Big Diamond summary 2004-07-30

Minersville, PA - July 30 - Point leaders Doug Hoffman of Allentown and Tom Brennan of Pottsville snapped dry spells to capture the NASCAR Dodge Weekly Series Modified and ShorTrack Sportsman Modified features respectively on Friday night as part...

Minersville, PA - July 30 - Point leaders Doug Hoffman of Allentown and Tom Brennan of Pottsville snapped dry spells to capture the NASCAR Dodge Weekly Series Modified and ShorTrack Sportsman Modified features respectively on Friday night as part of Big Diamond Raceway's 33rd Season Celebration and Checkered Flag Fan Club Night.

Laudan Seigfried of Lake Wynonah captured the special limited late model 20-lap feature while Kevin Holland (Pine Grove) muscled his way to the roadrunner feature win.

It looked like early 25-lap Modified feature leaders, rookie Justin Andrews (Parryville) and Sean Merkel (Boyertown), might steal the spotlight but Doug Hoffman over took Merkel on lap 15 to take his seventh win of the season in Moose Eisenhard's Klinger Motorsports TEO #77 Modified. Craig Von Dohren (Oley) ran second followed by Rick Laubach (Richlandtown), Keith Hoffman (Whitehall), Merkel, Doug Manmiller (Wyomissing), Kyle Weiss (Hamburg), Meme DeSantis (Temple), Justin Andrews and Shawn Fitzpatrick (Pottsville). Qualifying heat wins went to Von Dohren, Manmiller and Rick Schaffer (Woxall) while Weiss was the consolation winner.

In the Sportsman Modified 20-lap feature, rookie Ryan Grim (Laurys Station) led the first 15 laps until point leader Tom Brennan took the lead and his third win of the year. Jesse Sterling finished second with Grim, Dave Dissinger (Mohrsville) and Andy Miller (Schuylkill Haven) completing the top five. Next at the finish were Brad Brightbill (Sinking Spring), Andy Fayash, Jr. (Mary-D), Freddie Fisher (Reading), Brad Force (Milford, NJ) and Luke Wagner (Grantville). Heat wins went to Ryan Moyer (Schuylkill Haven), Fayash, Miller and Sterling while consi winners were Larry Lippencott (Riegelsville) and Force.

Laudan Seigfried piloted his 99K to the special 20-lap limited late model feature win over Chris Shuey (Orefield), Ron Kline (Salfordville), Larry Baer (Dover), Travis Balthaser (Bernville), Randy Stoudt (Pottstown), Brian Shuey (Hamburg), Jason Miller (Germansville), Steve Sennott (Gilbertsville) and Lee Miller (New Tripoli). The 24-car field saw Seigfried and Junior Grebe (Gilbertsville) take heat wins.

Kevin Holland was the roadrunner winner over Derek Bender (Tremont), Dean Ulsh (Auburn), Kevin Beach (Llewellyn) and Jake Smulley (Phoenix Park).

The NASCAR Dodge Weekly Series Modified feature saw rookies Justin Andrews and Sean Merkel starting on the front row. Andrews got away on top at the drop of the green while Merkel dropped to third as Josh Biever (Schuylkill Haven) took second. Merkel, fresh off his first career win six nights earlier at Grandview Speedway, regained second on lap three and moved by Andrews on a lap four restart following a yellow for a tangle involving Doug Manmiller and Billy Pauch, Jr. (Frenchtown, NJ), who were battling for ninth. Merkel's move to the lead was timely as heavy hitters, Doug Hoffman, Rick Schaffer, Craig Von Dohren and Rick Laubach were already battling for top five spots. In fact, Hoffman, who started fifteenth, was fifth by the close of lap three. Von Dohren was eighth at that point but he quickly made up group as they battled to the leader.

Doug Hoffman took second from Andrews on lap six with Von Dohren getting third one lap later and Laubach, fourth on lap eight. Merkel drove like a veteran, in spite of having very little Big Diamond experience, as Hoffman tried all he could to get by while trying to hold off Von Dohren and Laubach. Merkel maintained a slight edge as Hoffman, Von Dohren and Laubach pressured the leader and each other in a battle that thrilled the crowd as the field ran under green through the entire period following the yellow with three laps complete until a late, final yellow on lap 21.

The long green led to the leaders encountering the tail end of the field and as they lapped Dale Hartz, Hoffman made his move to the inside of both Hartz and leader Merkel in turns three and four to take the lead on lap 15. Von Dohren also moved by Merkel on lap 16 but the rookie ran tough and did not yield third to Laubach until lap 19. Hoffman and Von Dohren charged through lapped traffic with little room for error as Von Dohren stayed glued to the leader until a lap 20 yellow eliminated the slower traffic from the lead battle.

Doug Hoffman held on for the win but there were other late runs of note. Keith Hoffman came back from the rear, after being caught up in a lap two tangle, to take fourth from Sean Merkel on lap 23. Kyle Weiss started 21st and charged up to fifth by lap twelve, ending up in seventh at the finish. Doug Manmiller came from last on lap three to take sixth at the checkered flag. Meme Desantis started 26th in the Dinatale 11D and finished eighth. Rick Schaffer started tenth and was fourth by lap three but a late race tangle with DeSantis, causing the race's final yellow, dropped him to fifteenth at the finish.

