Howard Hustles To Big Diamond Checkers

POTTSVILLE, PA – It was a beautiful night for some great dirt track racing on Friday night on “Hunt the Giant” night at the Big Diamond Speedway as Mother Nature finally gave us a Friday night to enjoy the action at the Schuylkill County oval.

In the 25-lap Mattera’s Electrical and General Contracting 358 Modified feature it was the “Diamond Cutter” Duane Howard who outlasted the field to win his fourth feature event of the season at his Friday night home track. As a result of Howard’s win and Godown’s misfortune, Howard has now moved into the lead for the 2018 track championship with only one points race remaining.

“That race was a matter of survival” stated Howard while his car was going through tech. “You don’t think you have race a weekly 25-lap race and conserve fuel. I think that’s might’ve happened to the front two. I had nothing for Craig (Von Dohren), I wasn’t gonna run with Craig. I just couldn’t get down the straightaway that good. We had a really good Bicknell race car, but I couldn’t get the power down to the track. Something was a little off with the motor tonight, so we’ll have to figure that out. Some nights you have to have some luck and tonight it was our night. The track was very racy tonight and it all worked out for us. This is a good team and they work really hard to give me a good car and tonight it all paid off for us.”

It was Briggs Danner who would lead lap one as the field took the green flag. Danner would continue to lead the way as Ryan Godown was making some early race moves and was up to fourth as the field completed lap four. The yellow was out on lap four as Godown spun in between turns one and two with a little help.

Danner stayed in front as the field went back to racing with Craig Von Dohren and Duane Howard now on the move as they slipped into the second and third spots. Von Dohren set his sights on Danner and ran the young driver down quickly but Danner was driving the race track perfectly and hitting his marks each and every lap not allowing Von Dohren to make the pass. Lap eleven saw the yellow out again for Cliff Quinn when he spun his #69.

When the green flag flew to restart the race, Craig Von Dohren launched his #88 to the lead with Danner staying right with him. While the race was going on upfront, Godown was making his way back up through the field and was now back up to the sixth spot. Danner’s great run come to an end on lap 14 as his car goes up in smoke to bring out the caution.

Back to green again and Von Dohren easily stays in front as he starts to pull away from Howard. Godown was on the move once again as he now made his way up to the fourth position. Lap 17 saw the yellow out once again as New Egypt Speedway invader Tim Apgar spun. A rash of cautions between lap 17 and lap 20 forced the officials to mandate single file restarts for the remainder of the race.

When the green flag was thrown to restart the race Von Dohren was able to keep the lead as now Godown was starting to put the pressure on Howard for the runner-up spot. Von Dohren was stretching his lead and was looking like the sure-fire winner when disaster struck #88 going into turn one with only two laps to go. The motor in Von Dohren’s car started to breakup just as he was entering turn one. Coming off turn two it was apparent that Von Dohren’s chance at victory was over as the car slowed dramatically as he tried to pull it into the infield and spun to bring out yet another yellow apparently out of fuel.

It was now a two-lap shootout between Howard and Godown who was attempting to take the win away after restarting in the rear after his lap four spin. When the green was back out it was Howard with Godown right on his rear bumper looking to make a move. Godown got a run on Howard coming into turn three as they approached the white flag and exciting turn four was alongside the leader. Godown edged ahead as they went into turn one but just like what had happened to Von Dohren, Godown’s Searock Fabrications #26 was out of fuel as he slowed drastically coming out of the turn two. Howard easily sped by the slowing Godown and went on to take the win. Mike Lisowski was second and a great run by Frank Porreca who returned after a bad crash a few weeks ago to finish third. Steady Ryan Krachun nursed his damaged car home for fourth with Jim Bobbitt rounding out the top five.

The 20-lap USS Achey Sportsman feature turned out to be a real barnburner as “Big” Dave Dissinger completed the night’s sweep holding off a determined Doug Hendricks to take his first win of the season. Dissinger who was the winner of the Leindecker Race Engines Sportsman challenge earlier in the night was on a mission Friday night. Armed with a fresh powerplant underneath the hood of his #88x, Dissinger moved to second on lap three from his tenth starting spot as the yellow appeared slowing his progress.

