Big Diamond report 2001-07-13

Minersville, PA - July 13 - Duane Howard of Oley, PA powered the Big Spring Car Wash 126 to his fourth win of the year in the $2000-to-win Big Diamond Raceway NASCAR Weekly Racing Series 25-lap feature. Jeremy Trout of York, PA piloted the Wise...

Minersville, PA - July 13 - Duane Howard of Oley, PA powered the Big Spring Car Wash 126 to his fourth win of the year in the $2000-to-win Big Diamond Raceway NASCAR Weekly Racing Series 25-lap feature.

Jeremy Trout of York, PA piloted the Wise Construction/Arcadia Financial X to the $1500 victory in the 25-lap Bar's Leaks United Racing Club feature as part of the C&C Landscape URC Pennsylvania Tour. Marc Berzowski of Llewellyn, PA took his first Roadrunner feature win of the year in the 15-lap feature.

Tim Fitzpatrick of Minersville, Pa jumped out on top at the drop of the 25-lap Modified feature in his 102. Fitzpatrick held off Shawn Reimert (Oley, PA) and Ron Mawson, Jr. (Pittston, PA) while Duane Howard and Keith Hoffman (Whitehall, PA) charged through the field. Howarde, who started ninth, moved by Terry Meitzler (Kutztown, PA) for fourth on lap four and then overtook both Mawson and Reimert on lap 6 to move to second. Hoffman was in his shadow taking fourth on lap 7 and third on lap 8.

Duane Howard powered his Lombardo powered, Troyer 4-Coil 126 under Fitzpatrick as they exited turn four to lead as they completed lap 11. Hoffman moved to second on lap 15 with Fitzpatrick, Larry Kelleher (Scranton, PA) and Meitzler completing the top five. The non-stop feature saw no change in the top five until lap 24 when Jeff Strunk (Bethel, PA) moved into fifth only to have problems on the final lap and fall from the top ten. On the final lap Fitzpatrick bobbled allowing Kelleher ad Meitzler to move up.

At the finish of the 25-lap main which was completed in 7 minutes, 50.72 seconds it was Duane Howard, Keith Hoffman, Larry Kelleher, Terry Meitzler, Tim Fitzpatrick, Ron Mawson, Jr., Barry Readinger (Fleetwood, PA), Jim Hauer (Lebanon, PA), Steve Bottcher (Lehighton, PA) and Craig Von Dohren (Barto, PA). Heat winners were Jeff Strunk, Meitzler, and Von Dohren with Jack Hartnett (Telford, PA) taking the consolation win.

Jeremy Trout started on the pole with the Todd Wise X in the 25-lap URC Sprint feature and immediately assumed command. Kevin Walsh (Far Hills, NJ) and Deric Parker (Greenwood, DE) offered early pressure but following the race's first of only two cautions, on lap 4, Dave McGough (Sassamansville, PA) moved from his fifth starting spot into second on lap 5. McGough was quickly followed by Brian Seldel (Allentown, PA), who moved from ninth to third by lap 6 in thr JMO Motorsports 3. McGough powered under Trout on lap 8 to take the lead. McGough opened up what appeared to be an insurmountable lead but Trout refused to settle for second as they encountered the tail-end of the field.

"When Dave got under me he kind of showed me the line," commented Trout later. "I do not believe the lapped cars really caused us a problem, when we got into traffic I think I was a little better than Dave on the bottom and I was able to get under him."

That was the way it went as Trout regained the lead on lap 20 when McGough appeared to get caught up in traffic. Without the help of caution flags, Seidel and also the hard charging Kramer Williamson (Palmyra, PA), who started tenth in the Palladino 99, were unable to challenge the lead duo. The second yellow did fly on lap 24 but the restart with one to go did not change the top five.