Ryan Grim grabbed the lead at the start of the Sportsman Modified feature from pole sitter Cory Renninger (Llewellyn) and held off another rookie Jordan Umbenhauer (Richland) who took second on lap two. The rookies remained up front until point leader, Tom Brennan, made his way to the front from his 16th starting spot. On lap 15 Brennan overtook Umbenhauer and, a lap later, he dove under the leader in turn four to take the lead. Umbenhauer's career best run ended in frustration as he spun his 19U out of third on lap 17. Billy Moyer, Jr. (Pine Grove) looked strong as he took second from Grim on lap 19 only to spin in turn two due to a mechanical failure, causing a yellow just before the race could be completed. Grim reassumed second on the restart only to see Jesse Sterling steal the position coming off turn four for the checkered flag.

In the limited late model 20-lap main event Chris Shuey overtook pole starter Jason Miller on the first lap to take charge but Laudan Seigfried was on a mission as he moved from sixth to second at the close of lap two with a daring three wide charge between competitors on the backstretch. Ziggy was strong and he took the lead from Shuey on lap five and never looked back. Shuey was joined by Ron Kline and Larry Baer to chase after the leader from lap three through the finish. They stayed right there with Seigfried but were unable to make a serious charge. In the best LLM runs of the night Travis Balthaser started 12th and finished fifth while Matt Glinski started 18th and finished 11th in the 24-car field.

The roadrunners have put on some of the most thrilling and clean racing all year long but this weeks main event was marred with rough stuff and saw several top runners knock out of competition or out of position. Jake Smulley led the opening lap and Tom Hablett (Schuylkill Haven) paced the field fro lap two through seven. Derek Bender was looking for his first win of the year and led laps eight and nine but Kevin Holland muscled and banged his way through the field twice to rob Bender of the win. It was Holland's sixth win of the season.

Tyler Leitzel was selected as the Junior Fan of the Night but he was not in attendance. Also the Junior Fan Club members who won bicycles as part of the Georgie Stevenson memorial were Ethan Millin and Brooke Schach.

This Friday night, August 6, will see the a division battle for the spotlight at Big Diamond Raceway as the headlining NASCAR Dodge Weekly Series Modifieds contend with double features for both the Sportsman Modifieds and Roadrunners on the five feature card starting at 8 PM. The second Sportsman Modified 15-lap feature and second Roadrunner 12-lap feature, rain delayed from the July 4 Georgie Stevenson Memorial, will be on this program that will also includes a full racing card for the Modifieds, Sportsman Modifieds and Roadrunners. Gates open at 6 PM.

Also, as a final note, this week is final call for entries for the Big Diamond Raceway Coal Cracker Golf Tournament at Mountain Valley Golf Course near of Mahanoy City on Sunday afternoon, August 29th. The $65 fee per person for the golf outing includes two flights for competition, door prizes, event golf shirts, a western-style barbeque following the tournament and refreshments before, during and after golf. Any interested participants that have not yet sent in reservations should call (570) 544-6434 and talk to JoAnn Roehrig or leave a message. It is important that she knows if you are participating as well as the shirt sizes of each player in your foursome now. Registration can follow.

Looking ahead, on Friday night, August 13, the Big Diamond racing program will now include a full racing card for the NASCAR Dodge Weekly Series Modifieds, the ShorTrack Sportsman Modifieds and the Roadrunners plus the complete, rain-delayed NASCAR Modified 25-lap feature from June 25. The held-over feature will open the card and then a complete card of heats and consolations will be run followed by the modified, sportsman and roadrunner features.

Craig Von Dohren, the all-time leading feature winner at Big Diamond, will also be part of a give-away to all Junior Fan Club members in attendance on August 13. Courtesy of car owner, Bill Devine, and Racerboy Marketing, special Craig Von Dohren 25th Year Racing Anniversary/Devine Racing photo cards will be given away to Big Diamond Junior Fan Club members. Should scheduling permit, plans are to have Craig autograph these 8-1/2" by 6" cards featuring the Devine Transport / Stauffer Construction 70D.

For information on racing at Big Diamond Raceway take a look at the track's website at or call (570) 544-6434.


NASCAR DODGE WEEKLY SERIES MODIFIEDS - 25-lap Feature: 1. 77 Doug Hoffman, 2. 70D Craig Von Dohren, 3. 14 Rick Laubach, 4. 1 Keith Hoffman, 5. 118 Sean Merkel, 6. OO Doug Manmiller, 7. 21K Kyle Weiss, 8. 11D Meme DeSantis, 9. 24H Justin Andrews, 10. 102 Shawn Fitzpatrick, 11. 15X Billy Pauch, Jr., 12. 64W John Willman, 13. 5 Paul Kline, 14. 83B Josh Biever, 15. 73 Rick Schaffer, 16. 11 Keith Brightbill, 17. 3X Ron Mawson, Jr., 18. 100 Tom Pompei, 19. 71S Sam Schaeffer, 20. 505 Randy Mohn, 21. 15 Dale Hartz, 22. 7X Tommy Sheetz, Jr., 23. 9 Mike Bailey, 24. 901 Bruce Williams, 25. 6 Dale Roth, 26. 33 Ray Swinehart, 27. 99W Craig Whitmoyer, 28. 42 Jeff Sechrist... Non-Qualifiers: w9 Paul Lotier, Jr., 85 Bobby Forsythe, 99K Don Keefer, 178 John Durling, 221 Ryan Beltz, Sq1 Bobby Gunther Walsh, 21T Jason Andrews, 88X Roy Wiest.

