POTTSVILLE, PA – Friday night’s “Prelude to the Coalcracker” 50-lap event for the Insinger Performance Modifieds was a battle of former track champions with Ryan Godown and Duane Howard going door to door for the better part of 30 laps as they battled it out for the big $5000 payday with Godown coming out on top to take the win.
Pole sitter Kris Graver would lead the field to the green flag, but it would be second place starter Duane Howard getting the jump on Graver to take command and lead lap number one. Howard would continue to lead the way as the red flag was displayed on lap six when the front end of the No. 127 driven by Frank Yankowski would reak coming out of turn four collecting the cars of Jimmy Reppert, John Willman and Cliff Quinn. All drivers were okay but heavy damage was done to the cars of Yankowski, Reppert and Willman. The No. 69 of Quinn was able to pull away and rejoin the race.
When the race resumed it was Howard back to the lead with Godown now up to second and starting to apply the pressure to Howard for the top spot. The two veteran drivers would race side by side with Howard up top with Godown trying to use the inside line to take away the lead. Godown made the low line work on lap 19 as he was able to slide in front of Howard coming out of turn four to take the lead.
Howard wasn’t’ giving up easy and he continued to work the high side every lap trying to regain the lead. Howard could pull alongside through the turns but Godown would have the drive off the bottom exiting the corners to stay in front. A lap 25 fuel stop allowed the drivers and the fans to take a break from the outstanding battle.
Tough break for Jeff Strunk during the fuel stop as the No. 126 started to overheat forcing him to the pits ending his good run to the front. The next 15 laps were some of the best racing all season at Big Diamond as Godown and Howard battled tooth and nail for the lead. Howard was determined to make the high side work with Godown staying glued to the bottom. Howard could come oh so close to retaking the lead but just couldn’t quite complete the pass. While the battle raged on upfront, invader Mike Gular driving the B. Brueche Jr No. 30 was on the march from his seventh starting spot and was catching the leaders to make it a three-car battle for the lead.
With six to go, Godown starts to put a little distance between himself with Howard now having to drive defensively as Gular was making a push for the number two spot. Howard and Gular were putting on a show for the fans as the two PA drivers were going at it banging wheels and quarter panels as Godown was pulling away. Godown zipped under starter Jeff Merkel’s checkered flag for his third Big Diamond win of the season. Howard held off Gular for second with Gular having to settle for third. A hard charging Rick Laubach was fourth with Graver holding for fifth.
“The car was working well tonight,” as Godown talked about his big win in victory lane. “This win is for Steve Searock (car owner) who is ill and couldn’t be here tonight. Luckily the race ended when it did, as the right tire went down after the checkered. Duane and I had a good battle there, I was able to get a good bite coming off the turns and that was what won me the race tonight.”
The USS Achey Sportsman division 20-lap feature event was a nonstop affair as the race ran clean and green for all 20-laps with Brandon Edgar passing teenager Cole Stangle with three laps to go to take win. Chuck Eckert led the field to the green flag and grab the lead at the start. Fourth place starting Stangle is on the move and pulls even with Eckert as they complete lap three. The two would run side by side before Stangle asserted himself and drove by for the lead on lap six. While Stangle was trying to run away and hide from the field, fifth place started Edgar had other ideas and was now up to second looking to rundown the leader. As the race hit the midway point, Edgar was starting to apply pressure to the youngster as lapped traffic was starting to come into play.
As the two leaders continued to deal with the lapped cars, Edgar was set to make his move. Lap 17 saw Edgar race into the corner on the highside as Stangle stayed down low and getting trapped behind a lapped car. Edgar kept it wound up around the outside and powered by Stangle to take the lead. Once in front, Edgar would pull away to take the win. Stangle ended his night with an impressive second-place finish with Eckert, Dakota Kohler and Doug Hendricks the top five.
Kris Ney dominated the Savage 61 Road Runner feature event taking the lead away from Kevin Holland on lap two never to be challenged throughout the 20-lap nonstop race. Kevin Holland would finish second with Chris Holland, Jim Kost and Shawn Mulhall the top five.
Full Results from 8/23/2019 – Prelude to the Coalcracker
Insinger Performance Modifieds – The feature was won by Ryan Godown and followed by Duane Howard, Mike Gular, Rick Laubach, Kris Graver, Louden Reimert, Craig Whitmoyer, Craig Von Dohren, Jared Umbenhauer, Alex Yankowski, Nick Rochinski, Kevin Beach Jr, Mike Lisowski, Dave Dissinger, Tim Apgar, Dan Hineline, Cliff Quinn, Jeff Strunk, Brandon Grosso, Frank Yankowski, John Willman, Jimmy Reppert and Cory Merkel.
Did Not Start – Billy Pauch Jr
The Modified heat races were won by Jeff Strunk, Kris Graver and Jared Umbenhauer.
USS Achey Sportsman – The feature was won by Brandon Edgar and followed by Cole Stangle, Dakota Kohler, Doug Hendricks, Matt Ellery, Nico Flammer, Matt Clay, Mike Toth, Mike Schneck, Mike Burrows, Wayne Witmer, Darryl Dissinger, Mark Berzowski, Tyler Reber, Kevin Brady, Shon Elk, Joey Vaccaro, Rick Hendricks and Gary Grim.
Did Not Start – Kris Lilick and Blake Reber
Disqualified – Chuck Eckert
The Sportsman heat races were won by Darryl Dissinger and Cole Stangle.
Savage 61 Roadrunners – The feature was won by Kris Ney and followed by Kevin Holland, Chris Holland, Jim Kost, Shawn Mulhall, Matt Ney, Mike Reichert, Terry Kramer, Alex Ditzler, Ronny Suhr, Kyle Wingle, Tonya Lance, Jason Kinser, Cory Lindenmuth, Jared Seigfried and Jon Schlauch.
The Roadrunner heat races were won by Kris Ney and Chris Holland.