Nick Rochinski holds off Howard for first win at Big Diamond, Mark Smith dominates URC
Track Promoters – Jake and Jasmine Smulley
Nick Rochinski pulled off what Louden Reimert unfortunately could not last week as he held off one of Big Diamond’s best Duane Howard to win the 25-lap Insigner Performance Modified feature on Advance Auto Parts night for his first ever career win at the speedway. Reimert was bidding for his first win last week but could not hold off the charges of Brett Kressley, but Rochinski was able to seal the deal last night in his thrilling win. Mark Smith dominated the 25-lap Capital Renegades URC main event for the win with Logan Watt getting his first of the season in the USS Achey Crate 602 division and Alex Schoffstall once again victorious in the Red White and Blue Autos Roadrunners.
Corey Renninger and Scott Albert led the field to starter Jeff Merkel’s green flag with Renninger getting to the front to lead lap one. Seventh place starting Nick Rochinski quickly made his way past the competition to move into a battle for the lead with Renninger and Ryan Watt. Rochinski took over second from Watt and was pressuring Renninger for the lead when the No. 3 of Rennigner stopped in turn two handing off the lead to Rochinski.
While that battle upfront was going, Duane Howard was blasting his way through the field and got by Watt on the restart to move into second. Howard was a man on a mission on this night after suffering a flip last Friday. Rochinski had opened a small lead as Howard powered into second and looked like the class of the field at this point. As the leader caught the tail end of the field, Howard used that to his advantage to close the gap. Rochinski was being very careful with the lapped cars allowing Howard to make a challenge for the lead on the inside coming out of turn four to complete lap 17. Just as Howard was making his move, the yellow flag was displayed for Eddie Strada who stopped on the turn one ramp trying to exit the track.
Rochinski executed the ensuing restart to perfection as he stayed out front while Howard was forced to race Brett Kressley for the runner-up spot. Howard prevailed and once again set his sights on the leader Rochinski. Rochinski worked the middle lane to perfection as Howard stayed down low. With five laps to go Howard was all over Rochinski just waiting for the Dickson City, PA driver to make a mistake. With two laps to go, Howard made his move coming off turn four, but Rochinski was not to be fazed and held his line to stay in front. Howard had one last chance to steal away the win but lost the nose off his No. 15G through turns one and two allowing Rochinski to skate away and take the win for his first ever win at Big Diamond over Howard. Brett Kressley and Craig Von Dohren waged an all-out war for spots three and four for over half the race with Kressley winning out to finish third. Von Dohren settled for fourth with Timmy Buckwalter finishing fifth.
“It is a huge relief to finally get a win here. We have been plugging along down here for three years and to finally get a win tonight is insane,” said a happy Rochinski. “I told someone from the Dog Pound the other day that it’s amazing how bad we run down here, and we win everywhere else. We tried something new tonight and we have to thank Alex Yankowski and his team for helping us out. They are like family to me, and Alex is like a little brother. My brother Kyle who is my crew chief has had this hotrod setup for me the past three weeks and has worked relentlessly, I don’t know what he has going on, but he better keep doing it. I was able to take advantage of a really good restart there in the beginning to go from eighth to second I think and when I saw Duane (Howard), I thought oh boy here we go again but I figured if I could hold the bottom, he would have to try and go around me on the top. Shoutout to Jake (promoter Jake Smulley) and his whole crew, they did a heckuva job tonight and in the feature the track was spot on. Thank you to my guys and to the fans, you guys are awesome.”
The Capital Renegades URC Sprint feature saw Andy Best take the lead on lap one with fourth place starter and previous URC winner at Big Diamond Mark Smith in his potent No. M1 up to second. A yellow flag slowed the pace of the race on lap three. On the restart, Smith takes the lead and is gone at that point as he absolutely smokes the field to win over Best, Adam Carberry, Jake Karklin and Ryan Taylor. A very happy Smith praised the efforts of the track crew in victory lane saying how racy and dust free the track was.
Teenager Logan Watt returned to victory lane in the USS Achey Crate 602 Sportsman holding off a determined Jordan Henn to win his second career feature at Big Diamond. Kevin Oleski would lead lap one with Talan Carter taking over after Oleski got loose in turn two. Watt who started in the sixth spot wasted little time getting to the front and would go by Carter on lap four to take over the lead. Watt pulled away from the field as two-time winner Danny Buccafusca and points leader Brandon Edgar were now working their way towards the front. A lap 13 yellow slowed Watt’s pace as new player was now in the mix with Jordan Henn behind the wheel of the Reber No. 4R who had worked his way towards the front after starting twelfth. Multiple cautions slowed the race between lap 13 and 15 and when we got back to racing Henn was now right on the youngster’s rear bumper.
