GREG HODNETT THRILLS BIG DIAMOND CROWD WITH SPEEDWEEK WIN; CRAIG WHITMOYER TOPS RACE OF CHAMPIONS SPORTSMAN 40 FIELD Minersville, PA -- June 28, 2005 - Greg Hodnett of Memphis, Tennessee simply does not lose at Big Diamond Raceway. On Tuesday ...
GREG HODNETT THRILLS BIG DIAMOND CROWD WITH SPEEDWEEK WIN; CRAIG WHITMOYER TOPS RACE OF CHAMPIONS SPORTSMAN 40 FIELD
Minersville, PA -- June 28, 2005 - Greg Hodnett of Memphis, Tennessee simply does not lose at Big Diamond Raceway. On Tuesday night Hodnett captured the $4,000 feature win at the Minersville oval as part of the 2005 Cindy Rowe Auto Glass PA Sprint Speedweek, It was Hodnett's fifth Big Diamond win in six starts at the track and in eight 410 Sprint races in the track's history.
Greg Hodnett and his Hamilton Motorsports 77 sprinter were followed across the finish line by Stevie Smith (New Oxford), Mark Smith (Newville), Fred Rahmer (Salfordville), Blane Heimbach (Selinsgrove), T. J. Stutts (Liverpool), Keith Kauffman (Mifflintown), Mike Erdley (Herndon), Brian Leppo (Spring Grove) and Lance Dewease (Fayetteville).
In the Race of Champions Dirt Sportsman Tour 40, which was also on the card, Craig Whitmoyer of Hamburg, PA took the $1,000 first prize. He was trailed at the finish by Arnie Slade (Mt. Upton, NY), who had never seen Big Diamond before Tuesday night. Jason Hamilton (Erwinna) was next in third with Brad Brightbill (Shillington) and Tom Brennan (Pottsville). Completing the top ten were Jimmy Horton, IV (Neshanic Station, NJ), Mike Lyons (Monroe Township, NJ), Kyle Weiss (Hamburg), Brian Decker (Susquehanna) and Doug Hendricks (Auburn).
Hodnett seemed unsure as to why he has had such success at Big Diamond in the 410 Sprints. It was his first win at the track behind the wheel of Al Hamilton car and it was the first win ever for the legendary car owner at Big Diamond. Hodnett's previous four wins came in the Bob Stewart, Apple Motorsports 12 Team which has quite a record of it's own with wins six total wins at Diamond including single wins by current NASCAR Busch Grand National driver Tyler Walker of Los Angeles, California and Fred Rahmer.
"I just really like this track," he shared. "It is hard to say why we go so well. The track is racy and fast. It is just good to get another win here."
Keith Kauffman, the only other Big Diamond 410 Sprint winner, set fast time at 14.234 seconds and drew six for the inversion for the feature line-up. When top six timers Lucas Wolfe (Mechanicsburg) and Mike Erdley were unable to regain their times through qualifying races, eighth fast timer, Blane Heimbach started the 30-lapper on the pole.
Heimbach jumped out to a quick lead at the drop of the green. The yellow flew only once for a spinning Trevor Lewis (Upper Black Eddy) on the front stretch on lap 4. Heimbach continued to lead but Mark Smith was dogging him in the Tower City-based ZEMCO 1. On lap 7 Smith took the top spot with a turn three, outside pass. Hodnett, got by Heimbach on lap 12 and the chase was on.
Mark Smith slowly seemed to begin to lose his some bite on the inside line and Hodnett continued to charge on the outside. The margin slowly began to shrink and Hodnett was able to draw even with the leader. Finally on lap 17, Hodnett put the 77 in front and he never looked back. Stevie Smith made a late charge to take second on lap 25 but was unable to mount a threat to Hodnett and received no help to do so as the race went green the rest of thedistance.
Sprint heat winners were Cliff Brian (Ephrata), Alan Cole (Berwick) and Fred Rahmer while Mike Erdley captured the B-Main win. There were 29 cars on hand with Keith Kauffman setting fast time, at 14.234 seconds, over Erdley - 14.237, Lucas Wolfe - 14.237, TJ Stutts - 14.282; Greg Hodnett - 14.376, Stevie Smith -- 14.392, Mark Smith -- 14.443, Blane Heimbach -- 14.456, Rahmer -- 14.483, Brian Leppo -- 14.510. Jason Johnson (Eunice, LA) -- 14.532 and Lance Dewease -- 14.586.
