Minersville, PA - June 27 - Tyler Walker never saw Big Diamond Raceway until Tuesday night. But you would have never thought with the way the North Hills, California, resident sawed the wheel of Bob Stewart-owned sprint car en route to victory in...
Minersville, PA - June 27 - Tyler Walker never saw Big Diamond Raceway until Tuesday night. But you would have never thought with the way the North Hills, California, resident sawed the wheel of Bob Stewart-owned sprint car en route to victory in the 30-lap Keystone Pretzels Pennsylvania Sprint Speedweek. In fact, Walker appeared as though he had experience in a modified, sportsman or some other division that runs weekend at the 3/8-mile oval located in coal country. The win was Walker's first ever in the 10-year history of Pennsylvania Speedweek. It was also his second victory in three weeks as he captured a feature event at New Egypt Speedway earlier in the month. Ironically is was the third win in three 410 sprint events ever held at Big Diamond Raceway for Stewart's Apple Motorsports Team. "I was praying it wouldn't rain and thank goodness it didn't rain," said Walker. "I was excited about coming up here and we hoped to get a win." Immediately after the statement, Walker did one of his patented cartwheel-back flip combinations to the applause of the large crowd in attendance. Though Walker stole the thunder at the end of the race, it was James Chesson of Far Hills, NJ, who appeared to have the upper hand at the start of the feature. Chesson, a student at Marymount College, took the lead at the start from his pole starting spot. That lead was wiped out when the first caution occurred on lap two when Judi Bates (Spring Run, PA) spun while racing in the back of the field. Wes Harbour (Huntington, WV) brought out the second caution after he spun on the frontstretch during the restart. Chesson's hopes of winning a first-career main ended on lap three when Don Kreitz Jr. of Sinking Spring, PA moved into the lead on the third lap. Kreitz, a driver with experience in modifieds, URC Sprints and sprints at Big Diamond, took control of the event, but cautions plagued the event. Racing action was slowed on lap eight when Keith Kauffman (Mifflintown, PA) had a right-rear tire deflate in turn three. Kauffman stopped to make the appropriate repairs and returned for the rest of the event. Danny Jones' night nearly ended on lap nine when he spun down the backstretch after losing control of the Garry Ferguson-owned sprint car. Jones (Hanover, PA) slid backwards into one of the large infield tires about 15 to 20 feet inside the inside planted row of tires that separates the speedway from the infield area. Kreitz did have the luxury of Walker and Billy Pauch (Frenchtown, NJ) doing battle for second as he was opening a healthy lead. "That was probably the best thing that could have happened at that point," said Kreitz. "It gave me some time to pull away from the rest of those guys." Dave Ely (Sinking Spring, PA), Krietz's nephew, stopped on the frontstretch during the completion of lap 14 and was unable to continue for the remainder of the feature race. Walker used the restart to his advantage as he moved by Pauch and then worked over Kreitz for the lead on lap 21. Pauch made a rare error on lap 22 when he hooked the planted tires marking the inside edge of the track in turn one and spun. Judi Bates spun at the same time. "I didn't want to see that caution come out there at the end," said Walker. "I had a good thing going and that yellow just ruined it." It didn't matter as Walker led the final eight circuits to claim the event over Kreitz while Chesson was third, Skip Jackson (Sydney, Australia) was fourth and Lance Dewease (Fayetteville, PA) completed the top five. Completing the second five were Fred Rahmer, Len Thompson (Macungie, PA), Todd Shaffer (Millerstown, PA), Sean Michael (Allentown, PA) and Keith Kauffman (Mifflintown, PA). Qualifying heat winners were Kauffman, Shaffer and Rahmer with Kauffman taking the $300 win in the Alexander Pontiac/Buick.Cadillac/GMC Truck Cash Dash. Jeff Rohrbaugh (Hanover, PA) took the Sprint B-Main. The Sportsman that normally race at Big Diamond were also on the card with their usual NASCAR Exide ShorTrack rules relaxed slightly for a 20-lap non-point feature. It was business as usual, but a bit easier as Gary Hager of Stewartsville, PA started up front and led every lap for his sixth win of 2000 at the track. Tom Umbenhauer (Richland, PA) finished second followed by Five Mile Point visitor, Mike Schane (Hamlin, PA), Doug Manmiller (Wyomissing, PA) in the Steve Symons 21S, Jimmy Reppert (Hamburg, PA), Jeff Graby (Grantville, PA), Dave Dissinger (Mohrsville, PA), Billy Moyer, Jr. (Pine Grove, PA), Donn Edgar (Lehighton, PA) and Jeff Paulson (Honeybrook, PA). Heat winners were Hager, Umbenhauer and Joe Biasi, JR. (New Ringgold, PA) while Schane took the consolation. The win earned Hager a guaranteed starting spot in Five Mile Point Speedway's September Quarter Mile Dirt Track Championship 100. Hager earned $580, 20 gallons of Kelly Racing Fuel and a new Racing wheel from Art Bair Racing Wheels and Repair. Also Mike Schane captured a $100 bonus as the top finishing Five Mile Point invader, making his first trip ever to Big Diamond. Racing returns to Big Diamond Raceway this Friday night, June 30, as the NASCAR Weekly Racing Series Modifieds run in the Georgie Stevenson Memorial 50 worth $3500 to win. The NASCAR EXIDE ShorTrack Sportsman and Accel Roadrunners will also be on the card which starts with the first heat at 8pm.
