Sunday, June 18, 2023

Big Diamond Speedway Results from Thursday, June 15, 2023

Emerson Axsom gets first USAC AMSOIL Sprint win of the year, Tim Fitzpatrick surprise Modified winner.

On a beautiful, picturesque night in Schuylkill County, the USAC AMSOIL National Sprint cars made a visit to Big Diamond Speedway. The scene was set with a large crowd on hand to witness night number two of the annual “Eastern Storm”. The night did not disappoint as the wingless beasts thrilled the crowd with the brand of sideways racing that they provide. When all said and done, it was Emerson Axsom standing in victory lane winning his first USAC AMSOIL National sprint race of the season. The accompanying Quandel Concrete Modified feature saw Tim Fitzpatrick win his first feature in over 20 years with Alex Schoffstall triumphant in the Red White and Blue Autos Roadrunner feature which tied him for the lead in career Roadrunner wins.

Max Adams and Emerson Axsom would lead the 22-car field to the start of the 30-lap feature with Adams getting out to the early lead in front of Axsom, Thomas Meseraull and Briggs Danner. Axsom would slip up high just enough to allow Meseraull and Danner to get by for second and third as they completed lap two. One lap later and Axsom regained third from Danner and was putting pressure on Meseraull for second while Adams still led the way.

Lap four saw Adams drift up the track in turns three and four and allow Meseraull to get by for the lead with Axsom following suit to take second as the field completed lap five. Defending USAC AMSOIL National champion Justin Grant was getting in on the action as he went by Adams to take away the third spot one lap later. The top three of Meseraull, Axsom and Grant started to separate themselves from the rest of the field in a three-way battle for the top spot.

Meseraull worked the highside while Axsom continued to pound the lower part of the racetrack to keep pace with the leader. While the leaders continued to run by themselves, a torrid battle for fourth was taking place behind them between Adams, local driver Briggs Danner, Shane Cottle and Grandview Eastern Storm winner Jake Swanson. Axsom was getting closer and closer to Meseraull each lap and with ten laps to go was finally able to work the inside and pass Meseraull for the lead. Once Axsom was able to get Meseraull for the lead, he started to open up a lead. Axsom worked lapped traffic perfectly to extend his lead over Meseraull and Grant. With two to go, Meseraull started to cut into Axsom’s lead but it was to no avail as Axsom streaked under flagger Warren Alston’s checkered flag to take the big win. Meseraull finished second with Grant, Danner and Cottle making up the top five in the nonstop race.

“Thomas (Meseraull) was running the top, so I had to go where he wasn’t,” said Axsom in Red White and Blue Autos victory lane. “If he was on the bottom, I probably would’ve moved up. It’s pretty cool, I saw on Twitter that it’s Bryan’s (the late Bryan Clauson) birthday so it’s a pretty cool win and I am really happy to get this for the team and Tim (Clauson) and I am sure it means a lot to them.”

The companion Quandel Concrete Modified feature saw Aleia Geisler and Tim Fitzpatrick lead the 24 car field to the green flag with Fitzpatrick going hard into turn one to take the lead over Geisler with Nick Rochinski going by Kevin Beach and Mike Lisowski for third with 10th place starting Jeff Strunk up to six in only a couple of laps. Fitzpatrick stretched his lead out to almost a full straightaway while Rochinski closed in on Geisler for second as the field quickly approached the halfway point. With Fitzpatrick, Geisler, Rochinski, Lisowski and Beach the top five at the halfway point of the race, it was hot and heavy racing going on from sixth thru tenth between Strunk, Rick Laubach, Duane Howard, Brett Kressley, Craig Von Dohren, Mike Gular and Crate Sportsman points leader Logan Watt making his first 358 modified start of the year at Big Diamond.

