By KEN BRUCE
Weather once again wreaked havoc on the Big Diamond Speedway which seems to be a weekly occurrence on Friday nights forcing the track to cancel yet another Friday night card. I have never in my life seen a situation like this in our area where it seems to rain every single Friday. Hopefully Mother Nature will give the track a break the rest of the year so we can get some racing action in.
Saturday night proved to beautiful night for racing and at Grandview Speedway as Craig Von Dohren is starting to get hot at the right time of the year with some big money show coming up. Over at Bridgeport Speedway it was Ryan Watt who is continuing to have a season to remember for the driver of the Ron Roberts Racing Team. Watt and his team have gone back and forth running either their Troyer car from last year or their 2017 Bicknell car, but it really doesn’t seem to matter what car Watt runs as he is always up front and in the mix for the win. Until Saturday night at New Egypt Speedway, Rich Rutski had never won a Modified race at the speedway, but on Saturday night Rutski ran away and hid from the field to grab that elusive first win.
Big Diamond Speedway 8/4/17 – It was the same old, same old last Friday at Big Diamond Speedway as weather once again was the winner.
The track returns to action this Friday night as the URC Sprints join the mighty 358 modifieds and the Roadrunners on the evening’s card.
Big Diamond has also decided to utilize Sunday as a rain date for the remaining events of the year. If this Friday night is rained out, the URC Sprints will not be a part of Sunday rain date. The Sportsman modifieds will take their place.
With only four races left in the 2017 points season, Craig Von Dohren leads the way over Jeff Strunk, Rick Laubach, Billy Pauch Jr and Kevin Beach Jr in the battle for the track championship.
New Egypt Speedway 8/5/17 – Rich Rutski has won before at New Egypt Speedway but it was way back in 2013 in the Sportsman division. This past Saturday night all the struggles the driver had experienced over the past few years went away when Rutski won his first ever 358 Modified feature at the central jersey speedway.
Rutski running a second Modified out of the John Packenham stables took the lead on lap four restart from Bryan Kuhl and was never headed after that. Rutski built up a safe advantage throughout the remaining laps as they battle behind him. Steve Davis managed to get by Kuhl for second before ten laps could be completed but could do nothing to catch the high flying Rutski. Davis did cut the advantage somewhat as Rutski had to deal with some lapped cars but once the leader cleared the lapped traffic the lead grew back once again.
Davis ran a great race to finish second followed by Bryan Kuhl. Ryan Godown and David Van Horn waged a hard battle for the fourth spot with Godown edging out Van Horn at the end to grab the spot.
Ryan Godown with his fourth-place finish combined with Billy Pauch Jr’s seventh place finish was able to gain some points on Pauch Jr in the quest for the track championshop. Pauch Jr still leads Godown but only by 17 points. Third through fifth are Danny Bouc, Ryan Krachun and David Van Horn.
358 MODIFIEDS (30 Laps) 1. RICH RUTSKI 2. Steve Davis 3. Bryan Kuhl 4. Ryan Godown 5. David VanHorn 6. Willie Osmun 7. Billy Pauch, Jr. 8. Tad Cox 9. Ryan Krachun 10. Kevin Vaclavicek 11. Lou Cicconi 12. Chad Barney 13. Tim Apgar 14. Doug Ostwald 15. DJ Ruppert 16. Chris Grbac 17. Blaine Bracelin 18. Danny Bouc 19. John Pakenham 20. PJ Oliver 21. John McClelland 22. Derek Krum
This week’s show at New Egypt it will feature the 358 Modifieds along with Crate Sportsman and Street Stocks.
Grandview Speedway 8/5/17 – As the summer heats up and the end of the season big money races are upon us at Grandview Speedway, is it any wonder that Craig Von Dohren starts to assert himself as the driver to beat.
Von Dohren won his third straight $10,000 “Forrest Rogers” Memorial race on Saturday night at the speedway. Von Dohren worked his way past a fast running Colt Harris early on and then held off a challenge from Mike Gular to go on and take the big win.
Colt Harris had a really strong race going and looked to be a threat to win until Von Dohren was finally able to work his way past the young racer on lap 31 to take command. Once in front Von Dohren was able to stretch out his lead until the yellow came out for a slowing Brett Kressley. The yellow flag was quickly replaced with the red flag as it was determined that Kressley needed some medical attention due to the driveshaft breaking and hitting his leg. Kressley was able to get out of the car under his own power and walked back into the pits limping.
As the leaders came back to the green flag it was Gular who was now in second making his move on the leader. Von Dohren and Gular swapped slide jobs on each other for a couple of laps before Von Dohren was finally able to gain control of the race. Once the Oley, Pa., driver asserted himself over Gular the lead started to grow and with no more cautions to slow his pace Von Dohren was able to flash under the checkered flag for the big win along with the big check that came with it.
Gular added to his consistent finishes bye finishing second with Frank Cozze, Jared Umbenhauer and Duane Howard completing the top five.
