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MINERSVILLE, PA – June 8th, 2014

Jeff Strunk utilized his second row starting position to its full potential, grabbing the lead before one lap was completed and leading all 25 laps in route to his first victory of the season at Big Diamond Speedway and 49th of his storied career at the track.

John Willman brought the field down to starter Jeff Merkel’s green flag, but by the time lap number one was scored Jeff Strunk had already moved into the top spot from his third place starting position.  The yellow was out after two laps were completed as Jared Umbenhauer and last weeks winner Billy Pauch Jr. got together in turn #4, with Pauch ending up facing the wrong way on the track.  When racing resumed Strunk continued to lead over second place starting and one time feature winner Ray Swinehart, and Kevin Smith, who had now moved up to the number three position.  The field was slowed once again on lap #10, as Lou Cicconi pulled his sharp looking #75 machine to the infield with flames shooting from the rear of the vehicle.  The track fire crew quickly put on the flames and racing continued.  From that point on the event went caution free with the top three drivers remaining intact.  Rick Laubach and Billy Pauch Jr. were putting on a great display for the fans back in positions five and six, with Laubach having come from the 10th spot and Pauch recovering from the lap #2 spin to work his way all the way from the back of the pack.  At the checkered it was Strunk over Swinehart, with Smith, Duane Howard, and Laubach rounding out the top 5 positions.  Pauch Jr., Meme Desantis, Willman, Bobby Varin, and Kevin Albert Jr. rounded out the top ten.  For Varin it was his first start of the season at Big Diamond in the Tom Umbenhauer #19 machine.  Heat races were won by Rick Laubach, Kevin Albert Jr. and Bobby Varin with Tim Fitzpatrick picking up the consolation victory.

In the Jeremy Slifko Fabrication Services Late Model 20 lap event, Sean Merkel used his outside pole starting spot to jump into the lead at the start and lead all 20 laps on his way to his second victory of the season at Big Diamond.  The entire event was slowed just once by caution on lap #8 when Bryon Sipe lost an engine in turn number one.  Merkel was your winner, followed by pole sitter Billy Wampler, Ben Whitaker, point leader Scott Haus, and Andrew Haus.  Heat races were won by Merkel and Scott Haus.  The Late Models have just one more event remaining on Friday, June 20th before the World of Outlaw Late Models come to town on Tuesday, June 24th for “The Diamond Shines” event going 40 laps for $8,000 to win and a whopping $600 just to take the green flag.

The Savage 61 Roadrunners were featured on this night of racing, running their “Crazy 8’s” special event.  Four 8 lap features, no heats, just four features of pedal to the floor racing.  The drivers did a fantastic job, running all 32 laps of racing without a single caution flag.  The first 8 lap event saw second year driver Kris Ney power to the lead from his outside pole starting spot and hold off the challenges of Joey Brennan to take his first victory of his young career at the track.  Brennan held on for second, followed by Shon Elk, Terry Kramer Jr., and Jeremy Becker.  In the second 8 lap event, Tim Fitzptrick Jr. used the same outside pole starting spot to jump into the lead at the drop of the green and hold off two time winner Tom Hablett for his third victory of the season.  Unfortunately for Hablett, he lost control of his vehicle coming down for the checkered and made contact with one of the large tires that lines the inside of the track, ending his night early.  Devin Trexler used Hablett’s misfortune to his advantage, coming home second in the event.  Third was Chuck Eckert, followed by Jeremy Becker and Jim Kost.  The third 8 lap event saw TJ Fitzptrick hold off a hard charging Joey Brennan by less than a car length to pick up his first win ever in the Roadrunner division.  In victory lane a happy Fitzpatrick stated “I don’t care if it was 8 laps, 6 laps, or 2 laps.  We’ve been trying to get a win here for six years and we’re just so glad to finally be able to be standing here in victory lane”.  The win by TJ make him the fourth member of the Fitzpatrick family to win at Big Diamond Speedway.  Brother Shawn Fitzpatrick has one career Modified win and nine Sportsman victories.  Brother Tim has one career Modified win, nine Sportsman wins, and eight Roadrunner triumphs, and nephew Tim Fitzptrick Jr. has the first three wins of his career, all this season, in the Roadrunner division.  Brennan held on for second, followed by Chris Holland, Shon Elk, and Jim Kost.  In the fourth and final 8 lap event, current point leader Jeremy Becker took the lead at the drop of the green from his third starting spot and held on for his second win of the season, followed by Chuck Eckert, Joey Brennan, Jim Kost, and Shon Elk.  Joey Brennan finished with the best overall finishing average after the 4 features and received $50 and a case of Brad Penn Racing Oil from Leindecker Racing Engines.