Fitzpatrick was cruising out front with a big lead as Rochinski continued to work over Geisler for second. Rochniski continued to work the inside of Geisler lap after lap and finally with eight laps to go was able to muscle his No. 20 underneath to take second. Rochinski had his work cut out for him to catch the leader Fitzpatrick and was on the move cutting into leaders’ deficit quickly. With two laps to go, Rochinski had cut the lead to six car lengths but that was as close as it got as Fitzpatrick took the checkered flag for his first modified win since 1998. Finishing second through fifth were Nick Rochinski, Mike Lisowski, Aleia Geisler and Jeff Strunk.

“The car felt great, we had been struggling with it the last couple of weeks and made some changes,” said a very happy Tim Fitzpatrick in victory lane with announcer Dino Oberto. “Obviously we did something right and starting up front really helped in a nonstop race. I was thrilled to death it stayed nonstop. The track was awesome, usually the sprint cars dust this thing, but I’ll tell you what, it had a lot of grip out there and the car felt great. I had a smile ear to ear crossing the checkers.”

The Red White and Blue Autos Roadrunner feature saw Alex Schoffstall take the lead on lap one and that was all she wrote as he dominated the 20-lap feature to take the win over CJ Ferguson and Kris Ney.

Full Results from Thursday June 15th Eastern Storm

Quandel Concrete Modifieds: 1. Tim Fitzpatrick 2. Nick Rochinski 3. Mike Lisowski 4. Aleia Geisler 5. Jeff Strunk 6. Duane Howard 7. Rick Laubach 8. Brett Kressley 9. Craig Von Dohren 10. Mike Gular 11. Logan Watt 12. Louden Reimert 13. Kevin Beach Jr 14. Scott Albert 15. Alex Yankowski 16. Ryan Watt 17. Shawn Fitzpatrick 18. Ken Eckert Jr 19. Bryan Rhoads 20. Heath Metzgeer 21. Shawn Light 22. Bobby Trapper Jr 23. Joel Smith 24. Doug Smith Jr

Modified Heat Winners: Jeff Strunk, Mike Lisowski & Duane Howard

Modified Consi Winner: Joel Smith

Penske Racing Shocks Certificate Winners: Tim Fitzpatrick ($100), Nick Rochinski ($75) & Mike Lisowski ($50)

Modified Points: 1. Brett Kressley 1175, 2. Jeff Strunk 1087 3. Duane Howard 1065 4. Mike Gular 1038 5. Rick Laubach 1033 6. Louden Reimert 973 7. Craig Von Dohren 870 8. Nick Rochinski 833 9. Mike Lisowski 833 10. Ryan Watt 753

USAC AMSOIL Sprint Cars: 1. Emerson Axsom 2. Thomas Meseraull 3 Justin Grant 4. Briggs Danner 5. Shane Cottle 6. Daison Pursley 7. Robert Ballou 8. Jake Swanson 9. Matt Westfall 10. Anton Hernandez 11. Kyle Cummins 12. Timmy Buckwalter 13. Chase Stockton 14. Mitchell Moles 15. CJ Leary 16. Max Adams 17. Brady Bacon 18. Steve Drevicki 19. Kyle Moody 20. Carson Garrett 21. Alex Bright 22. Carmen Perrigo

Did Not Qualify: Tom Harris, Charles Davis Jr, Joey Amantea, Logan Seavey, Mario Clouser, Jason Cherry & Matt Mitchell

USAC Heat Winners: Matt Westfall, Shane Cottle & Anton Hernandez

USAC B-Main Winner: Daison Pursley

Red White and Blue Autos Roadrunners: 1. Alex Schoffstall 2. CJ Ferguson 3. Kris Ney 4. Jim Kost 5. Tod Roth Jr 6. Chuck Fayash

Roadrunner Heat Winner: CJ Ferguson

Roadrunner Points: 1. Chuck Fayash 1422 2. Alex Schoffstall 1402 3. Kris Ney 1358 4. CJ Ferguson 1248 5. Jim Kost 1120