MINERSVILLE, PA. - In the two months since Craig VonDohren took the checkered flag in the season-ending Coalcracker event at Big Diamond Speedway, promoter Jake Smulley and his staff have been hard at work getting ready for the 2017 season.
The warm weather this fall has allowed the track crew to resurface the 3/8th’s-mile oval with more than 1,100 tons of fresh dirt in anticipation of the 46th annual season opener which is set for Friday, March 31.
A four-division show is on tap that night with the 358 modifieds going 30 laps for a $4,000 payday. Also on the card will be the sportsman, roadrunners and street stocks. A rain date for the event, if necessary, is April 7.
The track will release its 2017 schedule soon.
The new season will bring about a new title sponsor for the 358 modified division as Steel & Metal Service Center, Pottsville, (formerly Joseph Fazzio, Pottsville) will have the naming rights in 2017.
The family-owned business which began in Glassboro, N.J., in 1965, has four locations, including Pottsville, which is located in the old King Steel building.
“Sponsoring Big Diamond is a way for me to give back to the community that my father loved so dearly,” said Kelly Klingman, sales and marketing director for the company and daughter of the late Harvey Ensminger, former technical inspector and competitor at the speedway in the mid 1970s. “He committed his life to racing and tried to be involved in any way he could. I want to continue his tracks by letting the racing community know that Steel & Metal Service Center is here for them.”
Steel & Metal Service Center is more than an industrial steel supplier. They have a large hardware store which is open to the public while offering general delivery, fabrication, construction and welding needs.
The other division sponsors, U.S.S. Achey (sportsman), Savage 61 (roadrunners) and No Sweat Service Group (street stocks); are returning in 2017.
U.S.S. Achey Iron and Metal which has been in business since 1967, is a long-time supporter of motorsports according to President Art Raudenbush.
“I enjoy helping the guys who like to race and a lot of our customers go to the races and it it’s a great way to get our name out,” he said.
U.S.S. Achey is located at 355 E. 2nd Mountain Road, behind Blue Mountain High School.
Savage 61 Chrysler Dodge Jeep and Ram is entering its fourth season of sponsoring the roadrunner division and the dealership, which has been at the Intersections of Routes 221 and 61 on the Pottsville Pike in Reading for the past 14 years, are longtime supports of motorsports.
“We’re happy to support local racing as it is a part of the community fabric in the area and through it, we are pleased to be able to continue our longstanding commitment to the community,” Tim Profit, General Manager of Savage 61 said.
The No Sweat Service Group continues its sponsorship of the street stocks for the second straight year and they are in their second year of business in Pottsville offering hydraulic hose repair and more at competitive prices.
“It’s take guys with a lot of different skill sets to make that type of the car (street stock) to run and it takes a wheelman to be able to stick their nose in their and go three-and-four wide at Big Diamond to give you that edge-of-the-seat action each night,” co-owner Jeremy Slifko said.
No Sweat Service Group is located at 468 Peacock St., in Pottsville.
For the latest information, be sure to like the Big Diamond Speedway Facebook page; www.facebook.com/Bigdiamondspeedway and on Twitter, @BigDSpdwy.