Craig Von Dohren Earns Milestone 70th The Station House 358-Modified Victory In Thriller Over Billy Pauch Jr.; Tim Fitzpatrick (U.S.S. Achey Sportsman) and Kody Sites (Wooden Keg Tavern Roadrunner) Also Triumph

Date: 5/14/2011 5:53:34 PM

News from Big Diamond Speedway - 'Racing in God's Country'

Speedway Operators: Fritz & Krista Roehrig - 570.544.5114 570.544.5114 
Speedway Website:
Speedway Address: 50 Big Diamond Road, Box 524, Minersville, PA 17954
Media Contact: Brett Deyo, PR Director - or 845.728.2781 845.728.2781

For Immediate Release/May 14, 2011

Upcoming Events:
May 15 (5 p.m.) - Dan Drobnick Welding Enduro: Big Car, Small Car & Ladies
May 20 (8:15 p.m.) - 358-Modifieds, Sportsman & Roadrunners - Community Night: Schuylkill Haven/Cressona/Friedensburg/New Philadelphia residents admitted for $10 with proof of address
May 27 (8:15 p.m.) - 358-Modifieds, Sportsman & Roadrunners

Craig Von Dohren Earns Milestone 70th The Station House 358-Modified Victory In Thriller Over Billy Pauch Jr.; Tim Fitzpatrick (U.S.S. Achey Sportsman) and Kody Sites (Wooden Keg Tavern Roadrunner) Also Triumph

MINERSVILLE, PA - Craig Von Dohren earned a milestone victory the hard way.

Repelling the relentless advances of Billy Pauch Jr., Boyertown, Pa.'s Von Dohren posted his record 70th career Big Diamond Speedway victory in The Station House 358-Modified 'Freaky Friday' 35-lap feature Friday night. Von Dohren earned $3,000 for his win following a competitive main event that pulled the season's largest crowd to its feet.
A multi-groove, smooth clay surface provided exciting racing throughout the night, particularly the much-talked-about 358-Modified headliner. Tim Fitzpatrick (U.S.S. Achey Sportsman) and Kody Sites (Wooden Keg Tavern Roadrunner) visited Victory Lane for the first time in 2011, joining Von Dohren.

Von Dohren, in his fourth decade as a dirt Modified racer, leads all drivers in Big Diamond's 39-year history with 70 career victories.

"It's really hard to believe," he said of his unprecedented victory at the Schuylkill County oval. "I've had a lot of good people helping me over the years, too many to name really. They've let me do what I love to do for so long."

Von Dohren's self-owned Felty Farms-backed No. 1c Teo-Pro car rolled off the grid 12th for Friday's main as 15-year-old Michael Weinert set the pace early from the front row.

On a lap-three restart, sixth-starter Billy Pauch Jr. burst into the lead with a three-wide pass in turn two, while Von Dohren vaulted from sixth to run second within one tour of the Big D oval. Charging hard on the outside lane, CVD snatched the top spot from Pauch Jr. on the eighth lap.

Von Dohren had the lead, but the race was far from over.

Following a lap-20 caution, Pauch Jr. found the outside lane to his liking and began to apply heavy pressure to the leader, pulling nearly even with Von Dohren on the 24th lap. Von Dohren blocked the lane and held the top spot.

Pauch Jr. wasn't done. Swapping lanes, he ran side-by-side with CVD on laps 30 and 31 on the inside of turn two but couldn't complete the pass. Von Dohren, 47, held on for his first victory of the season at Big D, surviving yellow flags with six and four laps remaining, respectively.

"It is a crap shoot when you're out front like that," said Von Dohren, whose car was steaming in the winner's circle. "You don't know where to run or who is behind you."

Pauch Jr., of Frenchtown, N.J., was a season-high runner-up in his No. T102 Bicknell. Jeff Strunk of Bechtelsville, Pa., completed a final-lap pass to finish third in Norm Hansell's No. 357 after starting 14th. He took over the point lead in the process. Mike Gular of Green Lane, Pa., placed fourth - his best effort of the '11 season - and Weinert, of Tamaqua, Pa., completed the front five.

Heat winners were Andy Burkhart, Pauch Jr. and Ryan Godown. Von Dohren was the Shiley Fabrications Fast Lap Award winner with a circuit of 16.801 seconds.

Branchdale, Pa.'s Fitzpatrick won for the third time in his career during a Sportsman main shortened to 18 laps by time. Fitzpatrick started fourth in his No. T102 and climbed from third to first on a lap-one restart.

Brad Brightbill started 11th and applied pressure to Fitzpatrick during the race's second half. The 2008 champion from Sinking Spring, Pa., settled for second. Fitzpatrick's three Sportsman victories at Big D are joined by a 358-Modified triumph and eight Roadrunner triumphs.

