Fast Race Car Propels Veteran Meme DeSantis To First 2011 The Station House 358-Modified Victory At Big Diamond; Ray Woodall Jr. (U.S.S. Achey Sportsman) and Ed Kuperavage (Wooden Keg Tavern Roadrunners) Also Visit Victory Lane

Date: 6/18/2011 10:05:54 AM

News from Big Diamond Speedway - 'Racing in God's Country'
Speedway Operators: Fritz & Krista Roehrig - 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
For Immediate Release/June 18, 2011
Upcoming Events:
Sunday, June 19 (5 p.m.) - Dan Drobnick Welding Enduro for Big Cars, Small Cars & Ladies - 2 p.m. Test & Tune OPEN TO ALL DIVISIONS
Wednesday, June 22 (7:30 p.m.) - BD Motorsports Media presents the 'Anthracite Assault' Race of Champions Modifieds plus RoC Sportsman and XCel 600 Modifieds
June 24 (8:15 p.m.) - Hoysock Landscaping Roadrunner Twin 15s plus 358-Modifieds & Sportsman
Fast Race Car Propels Veteran Meme DeSantis To First 2011 The Station House 358-Modified Victory At Big Diamond; Ray Woodall Jr. (U.S.S. Achey Sportsman) and Ed Kuperavage (Wooden Keg Tavern Roadrunners) Also Visit Victory Lane
MINERSVILLE, PA - A fast race car propelled veteran Meme DeSantis to his first The Station House 358-Modified victory of the season Friday night at Big Diamond Speedway.
DeSantis, the 50-plus veteran from Temple, Pa., summoned speed from his Harvey Bitler Motorsports No. 88D and earned $2,000 for his 21st career victory at the Schuylkill County oval. DeSantis had struggled during the early portions of 2011, earning a season-high fourth-place finish on June 3. Passing was prevalent in the 358-Modified headliner with three of the top-five finishers starting outside the top 10.
Ray Woodall Jr. (U.S.S. Achey Sportsman) won for the first time this season and Ed Kuperavage (Wooden Keg Tavern Roadrunner) earned his second checkered flag of 2011.
"We had a fast car tonight - the best we've had all year," DeSantis said. "I've got to thank Harvey (Bitler) and the guys for sticking with me."
DeSantis started eighth in his Lombardo-powered Teo-Pro car while third-starter Mike Gular charged into the lead on the opening lap from third position. Gular's Eastern Rigging/T&S Motorsports No. 53 checked out during the first third of the 25-lap feature.
DeSantis found the outside lane to his liking and powered around Colt Harris for second on lap six. Meanwhile, Rick Laubach (from 13th) and Craig Von Dohren (from 15th) were carving through traffic. On lap 10, a caution flag involving Andy Burkhart and last year's 358-Mod champion Doug Manmiller erased the advantage that Gular - in search of his first career Big Diamond victory - had accrued.
The double-file restart allowed DeSantis to take command from Gular while Laubach and Von Dohren advanced into second and third, respectively.
Despite a final caution with four laps remaining, DeSantis held off all advances for the triumph over Quakertown, Pa.'s Laubach, who assumed the 358-Mod point lead with a runner-up finish in the Beer City No. 7. Von Dohren of Boyertown, Pa., recorded his sixth top-five finish of 2011 in third, ahead of Green Lane, Pa.'s Gular. Three-time champion Keith Hoffman of Whitehall, Pa., who started 11th, slid into the top-five on the 21st lap restart and placed fifth.
Laubach earned the Shiley Fabrications Fast Lap Award recognition for the 358-Modifieds.
A season-high 30 358-Modifieds signed in for competition with heat wins going to Laubach, Burkhart and Danny Mazy. Sammy Piazza annexed the consolation.
Woodall, of Easton, Pa., used a front-row starting position to his advantage in the 20-lap Sportsman event. Woodall, a runner-up the previous week, shot into the lead at the start of the main event. Following a second-lap restart, Doug Hendricks, who started fifth, arrived in second. A long stretch of green-flag racing allowed Woodall to build a comfortable lead. However, Hendricks charged within the final five laps, pulling to the back bumper of Woodall's No. 72 with the checkered flag in the air.
Woodall narrowly bested Hendricks (Orwigsburg, Pa.) to the line for his third career Big D Sportsman triumph.  Hendricks earned his best finish of '11 in second, followed by Mike Lisowski of Minersville, Pa. (from eighth), 12th-starter Stephen Hughes (Riegelsville, Pa.) and Craig Whitmoyer of Hamburg, Pa., up from 15th on the grid.
