URC Big Diamond Friday Night Report

MINERSVILLE, PA . . . . . . . . Jimmy Stitzel of Blandon, PA scored his first career United Racing Club sprint car feature victory last Friday night at the Big Diamond Raceway. Mike Bostic, the 1998 URC Owner Champion, appointed Stitzel as his...

MINERSVILLE, PA . . . . . . . . Jimmy Stitzel of Blandon, PA scored his first career United Racing Club sprint car feature victory last Friday night at the Big Diamond Raceway. Mike Bostic, the 1998 URC Owner Champion, appointed Stitzel as his driver just three weeks ago. In the twenty-five lap URC BAR'S Leaks sprint feature, Stitzel took the lead on lap nine and held off several challenges from Billy Ellis to score the win. The feature event at Big Diamond was a make-up event from a rain out August 13. All twenty-four feature starters returned for the show. At the start of the feature, Billy Ellis of Oley, PA was the early race pace setter with Jimmy Stitzel and Midge Miller in the chase. By lap four, Brian Seidel and Greg Coverdale were in the top five. A torsion arm broke on the Mike Haggenbottom sprinter on lap five, sending Mike on a wild flip into turn three. Mike did walk away uninjured. The restart saw Ellis, Stitzel, Seidel and Miller racing under a blanket for the lead. A yellow flag was displayed on lap seven when Glen Clarke, Becca Anderson and Sean Michael tangled in turn one. Clarke and Anderson were removed from the track on a tow truck as Michael was able to continue on, restarting at the rear. Ellis brought the field down for the green flag but one lap later, Stitzel was setting the pace with Seidel third, Coverdale fourth and Midge Miller fifth. Fred Kennedy spun his sprinter on lap eleven and the caution was displayed once again. Greg Coverdale, who was running fourth at the time, stopped on the homestretch to re-secure his seat belts. URC rules state that if you stop on the track for any reason, you must restart at the rear of the field, forcing Coverdale to give-up fourth place track position. The restart saw Stitzel clearly in control and he began to build a comfortable lead. At the halfway mark, Stitzel, Ellis, Seidel, Miller and Scott Pursell made-up the top five. Ian Borden tapped the fourth turn wall and took a slow roll on lap seventeen, forcing the final red flag of the event. Boarder was not injured in the accident. Stitzel remained the point person followed by Ellis and Seidel along with Bill Brian JR who was making a charge to the front. All eyes were watching Sean Michael (URC point leader) and Greg Coverdale make their charge to the front after both competitors restarted in the rear of the field. With five laps remaining Michael was racing in sixth and closing in on the top five as Coverdale was still in chase of a top ten finish. On the white flag lap, Bill Brian passed Seidel for third and set his sights on Ellis. On the same lap, Michael moved into fifth and Coverdale took the tenth position. For the final lap, Stitzel remained in control to score his first ever URC victory with Billy Ellis finishing second, Bill Brian JR third with Brian Seidel and Sean Michael making up the top five. FEATURE FINISH: Jimmy Stitzel, Billy Ellis, Bill Brian JR., Brian Seidel, Sean Michael, Scott Pursell, Dave McGough, Jon Eldreth, Midge Miller, Greg Coverdale, Dave Gabel, Wayne Patterson, Ray Staats, Fred Kennedy, Tim Hogue, Mike Stoer, Ian Borden, Danny Massey, Fran Hogue, Glen Clarke, Becca Anderson, Todd Rittenhouse, Mike Haggenbottom, Tim Huggins.

The return of the URC sprints to Big Diamond was a big success according to track management. Recently after the completion of the event, URC officers and track management were already discussing plans to schedule a return visit to the Minersville oval in the year 2,000. Even with threatening weather conditions present on Friday night, a big crowd was on hand to see the URC sprints at Big Diamond.

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Series Sprint
Drivers Becca Anderson , Glen Clarke