Dissinger made it know he was the man to beat on this night as he made his bid for the lead stick on the restart getting by Tyler Reber. Points leader Alex Yankowski and Doug Hendricks were making their way through the field as they moved into second and third and started to cut into the lead of Dissinger. Hendricks flexed some muscle on lap 13 as he powers under Yankowski to take away the second spot. Hendricks immediately started to pressure Dissinger and a great battle was underway for the lead with Yankowski right behind waiting for one of the front runners to make a mistake. An ill-timed caution on lap 17 put a stop to the tremendous battle going on for the lead.

When the green came back out Dissinger had his hand full trying to hold off the challenge of Hendricks as the two raced side by side for the lead. Finally, on the last lap Dissinger gets a little breathing room as he charges under the checkered flag to win by two car lengths over Hendricks. Nate Klinger was able to get by Yankowski on the restart to finish third. Yankowski and Shawn Light completed the top five.

In the Savage 61 Road Runner main event it was Kris Ney leading all twenty laps to take the win. Ney starting on the outside pole jumped to the lead at the start and never looked back. While Ney was leading the way, a great battle was going on behind him for the top five between Jim Kost, Matt Ney, Terry Kramer and Mike Reichert. A lap 18 caution slowed the action, but Ney was never challenged on the restart as he sped away for the win over Kost, Kramer, Matt Ney and Shon Elk.

Jason Geesaman picked up where he left off last Sunday as he took the lead from Jeremy Becker on lap three and went on to dominate the No Sweat Service Group Street Stock feature event to take the win. Decker held off Chris Heller for second with Elvin Brennan III and Joey Brennan rounding out the top five.

On tap for next Friday is the annual “Prelude to the Coalcracker” 35-lap, $4000 to win feature event for the 358 Modifieds. This will be a draw event with 150 show-up points being given out to all drivers.

Results from Hunt the Giant Night 8/10/18

The Mattera’s Modified division feature was won by Duane Howard followed by Mike Lisowski, Frank Porreca, Ryan Krachun, Jim Bobbitt and Jimmy Reppert. Did not finish were Ryan Godown, George Hildebrandt, Craig Von Dohren, Cliff Quinn, Shawn Fitzpatrick, Dan Hineline, Kevin Beach, Tim Apgar, Heath Metzger, Kris Graver, Bobby Gunther Walsh, Steve Young, Scott Albert, Briggs Danner, Frank Yankowski and Bobby Yeager.

The modified heats were won by Briggs Danner and Frank Porreca.

The U.S.S. Achey Sportsman division was won by Dave Dissinger followed by Doug* Hendricks, Nate Klinger, Alex Yankowski, Shawn Light, Michael Burrows, Wayne Witmer, Daryl Dissinger, Dakota Kohler, Tyler Reber, Kevin Brady, Glenn Rowan, Ed Mrochko, Mike Schneck and Chris Hertzog. Did not finish were TJ Fitzpatrick, Jeremy Hertzog, Matt Clay, Blake Reber and Brandon Auman.

The sportsman heat races were won by Doug Hendricks and Tyler Reber.

The Leindecker Sportsman Match races were won by Dave Dissinger. He won a total of 4 races over his competitors to take home the extra money race.

The Savage 61 Road Runner division was won by Kris Ney followed by Jim Kost, Terry Kramer, Matt Ney, Shon Elk, Mike Reichert, Shawn Mulhall and Cory Lindenmuth. Did not finish were Kyle Dice, Fred Everly and Chris Holland.

The road runner heats were won by Matt Ney and Mike Reichert.

The No Sweat Service Group Street Stock division was won by Jasen Geesaman followed by Jeremy Becker, Chris Heller, Elvin Brennan III, Joey Brennan, Jeff Haag, Dean Hine, Scott Thuneberg and Mike Radocha Jr. Did not finish were Mike Radocha Sr. and Jesse Krasnitsky.

The street stock heat races were won by Jasen Geesaman and Chris Heller.