Thursday, April 25 - It was a bright and sunny day in the low 60’s and it was a good time to be running a race. Big Diamond Speedway management has carved an inner oval in the infield area which is about 1/5 or 1/6 mile in length. Turns four and one are part of the bigger oval while turns two and three are part of the backstretch of the bigger oval. The flagstand for the bigger track is the start/finish line for the inner oval and gives you the comparsion with the oval at the newer 16th Street Speedway in Indianapolis which was laid out inside a baseball stadium. It looks wide enough with the turns also seeming to be wide enough to produce some side by side racing.
As I exited my car at 6:40 I spotted Area Auto Racing News writer, Guy Smith, making his way toward the entrance. I yelled to him and he came over to my car while I assembled my winter gear in case it got any colder. We walked together to the front gate, paid our $8 admission and entered the grandstand area where we encountered a good mix of trackchasers and racechasers. I secured a seat between Marshall Kern and Dwight Bucks and then hurried over to the pit concession stand which was the only one open to buy dinner which consisted of two hot dogs, french fries and a diet Coke. Warmups were underway and by the time I sat back down they were ready to begin the racing program. At 7:08 the first green flag of the evening waved on the first of two 270 cc micro sprint heats for the 11 car field assembled. Mike Rutherford and Ross Perchak won their respective heat races in short order. Tonight was also one of the Mid-Atlantic Silver Tour events for the Tobias Slingshots and I was a little disappointed that they only drew 12 cars for this event. Larry Raifsnider and Alex Schoffstall looked strong in winning their respective heat races. The heat qualifying was completed by 7:37 and with no need for consies the first feature event of the evening was called to the track. The 270 cc micro sprints would go a distance of 20 laps with the first two in each heat redrawing to determine the top four positions. The two heat winners would start third and fourth in the inversion. The green waved at 7:42 and they were off and running. Ed Kenderdine took off from the first starting position and held sway the entire 20 lap non-stop distance fending off Ross Perchak who passed Mike Rutherford for second on the last lap. This race only took 5 minutes to spin off.
The 25 lap Slingshot tour race would be waved off at 7:50 with Alex Schoffstall taking command. It looked like this one was going to go flag to flag without a caution until Brett Bieber spun into the infield between turns two and three and sat for two laps until pulling his racer close to the racing surface to bring out the only caution of the evening. I thought it was going to be the first ever caution free show at Big/Little Diamond history but it was spoiled by the young gun from Oley. It didn’t make much difference to Schoffstall as when the green flag reappeared he bolted back into the lead. At 7:59 Alex Schoffstall flashed under the checkered flag winning over fellow front row starter, Larry Raifsnider. The entire racing program was in the record books in 51 minutes and they didn’t even have to turn on the track lights!! When was the last time you attended a race where it took longer to drive there than to complete the entire program??
I believe the small track has a future and hopefully as word gets out about the nice track surface and speed of running the program on a week night they will get more cars and fans to come out and watch the small car divisions battle it out at the Little Diamond Speedway.
Until next time as the weather starts to warm up get out there and support your local race track and enjoy some good short track racing.