Mike Gular ‘Sails’ To First-Career Big Diamond Speedway The Station House 358-Modified Victory; Ray Woodall Jr. Doubles Up In U.S.S. Achey Sportsman & Elvin Brennan III Sweeps Wooden Keg Tavern Roadrunner Program
(Track Press Release) MINERSVILLE, PA – Mike Gular ‘sailed’ to his first career The Station House 358-Modified victory on Friday night at Big Diamond Speedway.
The Green Lane, Pa., driver earned $2,000 in the 25-lap main event for the small-block Modifieds, outfitted with sail panels for the first time in the history of the Schuylkill County oval. A former two-time Penn Can (Pa.) Speedway champion, Gular is a first-year Big Diamond regular driving the Terry Fasnacht/Ed Nowotarski No. 53. Gular became the 10th different 358-Modified winner this season at Big Diamond.
July 15, 2011 Video Highlights
Order the complete night of racing on DVD from the GSP Shop or get it at the track!
358 Modified Feature Highlights
Sportsman Feature Highlights
Roadrunner Feature Highlights
Roadrunner Chicken Wing Challenge Highlights
Ray Woodall Jr. won the U.S.S. Achey Sportsman 20-lap feature, while Elvin Brennan III swept the Roadrunner events, topping the time-shortened 12-lap feature and Wooden Keg Tavern ‘Chicken Wing Challenge’ one-on-one match races.
“We’ve been struggling here,” Gular, 28, said after climbing from his Nick Gatto-powered Teo-Pro car. “We weren’t good at all in the heat race, but we found something for the feature that worked. Let’s hope it runs like this when we take the sail panels off next week.”
Gular, familiar with sail panels via his experience at Penn Can and other Southern Tier facilities, earned a guaranteed starting position for the July 26 Anthracite Assault Race of Champions Dirt Modified Tour event at Big D via his victory. The 60-lap race pays $5,000 to the winner and $300 just to take the green flag! The second-generation driver confirmed he would be in attendance for the midweek special event.
Outside pole starter John Willman (Birdsboro, Pa.) charged into the lead at the outset of the 358-Modified main, holding the top spot through a slew of early restarts. All-time leading Big Diamond 358-Mod winner Craig Von Dohren advanced quickly from his 14th starting position. The Boyertown, Pa., driver wheeled his No. 1c inside of Willman to lead on lap six.
Gular, starting eighth, climbed into second on lap eight when Ray Swinehart (Perkiomenville, Pa.) collided with an infield marker tire. Gular held the runner-up spot until Von Dohren, the point leader entering Friday’s show, slowed and pulled to the infield on lap 14. Once out front, Gular held a comfortable advantage for the win over three-time champion Keith Hoffman of Whitehall, Pa. Hoffman drove from dead last following a lap-one skirmish to finish second.
Jeff Strunk of Bechtelsville, Pa., guided Norm Hansell’s No. 357 from 15th to finish third, followed by Rick Laubach of Quakertown, Pa., in the Beer City No. 7 (from 12th) and eigth-starter Billy Pauch Jr. of Frenchtown, N.J.
358-Modified heat winners were Willman, Pauch Jr. and Hoffman. Von Dohren set the Shiley Fabrications Fast Time at 16.733 seconds.
Woodall Jr. had a difficult time getting to Big Diamond. His hauler broke down three miles from Big D, only to be towed to the track by security. However, the Easton, Pa., driver’s fortunes turned around in the 20-lap Sportsman feature.
Starting fifth, Woodall raced into second place on lap six and just two circuits later unseated pole starter Corey Renninger (Pottsville, Pa.) for the lead. A charging Jared Umbenhauer, who started 12th, burst into second moments after halfway and pressured Woodall for the remainder of the distance, including a final restart on lap 18.The win was Woodall’s fourth at Big D.
Woodall picked up his second victory of the year, followed by Umbenhauer (Richland, Pa.), former Big D champion Brad Brightbill of Sinking Spring, Pa. (from 15th starting spot), 14th-starter Stephen Hughes of Riegelsville, Pa., and Renninger.
Sportsman heat wins went to Mike Lisowski (Minersville, Pa.), Craig Whitmoyer (Hamburg, Pa.) and Renninger. Woodall received the Shiley Fabrications Fast Lap Award at 18.183 seconds.
Defending Roadrunner champion Elvin Brennan III had not been to the winner’s circle in 2011. On Friday, he ended up there twice! Brennan won the final four rounds of the Wooden Keg Tavern ‘Chicken Wing Challenge’ one-on-one match races involving the top-11 drivers in the point standings. The Forestville, Pa., driver earned $325. Jeremy Becker won five rounds (earning $125) and Marc Berzowski won a single round ($25).
Brennan raced into the lead on the third lap of the feature after starting fourth and was out front when the 20-minute time limit expired on lap 12. He registered his 14th career victory in the division over Kevin Olenick of Forestville, Pa., up from seventh position, Becker of Pottsville, Pa., Forestville, Pa.’s Ryan Olenick, recovering from an early trip to the pits, and Jim Kost of Blackheath, Pa.
Brennan and K. Olenick topped the Roadrunner heat races.
RACE SUMMARY – JULY 15, 2011
The Station House 358-Modified Feature Finish (25 laps): MIKE GULAR, Keith Hoffman, Jeff Strunk, Rick Laubach, Billy Pauch Jr., Kevin Albert Jr., Glenn Strunk, John Willman, Gary Hager, Danny Hieber, Meme DeSantis, Andy Burkhart, Colt Harris, Michael Weinert, Chris Esposito, Nathan Klinger, Brett Gilmore, Craig Von Dohren, Blaine Bracelin Jr., Scott Miller, Dan Hineline, Brian Houseknecht, Dan Nicholas, Ray Swinehart, Sammy Piazza.
U.S.S. Achey Sportsman Feature Finish (20 laps): RAY WOODALL JR., Jared Umbenhauer, Brad Brightbill, Stephen Hughes, Corey Renninger, Mike Mammana, Daryl Dissinger, Shawn Fitzpatrick, Frank Yankowski, Doug Hendricks, Tim Fitzpatrick, Kaitie McCardle, Steve Searock IV, Wayne Witmer, Charlie Webber, Shawn Horning, Jeremy Hertzog, Mike Lisowski, Christopher Hertzog, Warren Floyd Jr., Craig Whitmoyer, Kyle Gardner, Kevin Beach Jr., Nick DeSantis, Billy Moyer Jr.
Wooden Keg Tavern Roadrunner (12 laps): ELVIN BRENNAN III, Kevin Olenick, Jeremy Becker, Ryan Olenick, Jim Kost, Marc Berzowski, Ed Kuperavage, Kirby Schlappich, Jordan Quinn, Joey Brennan, Jared Siegfried, Shon Elk, Ron Bowers, Jon Schlauch, T.J. Fitzpatrick, Glenn Rowan, Don Murphy.