posted July 26, 2002 12:58 PM
MACS LATE MODEL STARS TAKE TO BIG DIAMOND - AUG 4;
MODIFIED STAR, DUANE HOWARD TO RUN BERNHEISEL 119
Minersville, PA - July 26 - When the Mid Atlantic Championship Series (MACS) Late Models appearance at Big Diamond Raceway in Minersville, PA on Sunday night, August 4, there will be at least one very familiar face in the field. Big Diamond Modified champion and a driver in a tight battle for the track's all time win record, Duane Howard of Oley, PA, has signed a deal with Renegade Late Model regular, Jim Bernheisel to driver one of his Lazer 119 late models with Rhoads power.
The MACS Late Models will be making their first appearance ever at the 3/8-mile, banked oval with gates opening at 4PM. Practice will start at 6 o'clock, following a 5:30 Driver's Meeting, and time trials will be run at 6:30 to enable the event to be completed in a timely manner. The Black Gold 50 will pay $5,000 to-win. This $25,000 event boasts $1,000 for seventh, with $500 for fourteenth and $400 to-start.
The Sportsman Stocks and Roadrunners, which run on the weekly Big Diamond Raceway schedule, will also be on the card competing in non-point events. A special qualifying procedure will also be adopted for the Sportsman with the top ten in Big Diamond points getting a shot six starting spots in time trials, before heats are run.
Jim Bernheisel of Lebanon, PA will definitely be at Big Diamond on August 4, making the long morning haul back from Ohio Renegade Late Model action the night before with a few of his Renegade rivals. Jim took a MACS feature win at Latrobe (PA) Speedway last season. Currently this year he is eighth in Renegade Late Model points and is the group's Rookie of the Year point leader. He feels stronly about his chances in the Black Gold 50 and also has confidence in Duane Howard's abilities along with his current Big Diamond track knowledge.
Howard, again in entrenched in a battle for the Big Diamond NASCAR Modified title with the Big Spring Car Wash 126 owned by Glenn Hyneman, started racing limited late models in a 114 against Jim Bernheisel and others at Silver Spring Speedway more years ago than either driver would like to admit.
Jack Pencil of Bedford, PA is the current MACS point leader and the racing schoolteacher will be leading the starts to Minersville with his yellow #14. Following Pencil in the current MACS point standings are Denny Chamberlain of Lost Creek, WV; Chuck Harper of Beverly, WV; Mike Johnson of Imperial, PA; Sonny Conley of New Martinsville, WV; Russ Frohnapfel of Columbus, OH; Bart Hartman of Zanesville, OH; Doug Drown of Wooster, OH; Stephen Hollabaugh of Guys Mills, PA; and Tim Hitt of Weston, WV.
There will also be several other MACS invaders making the trip East to Big Diamond but there are also several local late model competitors planning to be on hand at Big Diamond. Past Big Diamond limited late model champion and feature winner, Scott Haus of Hamburg, PA has been strong this year throughout Pennsylvania with recent wins in Renegade action at Thunder Valley Raceway here in Pennsylvania and at nearby Selinsgrove Speedway. Past track winner Chris Shuey of Orefield, PA is excited about the MACS appearance at Big Diamond and already has feature wins to his credit including this feature at Port Royal Speedway on July 13.
The MACS portion of the Sunday, August 4 program will consist of time trials, heats, Dash, B Main(s), and the 50-lap, A Main. Plans call for the top ten in Sportsman points getting a pre-qualifying shot at six to eight spots in a time trials followed by heats for all others, a B-Main and Feature while the roadrunners may or may not run heats prior to their feature based on car count. The pit passes are $25.00 while grandstand adult tickets are $20. Children ages 5 to 11 get in to the stands for $5.
For more information on Big Diamond Raceway call 570.544.6434; on MACS Series call 724.465.2222 or 724.397.9126. You can visit all both organizations on their respective websites at www.bigdiamondraceway.com; or www.macsracing.com.
The following is a portion of a release generated by Doc Lehman for this weekend's Wayne County Speedway MACS event in Orrville, Ohio. Jeff Geesey shares his comments of the MACS Series and information on a few on their contenders that may be very useful to you in generating stories. But please credit Jeff Geesey, Doc Lehman and Wayne County for this information if used.
The Wayne County MACS show is this Saturday, July 27. Pit gates open at 3:00 PM, grandstands open at 4:00, hotlaps at 5:00 PM and racing begins at the new time of 6:30 PM. For additional information contact Paul Willis at: 330-682-7435. For promotional details contact Willis at: 330-262-2290. Visit the Wayne County Speedway website at: www.waynecountyspeedway.com.
Wayne County Speedway is located nine miles east of Wooster, or 15 miles west of Massillon, on Route 30, then one mile north on Carr Road, south of Orrville, OH.
"We have been at WCS three times over the past two year, and this will mark our fourth visit there," stated Geesey. "We lost our May date to weather related issues last season, and in our two successfully presented events, Chub Frank and Bart were the winners. Fans can look forward to seeing our new format which includes time trials, heats, Dash, B Mains, and a 50-lap A Main. We invert the four fastest cars in each heat event; then the fastest eight drivers that transfer to the A Main are placed in a dash. Those drivers in the dash then draw a pill for their starting position in the dash. At the conclusion of the dash, the order of finish will determine the first four rows for the 50-lapper."