In the RoC Sportsman 40, Mike Lyons (Monroe Township, NJ) got the jump on pole sitter Brad Grim (Coplay) to take the early feature lead. Grim, Arnie Slade and Danny Creeden (Middletown, NY) battled for second while Craig Whitmoyer charged from eighth starting spot to take fifth from Shaun Walker (Masonville, NY) fifth by the completion of lap two. Whitmoyer secured fourth from Creeden on lap three and the yellow flew for the first time with five laps complete for Jordan Umbenhauer (Richland).
On the restart Whitmoyer climbed to second and Creeden also got by Slade for fourth just behind Grim. Jessica Zemken (Sprakers, NY) and Joe Masiado (Easton) caused a yellow on lap 9 and a pair of yellow followed a lap later, first for the stalled car of Ricky Rutt (Phillipsburg, NJ) and then for a tangle involving Luke Wagner (Grantville), Fred Fisher (Wernersville) and Frank Doty (Middletown, NY). Back under green and Mike Lyons gave Whitmoyer and opening and the Big Diamond veteran moved under Lyons in turns three and four to take command on lap 11.
Lyons, Creeden and Slade battled for second after Grim dropped out under the Wagner-Fisher-Doty yellow. Walker, seventh starting Jason Hamilton and Brad Brightbill moved to fourth, fifth and sixth as they overtook Creeden on lap 14. No one was able to run off and hide or catch the rear of the field through 134 straight green laps and the next change occurred when Shaun Walker dropped out during a lap 24 yellow for Rutt and Andy Miller (Schuylkill Haven).At this point Brightbill moved into fifth but there was pressure from behind from Tom Brennan, Gene Stravinsky (New Egypt, NJ) and Jimmy Horton, IV, who started 18th.
The yellow flew again on lap 29 as Brent Boyer (Bloomsburg), Zemken and Jeff Geiges (Lawrenceburg, NJ) tangled in turn four. On this restart Lyons jumped the cushion in turns one and two, costing him six positions and moving Slade, Hamilton, Brightbill, Brennan, Horton and Kyle Weiss (Hamburg), who started 24th, up behind Whitmoyer. That was the last major position change of the race as the top three stayed close but no pass was completed.
RoC Sportsman heat winners from the 43-car field were Jason Hamilton, Brad Grim, Arnie Slade, and Brad Brightbill. Consolation event winners were Jordan Umbenhauer, and Frank Doty. The Guaranteed Starters race for non-qualifiers from the 1st RoC race this year at Penn Can was won by Brent Boyer.
As Craig Whitmoyer already earned a guaranteed starting spot for the Hoover Chevrolet GM Performance Parts Sportsman 50 invader Arnie Slade was awarded a Guaranteed Starter's Spot in the event scheduled for Friday, September 2 that will pay $2,000 to win.
An overturned tandem tractor trailer closed Route 61, a main artery from the Reading and Allentown areas to Big Diamond, and forced the racing program to be delayed 45 minutes as officials, competitors and fans were caught in the closure and the detour delays.
Racing continues at Big Diamond Raceway this Friday, July 1, at 8 PM to kickoff the July 4th weekend with the 26th Annual Georgie Stevenson Memorial. The NASCAR Dodge Weekly Series Modifieds will go in two, 20-lap feature events while the Sportsman Modifieds have a 20-lapper and the Roadrunners go in a 15-lap main. A full bank of qualifying events will precede the features. Also a special fireworks display will be provided that fans have told us is one of the best they have seen in recent years at area race tracks or in Schuylkill County.
RACE RESULTS - DATE: JUNE 28, 2004
BIG DIAMOND RACEWAY, Minersville (Forestville), PA
CINDY ROWE PA SPRINT SPEEDWEEK 410 SPRINT 30-LAP FEATURE, $4000 TO WIN
1. 77 Greg Hodnett, Memphis, TN ($4000); 2. 19 Stevie Smith, New Oxford; 3. 1 Mark Smith, Newville; 4. 88H Fred Rahmer, Salfordville; 5. 12c Blane Heimbach, Selinsgrove; 6. 11t T.J. Stutts, Liverpool; 7. 7 Keith Kauffman, Mifflintown; 8. 11 Mike Erdley, Herndon; 9. 12 Brian Leppo, Spring Grove; 10. 25 Lance Dewease, Fayetteville; 11. U1 Chad Layton, Harrisburg; 12. 22 Jason Johnson, Eunice, LA; 13. 35 Alan Cole, Berwick; 14. 13 Cliff Brian, Ephrata; 15. 32 Brook Weibley, York Springs; 16. 7C Dave Cordier, Jr., Shoemakersville; 17. 13X Bill Brian, Jr., Ephrata; 18. 69 Michael Carber; 19. 93 Glenndon Forsythe, East Berlin; 20. 10N Niki Young, East Berlin; 21. 2H Dave Hahn, Green Lane; 22. 56 Trevor Lewis, Upper Black Eddy; 23. 21 Kevin Nouse; 24. 3B Randy Baughman. Non-Qualifiers: 4X Neil Petock, 5W Lucas Wolfe, 17B Mark Freeland, 88Z Zach Martini, 83 Scott Lutz.
