Big Diamond report 2001-04-27

by Jeff Gromis Minersville, PA - 4/27/01 - Terry Meitzler of Kutztown, PA and Duane Howard of Oley, Pa shared the NASCAR Weekly Racing Series spotlight with wins in the first features of the 2001 season at Big Diamond Raceway on Friday ...

by Jeff Gromis

Minersville, PA - 4/27/01 - Terry Meitzler of Kutztown, PA and Duane Howard of Oley, Pa shared the NASCAR Weekly Racing Series spotlight with wins in the first features of the 2001 season at Big Diamond Raceway on Friday night (April 27). Ed Scott of New Tripoli, PA took his first career Big Diamond NASCAR ShorTrack Series Sportsman 20-lap feature win while John Ulsh of Summit Station, PA grabbed the Roadrunner main event victory.

The program, which included two consolations and a feature for the Modifieds rain-delayed from last week as well as a full Simpson Racing Products Contingency Night card for the Modifieds, Sportsman and Roadrunners, was completed in just under four hours.

Ron Seltmann (Pottstown, PA) started on the pole in the opening NASCAR WRS Modified 25-lap feature and put his R19 up front in the early laps with Kyle Weiss (Hamburg, PA) directly behind. Weiss pressured Seltmann hard and on lap 8 he went under the leader in turn two to take the top spot. Terry Meitzler and Keith Hoffman (Whitehall, PA), who started fifth and seventh respectively, were now in a torrid battle for third with Meitzler finally getting the edge and going one further to take second from Seltmann on lap 9. Meitzler quickly seized the opportunity when Weiss pushed out high in turn four as they completed lap 11 to take the lead.

Early leader Seltmann fell to seventh as Hoffman, Ray Swinehart (Bechtelsville, PA), Duane Howard, and Kevin Hartnett (Perkasie, PA) pursed Meitzler and Weiss with Larry Solomon (Reading, PA), Jerry Higbie, Jr. (Slate Hill, NY), and Randy Bailey (Kutztown, PA) completing the top ten. Before lap 16 could be completed, Hoffman and Weiss touched battling for second off turn four resulting in a huge pile-up. Among the cars involved were Howard, Hartnett, Solomon, Higbie, Bailey, Jeff Strunk (Bethel, PA), Craig Von Dohren (Barto, PA), Bob Trapper (Scranton, PA), Meme DeSantis (Temple, PA), Jimmy Hauer (Lebanon, PA), Tim Fitzpatrick (Minersville, PA), Bob Ebersole (Hummelstown, PA) and Glenn Strunk (Bechtelsville, PA). The costly crash knocked Jeff Strunk, Kevin Hartnett, Randy Bailey and Bob Ebersole out for the remainder of the racing card.

From there Terry Meitzler went on to take the $2000 win, his first Modified in his second season in the Dick Biever owned, Alpha Mills/Heritage Ford 14 Troyer with Burns and Yost power. Ray Swinehart finished second followed by Tom Umbenhauer (Richland, PA), Dennis Bailey (Kutztown, PA), Larry Kelleher (Scranton, PA), Keith Hoffman, Tim Fitzpatrick, Bob Trapper, Barry Readinger (Fleetwood, PA), and Craig Von Dohren. Held over consolation wins went to Meme DeSantis and Jeff Strunk while heat wins run of April 20 went to Meitzler, Duane Howard, Jerry Higbie, Jr. and Larry Solomon.

The regularly scheduled NASCAR WRS feature was quite different as the 28-car field went 25 laps in a non-stop 8 minute, 25.19 second time. Barry Readinger started on the pole inside Meme DeSantis and Readinger put the Devine Teo 70D up front convincingly in the early going. Duane Howard was the driver on the move and he powered Glenn Hyneman's Big Spring Car Wash 126 from seventh starting spot to third on lap 9 when he overtook Ray Swinehart and Glenn Strunk. Howard overtook DeSantis for second on lap 13 and then powered the Larry Lombardo powered Troyer after leader Readinger. On lap 17 Howard dove under Readinger to close the chapter on this race.

Duane Howard was the $2000 winner followed by Barry Readinger, Meme DeSantis, Keith Hoffman, Craig Von Dohren, Ray Swinehart, Glenn Strunk, Jerry Higbie, Jr., Terry Meitzler and Jimmy Hauer. Heat winners in the 49-car field were Randy Stoudt (Pottstown, PA), Howard, Hoffman and Glenn Strunk while Tom Mayberry (Sellersville, PA) and Shawn Reimert (Oley, PA) took consolation wins.

Brad Force (Sellersville, PA) took the early lead in the NASCAR ShorTrack Sportsman 20-lap feature and held off Hershey's Luke Wagner and Ed Scott in the early laps. Scott secured second as Wagner spun in turn two on lap 6 but things were not any easier as former Five Mile Point star, Mike Schane (Hamlin, PA) was on Scott's tail as he pursued Force. These three ran in close quarters with Scott getting around the outside of Force on lap 13. Schane was unable to follow through and Joe Biasi, Jr. (New Ringgold, PA), who went to the rear in a lap 1 tangle, changed back into the picture in the B1.

Biasi's charge fell one spot short as Ed Scott took his first Big Diamond win in his Link's Cycle/Scott's Power Sports/Kurt Scott HVAC&R 002 Troyer 4-Link with CMS power to the $600 win. Joe Biasi, Jr. took second followed by Mike Schane (with a last lap pass), Brad Force, Darren Dreher (Schuylkill Haven, PA), Randy Mohn (Fredericksburg, PA), Tom Brennan (Pottsville, PA), Jeff Ebersole (Palmyra, PA), Steve Donat (Reading, PA), and Tom Cremer (Sinking Spring, PA). Heat winners were Scott, Terry Bensinger (Schuylkill Haven, PA) and Luke Wagner with John Deatrich, Jr. (Pottsville, PA) taking the consolation.

In the Roadrunner 15-lap main event, Marc Berzowski (Minersville, PA) led the opening 6 laps before Dave Miller (Pine Grove, PA) took over on lap 7. But John Ulsh, who started seventh in the Ulsh Auto Sales 5, was strongest on this night a he overtook Miller on lap 10 for the lead and the first win of the year. Miller crossed the line second but was disqualified in a post race inspection which found he was running an illegally locked rear. That moved Berzowski to second followed by Mike Allar (Orwigsburg, PA), Steve Fessler (Schuylkill Haven, PA) and Kirby Schlappich (Temple, PA). Heat wins went to Berzowski and Allar.

This Friday, May 4 will see all three NASCAR divisions in action once again with the Roadrunners running in two features with the addition of the rain-delayed feature card from April 20. Gates open at 6 PM with racing at 8 PM. For information call (570) 544-6434 or check out the track website at


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