Craig Von Dohren outduels Ryan Godown to win the “Topless” 35 Feature at Big Diamond Speedway
Story By: Ken Bruce/Big Diamond Speedway
Photos By: George Steigerwalt/RacersGuide.com
It all came down to a one lap shootout to determine the winner of the Mattera’s Electrical and General Contracting Modified “Topless” 35 feature last night at Big Diamond and when it was over it was the track’s all-time winner Craig Von Dohren standing in victory lane to collect the $5000 first place prize.
“I’m not a real big fan of having double file restarts with one lap to go, I don’t think that’s right but tonight we were able to benefit from it. It’s a gamble of who goes first and gets the jump. I think it was kind of even there. We were back and forth there playing cat and mouse and it is what it is I guess.”
Opening night winner Billy Pauch Jr led the field to the green with Frank Yankowski on the outside. As the pair headed into turn three side by side there was contact with Pauch spinning to bring out the yellow and heading to the back of the field.
On the restart Yankowski surged to the front over Ryan Godown as a series of yellows plagued the start of the race with raindrops starting to fall. The cars stayed on the track while the raindrops fell and in a few moments the precipitation stopped and after a few hot laps to make sure the track was suitable for racing the drivers gave the thumbs up sign and we were going back to action.
Godown grabbed the lead on the lap four restart over Yankowski but the action was halted once again as the red flag was displayed when Kevin Beach Jr spun in turn two with Brett Kressley clipping him and going over. Kressley exited his car and was ok.
As the field returned to racing Godown immediately started to pull away as the battle raged on behind him for second between Yankowski, Von Dohren, Jeff Strunk, Duane Howard and a high flying Pauch Jr who had made his way back up to sixth in six laps after restarting in the back.
Lap seven brought out another caution as a multi-car tangle took place in turn two. Racing was back underway and on lap nine Von Dohren was able to work past Yankowski for the runner-up spot. Cautions on lap 13 and 14 kept the racing close up front with Von Dohren working his way past Godown for the lead on the restart after the lap 13 yellow.
Von Dohren continued to lead with a hard battle going on for second between Strunk and Godown with Strunk emerging as the runner-up after finally working his way by Godown. Another yellow slowed the field on lap 21. During the yellow Pauch Jr who had worked his way up the fourth spot stopped on the front stretch needing a tow, done for the night.
Back to green and Von Dohren surged out front with Godown getting back by Strunk for second. One lap later on lap 23 it was back to yellow. When the race resumed Godown was on a mission and worked by Von Dohren to reassume the lead and this time Godown started to pull away from the rest of the field. Godown sped under the white flag with an insurmountable lead only to have the caution come out as the #38 of Frank Porreca spin to bring out the yellow setting up the one lap shootout to the finish.
There was a vibe in the stands as they knew it was going to be a heavyweight battle between two of the best Big Diamond has to offer. The fans were not disappointed as the Godown and Von Dohren raced side by side down front and into turn one. Von Dohren was able to get a good bite on the outside as the two raced off of turn two to emerge as the leader. Godown gave it one more last shot in turn three but to no avail as Von Dohren emerged victorious in the first ever Big Diamond “Topless” feature event.
Godown ended up a very disappointed second followed by Duane Howard, Jeff Strunk and Jared Umbenhaurer. Ryan Watt came from the back of the field three times to finish sixth with Dale Hartz, Jimmy Reppert, John Willman and Frank Porreca completing the top ten.
We had a new winner emerge in the USS Achey Sportsman division last night as Nate Klinger took the checkered flag winning his first ever sportsman feature event. Klinger grabbed the lead from his front row starting spot at the drop of the green with veteran sportsman driver Doug Hendricks working his way towards the front. Hendricks took the lead on a lap six restart with Klinger right in tow as points leader Alex Yankowski was working his way to the front from his ninth starting spot.
The last caution of the race would come out on lap eight and on the restart the #4K of Klinger powered his way back by Hendricks from his outside starting spot to retake the lead. Hendricks gave it all he had to get back by the leader Klinger but never made a mistake and held on to take the checkered flag and his first sportsman division win.
