig Von Dohren, Ray Swinehart, Jerry Higbie, Jr., Terry Meitzler, defending track Sportsman champion, Gary Hager, and many others. The NASCAR ShorTrack should be wide open this year with Tom Brennan, Joe Biasi, Jr., Dave Dissinger, Shawn Fitzpatrick and many others looking to replace Hager as the champion as well as chasing the weekly $600 first prize.
For information on Big Diamond Raceway call (570) 544-6434, check out www.bigdiamondraceway.com on the Internet or write to the track at PO Box 298, Minersville, PA 17954.