TIME TRIALS: 1) 7 Kauffman 14.234 sec; 2) 11 Erdley, 14.237; 3) 5W Wolfe 14.237; 4) 11T Stutts 14.282; 5) 77 Hodnett - 14.376; 6) 19 S. Smith -- 14.392, 7) 1 M. Smith 14.443; 8) 12c Heimbach 14.456, 9) 88H Rahmer 14.483, 10) 12 Leppo 14.510; 11) 22 Johnson 14.586; 12) 25 Dewease 14.586; 13) 13 C. Brian 14.592; 14) 35 Cole 14.628; 15) U1 Layton 14.660; 16) 32 Weibley 14.695; 17) 21 Nouse 14.830; 18) 2H Hahn 14.832; 19) 17B Freeland 14.944; 20) 7c Cordier 14.967; 21) 13X B. Brian 15.008; 22) 56 Lewis 15,033; 23) 69 Carber 15.069; 24) 3B Baughman 15.133; 25) 10N Young 15.192; 26) 93 Forsythe 15.198; 27) 83 Lutz 15.228; 28) 2X Petock 15.620; 29) 88z Martini 17.170.
RACE OF CHAMPIONS DIRT SPORTSMAN - 40-LAP FEATURE, $1000 TO WIN
1. 99 Craig Whitmoyer, Hamburg, ($1,000); 2. 22B Arnie Slade, Mt. Upton, NY; 3. 15 Jason Hamilton, Erwinna; 4. 19x Brad Brightbill, Shillington; 5. 26 Tom Brennan, Pottsville; 6. 43 Jimmy Horton, IV, Neshanic Station, NJ; 7. 1M Mike Lyons, Monroe Twp., NJ; 8. 21K Kyle Weiss, Hamburg; 9. 9B Brian Decker, Susquehanna; 10. 8JR Doug Hendricks, Auburn; 11. 43M Joe Masiado, Easton; 12. 611 Brad Grim, Coplay; 13. 16X Danny Creeden, Middletown, NY; 14. 71D Frank Doty, Middletown, NY; 15. 98 Tim Apgar, Milford, NJ; 16. 64 Andy Miller, Schuylkill Haven; 17. 7A Gene Stravinsky, New Egypt, NJ; 18. 19 Brent Boyer, Bloomsburg; 19. 77J Jeff Geiges, Lawrenceburg, NJ; 20 1Z Jessica Zemkin, Sprakers, NJ; 21. 21 Shaun Walker, Masonville, NY; 22. 57 Ricky Rutt, Phillipsburg, NJ; 23. 145 Greg Weiland, Pottsville; 24. 3KT Cory Renninger, Llewellyn; 25. 3 Luke Wagner, Grantville; 26. 95 Fred Fisher, Wernersville; 27. 19U Jordan Umbenhauer.
Non-Qualifiers: 16 David Bush/Accord, NY, r5 Ray Deemer/Phillipsburg, NJ, 17D Mike Loney/Taylor, PA, 2T Michael Taylor/Milford, NJ, 17 Billy Moyer Jr./Pine Grove, PA, 39 Tom Cremer/Sinking Spring, PA, 9K Mike Ketcham/Otisville, NY, 3H Marc Herman/Windsor, NJ, 2 Rich Stankiewicz/Laureldale, PA, 61 John Leindecker/Allentown, PA, 157 Andy Fayash Jr./Mary-D, PA, 6 John Stangle/Neshanic Station, NJ, 8 Rich Scagliotta/Bound Brook, NJ, 044 Louis Farina/Philadelphia, PA, 17T Ryan Grim/Laurys Station, PA, 71J Chris James/Mohrsville, PA.