Big Diamond Speedway kicks off its 46th year

Published: 4/21/2017 10:00 AM
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By Joe Kaminski Jr.

FOR THE NEWS-ITEM

FORESTVILLE — Big Diamond Speedway, Schuylkill County’s 3/8th-mile dirt oval, began its 46th season of racing last Friday night with a great crowd and plenty of on-track excitement. Seven-time modified track champion Jeff Strunk, of Bechtelsville, drove to a convincing victory in the 30-lap feature event aboard the Glenn Hyneman No. 126.

Tonight’s program will feature one of the many special events of the 2017 racing season, as promoter Jake Smulley and his staff will host the Fifth Annual “Money in the Mountains” 40-lap feature paying $6,000 to the winner. The special show will feature a combination race pitting the small-block-powered mods against the big-block modifieds with rules in place to level the competition.

Strunk was the winner of the 2013 event, while Ryan Watt (2014), Ryan Godown (2015) and Rick Laubach are the other former event winners.

Other classes in action tonight include the sportsman, roadrunners and street stocks. Gates open at 5:30 p.m., hot laps are at 7:45 and racing begins at 8:15.

URC, ARDC coming

With plenty of improvements to the facility over the off season, Big Diamond has a diverse schedule for the season, with the three division show of modifieds, sportsman and roadrunners serving as the core weekly show.

Next Friday night, April 28, will feature the United

Racing Company (URC) sprint cars going wingless and joining the modifieds, roadrunners and vintage stock cars on the card. The URC sprinters return on June 23.

The ARDC (American Racing Drivers Club) midgets (May 19 and July 21), the Mid-Atlantic Sprint Car Series (June 2), Short Track Super Series (June 6), Enduro 50 Series (May 12, June 23 and Aug. 18) and the Street Stocks (May 5 and 28, June 6 and July 28) are some of the specials added to the schedule for this season.

Stevenson, Coalcracker staples

The Short Track Super Series will feature many of the best dirt modified drivers from the Northeast, paying $5,000 to the winner of the 50-lap event.

One of the staple events at Big Diamond is the Georgie Stevenson Memorial featuring the modifieds (in a 40-lap, $4,000-to-win feature), sportsman, roadrunners and street stocks, along with a huge fireworks show.

With plenty of racing action every Friday night and a few special events along the way, the Annual “Coalcracker” always plays out as the season-ending special event. This year, the “Prelude to the Coalcracker” is scheduled for Aug. 25 featuring the modifieds with $4,000 on the line for the 40-lap feature winner. The sportsman, roadrunners and street stocks along with a special “match race” challenge for the modifieds will be on the card.

The following weekend will feature the Coalcracker Sportsman event on Friday night, Sept. 1. The sportsman 40-lap feature will pay $1,600 to the winner, along with the roadrunners, street stocks and vintage stock cars. The modified non-winners race will also be the program.

Sunday, Sept. 3 (with a Sept. 4 rain date) will be the Jack Rich Coalcracker 72 for the modifieds. The tradition-rich event will pay a whopping $10,000 to the winner of the 72-lap show. Street stocks and roadrunners along with a big fireworks show will draw the curtain on the 2017 season at Big Diamond.

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