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posted April 08, 2001 10:54 AM UIN: 16262997
by Jeff Gromis
Minersville, PA - April 8 - Rain and generally cool and damp conditions
forced Big Diamond Raceway at 8 AM to cancel their NASCAR racing card
scheduled for Sunday afternoon, April 8. The track will now open the season
on Friday night, April 20 at 8 PM with a three division super-card featuring
the NASCAR Weekly Racing Series Modifieds, the NASCAR ShorTrack Sportsman and
the NASCAR Roadrunners.
The weathermen were calling for temperatures approaching 70 and clear
skies for Sunday, throughout the week and even as late as Saturday. But a
stubborn weather front stalled in west-central Pennsylvania leaving Big
Diamond Raceway entrenched to fog and drizzle on Sunday morning with
thunderstorms on the way, not only for later in the day, but the next several
"Often when you try to prepare a track when it is way too wet as it was
for the originally scheduled opener, you can hurt the surface for the
season," commented track spokesman Jeff Gromis, but that did not happen and
the surface is sound. Fortunately when Fritz (Roehrig) got to the lower
groove at that point and had equipment bog down in the saturated lower groove
clay in turn three, he realized the writing was on the wall. I have seen many
promoters bog graders down on track surfaces and spend hours and hours
cutting more and more clay off the track to try to get an early season race
in, only to cause problems for the season in getting that clay back on the
track and getting it to knit properly."
Very warm and dry conditions at mid-week enable the track crew to make
major progress on the track. Track equipment was able to scarify and
generally turn over the lower groove that prevented racing last week. The
preparations were made and the track surface was tightened up again late in
the week prior to the Friday and Saturday rains. But the weather never broke
as forecasted.
"We were counting on drier conditions and maybe some sun to help but
those conditions never came on April 1," continued Gromis. "It never fails,
if you cancel the night before or very early on race day, you get criticized,
particularly when the weathermen tell everyone there is a good change of
weather improving. Then, when things do not pan out and you need to cancel
just before race time, your wrong again. We do sincerely apologize to those
fans as well as the over 75 racing teams that did make the tow."
A large field of cars is expected for the opener as the additional three
weeks from the original Opening Day scheduled will enable numerous teams to
be ready to join the large field already registered. Gates will open on April
20 at 6 PM for the 8 PM racing card.
Leading the charge for Big Diamond's $2000-to-win weekly payoff in the
NASCAR WRS Modifieds will be past champions Keith Hoffman, Jeff Strunk, Duane
Howard and Dennis Bailey as well as Craig Von Dohren, Ray Swinehart, Jerry
Higbie, Jr., Terry Meitzler, defending track Sportsman champion, Gary Hager,
and many others. The NASCAR ShorTrack should be wide open this year with Tom
Brennan, Joe Biasi, Jr., Dave Dissinger, Shawn Fitzpatrick and many others
looking to replace Hager as the champion as well as chasing the weekly $600
first prize.
For information on Big Diamond Raceway call (570) 544-6434, check out on the Internet or write to the track at PO Box
298, Minersville, PA 17954.

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