SUMMARY - BIG DIAMOND RACEWAY - JUNE 27, 2000
KEYSTONE PRETZEL PENNSYLVANIA SPEEDWEEK 410 SPRINTS
30-lap Main: 1. 12 Tyler Walker, 2. 69 Don Kreitz, Jr., 3. 22 James Chesson, 4. 53K Skip Jackson, 5. 88H Lance Dewease, 6. 77 Fred Rahmer, 7. 10 Len Thompson, 8. 88 Todd Shaffer, 9. 1 Sean Michael, 10. 7 Keith Kauffman, 11. 07 Mike Lutz, 12. 29 Jeff Rohrbaugh, 13. 17B Troy Whitesell, 14. 53 Shawn Keen, 15. 2H Dave Hahn, 16. 7C Dave Cordier, 17. 26 Pat Cooper, 18. 121 Judi Bates, 19. 81 Bob Beidleman, 20. 55 Billy Pauch, 21. 77E Dave Ely, 22. 99 Danny Jones, 23. Wes Harbour, 24. 32 Brook Weibley. N/T. Time Trials: 1.12 Tyler Walker 14.060 seconds, 2. 55 Billy Pauch 14.154, 3. 69 Don Kreitz 14.177, 4. 22 James Chesson 14.178, 5. 53K Skip Jackson 14.185, 6. 1 Sean Michael 14.203, 7. 7 Keith Kauffman 14.225, 8. 88H Lance Dewease 14.250, 9. 77e Dave Ely 14.334, 10. 77 Fred Rahmer 14.472, 11. 88 Todd Shaffer 14.485, 12. 32 Brook Weibley 14.514, 13. 99 Danny Jones 14.657, 14. 121 Judi Bates 14.668, 15. 07 Mike Lutz 14.971, 16. 10 Len Thompson 14.976, 17. 53 Shawn Keen 14.999, 18. 17B Troy Whitesell 15.004, 19. 29 Jeff Rohrbaugh 15.056, 20. 2H Dave Hahn 15.214, 21. 26 Pat Cooper 15.417, 22. 4L Josh Wells 15.448, 23. 7C Dave Cordier 15.661, 24. 81 Bob Beidelman 15.675, 25. 33 Ron Kramer 16.201, 26. 77w Wes Harbour 16.249, 27. 10x Mark Whitebread 16.482.
Heat 1: Kauffman, Ely, Walker, Thompson, Chesson, Jones, Rohrbaugh, Wells, Kramer. Time: 2:31.69.
Heat 2: Shaffer, Pauch, Keen, Dewease, Jackson, Hahn, Bates, Beidleman, Harbour. N/T.
Heat 3: Rahmer, Lutz, Michael, Weibley, Kreitz, Whitesell, Cooper, Cordier, Whitebread. N/T.
Alexander Pontiac/Buick/Cadillac/GMC Truck Cash Dash: Kauffman, Shaffer, Rahmer Time: 46.11 sec.
B-Main: Rohrbaugh, Bates, Cooper, Cordier, Beidleman, Harbour, Kramer*, Wells*, Whitebread. N/T. (* - Kramer was penalized 2 spots for passing before the starting cone on a restart and Wells was penalized on the same restart for running inside of the cone.)
20-lap Main: 1. 44 Gary Hager, 2. 88 Tom Umbenhauer, 3. 86T Mike Schane, 4. 21S Doug Manmiller, 5. 7JR Jimmy Reppert, 6. 77 Jeff Graby, 7. 88X Dave Dissinger, 8. 17 Billy Moyer, Jr., 9. 57 Don Edgar, 10. 27X Jeff Paulson, 11. 1L Ryan Bauer, 12. 48R Ryan Moyer, 13. 86 John Oliver, 14. 25 John Deatrich, Jr., 15. 26 Tom Brennan, 16. 102 Shawn Fitzpatrick, 17. 7 Rick Hendricks, 18. 35 Lance Hoch, 19. 57X Ricky Rutt, 20. 28 Tom Solderich, 21. 39 Tom Cremer, 22. 3L Laudan Seigfried, 23. 611 Brad Grim, 24. B1 Joe Biasi, Jr., 25. 24 Tom Miller, 26. 505 Randy Mohn. N/T. - Non-qualifiers: 84 Leroy Long, 114 Terry Bensinger, 55 Darren Dreher, 10 Jerry Schott, 3 Jon Parmer, 87 Andy Burkhart, 27 Mike Manwiller.