MINERSVILLE, PA-The “Parade of Power” is over, practice is over. Now it is time to get the season started at Big Diamond Speedway! Yesterday’s practice saw a total of 88 cars take to the track for three sets of practices for each type of race car. Track owner Jake Smulley and his crew had the track tabletop smooth and in tip top shape for the racers yesterday.
Friday will see the 51st season get underway at the Schuylkill Valley dirt oval as Jake and Jasmine Smulley present the “Thaw Brawl” to get the 2023 season started. The Quandel Concrete Modifieds will race 25 laps for a winner share of $4,051 dollars. Defending modified track champion Duane Howard aboard the Getz Motorsports No. 15G will be back to defend his 2022 track title and with two wins already this season has to be the pre-race favorite to take the opener.
Howard will have to be at the top of his game on Friday night if he wants to take home the big check with the level of competition Big Diamond presents on Friday nights. Jeff Strunk will be in attendance back behind the wheel of the iconic Glenn Hyneman owned No. 126 along with Craig Von Dohren wheeling the Dave Dissinger No. 88X. Between these three drivers, they have won a total of 15 season openers with Howard leading the way with seven opening day wins.
But the star power doesn’t stop there. 2020 track champion Mike Gular will be back on a full-time basis this season driving the potent Terry Fastnacht No. 2A. Brett Kressley who came all so close to winning the championship last year will be looking to improve his points finish by one spot. Kressley finished off the year winning the Coalcracker 72 and is always a threat with his No. 19K. Rich Laubach and his family-owned Shaker Motorsports No. 20 have been making strides each season and came on strong late in 2022. Laubach who is also a defending track champion can never be counted out and is also a past opening day winner. Previous opening night winner Timmy Buckwalter is expected to be in attendance along with always exciting Ryan Watt aboard the Ron Roberts owned No. 14W. Both Nick Rochinski and Louden Reimert who both registered their first ever wins at Big Diamond last season have to be considered threats as well. You can also never count out the Big Diamond regulars such as Kevin Beach Jr, Mike Lisowski, Shawn Fitzpatrick, Eddie Strada, Scott Albert and others.
Not to be left out, the USS Achey Crate Sportsman will be racing for a first place prize of $1,051 in their 20-lap main event. Last year’s big three of Brandon Edgar, Danny Buccafusca and Logan Watt will all be back trying to get a head start towards the championship with Buccafusca and Watt looking to get a jump on the field as they look to unseat Edgar as the champion. Jordan Henn aboard the No. 4R came on strong in the latter half of the season and should be considered a threat in the championship hunt. Other drivers looking to battle for the title have to be Daryl Dissinger, Kevin Kaplafka, Matt Yoder, Kevin Olenick, Talan Carter and a host of others.
The always exciting Red White and Blue Autos Roadrunners will be racing a 20-lap feature paying the winner a cool $551. This division usually provides some of the best racing on the night and this season should be no different with last year’s champ Alex Schoffstall, Andrew Fayash II set to go at it once again in 2023.
New this season to Big Diamond Speedway will be the Big Creek Concrete Rookie division. The rookies will compete in a 15-lap feature of their own with the winner receiving $175. We have over a dozen rookies signed up so far and are glad to be able to offer this as they can learn amongst themselves and gain that much needed experience.
Pit gates will open this Friday at 5:00 pm with Grandstand gates opening at 5:30 pm
Pit passes are $35 for Big Diamond Speedway members. Non-member pit passes are $45.
Warmups get underway at 7:15 PM with racing starting at 7:45 PM.
General admission on Friday night will be $20, Kids under 16 are free.
Once again in 2022, Big Diamond Speedway has partnered with Dirt Track Digest TV to bring the live
action to you if you cannot attend via Pay-Per-View.
For the full schedule, rules, and speedway forms along with any other information regarding Big Diamond Speedway please visit the track website at www.bigdspeedway.net