Big Diamond Notebook, Howard Wins for Second Win and More – DTD Exclusive

By KEN BRUCE

2018 was the last year Duane Howard had multiple wins at Big Diamond which is a long time for Howard who is known at the speedway as the “Diamond Cutter”. Friday’s win was the 267th career win for Howard with 87 of those coming at Big Diamond Speedway. 

“We had a really good racecar tonight,” said a jubilant Howard talking to owner Butch Getz in the team’s hauler post-race. “We tried a little something outside of the box tonight, but it seemed to work out. I thought we got caught in the wrong position on that one restart there but again it all worked out for us tonight.”

Friday night Howard was at his best as he methodically worked the Butch Getz owned No. 15G through the field and landed in the second spot as leader Brett Kressley was seemingly running away with the race. You could see Kressley was starting to develop some handling issues late in the race as his No. 19K was pushing through the center of the turns allowing Howard to make up ground quickly. 

Coming around for the five to go signal, Howard pulled to the inside of Kressley coming through turns three and four and pulled even with the leader. Coming off the turn, Howard started to pull ahead as both drivers roared down the front straightaway. Howard crossed the stripe as the leader and as he came up on the lapped car of Cliff Quinn, Howard had to decide to back off or move to right. Howard choose the later and as he moved over he was not quite clear of Kressley and made contact with the left front tire of Kressley. Kressley bounced off the fence as Howard sailed by to take the lead. Once in front, Howard was able to substantially gap Kressley who everyone could see was doing all he could to nurse his car home. It was all Howard after that as he took the checkered flag winning the race and the $3,500 first-place prize.




“The track was really good tonight and in (turns) three and four you really had to be up there on the lip,” explained Howard. “And if you seen someone go in there and miss the lip, you had to capitalize on it. I was able to see the No. 19K (Kressley) up there and struggling a little bit with the lapped traffic and I dove it in there. I was in front of him coming down the front straightaway and had to move over due to the lapped car and we made minor contact. That is just racing and if you don’t go for it, you might as well not be out there on the racetrack. Believe me, he (Kressley) would’ve done the same exact thing if the situation was reversed.”

With the exception of the night Howard rolled over in the feature, the Getz owned, Bicknell chassis, Billy the Kid Performance powered No. 15G has been on a roll with two wins and a second-place finish and it seems like the team is starting to find their stride.

“We’ve had a good car here all year and tonight it all worked out for us,” mentioned Howard. “We have been making some subtle changes every week and I think what we did this week and what we did this morning is really a confidence booster for me to get out there and get it done. With the way the car felt tonight I could drive it with a lot of confidence and getting other people rattled a little bit and hopefully tonight that is a start of that.”

Diamond Nuggets:

Friday’s race as race #4 of the 2022 PA Tri-Track Spec series and second at Big Diamond…

Twenty-six Modifeds registered for the night’s racing with heat wins taken by Craig Von Dohren, Brett Kressley and Billy Pauch Jr…

Following the night’s race, Brett Kressley is now the points leader in the PA Tri-Track Spec series by 19 points over Craig Von Dohren and by 29 points over Duane Howard…

As per the Brett Kressley Racing Facebook page, it was reported that power steering issues were the cause of Kressley’s handling issues late in the race. After the race Kressley’s car stopped in turn two with overheating issues causing the car to be pushed into the tech shed…

Jeff Strunk was back behind the wheel of the Glenn Hyneman No. 126 on Friday night. The team struggled in their heat race then won the consi going away. In the feature, Strunk charged from his 19th starting spot to a fifth-place finish…

Mike Gular was another driver who struggled in his heat race but did manage to hang on and qualify. Starting back in the 16th spot, Gular charged up and into the top ten only to suffer a left front flat about midway through the feature. Gular pitted and returned to finish 12th

Up and coming driver Jack Butler ran upfront early on but ultimately faded to a 10th place finish at race’s end…

Coming into Friday night Timmy Buckwalter was the series points leader and looked good early on as he came through field quickly only to have something break on the No. 23X forcing Buckwalter to pull off and call it a night…

Being that this was a show up points night, Duane Howard is still the points leader by a slim margin over Brett Kressley…

This Tuesday night at Big Diamond it will be the return of the Super DirtCar Series. The SDS has visited Big Diamond previously on three occasions with Alan Johnson in 2003, Brett Hearn in 2004 and Duane Howard in 2009 all victorious. There was a race scheduled in 2014 but was cancelled due to the weather. Along with all the SDS platinum drivers attending this event will be local drivers Jeff Strunk, Brett Kressley, Louden Remiert, Rick Laubach, Billy Pauch Jr, Jimmy Horton, Sam Martz Sr, Ryan Watt, Ryan Krachun & Jared Umbenhauer…

If you have any questions or comments. I can be reached at dirtracefan25@hotmail.com or on Twitter @dirtracefan25.