Finishing order was Nate Klinger, Doug Hendricks, Craig Whitmoyer, Alex Yankowski and Daryl Dissinger. Completing the top ten were Dave Dissinger, Ray Woodhall Sr, Wayne Witmer, Glenn Rowan and Michael Burrows.
It was another crowd pleaser of a feature event in the No Sweat Service Group Street Stock division as Jason Geesaman emerged with the victory after a hard-fought battle with Elvin Brennan III and Joey Brennan. Joey Brennan took the lead at the start with Geesaman quickly on the move from his eighth starting spot. Brenna had opened up a large lead and looked to be on his way to a convincing victory as the laps wound down until the caution came out on lap twelve erasing his advantage over Geesaman.
This was the break Geesaman was looking for as he grabbed the lead on the restart and despite numerous restarts and a hard charging Elvin Brennan III was able to take home the victory. Elvin Brennan III was second with Joey Brennan, Robin Wagner and Jesse Krasnitsky rounding out the top five.
In the Savage 61 Road Runner division it was Mike Reichert winning his second feature of the year after taking the lead on lap two restart and never looking back. Keith Fritz gave it everything he had but had nothing for the quick running Reichert who took the win. Fritz crossed the line in second but was DQ’D for having illegal engine components discovered in tech after the race. Completing the top five were Jim Kost, Chris Holland, Shawn Mulhall and Fred Everly.
Next up at Big Diamond Speedway on Friday May 18th is the USAC Wingless Sprints along with the Midgets, Road Runners and Street Stocks.
Results 5/11/18 – Topless 35 Modified Race
The Matteras Electrical Modified Topless Feature (35 Laps) – Craig VonDohren, Ryan Godown, Duane Howard, Jeff Strunk, Jared Umbenhauer, Ryan Watt, Dale Hartz, Jimmy Reppert, John Willman and Frank Porreca. Did not finish were Jim Bobbitt, Frank Yankowski, Billy Pauch Jr., Ryan Krachunm Ray Swinehart, Meme DeSantis, Grant Hilfiger, Cliff Quinn, Kevin Beach, Brett Kressley, Mike Lisowski, Kris Graver, Heath Metzger and Shawn Fitzpatrick. Did not qualify were Scott Albert, Billy Lasko, Andy Burkhart and Ryan Kunkle.
The modified heats were won by Billy Pauch Jr., Frank Yankowski and Ryan Godown. The consolation was won by Grant Hilfiger.
The U.S.S. Achey sportsman Feature (20 Laps) – Nate Klinger, Doug Hendricks, Craig Whitmoyer, Alex Yankowski, Daryl Dissinger, Dave Dissinger, Ray Woodall Sr., Wayne Witmer, Glenn Rowan, Michael Burrows, Kevin Brady, Nate Mohr, Ed Schneck, Dylan Smith, Ed Mrochko, Shawn Light and TJ Fitzpatrick. Did not finish were Kyle Reber, Ken Eckert Jr., Dean Bachman, Cale Ross, Matt Clay and Harry Landis. Did not qualify were Dakota Kohler, Blake Reber and Chis Brennan.
The sportsman division heats were won by Daryl Dissinger, Kevin Brady and Doug Hendricks. The consolation was canceled when only 5 cars were able to start.
The Savage 61 Road Runners Feature – Mike Reichert, Jim Kost, Chris Holland, Shawn Mulhall, Fred Everly, Matt Ney and Seth Reichert. Did not finish were Kris Ney, Jon Schlauch, and Cory Lindenmuth. Did not start were Terry Kramer and Ray Garcia. Kerry Fritz originally finished 2nd in the feature but was disqualified for the evening with illegal engine components.
The road runner heats were won by Mike Reichert and Jim Kost.
The No Sweat Service Group Street Stock Feature – Jasen Geesaman, Elvin Brennan III, Joey Brennan, Robin Wagner, Jesse Krasnitsky, Chris Derr and Mike Radocha. Did not finish were Dean Hine, Chris Heller, Kyle Saylor and Kody Sites.
Heats were won by Elvin Brennan III and Jasen Geesaman.