Stewart Friesen Earns $5,450 Payday At Big Diamond Speedway ‘Anthracite Assault’ RoC Event – Canadian Secures First Big D Triumph; Jared Umbenhauer (RoC Sportsman) & Nick Mady (XCel 600 Mod) Also Visit Victory Lane
MINERSVILLE, PA – For Stewart Friesen, Tuesday night marked another career milestone.
Friesen, of Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ont., earned his first-ever victory at Big Diamond Speedway in the anticipated Race of Champions Dirt Modified Tour ‘Anthracite Assault’ 60-lap event organized by BD Motorsports Media and Race of Champions Motorsports. RoC returned to the Schuylkill County oval for the first time since July 2006 with an all-star field of big-block/small-block Modifieds representing New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware and Canada.
July 26, 2011 Video Highlights
Order the complete night of racing on DVD from the GSP Shop or get it at the track!
RoC Modified Feature Highlights
Mike Mammana Modified Heat Race Flip
RoC Sportsman Feature Highlights
600cc Modified Feature Highlights
A large crowd traveled to Coal Country for the ‘Mining Modified Excitement’ themed event, sponsored in part by Small Engine Fuel (SEF) and Savage L&B Dodge Chrysler Jeep of Robesonia, Pa.
Friesen, who was a semi-regular at Big Diamond while driving for Norm Hansell in 2008, earned $5,450 for the victory: $5,000 from the posted purse, $250 as the first 358-Modified on gasoline and $200 from Club Wago as the halfway leader.
“This is big!” exclaimed Friesen, who turned 28 years old on Monday. “We still have a lot of good friends down here. To win in front of them is pretty cool. The fans love their racing in this area and it shows with the crowds.”
Friesen was driving the No. 1 small-block Teo-Pro mount owned by Tadd Parks. He started the main from third spot and diced with Delaware star Matt Jester in the early laps for second while Doug Manmiller set the pace with Josh Biever’s No. 46 small-block. Friesen took over the runner-up spot on lap 20. Three laps later, he ducked into the race lead on the backstretch.
With Friesen out front, New Jersey’s Jimmy Horton was on the move in the Dick Biever No. 14. ‘The Sensational One’ Horton, from 17th starting spot, advanced into second on lap 24. Using the outside lane, the New Egypt (N.J.) Speedway regular pressured Friesen until his right-rear tire went down on lap 39, drawing the caution.
Another Garden State driver, Ryan Godown, was next to challenge Friesen. Godown’s self-owned No. 26 big-block chased the leader through lap 50 when seven-time champion Duane Howard of Oley, Pa., made his presence felt, slipping past Godown for second.
A final caution on lap 56 put Howard on Friesen’s back bumper. Howard’s BPG Racing No. 4 looked inside the leader, but Friesen repelled the advance. Friesen drew in on RoC point leader Billy Decker via the victory.
“I knew the champ (Howard) was there,” Friesen said. “I saw the ‘4’ on the lap counter. He is always tough here.”
Howard, who started 13th, settled for second. Superstar driver Brett Hearn of Sussex, N.J., was third in the Madsen Motorsports No. 20, completing a final-lap pass of Godown. Hearn started 14th. Godown, of Ringoes, N.J., placed fourth while Danny Johnson of Rochester, N.Y., took fifth after starting 19th in Mike Payne’s No. 27J. Johnson earned a $100 Hard Charger Bonus courtesy of Manmiller Electric.
Finishing sixth through 10th, respectively, were Manmiller of Shoemakersville, Pa., 21st-starter Larry Wight of Phoenix, N.Y., Matt Sheppard of Waterloo, N.Y., (who pitted early), Kevin Hirthler of Boyertown, Pa. (recovering from a lap-14 spin) and Rick Laubach of Quakertown, Pa.
RoC Modified heat winners were Billy Decker (Unadilla, N.Y.), Brett Tonkin (Carbondale, Pa.), Matt Jester (Milford, Del.) and Tommy Scheetz III (Boyertown, Pa.). Larry Wight and Gary Wagner Jr. (Womelsdorf, Pa.) won the consolations with 39 cars pitside.
Jared Umbenhauer of Richland, Pa., capitalized on a front-row starting spot to earn a $1,200 victory in the accompanying Race of Champions Dirt Sportsman Tour 30-lapper. For Umbenhauer, a Big Diamond regular, the win was the most prominent of his career. Umbenhauer is a second-generation talent, following in the footsteps of his father, veteran racer Tom Umbenhauer.
