MINERSVILLE, PA – It’s been nearly a decade since the USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Cars have paid a visit to Big Diamond Speedway in Pottsville, Pennsylvania, but a new era begins as the hiatus comes to an end on Friday night, April 23, for the second round of Keystone Invasion.
The four-race Pennsylvania mini-series begins Thursday, April 22, at Grandview Speedway, before heading to Big Diamond for the first time since 2012 and concludes the weekend with stops at BAPS Motor Speedway on Saturday, April 24, and Path Valley Speedway Park on Sunday, April 25.
Chris Windom (Canton, Ill.) enters on a two-race winning streak at Big Diamond, albeit with the most recent victory occurring nine years prior. However, Big Diamond has been a special venue for the USAC career Triple Crown champ who won his very first career USAC National Sprint Car feature at the 3/8-mile dirt oval in 2010, then backed it up in the revisit there in 2012 with another triumph. In five Big Diamond starts, Windom hasn’t finished outside the top-ten with 9th place runs in 2007 and 2008 to go along with a 10th in 2008.
Series point leader and three-time USAC National Sprint Car champ Brady Bacon (Broken Arrow, Okla.) has two Big Diamond starts to his credit, both of which were top-ten runs, anchored by a 9th in 2008 and a 10th in 2007.
Robert Ballou has had many fine days in sprint car racing, earning the 2015 Eastern Storm crown as well as the 2015 USAC National Sprint Car championship. However, Big Diamond has not treated the Rocklin, Calif. driver kindly in his four previous appearances, finishing a best of 15th in 2007 and 2008, a 16th in 2009 and a 21st in 2012.
Thomas Meseraull (San Jose, Calif.) won his heat race and finished 13th in his lone venture to Big Diamond back in 2008. Meseraull will be competing throughout the duration of Keystone Invasion aboard the Tim Hogue No. 39.
Chase Stockon (Fort Branch, Ind.) debuted at Big Diamond during his first foray to the east in 2010, turning in a heat race victory and an 11th place result in that night’s feature. In the ensuing visit to Big Diamond in 2012, it was a proud night for Stockon who achieved his first career USAC “podium” finish with a 3rd place result behind Windom and Tracy Hines.
C.J. Leary’s (Greenfield, Ind.) Rookie Year with the USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Cars brought him to Big Diamond in 2012 where he finished 13th. Kevin Thomas Jr. (Cullman, Ala.) finished that same night with a 22nd place result. Joey Biasi (Mary D, Pa.) collected a 19th that evening as well. Biasi captured a USAC East Coast Sprint Car win at Big Diamond in 2018.
As you see, USAC hasn’t been completely absent from Big Diamond in recent years with the club’s Rapid Tire East Coast Sprint Cars presented by Capitol Trailers making eight appearances between 2018-20. Among them are Keystone Invasion competitors Steven Drevicki and Timmy Buckwalter, who have each won once there.
Drevicki (Reading, Pa.) has won a total of three USAC East Coast Sprint Car races at Big Diamond in 2019-20, while Buckwalter (Douglassville, Pa.) snagged a win of his own there in 2019. USAC East Coast Sprint regulars Ryan Godown, Alex Bright and Kenny Miller III have all won at Big Diamond with the series in recent years as well.
Carmen Perigo (Stoystown, Pa.) has four top-five finishes with the USAC East Coast Sprint Cars over the past two seasons with a 3rd and 4th in 2019 and a 3rd and 5th in 2020. Likewise, Craig Pellegrini (Buena, N.J.) has made two USAC EC Big Diamond starts with a best of 17th in 2019. Kyle Lick (Lehighton, Pa.) earned a solid 6th with the East Coast series there in 2018. Briggs Danner (Allentown, Pa.) debuted with the East Coast Series at Big Diamond late in 2020, but had some misfortune, ending his night early following the heat race.
Making their Big Diamond debuts are some of the series’ heaviest hitters who reside in the top-ten of the standings, including 2020 USAC Silver Crown champ Justin Grant (Ione, Calif.), leading USAC National Sprint Car Rookie of the Year contender and 2016 USAC NOS Energy Drink National Midget champion, Tanner Thorson (Minden, Nev.), plus 2017 USAC West Coast Sprint Car champion Jake Swanson (Anaheim, Calif.).
They’ll be joined by USAC National Sprint Car feature winner Matt Westfall (Pleasant Hill, Ohio), 2020 USAC National Most Improved Driver Brandon Mattox (Terre Haute, Ind.), top series Rookies Paul Nienhiser (Chapin, Ill.), Carson Garrett (Littleton, Colo.), a USAC National Sprint Car feature starter, twice over, Brandon Spithaler (Evans City, Pa.), and many more!
