Big Diamond report 2001-07-03

Minersville, PA - (July 3) - Craig Von Dohren of Barto, PA piloted the BRB Racing/Mrs. T's Pierogies 114 to his second Big Diamond Raceway NASCAR Weekly Racing Series Modified win of the season on Tuesday night (July 3) in the 22nd Annual Georgie...

Minersville, PA - (July 3) - Craig Von Dohren of Barto, PA piloted the BRB Racing/Mrs. T's Pierogies 114 to his second Big Diamond Raceway NASCAR Weekly Racing Series Modified win of the season on Tuesday night (July 3) in the 22nd Annual Georgie Stevenson Memorial 50. The win was work $4000 and vaulted Von Dohren into the lead of the Big Diamond Raceway season point standings.

In the accompanying NASCAR Roadrunner 15, Barry Schrader of Orwigsburg, PA took his second win of the year in the Orwigsburg Service Center/TriValley Nurseries 77.

Bruce Williams (Mahanoy Plane, PA) started on the pole for the 50-lap Stevenson Memorial But outside front row started, Tom Umbenhauer (Richland, PA) took the early lead. Jason Andrews (Palmerton, PA) took second on lap two with Larry Kelleher (Scranton, PA), Jim Hauer (Lebanon, PA) and Barry Readinger (Fleetwood, PA) next. Following a lap four yellow for a tangle involving Steve Bottcher (Lehighton, PA), Ray Swinehart (Bechtelsville, PA), Ron Mawson, Jr. (Scranton, PA), Kyle Weiss (Hamburg, PA) and Kevin Graver, Jr. (Lehighton, PA) between turns three and four, Andrews flexed his muscle and took charge while Jack Hartnett (Telford, PA) moved into the top five as Readinger pitted and went to the rear.

Andrews held the lead as Umbenhauer and Hauer traded second through lap 11 and Jeff Strunk (Bethel, PA), Duane Howard (Oley, PA) and J. Hartnett battled for third. The leaders checked up with 11 laps complete and Strunk and Howard got together with Strunk spinning and Howard continuing but retiring to the pits with suspension damage. Craig Von Dohren, who started 16th, moved by both J. Hartnett and Tom Umbenhauer on the restart to take third. Andrews stayed on top while Von Dohren moved past Hauer on lap 18 with the three cars running in close quarters. Keith Hoffman (Whitehall, PA) and Dennis Bailey (Kutztown, PA) displaced J. Hartnett and Umbenhauer from the top five on lap 18 and one lap later Von Dohren disposed of Andrews to take command of the feature.

The yellows continued as with 21 complete the 73 of Jack Hartnett expired on the backstretch. On the ensuing restart Hauer and Bailey got together in turn one causing the event's tenth yellow leading to single file restarts the rest of the way. On the restart Von Dohren was trailed by Andrews, Hoffman, Kyle Weiss, and Glenn Strunk of Boyertown, PA). After two more yellows Hoffman worked past Andrews on lap 28 for second with G. Strunk taking third on lap 32 and Weiss going by for fourth on lap 33. Kerry Kratz (Bechtelsville, PA) spun in turn four with 33 complete and, following an aborted restart, the decision was made to red flag the event and allow the cars to be refueled.

The final 17 laps went caution free following the restart and Von Dohren was not to be headed. Ray Swinehart was really on the move in the closing laps and charged to third as the laps wound down but was unable to catch Von Dohren and Hoffman.

Craig Von Dohren took the rich win followed by Keith Hoffman, Ray Swinehart, Glenn Strunk, Kyle Weiss, Keith Brightbill (Reading, PA), Kevin Hartnett (Perkasie, PA), Dennis Bailey, Tom Umbenhauer and Kerry Kratz. Heat winners were Jim Hauer, Umbenhauer, Barry Readinger and Duane Howard while Craig Whitmoyer (Hamburg, PA) and Kratz took the consolation victories.

Dave Winslow of Fleetwood, PA looked like his was on a mission to take his first career Big Diamond win in the roadrunner 15 as he charged from his scheduled third starting spot into the lead on lap one. Winslow opened up a huge lead while Buck Crossley (Leesport, PA) and Kirby Schlappich (Temple, PA) battled for second. As Schlappich faded Barry Schrader, who started ninth, entered the battle for second. Schrader took second on lap 12 as the first caution of the event flew as the 76 of Crossley came to a stop. Dave Miller (Pine Grove, PA) assumed third followed by Marc Berzowski (Minersville, PA) and John Ulsh (Summit Station, PA). But Miller retired with mechanical problems as well as three other cars including early front runner, Schlappich.

Winslow's big lead was wiped out and Schrader quickly passed the lead on the front stretch for the lead. Winslow now had his hands full with Ulsh and Berzowski, allowing Schrader to go on to the win over Ulsh, Winslow, Berzowski and Phil Levering (Parkerford, PA).

Roadrunner heat winners were Winslow and Crossley.

In addition to the $4000, Von Dohren received a racing wheel from Art Bair and Bair Wheel Repair of New Ringgold, PA. Art already awarded two racing wheels last week to both the disqualified winner, Mike Lyons, and the actual winner, Joe Biasi, Jr., as part of Big Diamond's PA Sprint Speedweek show and will present racing wheels to both the Thursday night sportsman winner and the Friday night Modified 100 winner as part of the season ending Coalcracker 100 leading into the Labor Day weekend. Finally Art will provide a racing wheel to the leading Sportsman feature winner at the end of the season and $250 to the leading modified feature winner.

The Stevenson Family selected Ray Swinehart as the recipient of the annual Georgie Stevenson Memorial Award for his help and support of the Stevenson Charities. Swinehart, along with Ken Rogers of Grandview Speedway, brought the Grandview Experience two-seater modified to Big Diamond for the Memorial. Ray provided high speed rides around the speedway to the successful bidder in the pre-season Big Diamond Car Show/Stevenson Memorial Auction and a lucky supporter of the Stevenson Memorial Charities drawing.

Additionally track starter Mike Feltenberger and assistant starter Joe Kaminski each presented George Stevenson checked for $50 based on $1 for each non-stop qualifying event and $5 for each non-stop feature run this year through the end of June.

This Friday night (July 6) at 8:00 is True Value Hardware Night as well as a Simpson Racing Products Contingency Night. The NASCAR Weekly Racing Series Modifieds, NASCAR ShorTrack Sportsman and NASCAR Roadrunners. Duane Howard will look to get back into the point lead in the Modifieds after falling to third behind Craig Von Dohren and Keith Hoffman on Tuesday. Also Dave Dissinger will look to get back on track in the Sportsman class as his point lead over Mike Schane (Hamlin, PA) and Randy Mohn (Fredericksburg, PA) has shrunk in recent weeks.

On Tuesday, July 10, at 7:30 pm Big Diamond will host another open practice night. The pit fee for this three hour session is $15 while fans will be admitted to the stands for free.

Then, the next big event on the Big Diamond cars is on Friday night, July 13, as the Bar's Leaks United Racing Club Sprint Cars join the NASCAR Modifieds and Roadrunners on a very unique, high powered card.

For more info on racing at Big Diamond Raceway call (570) 544-6434 or drop in at the track web site,


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Drivers Steve George
Teams Williams