Big Diamond Coal Cracker 100 moved to Sunday

Minersville, PA - Sept. 1 - Heavy afternoon showers and thunderstorms force Big Diamond Raceway to postpone their 21st Annual Rieck's Printing/Post Digital Graphics Coal Cracker 100 from Friday night to Sunday night, September 3 at 7PM. ...

Minersville, PA - Sept. 1 - Heavy afternoon showers and thunderstorms force Big Diamond Raceway to postpone their 21st Annual Rieck's Printing/Post Digital Graphics Coal Cracker 100 from Friday night to Sunday night, September 3 at 7PM. The track crew paced impatiently all morning Friday waiting for the rain to stop looking at noon as a deadline for them to be able to start track preparations in time for the Friday evening show. The rain, which started at 1 AM and varied in intensity through the morning, did not impact the track surface as it was not opened or cut following Thursday's racing. The skies cleared at about 11:30 and the crew went to work. Unfortunately the steady morning rains left high humidity and a steady pattern of bright sun and heavy thunder storms throughout the afternoon with forecasts of the same for the evening. When the second afternoon storm hit, track crew had lost the track and the show was postponed. The modifieds and the roadrunners will return this Sunday, September 3, for the Rieck's Printing/Post Digital Graphics Coal Cracker Nationals at 7 pm. Gates will open at 4 pm for the race. On Thursday evening, Joe Biasi, Jr. of New Ringgold, PA captured his second 2000 NASCAR EXIDE ShorTrack Series Sportsman 20-lap feature win to kick-off the Rieck's Printing/Post Digital Graphics Coal Cracker Nationals at Big Diamond Raceway. Biasi took the win over Tom Brennan (Pottsville, PA), Jeff Ebersole (Palmyra, PA), John Patchoski (Scranton, PA) and Rick Hendricks (Auburn, PA). In addition to the Sportsman racing, the speedway was also open for hot laps sessions for the Modifieds in preparation for Sunday's $10,000-to-win Rieck's Printing/Post Digital Graphics Coal Cracker 100 and the Roadrunners for their season-closing 20-lap Championship. Modified drivers on hand included 2000 Big Diamond track champion Keith Hoffman (Whitehall, PA) with a brand new Bashore Trucking, Troyer #5 just built this week and invader Billy Pauch (Frenchtown, NJ) with a new D. A. Hansen #1, built especially for the Coal Cracker 100 and Grandview Speedway's Freedom 76. Other modified drivers on hand were Chip Slocum (Ewing Township, NJ), Terry Meitzler (Kutztown, PA), Craig Von Dohren (Barto, PA). Kyle Weiss (Hamburg, PA), Jeff Bomgardner (Cleona, PA), Craig Whitmoyer (Hamburg, PA), Scott Albert (Fredericksburg, PA), Smokey Warren (Jonestown, PA), Tom Umbenhauer (Richland, PA), Randy Fortna (Jonestown, PA), Jimmy Reppert (Hamburg, PA), Gary Hager (Stewartsville, NJ) and Dale Roth (Newmanstown, PA). Several Sportsman drivers participated in the post-feature hot laps, weighing their competitiveness for possible entry in the Modified 100 as well. Darren Dreher of Schuylkill Haven, PA started on the pole in the 20-lap Sportsman main and led the opening two laps. 2000 Big Diamond track champion, Gary Hager, fell victim to an early race tangle and was forced out of the event on lap 1 ending his hopes of earning the championship for the Northeast Region of the Exide ShorTrack Series by NASCAR which he dominated for most of the season. Joe Biasi, Jr., who has experienced an up-and-down season, was determined to end it on a high note as be blew around the outside of Dreher on lap 3 in turn 4 and never looked back. Biasi became only the second repeat winner of ten different sportsman winners in 18 events in 2000 (Gary Hager was a 7-time winner.) Another driver having a tough season, past champion Tom Brennan move his First Union/Garland Communications 26 to second on lap 5 but was unable to challenge for the lead. Jeff Ebersole, who appeared to have major handling problems early and fell to sixth from his third starting spot, rallied back to finish a strong third ahead of likely the most consistent Sportsman competitor at Big Diamond this season, John Patchoski, and Rich Hendricks. Completing the top ten were Brad Grim (Coplay, PA), Randy Mohn (Fredericksburg, PA), Brent Boyer (Bloomsburg, PA), Jeff Paulson (Honeybrook, PA) and Kirby Sites (Hamburg, PA). Heat winners were Biasi, Ed Scott (New Tripoli, PA), and Donn Edgar (Lehighton, PA). The $10,000-to-win, Rieck's Printing/Post Digital Graphics Coal Cracker Modified 100 and Roadrunner 20 , is the final event of 2000 at Big D Sunday, Sept. 3. Gates open at 4pm with racing at 7pm. For more information on Big Diamond Raceway and the Coal Cracker 100, call (717) 544-6434 or, for directions to the track, check out the track website at www.bigdiamondraceway.com.

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