Heat 1: 70D, 100, 14, 901, 24H, 5, 11, 3X, 85, 21K, Sq1, 71S.
Heat 2: OO, 118, 15X, 77, 102, 6, 505, 15, 9, 221, 21T, 11D.
Heat 3: 73, 83B, 33, 99W, 64W, 42, 7X, 99K, 1, 178, W9, 88X.
Consolation: 21K, 1, 15, 9, 11D, 3X, 71S, W9, 85, 99K, 178, 221, Sq1, 21T, 88X.

NASCAR DODGE SHORTRACK SPORTSMAN MODIFIEDS - 20-lap Feature: 1. 26 Tom Brennan, 2. 4 Jesse Sterling, 3. 17T Ryan Grim, 4. 69 Dave Dissinger, 5. 64 Andy Miller, 6. 19 Brad Brightbill, 7. 157 Andy Fayash, Jr., 8. 95 Freddie Fisher, 9. 8 Brad Force, 10. 3 Luke Wagner, 11. 10 Lowell Snyder, 12. 93 Ryan Moyer, 13. Jordan Umbenhauer, 14. KT3 Cory Renninger, 15. B26 John Bush, Jr., 16. 25 Ray Deemer, 17. 72 Ray Woodall, Jr., 18. 23B Steve Zimmerman, 19. 221 Rob Gibson, 20. 17 Billy Moyer, Jr., 21. 515 Larry Lippencott, 22. 59 Warren Kohler, 23. 39J Jeff Geake, 24. 47 Gary Wagner, Jr., 25. 12V John Deatrich, Jr., 26. 35 Ebby Ridge... Non-Qualifiers: 8JR Doug Hendricks, 73 Darrell Herman, 17R Kevin Nolf, 22N Ray Gara, 58 Chris Eckert, 31 Harry Landis, 11 Mike Stankiewicz, 12 Carl Lieber, 5 Greg Weiland, 147 Louie Mitchalk, 74 Pete Marburger, 512 Keith Fleming, 59 Jason Kohler..

Heat 1: 93, 26, 72, 35, 10, 515, 73, 12, 22N, 12V.
Heat 2: 157, 23B, 19, KT3, 3, 221, 31, 147, 74, 512.
Heat 3: 69, 39J, 19U, 47, 95, 8, B26, 17R, 11, 59 Jason Kohler (Scratched).
Heat 4: 4, 17, 64, 17T, 59 Warren Kohler, 5, 58, 25, 8Jr.
Consi 1: 515, 221, 12V, 73, 22N, 31, 12, 147, 74.
Consi 2: 8, B26, 25, 8JR, 17R, 58, 11, 5, 512.

LIMITED LATE MODELS - 20-lap Feature : 1. 99X Laudan Seigfried, 2. 21 Chris Shuey, 3. Ron Kline, 4. 0 Larry Baer, 5. 1 Travis Balthaser, 6. 22 Randy Stoudt, 7. 5B Brian Shuey, 8. 44 Jason Miller, 9. 61 Steve Sennott, 10. 56 Lee Miller, 11. 44G Matt Glinski, 12. 93 Rick Todorow, 13. 73 Junior Grebe, 14. 102 Kelly Snyder, 15. 11 Dave Sokoloski, 16. 1* Chuck Schutz, 17. 17 Jake Lettich, 18. 9 Steve Weikel, 19. F1 Colbey Frye, 20. 83 Steve Todorow, 21. 33 Harold Beinhower, 22. 69N Jesse Willman, 23. s16 Gerry Stutting, 24. 5 Bud Witman.

Heat 1: 99x, 0, 3, 44, F1, 22, 33, 1*, 17, 83, 102, s16. 8-lap Time: 2:29.490.
Heat 2: 73, 1, 56, 61, 21, 5b, 9, 93, 44G, 11, 69N, 5. 8-lap Time: 2:33. 599.

NASCAR ROADRUNNERS - 15-lap Feature: 1. 66 Kevin Holland, 2. 19W Derek Bender, 3. 3 Dean Ulsh, 4. 17 Kevin Beach, 5. 4 Jake Smulley, 6. 39S Butch Solt, 7. 555 Elvin Brennan, 8. 22 Tom Hablett, 9. 39 Robbie Pyle, 10. Big1 Mike Allar, 11. 550 Mark Berzowski, 12. 23 Dave Kamp, 13. 35 Jason Purcell.


Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Drivers Jason Miller , Harry Landis , Billy Pauch , Rob Gibson
Teams Williams