MINERSVILLE, PA – A ‘rocket’ landed in Big Diamond Speedway Victory Lane Sunday night.
Ryan Godown, known to Northeast race fans as the “Ringoes Rocket” launched to the win in the ‘Anthracite Assault’ for Bob Hilbert Sportswear Short Track Super Series (STSS) Fueled By VP big-block/small-block Modifieds at the Coal Region facility.
Godown earned $5,000 for his first STSS-sanctioned victory of the season driving the Searock Fabrications-backed No. 26 open small-block mount.
The event pitted the stars of the STSS Halmar International North Region against the Velocita-USA South Region standouts in a 50-lap ‘Civil War’ offering points toward each region.
The win for Godown was his fifth in STSS competition and first at Big Diamond.
Godown’s lead came at the expense of Rick Laubach, who dominated much of the event before calamity struck with just 15 laps remaining in the event. Laubach’s Ryan Kerr-owned No. 1K was damaged significantly after contact with the slowing car of Danny Creeden, who was exiting the track in turn one.
“I tried running with Rick a few times on restarts, but he got away from me,” Godown said. “I felt like I had a chance late in the race there with traffic, but he got collected there.”
Billy Decker used the outside pole to take the lead at the outset of the event driving the Jeremy Smith-owned big-block. The New York-based star paced the opening 11 laps before Laubach – who had been applying significant pressure – used a restart to take over the lead.
Godown, who started ninth, took over second on the 15th lap.
Hellertown, Pa.’s Laubach was strong through the race’s mid-stages, putting distance on Godown and the rest of the field.
That drive ended in the aforementioned turn of events when Laubach’s car suffered extensive front-end damage, stopping at the top of turn one to set up the race’s final restart with 15 laps remaining.
Godown outgunned rival Billy Pauch Sr. when racing resumed and was never headed.
Pauch Sr., of Frenchtown, N.J., earned a season-high runner-up finish with the STSS driving Kevin Bifulco’s K&A Excavating-backed No. 1. Pauch had originally rolled off the grid sixth.
Keystone State star Craig Von Dohren of Oley, Pa., opted to drive his weekly spec head-powered No. 88X owned by Dave Dissinger in lieu of a big-block or open small-block. Von Dohren’s decision paid off with a drive from seventh to finish third.
Andy Bachetti of Sheffield, Mass., registered the best Big Diamond effort of his career, driving from 13th to finish fourth. Bachetti completed a last-lap pass of Sidney, N.Y.’s Decker, who completed the front five.
Finishing sixth through 10th, respectively, were Brett Tonkin of Carbondale, Pa., the Afton (N.Y.) Motorsports Park regular who started fourth, faded to 17th, and carved through traffic late in the distance to place sixth; a rim-riding Ryan Watt of Boyertown, Pa., from 15th on the grid; Duane Howard of Oley, Pa., who had run as high as second in Norm Hansell’s No. 357; David Van Horn of Harmony, N.J., in the Fred Vahlsing No. 323ov; and Billy Pauch Jr. of Milford, N.J., up from 16th in the Daniel Sommeling No. 51.
Heat winners for the 40 assembled Modifieds were Jordan Watson (Milford, Del.), Matt DeLorenzo (Cropseyville, N.Y.), Godown, Pauch Sr. and Laubach. The consolations went to Pauch Jr., Jeremy Smith (Triangle, N.Y.) and Stewart Friesen (Sprakers, N.Y.).
Belle Mead, N.J.’s Brian Papiez wired the STSS Sportsman 25-lap event, leading from start-to-finish for a $1,000 payday. Papiez earned the pole starting position via a redraw of top heat-race qualifiers. Late in the distance, Craig Whitmoyer closed the gap, pulling to within a car-length on the final lap.
Papiez, however, scored the nightcap win with Whitmoyer, series point leader Corey Cormier (towing south from Otisville, N.Y.), Doug Hendricks and Mike Lisowski in tow.
The full-fender Big Diamond Roadrunners competed in a 15-lap, points-paying event. A wild affair ended with Shon Elk in Victory Lane.
Next up for the STSS is Susquehanna Speedway in Newberrytown, Pa., for the 16th annual York County Nationals on Sunday, July 30: 50 laps paying $10,000 to win as the richest event of the season. The Susquehanna visit offers points toward the Velocita-USA South Region. Central PA Legends complete the doubleheader program.
To learn more about the Short Track Super Series Fueled By VP or BD Motorsports Media LLC, visitwww.shorttracksuperseries.com or www.bdmotorsportsmedia.com, call 845.728.2781 during business hours, e-mail email@example.com, “like” Short Track Super Series on Facebook or follow @ShortTrackSS on Twitter.
COAL NUGGETS: Sunday’s program drew praise from fans and competitors for its efficiency. The first heat race hit the Big Diamond clay at 7:45 p.m. At 10:04 p.m., Ryan Godown was celebrating in Victory Lane with the Modified feature finished, and the Sportsman main was in the books 25 minutes later….