The event will also feature Modifieds and Roadrunners at the event. Pits open at 5pm Eastern with grandstands opening at 5:30pm and hot laps at 7pm.
Adult admission tickets are $30, children 11-12 are $10, kids 10 and under are free and active military with valid ID are free.
The entire event from Big Diamond will be streamed live on FloRacing at https://bit.ly/3dgONXz.
USAC NATIONAL SPRINT CAR WINS AT BIG DIAMOND SPEEDWAY:
2-Cole Whitt & Chris Windom
1-Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
USAC NATIONAL SPRINT CAR WINNERS AT BIG DIAMOND SPEEDWAY:
2007: Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (6/7)
2008: Cole Whitt (6/5)
2009: Cole Whitt (6/4)
2010: Chris Windom (6/4)
2012: Chris Windom (6/8)
TRACK RECORDS FOR USAC NATIONAL SPRINT CARS AT BIG DIAMOND SPEEDWAY:
1 Lap – 6/8/2012 – Levi Jones – 15.237 – 88.600 mph
8 Laps – 6/8/2012 – Tracy Hines – 2:07.640 – 84.613 mph
30 Laps – 6/8/2012 – Chris Windom – 8:36.250 – 78.450 mph
BIG DIAMOND SPEEDWAY USAC NATIONAL SPRINT CAR FEATURE RESULTS:
2007 FEATURE: (30 laps) 1. Ricky Stenhouse Jr., 2. Levi Jones, 3. Daron Clayton, 4. Damion Gardner, 5. Darren Hagen, 6. Dave Darland, 7. Dustin Morgan, 8. Jerry Coons Jr., 9. Chris Windom, 10. Brady Bacon, 11. Jesse Hockett, 12. Lucas Wolfe, 13. Kevin Swindell, 14. Jimmy Light, 15. Robert Ballou, 16. Bob Ream Jr., 17. Mat Neely, 18. Billy Pauch, 19. Brad Sweet, 20. Brady Short, 21. J.J. Yeley, 22. Neil Shepherd. NT
2008 FEATURE: (30 laps) 1. Cole Whitt, 2. Levi Jones, 3. Dave Darland, 4. Damion Gardner, 5. Jerry Coons Jr., 6. Darren Hagen, 7. Brad Sweet, 8. Bob Ream, 9. Brady Bacon, 10. Chris Windom, 11. Jon Stanbrough, 12. Brad Kuhn, 13. Thomas Meseraull, 14. Brady Short, 15. Robert Ballou, 16. Dustin Morgan, 17. Chad Boat, 18. Shane Golobic, 19. Shane Cottle, 20. Tracy Hines, 21. Jesse Hockett, 22. Billy Pauch. NT
2009 FEATURE: (30 laps) 1. Cole Whitt, 2. Dave Darland, 3. Levi Jones, 4. Damion Gardner, 5. Darren Hagen, 6. Jesse Hockett, 7.; Bryan Clauson, 8. Chad Boat, 9. Chris Windom, 10. Brad Sweet, 11. Bud Kaeding, 12. Jerry Coons Jr., 13. Scotty Weir, 14. Kevin Swindell, 15. Henry Clarke, 16. Robert Ballou, 17. Mark Bitner, 18. Ryan Smith, 19. Billy Pauch, 20. Tracy Hines, 21. Chad Trout, 22. Steve Petry. NT
2010 FEATURE: (40 laps) 1. Chris Windom, 2. Levi Jones, 3. Tracy Hines, 4. Ricky Williams, 5. Bryan Clauson, 6. Damion Gardner, 7. Henry Clarke, 8. Jerry Coons Jr., 9. Mark Bitner, 10. Kyle Robbins, 11. Chase Stockon, 12. Kyle Moody, 13. J.R. Berry, 14. J.C. Bland, 15. Dave Darland, 16. Johnny Mackison, 17. Steve Petry, 18. Landon Simon, 19. Casey Shuman, 20. Beau Binder, 21. Shane Hmiel. NT
2012 FEATURE: (30 laps) 1. Chris Windom, 2. Tracy Hines, 3. Chase Stockon, 4. Damion Gardner, 5. Levi Jones, 6. Bryan Clauson, 7. Jon Stanbrough, 8. Darren Hagen, 9. Jerry Coons, Jr., 10. Dave Darland, 11. Bobby East, 12. Coleman Gulick, 13. C.J. Leary, 14. Hunter Schuerenberg, 15. Jonathan Hendrick, 16. Mark Smith, 17. Billy Pauch, Jr., 18. Mark Bitner, 19. Joey Biasi, 20. Mike Gular, 21. Robert Ballou, 22. Kevin Thomas, Jr. 8:36.25