MINERSVILLE, PA – It was a night fit for champions at Big Diamond Speedway as points champions were crowned in all four divisions. Timmy Buckwalter finished the season where he started after winning opening night to win the Insigner Performance Modified Points title overtaking Duane Howard on the last night to win the title. Doug Hendricks overcame hardship on the final night to win the U.S.S. Achey Open Sportsman title while Steve Lyle led from season start to finish to win the Savage 61 championship. Although he clinched the title two weeks ago, Andrew Fayash III was officially crowned champion in the Red White and Blue Autos Roadrunner division.
As the Insigner Performance Modifieds 25-lap modified was set to take the green, Duane Howard was the points leader with a slim five-point lead over Timmy Buckwalter. Essentially that meant that all Howard had to do was stay in front of Buckwalter to take the championship. Corey Renninger and Rick Laubach led the field to the green flag with Laubach taking command as the green flag flew. The yellow was quickly out as the pole sitter Renninger slowed to a stop. After a failed restart, Laubach was back on the gas as he remained the leader with Mike Lisowski, Louden Reimert and Kevin Beach Jr in tow. Laubach stretched his lead to almost a straightaway as Buckwalter and Howard were caught up in their own personal battle as they raced to get to the front.
Still racing under green, Buckwalter was up to the sixth spot as the field took the halfway sign with Howard still mired back around tenth. Laubach was setting a torrid pace out front when disaster almost struck the leader on lap 16. Dan Hineline slowed to head to the infield right in front of the leader as Laubach raced off a turn two. Laubach had a head of steam going and luckily was able to avoid the slowing Hineline with a quick move to the outside, unfortunately for Laubach, Renninger was right there and drove right up and over Laubach’s right rear wheel destroying the sheet metal on the right rear quarter panel of Laubach’s No. 20. Renninger came to a stop bringing out the final yellow of the race.
Laubach was still in charge on the restart but now had a hard charging Alex Yankowski on his rear bumper after vaulting to second on the restart. At this point Buckwalter had moved into the top five while Howard was still lingering back around the tenth spot. Yankowski put some pressure on Laubach for a couple laps, but Laubach was eventually able to build up a small gap and raced home for his first win of the season at Big Diamond in his No. 20. Yankowski finished second with Mike Lisowski finishing third. Reimert finished fourth with your new Big Diamond Insigner Performance points champion Timmy Buckwalter in fifth.
“It’s been a work in progress since the middle of the winter when we decided to do this deal,” stated a happy and relieved Laubach in victory lane. “There are a lot of people I need to thank for helping me do it but first I have to thank my wife, she puts up with a lot stuff and without her support I wouldn’t be able to do this. Secondly, I have to thank Jason Leindecker for building me this engine. I have to thank TEO, this is a new TEO car, and everybody gives up on TEO and we didn’t give up on them all year and now we have this car going good. We were good with this car at Grandview the other night and I knew we would be good with it here tonight. I have to thank my sponsors and there are a lot of them, we are all just working people and sometimes I don’t even work. After the damage, the car felt a little wishy washy on the straightaways and I saw him (Yankowski) underneath me and I know he wants to win but I want to win to and tried harder. And these people I feel so bad for, Mike Krachun and Amwell Auto Body, they are my competitors, and they help me out and what happened to them is a total shame. I know one of their crew guys is here tonight after dropping off their motors and they didn’t deserve what happened to them, they are such good people.”
After a grueling race that resulted in a fifth-place finish, it was Timmy Buckwalter standing on top of the mountain and winning his first ever Modified title of his career. It was a proud moment for the Douglasville, PA driver as he talked to track announcer Dino Oberto while accepting the championship trophy.