"We have had our fair share of critics over the format change but in four races we haven't had a repeat winner! The criticism is more about the subject of change, than it is about format, good racers are good racers and they will work their way to the front provided they have a surface underneath them to do that. It has been well established, that humans, typically don't like change, therefore we are or tend to resist it (change) and some vocally express their opposition."
MACS will be bringing a contingent of some of the toughest super Late Model competitors from across the Midwest to the track, including the top MACS point leaders.
"Jack Pencil, 38, of Bedford, PA, 'The Flyin' School Teacher', teaches 8th Grade Algebra in his home area and is in his first full-year on the road," explained Geesey. "Jack has one previous win with the Series, at his home track, Bedford Speedway, at the Annual Labor Day 55. Jack holds two Late Model track championships between Bedford and Cumberland Speedways."
"Chuck Harper, 44, of Beverly WV, in his first full season of competition with the Series leads the chase for the Craiger Race Engines Rookie of the Year title. His racing style is best described by Bill Sawyer, owner of Virginia Motor Speedway (Saluda VA), as: 'He runs like a scalded dog'. Chuck has won such prestigious events as the USA and Millenium 100's at Beckley as well as the Topless 50 at Skyline Speedway."
"Denny Chamberlain, 46, Lost Creek, WV, former, is a two-time ('97-'98) MACS champion. The quiet Mountaineer lets his racing do the talking. Also he owns a MACS A Main victory. Denny has represented the USA well as he participated on TEAM USA in Australia and won the St. Clairsville 100 and is a former three time track champion at Elkins Motor Speedway."
"Mike Johnson, 29, Imperial, PA is also traveling with the Series full-time for the first time is in the running for the Craiger Race Engines Rookie of the Year title and is currently second in the title hunt. Mike holds three track titles from Pittsburgh's PA Motor Speedway during the '91-93 seasons as well as a 4th ('00) and 9th ('96) place in the final point standing with the former STARS, now Renegade Dirtcar Series."
"Sonny Conley, 33, New Martinsville, WV, the fourth driver from that state this year that is chasing the Series championship as well as the Rookie title. Just a few of Sonny's accomplishments include the '01 Firecracker 40 at Tyler County Speedway, the '95 Mountaineer 100 at Elkins Motor Speedway and the '95 & '99 Steel Block Championships at Tyler County."
"Russ Frohnapfel, 49, Columbus, OH, debuted in his quest for the MACS championship at Florence Speedway for his first full-season of travel with the Series. Russ is very quiet and unassuming and lets his actions do the talking. Russ's accomplishments include 15 Late Model feature wins."
"Stepehen Hollabaugh, 33, Guys Mills, PA, another Limited Late Model and Steel Block specialist, trying life 'On the Road' with his dad and part car owner, Gary. Stephen's tally sheet includes several Steel Block and Limited Late accomplishments from his banner year in 2000. They are highlighted by a Mid-Season Championship and Steel Block Invitational at Raceway 7 as well as a '89 Limited Late Model track title at Sharon Speedway. He is attempting to add another title to his resume and that is the MACS Rookie of the Year title."
"Doug Drown, 19, Wooster, OH, affectionately called 'The Kid', but this youngster doesn't race like a kid! Doug is mounting a serious challenge for the MACS Rookie of the Year title as well as the Championship. With Doug's dad, Jeff, acting as car owner and crew chief he races well beyond his years and traveling had added significantly to his repetoire and talent level. Their collective efforts found them as high as third place in the points but a few misfortunes struck sliding them to eighth currently but they are again gaining momentum in their quest for the titles. Doug's accomplishments include the '00 Wayne County and Lakeville Speedway's Rookie of the Year titles, the '99 Limited Late Model Rookie title at Wayne County Speedway and finally the $4,000 'Triple Crown Series' win at Lakeville are among the three A Main wins to his credit."
"Bart Hartman, 33, Zanesville, OH, is an accomplished and likeable Late Model chauffeur with three MACS A Main markers, as well as, one of the crowning moments of his career claiming the 2001 edition of the 'Dirt Track World Championship'. Bart always warmly greets his fans, young and old alike, and takes time to spend with them. His pleasant demeanor makes him approachable even after a not so good night on the track. Among his additional credentials Hartman also lays claim to the '93 STARS Rookie of the Year title."
"Tim Hitt, 37, Weston, WV added to his win total with MACS already this season notching a victory at Muskingum County Speedway elevating his career total with the Series to two. After 18-years of racing Hitt has so many victory laurels and among them are several wins at Pittsburgh's PA Motor Speedway, including one of the 'Pittsburgher 100' events."
"What a list of who's who among dirt Late Model drivers. Some of the stiffest weekly competition found anywhere in our region. And the same goes for the tough field of competitors that await us at Wayne County Speedway. The weekly warriors at Wayne County are among some of the toughest and most respected in the Midwest."
Rounding out the top twenty in MACS points are: (11) Robbie Blair, (12) Lance Elson, (13) Lou Bradich , (14) Mark Banal, (15) Jim Lepro, (16) David Scott - one win this year, (17) Booper Bare (one MACS win this year), (18) Corey Conley, (19) John Mason (one win this year), and (20) Billy Drake.