Diamond Nationals Takeaways – DTD Exclusive

By KEN BRUCE

Big Diamond Speedway presented the 2020 Diamond Nationals for the first time in 10 years if my math is correct and despite the Modified car count on Saturday night, I would have to say the two-day event was a successful one.

I would personally like to thank Big Diamond Speedway owners Jake & Jasmine Smulley for everything they have done in 2020 for drivers, the teams and especially the fans. Despite the late start due to the COVID-19 pandemic, I think the year was very successful. Awesome car counts in all division, record fan attendance and absolutely overly exciting racing on most nights all made for a great season, albeit a shortened one. The Smulley’s offered up extra money to the Modified division every week with the exception of one that I know of and I know the teams were very appreciative of their gesture.

Big Diamond Nuggets:

Friday night there were 33 Modifieds on hand with the heats being won by Rick Laubach, Duane Howard and Matt Stangle…




Saturday night saw a drop-off in the Modified count with only 22 Modifieds on hand with Jeff Strunk and Brett Tonkin winning the two heats…

There were ten drivers who competed both nights of the Diamond Nationals. Rick Laubach, Frank Cozze, Mike Gular, John Willman, Jeff Strunk, Alex Yankowski, Matt Stangle, Ryan Krachun, Billy Pauch Jr and Scott Albert…

Mike Gular and Ryan Krachun were the only drivers to have top fives on both Friday and Saturday…

Rick Laubach and Billy Pauch Jr., brought different cars for each night of competition…

Pauch continues to be mired in a late season slump. Pauch had a quiet ninth-place finish on Friday night and then on Saturday night the No. 15 had motor issues in the heat ending his night…

Duane Howard had a terrible night on Friday in the feature race, the No. 357 went backwards, with Howard deciding to pull the car into the pits late in the race. The team opted not to return on Saturday night…

Missing again this week was Craig Von Dohren who is still nursing a bad back after a couple of late season crashes. Get well soon Craig…

Modfied driver and 2020 Coalcracker 72 winner Ryan Watt was involved in a scary incident on Friday night while racing in the first 20-lap USAC Wingless 360 feature. Watt jumped a tire of a car who had slowed down and went end over end over the third turn fence landing down an embankment. Thankfully, Watt emerged relatively okay with a sore arm being his only injury. The No. 39 sprint car was destroyed…

Mike Gular put on quite a display of driving in Saturday night’s feature event to take home the big win capping off a superb season for the Boyertown, Pa., driver at Big Diamond. Gular and the Terry Fanascht owned No. 2A team are looking forward to returning to the speedway in 2021 to defend their title…

My opinion is that with the big race weekend at Port Royal coming up this week, that is why a number of drivers decided to not race this past weekend in order to prepare their cars…

Shoutout to my buddy Brad Keitsock, Kevin Schaeffer and the rest of the Big Diamond Speedway Dog Pound for everything they have done all season long for the driver and teams at Big Diamond. If you have not had a chance to stop by the dog pound on a race night, please put it on your must do list for 2021. This dog pound doesn’t bite and loves to have the drivers, crews and fans stop by for a visit and who knows, they might even feed you and offer you a beverage of your choice. Williams Grove Speedway has the “Beerhill Gang” but we here at Big Diamond have the best with the “Dog Pound”…

Congratulation to Brad Brightbill (Open Sportsman) and Cody Manmiller (Crate Sportsman) on their 2020 points titles…

The Limited Late Models made their first and only visit to the speedway in 2020 with Andrew Yoder winning the feature race…

The USAC Wingless 360 Sprint cars ran a pair of twenty lap feature events on Friday with Alex Bright and Kenny Miller III taking the checkered flags. Congratulations to Steven Drevicki on winning the 2020 championship…

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