Friday, May 11 – We had made the decision earlier in the week that it was going to be a 358 modified weekend, attending the races at Big Diamond on Friday and Grandview on Saturday. The World of Outlaws were at Williams Grove and we have not been to an Outlaw show at the Grove in years. Friday turned out to be a beautiful day after a week of rainy weather. But by the time we arrived at Big Diamond at 7:45 the temperature dropped to 62 and the air sure felt cool up on top on the mountain.
Tonight they were running two make up features for the sportsman and the roadrunners. They were make-up features from back on April 1. The show however started out with two heat races for the roadrunners followed by the first 20 lap feature for the sportsman. Many times the sportsman put on a poor performance but tonight they ran a good race. There were only four cautions in the 20 lap event with Tim Fitzpatrick coming home the winner followed by Mike Liskowski and Doug Hendricks third, Mike Lyons fourth and Jim Houseworth, our neighbor from nearby Reigelsville placing fifth. The race took less than 20 minutes to run and the modified heats followed.
The car count for the modifieds was low with only 26 cars participating in the three heats. There was no need for a consolation as all cars qualified for the main event. This was followed by the 15 lap roadrunner feature and the caution waved 7 times. The racing at the front was good but the cars in the rear just kept spinning. Marc Berzowski won the event. It was 9:30 when the two sportsman heats ran and ay 9:50 it was intermission.
The track surface was good but the cautions kept the racing from developing into a really good race. For the next half hour we chatted with Dwight Bucks, who we sat with, and I gave the Phillies scores to some of the surrounding fans. At 10:17 the 25 lap modified feature took the green.
It almost seemed that this race was run in two segments. The first 7 laps were one big caution. Six cautions in seven laps. I think Dwight made a good point when it mentioned that when you have a low car count some of the lesser competitors make the field and they just keep spinning. Now I know 26 cars is not a low car count to some tracks but based on the fact that Big Diamond’s Saturday night sister track, Grandview had 42 modifieds the next night, it was low. Laps 8 through 25 were run nonstop and when you looked at the finish it was like a who’s who of small block modified racing. Duane Howard picked up the win followed by Jeff Strunk, MeMe DeSantis, Rick Laubach and Craig VonDohren. Unfortunately they were not dicing for positions. They were spread out around the track. It was 10:40 when the feature was over with a sportsman and roadrunner feature left to run. But after a hard week at work we decided to call it a night and head back to the Lehigh Valley.