Four-time champion Craig Whitmoyer (Hamburg, Pa.) was third after starting 15th. Kevin Beach Jr, of Llewellyn, Pa., was fourth. He started 24th. Mike Lisowski of Minersville, Pa., climbed from 13th to place fifth.

A grinding crash at the checkered flag (mandated by the 25-minute time limit) sent the cars of Jordan Dreher and Jared Umbenhauer upside down on the frontstretch after clipping a spinning Daryl Dissinger. All drivers escaped injury.

Sportsman heat winners were Whitmoyer, John Kovatch IV and Fitzpatrick. Ray Woodall Jr. topped the consolation. Fitzpatrick at 18.079 seconds was the Shiley Fabrications Fast Lap Award winner.

Driving a borrowed No. 101 car from Gary Renninger, Hamburg, Pa.'s Sites led from start to finish in the 20-lap Roadrunner main event. Sites fought off numerous challengers including Ed Kuperavage (who was sidelined with a flat right-front tire) and eventual runner-up Jeremy Becker (Pottsville, Pa.) for his eighth career triumph.

Defending champion Elvin Brennan III of Forestville, Pa., was third from 12th starting spot followed by T.J. Fitzpatrick of Branchdale, Pa., and 11th-starter Kevin Olenick of Forestville, Pa.

There have been 12 total feature races run at Big Diamond this season among the three divisions with no repeat winners.
On Sunday (May 15), the first Dan Drobnick Welding Enduro event takes place at 5 p.m. The Big Car (6/8-Cylinders) and Small Car (4-Cylinder) divisions go 100 laps. There will be a Ladies Race with number of laps dependent on car count. Pre-registration is $50 in advance and $65 on race day. Registration forms are posted on the Big Diamond Speedway website:

Grandstand admission Sunday is $7 with pit admission $20. Pit gates open at 2 p.m. with grandstand gates unlocked at 3 p.m.

Next Friday (May 20), The Station House 358-Modifieds (qualifying and 25-lap feature), U.S.S. Achey Sportsman (qualifying and 20-lap feature) and Wooden Keg Tavern Roadrunners (qualifying and 20-lap feature) are set with gates opening at 5 p.m., practice at 7:55 p.m. and racing at 8:15 p.m. It will be a Community Night at Big D -Schuylkill Haven, Cressona, Friedensburg and New Philadelphia residents will be admitted for $10 with proof of address.
Big Diamond Speedway is a three-eighths-mile clay oval racing facility located just two miles outside of Minersville, Pa. For further information on the speedway, call 570.544.5114 570.544.5114, e-mail or visit The speedway mailing address is 50 Big Diamond Road P.O. Box 524 Minersville, PA 17954.

The Station House 358-Modified Feature Finish (35 laps): CRAIG VON DOHREN ($3,000), Billy Pauch Jr., Jeff Strunk, Mike Gular, Michael Weinert, Wade Hendrickson, Meme DeSantis, Ray Swinehart, Keith Hoffman, Gary Hager, Colt Harris, Dale Hartz, Andy Burkhart, Danny Mazy, Doug Manmiller, Kevin Albert Jr., Duane Howard, Sammy Piazza, John Willman, Rick Laubach, Ron Haring Jr., Ryan Godown, Neil Huber, Glenn Strunk.
Did Not Start: Dan Hineline

U.S.S. Achey Sportsman Feature Finish (18 laps): TIM FITZPATRICK, Brad Brightbill, Craig Whitmoyer, Kevin Beach Jr., Mike Lisowski, Kenny Eckert Jr., Daryl Dissinger, Steven Hughes, Corey Renninger, Frank Yankowski, Jordan Dreher, Doug Hendricks, Jared Umbenhauer, Katie McCardle, Kevin Brady, Wayne Witmer, Charlie Webber, Paul Kline, Billy Moyer Jr., John Kovatch IV, Nick DeSantis, Warren Floyd Jr., Ray Woodall Jr., Andy Fayash Jr.
Did Not Qualify: Joshua Hertzog, Mike Mammana, Jeremy Hertzog.

Wooden Keg Tavern Roadrunner Feature Finish (20 laps): KODY SITES, Jeremy Becker, Elvin Brennan III, T.J. Fitzpatrick, Kevin Olenick, Kirby Schlappich, Joey Brennan, Ryan Olenick, Joe Kavanaugh, Jim Kost, Shon Elk, Marc Berzowski, Glenn Rowan, Ed Kuperavage, Jon Schlauch, Jared Seigfried.

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