Big Diamond report 2002-07-15

Desantis beats challengers to front for 3rd Big Diamond win. Minersville, PA - July 12 - Meme DeSantis of Temple, PA beat his chief rivals to the front and held off late challenges to take his third NASCAR Weekly Racing Series Modified feature...

Desantis beats challengers to front for 3rd Big Diamond win.

Minersville, PA - July 12 - Meme DeSantis of Temple, PA beat his chief rivals to the front and held off late challenges to take his third NASCAR Weekly Racing Series Modified feature win of 2002 at Big Diamond Raceway on Friday night.

Craig Whitmoyer of Hamburg, PA blew the engine in the Reppert's Automotive/ELCO 99 on the backstretch of the final lap but coasted to his fourth Sportsman win of the season.

An early exit in the second feature last week moved DeSantis to an eighth starting spot in the 25-lap Modified main. Dale Roth (Newmanstown, PA) took the early lead in the feature but Bobby Gunther-Walsh (Allentown, PA) powered under him in turn two to take the lead on lap 3.

But DeSantis had the Norm's Save Station 357 flying in fourth. On a lap four restart, DeSantis got a big run and passed Walsh on the outside down the backstretch for the lead.

But that was not the end of the story. As they completed lap five the cream of the crop was on DeSantis's tail,,â^À¦ Duane Howard (Oley, PA), Craig Von Dohren (Barto, PA), Shawn Reimert (Oley, PA) and point leader, Keith Hoffman (Whitehall, PA), who started 27th.

Von Dohren won his war wuith Howard for second finally on lap 15 and went after DeSantis. A yellow with 20 laps in put Von Dohren on DeSantis rear bumper. On lap 21 and 22 Von Dohren drew even with DeSantis using the inside groove in turn three, but both times DeSantis pulled away in turn four.

At the finish it was Meme DeSantis taking the $2000 win over Craig Von Dohren, Duane Howard, Keith Hoffman, Shawn Reimert, Kevin Hartnett (Perkasie, PA), Terry Meitzler (Kutztown, PA), Barry Readinger (Fleetwood, PA), Tim Fitzpatrick (Branchdale, PA), and Bruce Williams (Pottsville, PA). Heat winners were Von Dohren, Gunther-Walsh and Howard.

"The track was awesome," shared DeSantis in the winner's circle. "That was great racing. It was hammer down racing."

When asked about the strength of his 357 Team, Desantis responded, "Norm Hansell has given us everything I expected and more. They said we would not get along but they were wrong. He's just like me."

This week has been tough of sportsman driver Rick Hendricks and roadrunner frontrunner Doug Hendricks, with the passing of their father and former racer, Drick Hendricks at the age of 71. Rick was looking to do his father proud by running the sportsman race of his life, leading the first seven laps of the 20-lap main event. Chris Clemens (Coopersburg, PA) chellenged early but point leader, Craig Whitmoyer flexed his muscle on lap six, taking second after starting the event in eighth. Whitmoyer took charge on a lap eight restart, overtaking Hendricks in turn one usling the outside line.

Hendricks held the runner-up spot until Ed Scott (New Tripoli, PA) moved by on lap 13. Luke Wagner (Grantville, PA) took advantage as well to take third. But the events final yellow was on lap 11 and Whitmoyer had opened up a comfortable lead. It was good that he did as the 99 exited turn two on the final lap with a thick plume of smoke. The blown engine may hurt the racing expense account by Whitmoyer was at least able to salvage the win, costing across the finish line.

Following Whitmoyer at the finish were Ed Scott, Luke Wagner, Billy Moyer (Pine Grove, PA), Rick Hendricks, Tom Cremer (Sinking Spring, PA), John Deatrich, Jr. (Pottsville, PA), Brent Boyer (Bloomsburg, PA), Gary Wagner, Jr. (Womelsdorf, PA) and Shawn Fitzpatrick (Pottsville, PA). Heat winners were Darren Dreher (Schuylkill Haven, PA), Boyer and Wagner. Kevin Holland (Pine Grove, PA) Made a big move from his fourth starting spot to take the lead in the roadrunner 15-lap main from pole sitter, Kevin Beach in turn four. Holland knew he had to go early as two of the fastest roadrunners this year driven by Dave Miller (Pine Grove, PA) and Rick Hendricks were second and third by the end of lap three. The events only yellow with three laps in was all Hendricks needed as he drove under both Miller and Holland to the lead on lap four.

Hendricks ran away and hid, lapping four cars in the field in the process. Holland held on for a strong second over Miller, Rodney Ulsh (Summit Station, PA) and Marty Shappell (Pottsville, PA). Heat winners were Hendricks and Shappell.

This Friday night racing resumes at Big Diamond Raceway at 8PM with the United Racing Club 360 Sprint Cars joining the NASCAR Weekly Racing Series Modifieds, and Roadrunners. Then, coming on July 26, it is the KARS 358 Sprint joining the NASCAR Modifieds and Roadrunners on the Friday night card. The Sportsman stocks are slated to return on August 2. Big Diamond is located in Forestville, PA just outside of Minersville, PA near Interstate 81. For more information call 570-544-6434.

-bds-

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Series NASCAR , Sprint , Stock car
Teams Williams