|« "A TYPICAL WEEKEND" - First Time Winners At Williams Grove - Race # 22||"A TYPICAL WEEKEND" - A Cherry On The Sunday At Susky - Race # 20 »|
Friday, April 20 - Pat and I noticed that Big Diamond was scheduled to have two 358 modified features this Friday so we thought it would be a good choice. One was the rained out opener and the other one was a regularly scheduled event. During the day the temperatures were in the 70’s but by the time (7:30) we arrived at Big Diamond it was clear, cool and windy. By night’s end we had multiple layers of clothing on to combat the cold temperatures. The scheduled starting time was 8:15 and by 8:23 things were underway with the first of two consies for the 358 modifieds to complete the starting field for the rained out feature. They were run off quickly and two roadrunner heats were squeezed into the lineup to give the 358’s some time to prepare their cars for feature #1. The 16 car field was a little less cooperative than the modifieds but by 8:54 the green was waving on the first feature of the evening. The action was stopped early with a multi-car accident in turn four on lap three. Two more cautions followed in the first ten laps and then the guys settled down to do some serious racing. Meme DeSantis, a 56 year old racing veteran, started fourth and assumed the lead from Kevin Albert Jr. in the middle stages of the race and from that point on no one would touch the Temple Tornado. DeSantis flashed under the checkered flag at 9:09 winning over Albert with Rick Laubach capturing third, Doug Manmiller fourth and Craig VonDohren placing fifth after starting 11th. This was a decent enough feature go to start things off.
The sportsman brought 17 cars to the pit area tonight and ran two heats with everyone qualifying. A vintage car feature was run for 15 laps and even had a tangle in turn three involving three cars. Bobby Snyder in a Jeff Strunk #88 lookalike won this one. The roadrunner feature was next with 12 cars starting and this one took too long to run with four cautions involving the same two or three cars. It’s a shame as these guys usually run pretty decent but in the couple appearances we have witnessed them this year there are just too many drivers who don’t seem to know how to race. They drag the rest of the field down in people’s eyes and that is a shame. Joey Brennan scored his second straight win in this division. At this point it was already 10 PM and Pat and I looked at each other and commented that this was going to be a long night. Our thoughts at this time were one of two things should have been done differently. Either they should have started earlier at 7:30 or dropped the vintage cars or the roadrunners from the program for tonight with two 358 modified features already scheduled.
A 32 car field of 358 modifieds ran three heats which only took 24 minutes to complete. A second vintage car feature, this one shortened to 10 laps was run and by 10:30 an intermission was called so the track crew could work on the extremely rough corners especially in turns one and two. It seemed to us though that some drivers used the rough surface to be extra aggressive with much contact during the running of the qualifiers and the first feature. The track crew groomed the surface for 40 minutes and when they were preparing to exit the racing surface one of the big water trucks jackknifed in turn two and it took another seven minutes before the track was cleared. There were still two 358 modified consies to run and they were wrapped up by 11:31. To give these drivers some time to prepare their cars for the feature, the sportsman feature was moved into the next time slot. They would go for 20 laps and this one was not an artistic masterpiece. Seven cautions slowed this one before Craig Whitmoyer taking advantage of his third starting position took control from Shawn Fitzpatrick and went onto victory with Kevin Beach Jr. rounding out the podium finish. It was now 11:44 with the 25 lap 358 modified feature still to go. Within the first three laps there were four cautions with a multi-car pileup off turn four eliminating Duane Howard from competition early. After lap 11 the cautions ceased with Richie Yetter, a county judge in Northampton County, Pennsylvania, taking the lead from the start and looking stout until the closing laps when 14th starting Meme DeSantis caught and slipped under Yetter exiting turn four to take the lead. Yetter’s tires must have worn out as Rick Laubach was also able to pass him on the white flag lap for second. Yetter hung on for third with Colt Harris running a strong race from 8th to 4th and 16th starting Doug Manmiller picking his way through traffic to garner fifth. The final checker waved at 12:19, too long of a program for people who worked all week long and still had to drive home. The two 358 modified features were good to very good but the amount of time in between the two was excessive.
This would turn out to be our only race of the weekend as our scheduled trip to Hagerstown for the Lucas Oil Late Models was called early while we pulled the plug on venturing to Bridgeport where they were able to sneek in 1 2/3′rds features with the modifieds checkered at lap 20 of 30 due to rain. Sunday’s plans to go to Grandview to watch a small car show were cancelled due to a soaking rain the entire day on Sunday.
This weekend plans are to travel to Williams Grove for a doubleheader of All Star Sprints and ARDC midgets with Saturday reserved for a new track on the pavement of Borger’s Speedway, with an hour of our homestead. Until next time stay safe and get out to some good short track racing in your area.
This post has 51 feedbacks awaiting moderation...