Henn worked the inside trying to get Watt off his game, but Watt had the power coming off the turns to stay in front. Watt would gap Henn by two car lengths coming off of turn two, but Henn was slightly better through turns three and four and would pull alongside the leader, but Watt held steady and never made a mistake to take the crowd popular win over Henn, Edgar, Buccafusca and Kyle Kania.
“The last few laps, I caught him (Jordan Henn) peeking on my left rear, and I could feel the car moving out and I thought to myself that I really need to protect now,” said a jubilant Watt in victory lane. “You have to run your own race in this division and hope that the fast guys just don’t get to you. We changed a couple of things on the car tonight to make it go faster and we got it dialed in for tonight and hopefully we can go on the next track and do the same thing. I want to thank the crew and my mom and dad, my grandpop’s 70th birthday is on Sunday so now we can party with him.”
The Red White and Blue Autos Roadrunners put on a terrific show for the fans with Alex Schoffstall and points leader Mike Reichert battling side by side for the lead the last half of the race with Schoffstall finally able to pull away at the end for the win. Reichert finished second with Chuck Fayash, TJ Fitzpatrick and Joe Bassininsky the top five.
Full results from June 24th, 2022 – Advance Auto Parts Night
Insigner Performance Modifieds (PA Tri-Track Spec 358 Series Race #2) 1. Nick Rochinski 2. Duane Howard 3. Brett Kressley 4. Craig Von Dohren 5. Timmy Buckwalter 6. Louden Reimert 7. Rick Laubach 8. Mike Lisowski 9. Tim Fitzpatrick 10. Scott Albert 11. Heath Metzger 12. Cliff Quinn 13. Eddie Strada 14. Kevin Beach Jr 15. Joel Smith 16. George Hildebrandt 17. Ryan Watt 18. Ken Eckert Jr 19. Corey Renninger 20. Jared Umbenhauer DNS – Dan Hineline & Shawn Light
Modified Heat Winners: Mike Lisowski, Ryan Watt & Duane Howard
Modified Penske Shocks Gift Certificate Winners: Nick Rochinski ($100), Duane Howard ($75) & Brett Kressley ($50)
Modified Top Ten in Points: 1. Duane Howard 852 2. Brett Kressley 847 3. Louden Reimert 819 4. Nick Rochinski 812 5. Craig Von Dohren 791 6. Eddie Strada 756 7. Mike Lisowski 579 8. Rick Laubach 494 9. Kevin Beach Jr 475 10. Ryan Watt 435
USS Achey, Inc. Crate 602 Sportsman: 1. Logan Watt 2. Jordan Henn 3. Brandon Edgar 4. Danny Buccafusca 5 Kyle Kania 6. Talan Carter 7. James Costlow 8. Nick DeSantis 9. Daryl Dissinger 10. Matt Yoder 11. Kevin Kaplafka 12. Tajae Adams 13. Mia Guy 14. Kaitlyn Bailey 15. Kevin Olenick 16. Marty Shappell 17. Ryan Kunkle 18. Brandon Oleski 19. Dave Shirk
Crate Sportsman 602 Heat Winners: Brandon Edgar & Brandon Oleski
Crate 602 Penske Shocks Gift Certificate Winners: Logan Watt ($100), Jordan Henn ($75) & Brandon Edgar ($50)
Crate Sportsman Points: 1. Brandon Edgar 998 2 Danny Buccafusca 924 3. Logan Watt 806 4. Matt Yoder 757 5. Kyle Kania 714 6. Talan Carter 673 7. Kevin Olenick 631 8. James Costlow 590 9. Daryl Dissinger 574 10. Mike Schneck Jr 536
Red White and Blue Autos Roadrunners: 1. Alex Schoffstall 2. Mike Reichert 3. Chuck Fayash 4. TJ Fitzpatrick 5. Joe Bassininsky 6. Damion Dusheck 7. Tonya Lance 8. Jarod Bassininsky 9. CJ Feguson 10. Tod Roth Jr 11. Jim Kost
Roadrunner Heat Winners: Tod Roth Jr & Chuck Fayash
Roadrunner Points: 1. Mike Reichert 1390 2. Alex Schoffstall 1212 3. Chuck Fayash 1035 4. Andrew Fayash III 951 5. TJ Fitzpatrick 921
Capital Renegades United Racing Club Results: 1. Mark Smith 2. Andy Best 3. Adam Carberry 4. Jake Karklin 5. Ryan Taylor 6. Dallas Schott 7. Brian Carber 8. Jason Schultz 9. Travis Scott 10. Nash Ely 11. Josh Weller 12. Mike Thompson 13. Hayden Miller 14. Ryan Stillwagon 15. Brandon McGough 16. Bob Lilick Jr
URC Heat Winners: Andy Best & Mark Smith