The Modified field had drivers from New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, Connecticut and Massachusetts represented….
Godown now claims sole possession of second on the STSS all-time Modified win list with five checkered flags. He has now won at Afton (twice), Woodhull (N.Y.) Raceway, Susquehanna Speedway in Newberrytown, Pa., and Big Diamond on the circuit….
Uncharacteristically, Stewart Friesen struggled to a 13th-place finish, citing tire selection as a potential cause. Friesen had finished second during the last two editions of the STSS-sanctioned event….
Pre-race Rick Laubach had reported the No. 1K he was driving was the same car that had been heavily damaged in a June midweek event at New Egypt (N.J.) with a fresh front clip….
The fourth-place finish for Andy Bachetti was impressive. The ‘Wild Child’ drew 58 out of 60 available numbers coming through the gate….
The late-race drive to sixth in the feature event by Brett Tonkin turned heads. Tonkin, a regular in Southern Tier Modified racing, has limited lap time at Big Diamond….
The Sportsman event included some New York flare with Corey Cormier, Cole Hentschel, Phil Vigneri III, Shayne Spoonhower, Leo Fotopoulos and Roger Henion towing in from the Empire State…
The 2017 Short Track Super Series is presented by American Racer/Lias Tire, VP Racing Fuel, Bob Hilbert Sportswear, Halmar International, Allstar Performance, ATL Racing Fuel Cells, Behrent’s Performance Warehouse, Bicknell Racing Products, Dirt Track Digest, Fast Axle, Fox Racing Shocks, Hig Fab, Henry’s Exhaust, HyperCo, Keizer Wheels, Kirkey Racing Fabrication, K&N, QA1, Race Pro Weekly, Racing Optics, Speed51.com, Teo-Pro Car, Velocita, Weld & Wilwood.
ANTHRACITE ASSAULT RACE SUMMARY – BIG DIAMOND SPEEDWAY JULY 16, 2017
Bob Hilbert Sportswear Short Track Super Series Fueled By VP Modified North & South Feature Finish (50 laps): RYAN GODOWN, Billy Pauch Sr., Craig Von Dohren, Andy Bachetti, Billy Decker, Brett Tonkin, Ryan Watt, Duane Howard, David Van Horn, Billy Pauch Jr., Frank Cozze, Jimmy Horton, Stewart Friesen, Jordan Watson, Jeremy Smith, Anthony Perrego, Jim Britt, Tommy Meier, Grant Hilfiger, Shawn Ward, Jeff Strunk, Bobby Trapper, Ryan Jordan, Matt DeLorenzo, Rick Laubach, Brett Kressley, Danny Creeden, J.R. Hurlburt, Craig Hanson, Nick Nye.
Did Not Qualify: Frank Porreca, Frank Yankowski, Colt Harris, Skylar Sherriff, Dan Humes, Steve Young, Tim Fitzpatrick, Billy Lasko, Kevin Beach Jr.
American Racer/Lias Tire Bonuses (FREE tire): Duane Howard (eighth) & Jordan Watson (14th)
ATL Fuel Cell Bonus ($200 Certificate): Billy Decker (fifth)
Behrent’s Performance Warehouse Bonuses ($50 gift card): Andy Bachetti (fourth) & David Van Horn (ninth)
“Dog Pound” Hard Luck Award ($250): Frank Porreca (DNQ)
Fast Axle Bonus ($50 Certificate): Brett Tonkin (sixth)
Keizer Racing Wheels Bonus (FREE Wheel): Billy Pauch Sr. (second)
QA1 Hard Charger Bonus ($50 Certificate): Frank Cozze (22nd to 11th)
VP Racing Fuels Bonuses ($50 Certificates): Billy Pauch Sr. (second), Jimmy Horton (12th) and Bobby Trapper (22nd)
Weld Wheels Bonus ($50 Certificate): Anthony Perrego (16th)
Wilwood ‘Lucky 7’ Bonus ($50 Certificate): Ryan Watt (seventh)
Bob Hilbert Sportswear Short Track Super Series Fueled By VP Sportsman Feature Finish (25 laps): BRIAN PAPIEZ, Craig Whitmoyer, Corey Cormier, Doug Hendricks, Mike Lisowski, Cole Hentschel, Kenny Eckert Jr., Matt Stangle, Billy Moyer Jr., Phil Vigneri III, Shayne Spoonhower, Larry Mekic, Dylan Swinehart, Chuck Fayash, Leo Fotopoulos, Glenn Rowan, Roger Henion Jr., Rich Emel, Louden Reimert, Daryl Dissinger.
Roadrunner Feature Finish (15 laps): SHON ELK, Jim Kost, Mike Reichert, Shawn Mullhall, Kris Ney, T.J. Fitzpatrick, Kody Sites, Dustin Wolfgang, Terry Kramer Jr., Fred Eberly, Devin Trexler.