MINERSVILLE, PA – Craig Von Dohren returned to his winning ways Friday night at Big Diamond Speedway. Von Dohren aboard the Dave Dissinger owned No. 88X won a spirited battle with 2020 champion Mike Gular to take his first of the season at the Schuylkill County dirt oval. For Von Dohren it was his 99th career victory at the speedway. The Limited Late Models returned to the track for the first time this season with Travis Mease taking the win. In the Crate 602 feature, it was Brandon Edgar winning in dominating fashion. The Roadrunner feature was postponed after five laps were run due to rain and lightning; the balance of the feature will be completed at a later date.
Craig Von Dohren did not start 2021 the way he had expected to at the Big Diamond Speedway, the car has shown some speed, but Von Dohren just could not find the exact combination that he needed to get to victory lane. The past two races have found the No. 88x listed with a DNF next to his name in the scoring rundown which I can assure you has not happened in years. Friday night Von Dohren had what it took to get the job done as he passed Mike Gular on lap 18 to take the win.
A pair of Mikes would lead the field Insigner Performance Modifieds to the green as pole-sitter Mike Lisowski and outside pole-sitter Mike Gular brought the 24-car field down to start the race. Gular immediately jumped to the lead with Lisowski holding down the second spot over a hard charging Danny Bouc and Von Dohren. Lap eight, the yellow flag was out for a slowing Rick Laubach. On the restart, Jeff Strunk and Heath Metzger would spin in turn two to negate the start.
When we returned to green flag racing, it was Gular who continued to lead the way as Von Dohren worked his way past Bouc to takeover the third spot setting his sights on the second place running Lisowski. Lap eleven saw Von Dohren get past Lisowski for the runner-up spot as Gular opened a small advantage over the field. Von Dohren continued to work the outside as he started to slowly reel in the leader Gular.
The two leaders continued to work different lines on the track as Gular stayed low and Von Dohren worked the top. Von Dohren would get a run-on Gular through the turns, but Gular was able to power off the low side coming out of the corners to stay out front. CVD would not give up and was finally able to make the move around Gular to take the lead as the leaders completed lap 18. Gular did not give up and was able to keep working the inside to get back past Von Dohren but to no avail as Von Dohren was able to stay in front to take the much-needed win over Gular, Lisowski, points leader Duane Howard and Dillon Steuer.
“The track was pretty good tonight, it had two lanes, the heat race had two lanes” said a happy Von Dohren in victory lane with track announcer Dino Oberto. “The top came in and I don’t know if the bottom slowed up or if we got a little better. I kind of showed myself a little there and Mike (Gular) moved up, but he wasn’t any good up there and we just crossed him up a couple of laps later and was able to slip by. You can go anywhere when you have a good car and tonight, I had a good hot rod. I have to thank Jason (crew chief Jason Bashore) and the crew and big Dave (Dissinger) for giving me this car and to the Wilhems, Pioneer Pole Buildings and everybody who makes this deal work. I am glad we got win #99 and now we have to work on #100.”
The Limited Late Models returned to the speedway after making their debut last year during the Diamond Nationals and the feature showed the talent of the drivers as they put on a great show for the fans. Shaun Miller would take the lead from his number one starting spot. A caution on lap three slowed the action and when the race restarted it was Travis Mease taking over the lead from S. Miller with fifth-place starter Dillan Stake moving up to third.
Another caution slowed the field on lap six, but Mease was able to continue to lead when the race restarted over S. Miller and Stake. Mease would stay in control of the race as S. Miller and Stake would battle hard for the second spot. Stake would eventually take the spot away from S. Miller, but he had nothing for Mease who went on to lead the rest of way and taking the big win. Following Mease and Stake across the line were S. Miller, Ben Whitaker, and Troy Miller.
The Savage 61 Crate 602 feature was a wild one with teams battling for the $1,061 first place prize. Jonathan Swift led lap one and continued to lead as the yellow flew on lap seven for a multi-car tangle in turn four. Eleventh place starter Brandon Edgar has already worked his way from eleventh to fifth at this point of the race. The restart was negated as Dakotal Kohler, and points leader Steve Lyle came together with Kohler spinning and Lyle put to the rear for rough riding. Another restart and yet another yellow as the second place running Craig Cumeo went around.