This coming Friday, June 13th, racing returns to Big Diamond Speedway with the biggest event of the year for the Sportsman division.  The 2nd Annual ANDY FAYASH MEMORIAL puts the USS Achey Sportsman in the spotlight on this evening going 30 laps for $3,000 to win and $157 to take the green as long as 26 or more cars sign in for competition.  If less than 26 cars compete, the winners share is still an impressive $1,570 to win.  All Sportsman cars from other speedways are welcome to compete with their home track rules package.  Only Hoosier D300 or harder tires and American Racer 44 or harder (Left Rear) and 48 or harder (Right Rear) are legal for this event.  Steel or aluminum wheels are legal.  Regular body style or sail panels are legal.  VP Racing Fuel must be used and transponders are mandetory.  Grandstand general admission for this race is $20.00 per person.  Kids 12 and under are free.  Pit participation fees will be $30.00 for members and $40.00 for non-members.  This is a very special night at the track in honor of a great man and great racer that left us much too soon.  We hope every comes out to support this wonderful evening of racing.

Also on the card that night will be the Hoosier Tire Mid-Atlantic DIRTcar 358 Modifieds and Savage 61 Roadrunners.  For the Roadrunner division, this will be a non-points event.

Big Diamond Speedway Quick Results 6/6/2014

Hoosier Tire Mid-Atlantic DIRTcar 358 Modifieds (25 Laps)

1) Jeff Strunk 2) Ray Swinehart 3) Kevin Smith 4) Duane Howard 5) Rick Laubach 6) Billy Pauch Jr. 7) Meme Desantis 8) John Willman 9) Bobby Varin 10) Kevin Albert Jr. 11) Kyle Follweiler 12) Jared Umbenhauer 13) Colt Harris 14) Tim Fitzpatrick 15) Joe Mooney 16) Shawn Fitzpatrick 17) Bobby Gunther Walsh 18) Heath Metzger 19) Brett Kressley 20) Dan Hineline 21) Frank Cozze 22) Lou Cicconi 23) Jamie Speers 24) Kent Reinert 25) Craig Von Dohren 26) Scott Albert

DNQ) Ron Haring Jr., Jim Bobbitt Jr., Dale Hartz

GME Manufacturing, LLC Hard Charger Award – Joe Mooney

Red, White & Blue Autos Inc. Hard Luck Award (Feature Cars Only) – Lou Cicconi

Shiley Fabrication Inc. Hard Luck Award (All Cars) – Dale Hartz

Heat Winners – Rick Laubach, Kevin Albert Jr., Bobby Varin

Consolation Winner – Tim Fitzpatrick

Jeremy Slifko Fabrication Services Late Models (20 Laps)

1) Sean Merkel 2) Billy Wampler 3) Ben Whitaker 4) Scott Haus 5) Andrew Haus 6) Steve Nederostak 7) Danny Snyder 8) Steve Weikel 9) Bryon Sipe 10) Jim O’ Hara

DNS) Drew Weiser

Heat Winners – Scott Haus, Sean Merkel

Savage 61 Roadrunners

Feature #1 (8 Laps)

1) Kris Ney 2) Joey Brennan 3) Shon Elk 4) Terry Kramer Jr. 5) Jeremy Becker 6) Chuck Eckert 7) Jesse Krasnitsky 8) Tom Hablett 9) Tim Fitzpatrick Jr. 10) Devin Trexler 11) Chris Holland 12) Jim Kost 13) Bruce Ditzler 14) Joe Kavanaugh 15) Jared Seigfried 16) John Whyne 17) TJ Fitzpatrick 18) Andrew Fayash III

Feature #2 (8 Laps)

1) Tim Fitzpatrick Jr. 2) Devin Trexler 3) Chuck Eckert 4) Jeremy Becker 5) Jim Kost 6) Terry Kramer Jr. 7) Chris Holland 8) Joey Brennan 9) Shon Elk 10) Jesse Krasnitsky 11) TJ Fitzpatrick 12) Jared Seigfried 13) Andrew Fayash III 14) Joe Kavanaugh 15) Kris Ney 16) Bruce Ditzler 17) Tom Hablett 18) John Whyne

Feature #3 (8 Laps)

1) TJ Fitzpatrick 2) Joey Brennan 3) Chris Holland 4) Shon Elk 5) Jim Kost 6) Jeremy Becker 7) Jesse Krasnitsky 8) Chuck Eckert 9) Terry Kramer Jr. 10) Tim Fitzpatrick Jr. 11) Kris Ney 12) Jared Seigfried 13) Joe Kavanaugh 14) Andrew Fayash III 15) Bruce Ditzler 16) Devin Trexler

DNS) John Whyne, Tom Hablett

Feature #4 (8 Laps)

1) Jeremy Becker 2) Chuck Eckert 3) Joey Brennan 4) Jim Kost 5) Shon Elk 6) Chris Holland 7) TJ Fitzpatrick 8) Tim Fitzpatrick Jr. 9) Terry Kramer Jr. 10) Joe Kavanaugh 11) Jared Seigfried 12) Devin Trexler 13) Andrew Fayash III 14) Jesse Krasnitsky 15) Bruce Ditzler 16) Kris Ney

DNS) John Whyne, Tom Hablett

Red, White & Blue Autos Inc. Hard Luck Award (Feature Cars Only) – Tom Hablett

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