Craig Von Dohren continues to lead the chase for the championship over Jeff Strunk, Duane Howard, Mike Gular and Doug Manmiller
Forrest Rogers Memorial/PPB Modified Feature (50-Laps): 1. Craig Von Dohren, 2. Mike Gular, 3. Frank Cozze, 4. Jared Umbenhauer, 5. Duane Howard, 6. Kevin Hirthler, 7. Jeff Strunk, 8. Kenny Gilmore, 9. Colt Harris, 10. Brian Krummel, 11. John Willman. 12. Addison Meitzler, 13. Kyle Weiss, 14. Mike Mahaney, 15. Doug Manmiller, 16. Eric Biehn, 17. Chris Esposito, 18. Joe Fanelli. DNF: 19. Justin Grim, 20. Bobby Gunther-Walsh, 21. Steve Swinehart, 22. Brett Kressley, 23. Kory Fleming, 24. Tim Buckwalter, 25. Ryan Grim, 26. Dan Waisempacher, 27. Brett Gilmore, 28. Mike Laise.
This Saturday at the speedway it will be a regular show consisting of the NASCAR 358 Modifieds, Sportsman and Late Models.
Don’t forget coming on Thursday August 17th, it will another Bob Miller promoted “Thunder on the Hill” show featuring the All Start Circuit of Champions 410 Sprints cars along with the Sportsman Modifieds. Scheduled to compete that night in the 410 Sprints are 3-time NASCAR Champion Tony “Smoke” Stewart along with crown favorite Rico Abreu.
Bridgeport Speedway 8/5/17 – Ryan Watt raced to his second Saturday night points paying feature event win this past Saturday. It was the fifth overall victory of the season for the Boyertown, PA at the track.
Watt battled hard with good friend Sammy Martz until he was able to get by for the lead on lap 18 and take the victory.
Martz jumped to the lead early on and was cruising in the lead looking for his second win of the season. While Martz was out front all by himself as Jesse Hill, Watt and Rick Laubach battled behind the leader. As Martz started to hit lapped traffic Hill and Watt were able to start closing the gap to the leader and with ten to go were right on the bumper of Martz.
After catching the leader Watt was able to get by Hill for second a lap later. Watt quickly went to work on Martz for the lead and was by him a few laps later. Watt immediately opened up an advantage on the field as Martz, Hill and Laubach battled behind him for the runner-up spot.
Watt flashed across the line for the win with Sammy Martz, Jesse Hill, Rick Laubach and Dominick Buffalino completing the top five.
Ryan Watt was able to put some more distance between himself and Rick Laubach in the race for the track championship but it is still anyone’s race at this point. Dominick Buffalino is in third with Richie Pratt Jr and David Hunt completing the top five points getters.
The South Jersey oval returns to action this Saturday night with the Big Block Modifieds headlining the show. Also competing on Saturday will be the
This Saturday at the South Jersey oval it will be the “Racing for Ron John” night featuring the Big Block modifieds along with Crate/Sportsman cars, Outlaw Stocks and the Vintage cars. It will also be driver appreciation night.
BIG BLOCK MODIFIED FEATURE (25 laps): 1. Ryan Watt, 2. Sam Martz, 3. Jesse Hill, 4. Rick Laubach, 5. Dominick Buffalino, 6. Dave Hunt, 7. Jim Britt, 8. Richie Pratt, Jr., 9. Tommy Beamer, 10. Travis Hill, 11. Dave Shirk, 12. Ricky DiEva, 13. Billy Pauch, Sr., 14. Rocco Infante, 15. Ron Roberts, 16. Jack Swain, 17. Westley Smith, 18. Neal Williams, 19. Ernie Miles, III, 20. Bob Sarkisian, 21. Tom Maccherone, DNS – Mike Franz
NJ/PA Mod News N Notes:
The Petruska and Sons, Atlas Paving team along with driver Ryan Godown debuted their new Bicknell chassis in a big way last Thursday night holding off a determined Craig Von Dohren and Ryan Watt to bring home the victory in its maiden voyage…
After departing the Searock Fabrications #17 team a few weeks ago. Ryan Grim debuted a new car Saturday night at Grandview. Grim’s debut of his new car wasn’t quite as successful as the aforementioned Petruska’s as Grim barrel rolled his car during the feature. Grim did manage to rejoin the race after making repairs in the pits only to drop out shortly thereafter…
It was announced at Grandview Speedway on Saturday night that this year Freedeom 76 race will be run in honor of Bruce Rogers, the long-time speedway owner who passed away earlier this year. The purse will increased in his honor to whopping $30,000….
DRIVER OF THE WEEK: Rich Rutski is this week’s pick for Driver of the Week. Rutski won his first ever modified feature on Saturday at New Egypt and did it in convincing fashion in the Packenham #18. Congratulations to Rutske, Packenham and the entire team on their huge accomplishment.
As always, I can be reached for any comments or questions at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @dirtracefan25