“Without my guys and their hard work throughout the week and that is where the races are won,” said a happy and relieved Buckwalter. “You know you come to the races to have fun but championships are won back at the shop and these guys are in my shop every day and without them I wouldn’t be standing here. Norm Saxton gave me the opportunity four years ago to put this team together and we thought we were going to do something good last year and I got hurt so this year we were kind of out on a mission. I have never been that nervous before, I’ve been to a lot of races and to be that nervous the last five laps was something I’ve never felt before. I was hearing noises in the car that I had never heard before or it was just me making noises up. Morrison, without Pat (Morrison Motors owner Pat Morrison), this car would never be as fast as it is. I called Pat on Monday and said listen, this thing is tired, I need my new motor and he said come get it and I was at his shop by 7:30 that night. I couldn’t do it without everyone that is involved with this team and all my sponsors. I have to give a shoutout to my wife (Amanda) and my son who weren’t feeling the greatest this week so the decided to stay home and rest up for Sunday. Hat’s off to Jake (track owner Jake Smulley) for giving me the opportunity to win this, that was a hard decision for him to make but with a nine-point spread going in, I think a lot of people here in the grandstand wanted to see it how it went down.”
The 20-lap Savage 61 Crate Sportsman feature saw Kevin Brady and Shon Elk makeup the front row as the field came down to the green flag. Brady takes the lead at the start with third place starter Logan Watt and seventh place starter Doug Smith right behind in second and third. Lap ten and the race changes dramatically when leader Brady comes up on the Alyssa Fogel to put her a lap down coming out of turn four. Brady runs into the back of Fogel with Watt going to the bottom and Smith to the top to split both cars and race into turn one for the lead. Smith managed to get there first and was now the new leader. Watt was able to stay close to Smith but to no avail as Smith raced to the win in the non-stop race. Watt finished second with Kyle Kania, Brady and Tyler Peet the top five. Steve Lyle who has been so very steady all season long was crowned the Savage 61 Crate Sportsman points champion for 2021.
In the running of the Coalcracker 40, it was the teenager Cole Stangle who made a return to the Open Sportsman to capture the big win and the $1,500 payday. Stangle who has ran in the Modified division all season long at Big Diamond brought back out his potent Open Sportsman to try and capture the big bucks. Stangle started on the pole by virtue of the draw and led right from the drop of the green flag. Stangle held the lead through a couple of early race cautions as fourth-place starter Brandon Edgar was now up to second and starting to catch the high flying Stangle. As the lead approached halfway, Edgar was all over Stangle and started to pull even with the leader in the turns with Stangle fighting off the challenges down the straights. With ten laps to go, Stangle would start to open his lead back up a little over Edgar and would go on to take the big win. Edgar was second with Wayne Witmer, Doug Hendricks in fourth in Tyler Reber’s No. 4R after having motor trouble in his own No. 80 in the heat race. Mike Schneck completed the top five.
The night didn’t quite go as planned for U.S.S. Achey points leader Doug Hendricks but in the end, Hendricks was able to hold on and claim the 2021 points title. Hendricks suffered terminal engine problems in his heat and race and the prospects of him winning the title took a turn for the worse. Luckily for Hendricks, Tyler Reber offered him the use of his No. 4R to race in the feature. The team swapped out tires and shocks from his own No. 80 and despite having to start last was able to come home with a fourth-place finish to seal the deal on the championship.
With Andrew Fayash III having already clinched the points title, there wasn’t much drama to the Red White and Blue Autos Roadrunner race. However, the racing was still great as the top five ran nose to tail the final half of the race with Joe Bassininsky picking up his first ever win over Don Murphy, Matt Ney, Alex Schoffstall & Jesse Krasnitsky.
