Reimert Gets Another Second, Butler Impresses, More Notes from Big Diamond – DTD Exclusive

By Ken Bruce

There are good second-place finishes, and there are bad second-place finishes. In the past two weeks at Big Diamond Speedway, Louden Reimert has experienced both ends of the spectrum. Reimert, driving the Flurer Tool and Machine No. 16, lost the lead two races ago to Duane Howard on a late-race restart and was very hard on himself afterwards for letting the victory get away. This past Friday, Reimert was just the opposite, as the Oley, Pa., driver finished second to winner Anthony Perrego but afterwards was very pleased with the end result.

“It was another second-place finish, but this week I am a lot happier with this second place,” said Reimert in the track’s tech shed after the race. “Last week’s finish was tough, but this week, starting deep, we had a really good car, and I was able to get to the front. We have been working hard to try and get better here, and finally, I think we have a really good slick track car now. You know, that is what Anthony (Perrego) races on most of the time, and coming down here is out of his ballgame, and he and his team did a really good job tonight.”

Reimert was able to work the bottom groove of the track on his way to the front and just didn’t have enough to get by Perrego late in the race.

“I hung on the bottom pretty much the whole race,” explained Reimert. “I didn’t feel good running the top, and then the top started fading away. I was able to pick guys off using the bottom, and before I knew it, I was up to second.”

A restart in the latter portion of the race gave Reimert a shot at the leader, but it was not to be on this night. 

“Towards the end of the race, it started to lock down on the bottom,” mentioned Reimert. “I was trying to get a good enough restart that I could get alongside of him going into (turn) one and try to beat him off the topside, but with how the track was at that point, I knew I had to get to the bottom as fast as I could, so I did not get hung out there and lose second place. It was a good race for us, and we will try to keep it rolling tomorrow night at New Egypt.”

Editor’s Note: Reimert did just that on Saturday night by winning the feature at New Egypt Speedway after a great duel with Billy Pauch Jr.

Butler an Impressive Fifth: New Jersey driver Jack Butler has always been impressive when he tows his No. 5 to Big Diamond Speedway. The Phillipsburg, N.J., driver has managed to qualify well each time, usually ending up with a redraw spot for the main event. The features have been another story. Butler races well and is fast, but circumstances always seem to interfere with him getting a good finish.

Finally, during the running of the “Prelude to the Coalcracker” race on Friday night, Butler ran upfront the entire race, even leading early on and eventually coming across the checkered flag in fifth. The good run left the driver in a very happy mood after the race.

“This feels real good tonight,” said Butler. “We have always run good here, and it has just been different circumstances that have taken us out of it. We ran in the top five all race and had a really good car. Led some laps tonight, and that was fun.”

The competition at Big Diamond is top-notch, and Butler was proud to be able to run competitively with the best of the best throughout the 50-lap race.

“You had all the good teams starting around us tonight, like Von Dohren, Manmiller, and Godown,” mentioned Butler. “There were a lot of good cars up there, and we showed that we can run with them and keep pace. As the race went on, I was a little too slow to get to the top and then a little too slow to get back to the bottom, and then the car started to hang a little bit during the last 10 laps. I didn’t think I did a good job saving my right rear tire, and it was burned off pretty bad there towards the end, and it hurt my forward drive. But we still got a top five out of it, and I am really happy. In my defense, racing with those guys all race, I had to go early. I never had the mindset to save tires, and it shows my inexperience when Perrego got me. With him running all of the SDS races, he is probably one of the best when it comes to saving tires, but we’re still happy; it was a good night for us.”

If things work out the way they hope, the Butler team is looking to race weekly at Big Diamond in 2024.

Big Diamond Nuggets: 35 Modifieds were on hand Friday night, with the four heat race wins going to Frank Cozze, Rick Laubach, Jeff Strunk, and Jack Butler. Consolation wins were taken by Alex Yankowski and Bobby Trapper Jr.

Anthony Perrego became the first non-Big Diamond regular to win a big-paying race at the speedway since Danny Bouc won the 2018 Coalcracker 72. For Perrego, it was also his second win of the year at Big Diamond, where he was victorious in the July 11th Anthracite Assault SDS race.

The bad luck just continues for the No. 126 team and driver Jeff Strunk. The Bechtelsville, Pa., driver looked as fast as he has all year on Friday night, winning his heat by a large margin. Starting the feature in the ninth, Strunk only lasted three laps when the No. 126 coasted to a stop with motor problems…

Another driver looking for his first win of the season at Big Diamond is Rick Laubach. Laubach looked as strong as he had all year, coming from deep in the field to win his heat. Drawing the pole for the feature race, Laubach has high aspirations of a good finish, but when the green flag dropped to start the 50-lap feature, the right rear axle broke on the No. 20, ending his night.

Points leader Brett Kressley stormed through the field in the Kressley Truck Sales, No. 19K, and was into the top five before he was forced to pull off with smoke coming out the rear of his Modified.

Another driver looking for a good run at Big Diamond was Craig Von Dohren, who won on opening night, but has been searching for the right setup ever since. Von Dohren looked back in form on Friday night, leading and pulling away from the field when the rear broke on the No. 88X just past halfway, ending his good run.

Former Coalcracker race winner Doug Manmiller was on hand. Manmiller led early in the race and was running second when the right front hub locked up on the Jason Miller No. 44, causing him to pull off.

It was a bad night for the Fitzpatrick Racing Team on Friday. Shawn Fitzpatrick aboard the No. EZ102 this week was a victim of Laubach’s car breaking on the opening lap, causing the field to stack up, and ultimately with Fitzpatrick doing a slow rollover on the front stretch. Ryan Watt, aboard the No. T102, was coming through the pack when a pulley on the motor broke, causing the motor to get hot. Watt thought better of it and shut the motor off before any damage was done.

Bobby Trapper Jr., who slowed during the race, came back out and had a nice 10th place finish.

Aleia Geisler continues to impress me, getting better and better each week aboard her No. 44. Geisler held tough all night and was rewarded with a ninth place finish at the end.

Billy Pauch Jr. was on the move in the feature, moving into the top five after starting in 15th, only to have contact with Anthony Perrego before crashing hard into the third turn wall, bringing out the red flag. Thankfully, Pauch Jr. was okay.

It was nice to have Ryan Godown back in Coal Country on Friday night. Godown qualified easily into a redraw spot and was running in the top five all race until the car started to fade late, with the Ringoes, N.J., driver eventually pulling the No. 26 into the pits.

It was a great run for Alex Yankowski after winning the first consolation race. Kid Rocket started the race in 21st and drove all the way up to a fourth-place finish after 50 laps.

Since winning at Big Diamond a few weeks ago, Nick Rochinski has had some bad luck dropping out of the past two features.

With last Friday being a show-up points race, Brett Kressley still maintains his small lead over Mike Gular and Jeff Strunk in the race for the Quandel Concrete Points title.

I can be reached for any comments and questions via email at and on Twitter (X) @dirtracefan25.