POTTSVILLE, PA – After ending a two-year winless streak in a points paying feature event just two weeks ago, Duane Howard made sure that wasn’t going to happen again as he patiently waited for the right time to make his way past Frank Yankowski and Mike Lisowski in the last two laps to steal the win in the 25-lap main event.
Tonights Mattera’s General and Electrical Modified feature event was easily the best race of 2018 so far and possibly the best in a few years at Big Diamond. Drivers Frank Yankowski and Mike Lisowski put a dual for the ages between lap seven and lap twenty-two with each driver taking turns leading. The veteran Yankowski and the youngster Lisowski ran side by side for fifteen laps swapping the lead back and forth without ever touching, not even once. It was a pleasure and joy to watch for sure.
The 25-lap main event got off to a rocky start as the field took the green. Opening night winner Billy Pauch Jr jumped the wheel of Kevin Beach Jr #17X going into turn one with Pauch rolling the Kid Racing #15 multiple times causing the red flag to be displayed. Safety crews were quickly on the scene as Pauch excited the damaged car on his own power and was okay.
When the racing resumed it was Frank Porreca surging to the lead with Lisowski right on his rear bumper. Lap number two saw Lisowski moving under Porreca to take the lead away. A multi-car tangle in turn one brought out the yellow once again. On the restart Jeff Strunk who has had terrible luck all season long at Big Diamond jumped to the lead and immediately started to open up an advantage over the second place running Lisowski but once again bad luck struck the Glenn Hyneman owned #126 as Strunk slowed bringing out the yellow one more time on lap four handing the lead back to Lisowski.
When the racing resumed it was Lisowski leading the way once again over Yankowski with Howard and fast running Craig Von Dohren now also in the mix. Yankowski took the lead on lap five but Lisowski was not giving up as he battled back. The final caution of the race came on lap seven when Von Dohren slowed with a right rear flat tire causing him to head to the pits.
The next 18 laps of racing were some of the best racing ever seen at the Schuylkill County dirt oval as Yankowski and Lisowski went at it tooth and nail with each driver never getting more than a half a car advantage throughout the next 15 laps. The two drivers battled as hard as two drivers have ever battled before as the crowd was up on the edge of their seats watching them go at it. While both drivers battled hard, the wily veteran Howard was directly behind having a bird’s eye view of battle for the lead. Howard was biding his time just waiting for the right time to make his move. That time came on lap 22 as Yankowksi was finally able to get a car length in front of Lisowski and moved his line down the track.
That was the break Howard was waiting for as he used the now open outside line to get around Lisowski on lap 22 to move into second and using the same outside line was able to move by Yankowski the next lap to take over the lead. Howard went on to open up a small advantage over the remaining two laps to take the win. Lisowski fought back by Yankowski on the last lap to end up second with Yankowski coming in third. Last week’s winner and point leader Ryan Godown was fourth with Ryan Krachun rounding out the top five. Finishing sixth thru tenth were Cliff Quinn, Shaun Fitzpatrick, Jimmy Reppert, Heath Metzger and Kris Graver.
Howard talked about the race going on in front of him and how he was able to get by the leaders and take the win.
“Man, that was a good race going on in front of me for the lead. Those guys battled hard and I was just waiting for the right time to try and get by them. After the 127 (Yankowski) took the lead he moved down a half a lane and that was the break I needed. The sprints widened the track out a little more tonight and moved the outside groove up probably another eight feet or so. My car was really good up there and I was able to get by both of them to get the win. The track was really racy tonight and has been for most of the year. It’s still hard to pass here but if your car is right you can do it. Our car has been good here all year and hopefully we can keep it going.”
The 25-lap URC feature event saw Josh Weller jump out to the lead on lap one and go on to lead all 25 laps enroute to the win. Chandler Leiby tried his best to make a race out of it but every time he seemed to be making up ground on the leader, lapped cars would get in the way and stall his momentum. Leiby did hold for second over a fast closing Chad Layton with Robbie Stillwagon and Curt Michael completing the top five.
The USS Achey Sportsman division ran their 20-lap main event while a light drizzle was coming down but the action on speedway was hot enough to keep the track dry and racy. Young Alex Yankowski took his third checkered flag of the young season to further solidify his points lead.
Nate Klinger was your early leader with Craig Whitmoyer taking over the lead on a lap three restart. Yankowski and Doug Hendricks were also on the move moving up to second and third and starting to put the pressure on Whitmoyer for the lead. Invader Willie Osmum was on the move as well moving into the fourth spot.
After a lap eleven caution flag, Yankowski was able to take the lead away from Whitmoyer with Osmum also moving by into the runner-up spot. The two young drivers fought hard with Osmun getting under Yankowski on a few occasions but never enough to slide up in front of the leader. Yankowski held on fo the win over Osmun with Hendricks having to settle for third. Whitmoyer and last weeks winner Michael Burrows rounding out the top five.
The feature event for the Savage 61 Road Runners was not what you would call your typical Road Runner main event as Shaun Mulhall took the lead from Shaun Elk on a lap one restart and went on to lead the remaining 19 laps to take the main event over Kris Ney, Jim Kost, Mike Reichert and Everly.
Shorts results 6/22/18
The Capitol Renegade United Racing Club Sprint division was won by Josh Weller followed by Chandler Leiby, Chad Layton, Robbie Stillwagon, Curt Michael, Steven Drevicki, Troy Betts, Keith Prutzman, Kyle Lick, Jimmy Stitzel, Chris Allen Jr., Bill Unglert and Mark Sasso. Did not finish were Eddie Strada, Ryan Quackenbush and Jason Clauss. The URC sprints heats were won by Chad Layton and Curt Michael.
Mattera’s Electrical Modified division was won by Duane Howard followed by Mike Lisowski, Frank Yankowski, Ryan Godown, Ryan Krachun, Cliff Quinn, Shawn Fitzpatrick, Jimmy Reppert, Heath Metzger, Kris Graver, Ryan Kunkle, Scott Albert, Frank Porreca, Briggs Danner and Bobby Gunther Walsh. Did not finish were Craig VonDohren, Jeff Strunk, Jim Bobbitt, Billy Lasko, Kevin Beach, Billy Pauch Jr., and Ray Swinehart. Did not start were Grant Hilfiger and Andy Burkhart. The modified heats were won by Jeff Strunk, Kevin Beach and Mike Lisowski.
The U.S.S. Achey Sportsman division was won by Alex Yankowski followed by Billy Osmun, Doug Hendricks, Craig Whitmoyer, Wayne Witmer, Michael Burrows, Nate Klinger, Daryl Dissinger, Kevin Brady, Rich Emel, Ed Mrochko, TJ Fitzpatrick, Matt Clay, Chris Brennan and Dave Dunker. Did not finish were Chuck Fayash, Dakota Kohler, Tyler Reber, Glenn Rowan, Ken Eckert Jr., Nate Mohr and Mike Schneck. The sportsman heats were won by Glenn Rowan and Doug Hendricks.
The Savage 61 Road Runner division was won by Shawn Mulhall followed by Kris Ney, Jim Kost, Mike Reichert, Fred Everly, Matt Ney, Terry Kramer, Cory Lindenmuth and Shon Elk. Disqualified was Chris Holland. The lone road runner heat was won by Shon Elk.