Full results from September 3rd, 2021 – Coalcracker Weekend Night #1
Insigner Performance Modified / Championship Night: 1. Rick Laubach 2. Alex Yankowski 3. Mike Lisowski 4. Louden Reimert 5. Timmy Buckwalter 6. Mike Gular 7. Jeff Strunk 8. Ryan Watt 9. Duane Howard 10. Nick Rochinski 11. Ryan Godown 12. Dillon Steuer 13. Heath Metzger 14. Jared Umbenhauer 15. Kevin Beach Jr. 16. Dan Hineline 17. Corey Renninger 18. Shawn Light 19. Doug Snyder 20. Andy Burkhardt
Modified Heat Winners: Corey Renninger & Rick Laubach
Modified Penske Shocks Gift Certificate Winners: Rick Laubach ($100), Alex Yankowski $75) Mike Lisowski ($50)
Modified Points Final Top Ten: 1. Timmy Buckwalter – 2148, 2. Duane Howard – 2113, 3. Alex Yankowski – 2023, 4. Mike Gular – 1943, 5. Jeff Strunk – 1813, 6. Ryan Krachun – 1765, 7. Nick Rochinski – 1758, 8. Louden Reimert – 1751, 9. Craig Von Dohren – 1594, 10. Brett Kressley – 1562
Savage 61 Crate 602 Sportsman / Championship Night: 1. Doug Smith 2. Logan Watt 3. Kyle Kania 4. Kevin Brady 5. Tyler Peet 6. Danny Buccafusca 7. Eric Palmer 8. Steve Lyle 9. Eric Kocher 10. Joel Smith 11. Daryl Dissinger 12. Jonathan Swift 13. Josh Mooney 14. Shon Elk 15. Tyler James 16. Kevin Kaplafka 17. Chad Putalavage 18. Alyssa Fogel 19. Marty Schappell 20. Ryan Grim
Crate Sportsman 602 Heat Winners: Kevin Brady & Jonathan Swift
Crate 602 Penske Shocks Gift Certificate Winners: Doug Smith ($100), Logan Watt ($75) & Kyle Kania ($50)
Crate Sportsman Final Top Ten Points: 1. Steve Lyle – 2014, 2. Danny Buccafusca – 1926, 3. Doug Smith – 1800, 4. Tyler Peet – 1795, 5. Eric Palmer – 1681, 6. Kyle Kania – 1447, 7. Joel Smith – 1359, 8. Daryl Dissinger – 1339, 9. Jonathan Swift – 1316, 10. Logan Watt – 1284
U.S.S Achey Open Sportsman / Championship Night: 1. Cole Stangle 2. Brandon Edgar 3. Wayne Witmer 4. Doug Hendricks 5. Mike Schneck 6. Brad Force 7. Mike Stofflet 8. Blake Reber 9. Mark Gaugler 10. Tajae Adams 11. Mike Burrows 12. Nathan Mohr 13. Jeremy Hertzog 14. Gary Grim 15. Tanner Vandoren 16. Tim Fitzpatrick Did Not Start – Blake Reber, Ken Eckert Jr, Mike Toth
Open Sportsman Heat Winners: Brandon Edgar & Cole Stangle
Open Sportsman Penske Shocks Gift Certificate Winners: Cole Stangle ($100), Brandon Edgar ($75) & Wayne Witmer ($50)
Open Sportsman Final Top Ten Points: 1. Doug Hendricks – 1798, 2. Brandon Edgar – 1741, 3. Mike Schneck – 1474, 4. Tanner Vandoren – 1457, 5. Tajae Adams – 1245, 6. Tim Fitzpatrick – 1220, 7. Mike Burrows – 1199, 8. Ken Eckert Jr – 1120, 9. Ed Mrochko – 980, 10. Mike Toth – 934
Red White and Blue Autos Roadrunners / Championship Night: 1. Joe Bassininsky 2. Don Murphy 3. Matt Ney 4. Alex Schoffstall 5. Jesse Krasnitsky 6. Andrew Fayash III 7. Ronny Suhr Jr 8. Dave Schultz 9. Tonya Lance 10. Kris Ney 11. Tod Roth Jr 12. Terry Kramer 13. Jarrod Bassininsky 14. Jim Kost 15. CJ Ferguson 16. TJ Fitzpatrick
Roadrunner Heat Winners: TJ Fitzpatrick & Kris Ney
$100 Bonus from K & B Recycling – Joe Bassinsky
Roadrunner Final Top Ten Points: 1. Andrew Fayash III – 3445, 2. Alex Schoffstall – 3128, 3. Don Murphy – 2754, 4. Kris Ney – 2613, 5. Jim Kost – 2544, 6. Joe Bassininsky – 2410, 7. Matt Ney – 2100, 8. Tonya Lance – 1768, 9. Ronny Suhr Jr, 10. CJ Ferguson – 1498