At the finish it was Jeremy Trout taking his second career URC win and becoming the ninth different winner in ten URC races this year. Dave McGough held second followed by Brian Seidel, Kramer Williamson, Kevin Welsh, Bill Brian, Jr. (Ephrata, PA), Chris Coyle (Wilmington, DE), George Suprick (Clarks Summit, PA), Matt Gerber (Allentown, PA) and Sam Ross (West Grove, PA). Heat winners were Ross, McGough, Donnie Ennis (Hartley, DE), and Welsh. Doug Emery (Nedrow, NY) captured the C-Main and Supricj won the B-Main.

Jason Oswald (New Ringgold, PA) led the opening lap of the Roadrunner 15-lap feature in his Bobby Labonte/Interstate Batteries 18 look alike. Oswald's time at the point was limited as Marc Berzowski took the lead on lap three and never looked back. The 15-lap feature went non-stop in a time of 6:09.03 and Berzowski, took his first win of the year over a late closing Dave Miller (Pine Grove, PA), John Ulsh (Summit Station, PA), Oswald, and Barry Schrader (Orwigsburg, PA). Heat winners were Schrader and Berzowski.

This Friday night, July 20, at Big Diamond Raceway will see the NASCAR ShorTrack Sportsman rejoin the NASCAR Modifieds and Roadrunners on the three-division card starting at 8PM. The Sportsman will go in back-to-back, Twin-15 lap features to celebrate their return after a week off.

On August 3, West Side Wood Products and Hamburg's Dark 'n Go Tanning Salon will bring the Super Sportsman cars to Big Diamond on a card with the NASCAR Modifieds and Roadrunners. The winged sportsman field is seeing a clash of the veterans versus the young newcomers trying to wrestle the spotlight. Among the leading competitors on the Sportsman Tour are Carmen Perigo, Frankie Herr, Ken Carberry, Howie Locke, Smokey Snellbaker, Rich Eichelberger, Russ Mitten, Danny Hager, Craig Morrow, Pat Cannon, and Donnie Beaver as well as local favorites like Bill Schoffstall, Pat Kelly, Chris Reed, Kirby Sites and recent Lincoln Speedway winner Keith Prutzman. Regarding the Super Sportsman at Big Diamond, the track has announced that, due to the fact that the Big Diamond back gate pit fee of $25 is higher that the super sportsman teams usually pay, all position including non-qualifiers money will be increased $20 over the usual Super Sportsman Tour payoff. It is hoped that this will be seen as a good faith effort by the track to listen to the concerns of the sportsman drivers and partially cover some of their added expenses.

The annual Big Diamond Raceway Coal Cracker Golf Outing has been scheduled for Sunday, August 26, at the Mountain Valley Golf Course in St. Clair, PA. The shotgun start will be at 1:30 PM for the four-man scramble that benefits the Georgie Stevenson Memorial Fund and the J. Smully Foundation. Golf shirts are included for each golfer and there will be door prizes in addition to awards provided to the top three in each of three flites determined upon completion of the golfing. A pig roast follows the round of golf.

Entries are now being accepted for four-man teams. Cost is $65 per golfer and foursomes should include their name, address, phone number and shirt size to Big Diamond Raceway Golf Outing, PO Box 298, Minersville, PA 17954.

Mountain Valley is located off Burma Road just outside of St. Clair, PA.

Big Diamond Raceway is now accepting lap sponsorship money for the Modified Coal Cracker 100 to be run on the Friday night of the Labor Day weekend. Laps are $10 each and can be purchased from Mary Bagley at the track on race night in the officials' tower or by contacting Mary at (610) 327-2057.

Sean Michael is the only repeat URC feature winner of 2001. Other winners include Jeremy Trout, Dave McGough, Greg Coverdale, Scott Pursell, Pete Green, George Suprick, Fred Rahmer and Bill Brian. Chris Coyle leads the URC BAR's Leaks Sprint Series point chase followed by George Suprick, Mike Haggenbottom, Doug Emery and Bill Brian Jr. 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 Bobby Labonte
Teams Williams