Kressley Ends Drought at Diamond, Plus Notes – DTD Exclusive

By KEN BRUCE

It’s hard to believe it has been almost four years since the last time Brett Kressley has stood in victory lane at the Big Diamond Speedway. The Orefield, PA wheelman last won at the speedway on August 20, 2017, Kressley has been a regular some years and a semi-regular in others, but has always shown speed at Big Diamond since he moved to the modifieds in 2016 after a successful stint in the Sportsman ranks.

Kressley, who changed the number on his car to No. 1B earlier this season as a tribute to longtime friend and supporter Tony Sparacino, was on a mission last Friday after being DQ’d the previous Friday for an altercation with Alex Yankowski. Kressley moved towards the front quickly and ran down youngster Cole Stangle to take over the top spot. However, on the ensuing restart Stangle surprised Kressley and regained the lead. Stangle’s lead didn’t last long as he was the victim of a right rear flat a couple laps later handing the lead back to Kressley. Kressley held off a late charge from Ryan Krachun to take the checkered flag along with the $4,000 first-place money in the Georgie Stevenson Memorial Race.

“It feels really good to get a win here, it is hard to believe it has been four years since we last won here,” said a happy Kressley after the race standing by his trailer. “We’ve struggled here big time; we had a top five early in the season, but the car just wasn’t consistent. We went over to this coil deal to try and find what it was missing, there is definitely speed in this stuff, but it takes a couple of weeks to get massaged out the way I like it. We still don’t have it at one hundred percent as you can tell when (Ryan) Krachun was a little better than us at the end, but were gaining on it for sure.”

Restarts were a big factor on Friday night, Kressley had Yankowski next to him on restart and after what had happened between the two the previous Friday the crowd was waiting for a repeat.  Both drivers played nice. However, they were both playing cat and mouse games on the restart.



“It definitely boiled over a little bit last week,” explained Kressley. “We both wanted to win it and beat each other. Sometimes you have to play the game a little bit and get them scared and maybe a little timid on the next restart and hope for the best. There were more restarts than I hoped for there at the end. I lost the lead to Cole (Stangle) there on that one restart using the bottom so after that I switched to the top on the restarts to get a better launch and it worked out for us.

“All in all, we are having a great season so far. Grandview has been going really well. I have to thank the crew and all my sponsors for everything. I cannot complain at all, we have had a couple of bad weeks here but that was mainly because we have been throwing things at the car setup wise to see what stuck. We’re not totally there yet but we are getting closer.”

Ryan Krachun Returns to Form

Ryan Krachun started his season off at Big Diamond on a solid note with podium finishes of third and second the opening two weeks of the season. After that the wheels came off the car with finishes of 20th, 20th, 18th and 13th. Two weeks ago, the Neshanic Station, N.J., driver started to come back to life with a solid fifth place finish. Last Friday night Krachun was back in total form with a very strong second place finish after a scintillating battle with Kressley over the last couple of laps looking for that all elusive first Big Diamond Speedway win. If Krachun continues to show the speed he did last Friday, you can bet that first win will be here shortly.

“I know we are getting close to that first win, I can feel it,” said a happy yet a little disappointed Krachun after the race. “We are trying hard; we had the one with Billy earlier this year that I thought I should’ve won then we kind of struggled for a few weeks.  The last two weeks we have been getting the car better and sort of found what we had been missing during the four or five week stretch. We had a fast Morgantini powered, Bicknell chassis tonight. We have been working with Bicknell and the guys at Dig Racing Shocks to find out what we needed and tonight we had a really fast car.”

Krachun really came on strong the last few laps of the race to pressure Kressley for the lead and was able to get alongside Kressley coming out of turn four racing towards the checker but just didn’t have enough to make the pass.

“Kressley ran a good race, I tried to get him coming off of the corner but just didn’t have enough forward bite to make the pass,” explained Krachun. “I am not the type of driver that is going to wreck somebody for the win. I could get to him there but then I had to slow down and scrub off some speed, so I didn’t run into him. On the last lap I tried to set him up a little more so I could be on him coming off the corner and in hopes that he would make a mistake, but he didn’t. Brett is a helluva a racer and I got a lot of respect for him and hopefully I can get into that winners circle soon.”

Big Diamond Gems:

Friday night saw 27 Modifieds entered for action with heat wins going to Mike Gular, Brett Kressley & Mike Lisowski…

A major crash took place on lap three when Craig Von Dohren seemed to have front end trouble coming through turn four. Von Dohren slowed and with the field having nowhere to go a chain reaction occurred as the cars of Louden Reimert, Jared Umbenhauer, Rick Laubach, Scott Albert, Dillon Steuer & Kyle Merkel all piled in causing a red flag to be put out. The only car able to continue was Albert. The cars of Umbenhauer, Steuer, Reimert and Laubach all received heavy damage. Thankfully, all drivers were okay…

Young Cole Stangle was heading for another good finish when a right rear tire went down while leading. Stangle went to the pits and returned only to have another right rear flat in a few laps. The crew found an issue with the right rear shock which was rubbing on the tire…

Speaking of Stangle family, “Matty Ice” Matt Stangle returned to Big Diamond Friday night and was looking good until having an issue on the backstretch when he and Mike Gular hooked bumpers and slid off the track. Both drivers were able to rebound for a top ten finish…

The racing principal Shawn Fitzpatrick had a heat win in hand when the motor went sour on the No. T102 ending his night…

Duane Howard continues to pile up the good finishes with sixth place finish on Friday night. Howard’s consistency has rewarded him with the points lead in the Insigner Performance Modified division. Howard is followed by Alex Yankowski, Billy Pauch Jr, Timmy Buckwalter and Ryan Krachun in the race for the championship…

Big Diamond Speedway originally had Twin 20’s on the schedule for the Modifieds this Friday July 9th, but due to the shortage of American Racer Tires the track has decided to just run one 25-lap feature instead. The feature will pay $3,200 to the winner with $300 take the green…

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