Craig Whitmoyer of Hamburg, Pa., all-time leading Big D Sportsman victor, was second driving the Daryl Dissinger race car. Whitmoyer’s No. 99 suffered engine problems on Friday. Modified racer Ryan Watt of Boyertown, Pa., was third subbing for a vacationing Kevin Beach Jr. Danny Bouc (Pipersville, Pa.) and James Cornell (Harpursville, N.Y.) completed the front five.
Sammy Piazza (Lawrenceville, N.J.), Brad Brightbill (Sinking Spring, Pa.) and Clay Butler (Milford, N.J.) won the heat events while Billy Moyer Jr. of Pine Grove, Pa., annexed the consolation.
Nick Mady of Milford, Pa., won the 20-lap XCel 600 Modified feature event over Richie Hitzler, Joel Smith, Aaron Bowes and Mike Keppler. Heat winners for the 22 XCel Modifieds were Keppler, Tyler Bartik and Ryan Higgs.
BIG DIAMOND ANTHRACITE ASSAULT RACE OF CHAMPIONS RACE SUMMARY – JULY 26, 2011
Race of Champions Dirt Modified Tour Feature Finish (60 laps): STEWART FRIESEN ($5,450), Duane Howard, Brett Hearn, Ryan Godown, Danny Johnson, Doug Manmiller, Larry Wight, Matt Sheppard, Kevin Hirthler, Rick Laubach, Billy Decker, Joseph Watson, Ryan Watt, Pat Ward, Gary Wagner, Jeff Strunk, Matt Jester, Kevin Albert Jr., Jimmy Horton, Ray Swinehart, Mike Gular, Tommy Scheetz III, Danny Erb, Danny Hieber, Kevin Bates, John Stangle, Brett Tonkin.
Did Not Qualify: Glenn Strunk, Mike Nicholas, Larry Solomon, Nathan Klinger, Craig Von Dohren, Mike Mammana, Sammy Piazza, Meme DeSantis, Tommy Scheetz, Brent Boyer, Billy Pauch Jr., Dave Gerhart.
Beer City Lap Leaders (can of beer per lap): Doug Manmiller (1-23), Stewart Friesen (24-60)
Club Wago Kyle Pagerly Memorial Halfway Bonus ($200): Friesen
Friends of Mike Guaranteed Starting Spot for July 30 at New Egypt: Friesen
Two FREE Selinsgrove Icebreaker V Pit Passes: Friesen
Top 358 On Gas ($250): Friesen
Top 358 On Methanol ($250): Manmiller
Top Big Diamond Regular Bonus ($150 Hoffman Speed Supplies Certificate): Kevin Albert Jr.
Lias Tire American Racer Giveaway: Meme DeSantis
Manmiller Electric Hard Charger Award ($100 cash): Danny Johnson, 19th to 5th
Shiley Fabrications Hard Luck Award (Bumpers & Rubrails): Mike Mammana
Race of Champions Dirt Sportsman Tour Feature Finish (30 laps): JARED UMBENHAUER ($1,200), Craig Whitmoyer, Ryan Watt, Danny Bouc, James Cornell, Clay Butler, Joey Funk III, Ray Woodall Jr., Billy Moyer Jr., Stephen Hughes, Mike Dougherty, Ryan Beltz, Ryan Olsommer, Paul Kline, Jeff Crambo, Brad Szulewski, Brad Brightbill, Rick Wegner Jr., Doug Hendricks, Sammy Piazza, Dave Witte, Tim Fitzpatrick, Nick Petrilak, Mike Lisowski, Bob Lineman Jr., Jason James.
Did Not Qualify: Andy Fayash Jr., Greg Weiland, Neil Huber, Steve Searock IV.
XCel 600 Modified Feature Finish (20 laps): NICK MADY, Richie Hitzler, Joel Smith, Aaron Bowes, Mike Keppler, Jon Horn, Joe Fanelli, Cody Coons, Brian Mady, Michael Burrows, George Loux, Cory Coons, Kasey Ernst, Kevin Rex Jr., Ryan Higgs, Chris Stockham, Mark Howanitz, Hank Smith, Ariell Roldan, Alec Bartholomew, Jeromy Guistwite, Tyler Bartik.