Hendricks received the Shiley Fabrication Fast Lap distinction.
Sportsman heat winners were Hendricks, Corey Renninger and Whitmoyer.
Kuperavage, of Port Carbon, Pa., used the outside lane to his advantage en route to the 20-lap Roadrunner victory in The Roundhouse No. 23. Kuperavage started eighth and advanced quickly in the high line, ultimately taking the lead on a lap-nine restart.  Kevin Olenick burst into second with fewer than five laps remaining. He pulled inside of Kuperavage on the 18th lap but contact on the frontstretch cut the right-front tire on Olenick's No. 450, turning second spot over to Kevin's brother Ryan Olenick (Forestville, Pa.) who chased Kuperavage to the finish.
Kuperavage won for the fourth time in his career at Big D. Olenick was less than a car-length back in second, followed by Glenn Rowan (Auburn, Pa.), K. Olenick (Forestville, Pa.) and Jon Schlauch (Oneida, Pa.).  Apparent third-place finisher Joey Brennan was disqualified in post-race tech inspection.
Rowan was the Roadrunner heat winner.
Racing continues Sunday (June 19), the second round of the Dan Drobnick Welding Enduro Series is set with Big Cars (6/8-Cylinder), Small Cars (4-Cylinder) and Ladies in action at 5 p.m. There will be a point fund paid for Enduro competitors this season. Registration is underway now on the speedway website. A Test and Tune will precede the Enduro at 2 p.m.  Grandstand admission is $7 and pit entry is $20.
For Sunday's program, pit gates will open at noon and grandstand gates swing open at 1 p.m.
BD Motorsports Media brings the Race of Champions Dirt Modified Tour to Big Diamond Speedway on Wednesday, June 22 with the 'Anthracite Assault' 60-lap event: the first RoC race at Big Diamond since July 2006. The RoC Modified winner will now receive $5,000, should they take the $20 "gambler's challenge" thanks to recently announced sponsor Small Engine Fuel (SEF).
Modified stars from Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey and Delaware, in addition to Ontario, Canada, converge on the Schuylkill County oval, joined by Race of Champions Sportsman (30 laps, $1,200 to the winner) and XCel 600 Modifieds (20 laps). Race time is 7:30 p.m.  Pit gates open at 4:30 p.m. Grandstand gates open at 5 p.m. Hot laps are planned for 7 p.m. Grandstand admission is $20 for Adults, $15 for Seniors/Military, $5 for Kids 6-12 and FREE for those under the age of five. Pit admission is $30 with no license required.
Complete information is online at
Racing returns on Friday, June 24 with Hoysock Landscaping-sponsored Twin 15s, 'Full Fender Frenzy' for the Roadrunners along with 358-Modifieds and Sportsman at 8:15 p.m.
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, e-mail or visit The speedway mailing address is 50 Big Diamond Road P.O. Box 524 Minersville, PA 17954.  For GPS purposes, use the following address: 392 Forest Lane Pottsville, PA 17901.
The Station House 358-Modified Feature Finish, 25 laps: MEME DESANTIS, Rick Laubach, Craig Von Dohren, Mike Gular, Keith Hoffman, Colt Harris, Glenn Strunk, Billy Pauch Jr., Jeff Strunk, Kevin Albert Jr., Sammy Piazza, Gary Hager, Dale Hartz, Michael Weinert, John Willman, Gary Wagner Jr., Ray Swinehart, Jordan Umbenhauer, Dan Hineline, A.J. DeSantis, Dan Mazy, Ron Haring Jr., Ryan Godown, Andy Burkhart, Doug Manmiller, Nathan Klinger.
Did Not Qualify: Brian Houseknecht, Matt James, Chris Esposito, Neil Huber.
U.S.S. Achey Sportsman Feature Finish, 20 laps: RAY WOODALL JR., Doug Hendricks, Mike Lisowski, Stephen Hughes, Craig Whitmoyer, Daryl Dissinger, Kevin Beach Jr., Jared Umbenhauer, Mike Mammana, Brad Brightbill, Tim Fitzpatrick, Andy Fayash Jr., Charlie Webber, Shawn Fitzpatrick, Wayne Witmer, Kevin Brady, Kenny Eckert Jr., Nick DeSantis, Christopher Hertzog, Corey Renninger, Warren Floyd Jr., Kaitie McCardle, Josh Hertzog, Frank Yankowski, Jeremy Hertzog.
Wooden Keg Tavern Roadrunner, 20 laps: ED KUPERAVAGE, Ryan Olenick, Glenn Rowan, Kevin Olenick, Jon Schlauch, Jim Kost, Marc Berzowski, Elvin Brennan III, Jeremy Becker, T.J. Fitzpatrick, Jared Siegfried.

Joey Brennan.

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