We finally got back to racing as Edgar vaulted to the top spot to lead lap eight. Caution was again out on lap eleven and when we went back to green, there was a major crash on the front stretch involving numerous cars with a few receiving extensive damage. Luckily, all drivers were okay. When we returned to racing, Edgar was gone as he opened a huge advantage over the rest of the field to take the big win. Doug Smith finished second with Joel Smith, Steve Lyle, and Ryan Graver the top five.
Full Results from 6/18/2021 Savage 61 Night
Insinger Performance Modifieds: 1. Craig Von Dohren 2. Mike Gular 3. Mike Lisowski 4. Duane Howard 5. Dillion Steuer 6. Danny Bouc 7. Louden Reimert 8. Billy Pauch Jr. 9. Timmy Buckwalter 10. Nic Rochinski 11. Jared Umbenhauer 12. Alex Yankowski 13. Ryan Krachun 14. Brett Kressley 15. Scott Albert 16. Kyle Merkel 17. Kevin Beach Jr. 18. Andy Burkhart 19. Cole Stangle 20. Heath Metzger 21. Cliff Quinn 22. Rick Laubach 23. Shawn Fitzpatrick 24. Jeff Strunk – Did Not Qualify: Shawn Light, Corey Renninger, Mike Behm, Kerry Fritz, Richie Hitzler
Modified Heat Winners: Mike Gular, Danny Bouc & Shawn Fitzpatrick
Consi Winner: Brett Kressley
Penske Racing Shocks $100 Certificate: Craig Von Dohren
Penske Racing Shocks $75 Certificate: Mike Gular
Penske Racing Shocks $50 Certificate: Mike Lisowski
Savage 61 Crate 602 Sportsman: 1. Brandon Edgar 2. Doug Smith 3. Joel Smith 4. Steve Lyle 5. Ryan Graver 6. Danny Buccafusca 7. Kyle Kania 8. Logan Watt 9. Josh Mooney 10. Chad Putalavage 11. Craig Cuneo 12. Steve Yankowski 13. Chuck Eckert 14. Joe Toth 15. Jonathan Swift 16. Scott Kohler 17. Talan Carter 18. Justin Lilick 19. Shon Elk 20. Ed Mrochko 21. Wayne Weaver 22. Eric Palmer 23. Bobby Krupp Disqualified – Dakota Kohler – Did Not Qualify: Zane Roth, Billy Lasko, Ken Eckert Jr, Wes Brady, Brandon Firestine, Daryl Dissinger, Kyle Redner, Robin Wagner
Crate 602 Sportsman Heat Winners: Jonathan Swift, Doug Smith & Kyle Kania
Consi Winner: Eric Palmer
Penske Racing Shocks $100 Certificate: Brandon Edgar
Penske Racing Shocks $75 Certificate: Doug Smith
Penske Racing Shocks $50 Certificate: Joel Smith
Limited Late Models: 1. Travis Mease 2. Dillan Stake 3. Troy Miller 4. Ben Whitaker 5. Shaun Miller 6. Andrew Yoder 7. Chad Myers 8. Sean Merkel 9. Jakob Piper 10. Chuck Schutz 11. Jennifer Lesher 12. Steve Todorow 13. Terry Gingerich 14. Kyle Nicholas 15. Devin Hart 16. Dave Ogin 17. Dan Zeckman 18. Daulton Bigler 19. Drew Weisser. Did Not Start: Chase Billet
Limited Late Model Heat Winners: Troy Miller & Travis Mease
Red, White and Blue Autos Roadrunners: Running order on lap 5 of 20 (Race postponed due to rain/lightning) 1. Jesse Krasnitsky 2. Kris Ney 3. Andrew Fayash III 4. Ronny Suhr Jr 5. Jim Kost 6. Matt Ney 7. Chris Ferguson 8. Joe Bassininsky 9. Don Murphy 10. Tonya Lance 11. Nick Gara 12. Dave Schultz 13. Damion Dusheck 14. Ray Gara. Did Not Start: Alex Schoffstall, Jon Schlauch
Roadrunner Heat Winners: Ronny Suhr Jr & Andrew Fayash III