$5,000 win goes to Brett Kressley at Big Diamond, Colin Cox & Matt Martino win first ever 602 Crate features

Last night at Big Diamond Speedway was the final race of the May Month of Money series with defending Quandel Concrete modified track champion Brett Kressley winning his first race of the season and taking home the $5,000 winner’s share on Tony’s Meat Market night. The USS Achey, Inc. 602 Crate Sportsman ran double features with Colin Cox winning the $1,052 Thaw Brawl makeup feature and Matt Martino winning the regularly scheduled feature. It was the first win for both drivers at Big Diamond. Continuing the first-time winner theme, Christopher Buffalino was a first-time victor in the Big Creek Concrete Rookie 602 Crate division. With his win last night, Alex Schoffstall became the all-time wins leader in the Red White and Blue Autos Roadrunner division.

With $5,000 to win on the line for the final time in May, Scott Albert and Cody Manmiller led the 24-car field to the green flag with Albert taking the lead at the drop of the starter Warren Alston’s green flag with modified rookie Cody Manmiller right on his bumper. Albert and Manmiller were setting a quick pace with Mike Burrows, Matt Yoder and Brett Kressley up from his ninth starting spot into fifth. The first yellow was put out on lap 6 for Eddie Strada who hit a yuke tire in turn three, ending his night. Back to racing and Albert once again took the lead with Manmiller right behind as Kressley now was past Yoder and Burrows for third.

Manmiller and Kressley were battling hard for second as the yellow was out on lap 8 for Dave Dissinger who got sideways and slowed. Manmiller got off to a great start and took the lead away from Albert as he used the outside line to get by. Kressley wasted no time getting by Albert to take the second spot, setting his sights on the leader Manmiller. Behind the two leaders, the heavy hitters were making their way towards the front as Mike Gular, last week’s winner Jeff Strunk and Duane Howard were all waging war to get into the top five. Up front, Manmiller was still leading with Kressley all over the young driver for the lead. Lap 11 was scored with Manmiller leading but Kressley was making his move on the outside through turns one and two, the two leaders exited turn two with Kressley just about even with the leader as the duo entered turn three Kressley was able to get a good outside run to take the lead as the leaders scored lap 12.

Quandel Concrete modified points leader Gular was in trouble as he hit a yuke tire in turn three to bring out the yellow on lap 12. The top five with 12 laps in the book were Kressley, Manmiller, Albert, Burrows and Howard. Kressley stayed out front on the restart over Manmiller. Strunk and Howard both got by Albert and were now pressuring Burrows for third while Louden Reimert was charging through the field from 20th and now into seventh. Timmy Buckwalter was also getting into the picture now pressuring Howard for fifth. Lap 18 saw the field slowed by yellow as Rick Laubach slowed to a stop in turn two. Kressley took off on the restart leaving no doubt that he was on a mission for the win. Manmiller and Strunk were going at it for second with Manmiller holding off the many times champion. Reimert continued his charge to the front, getting past Buckwalter and Howard and into fourth. This race was all Brett Kressley as he rolled to the win over an impressive Cody Manmiller, Jeff Strunk, Louden Reimert and Duane Howard who’s motor let go just as he crossed the finish line. Kressley took home the $5,000 first place prize along with winning the $200 Bill Brown & Company bonus for the highest average finish in the month of May. Kressley and Gular tied with an average finish of 7.75 with the bonus going to Kressley who had the highest finish of the month with his win tonight.

“Hat’s off to Dale and Brandon (Planck from Dig Shocks) and Ron Seltman of Fast Four, we had a little run-in with (Eddie) Strada last week and that made me mad enough to get this car going again,” said the victorious Kressley. “We could pass tonight, hat’s off to Jake (Smulley), he has been getting it turned around here. Thanks to the fans and all the sponsors for coming out tonight and hopefully we can get some more.”

It was double time for the USS Achey, Inc. 602 Crate Sportsman on Friday as they raced two separate features. The first race of the night was the makeup Thaw Brawl feature postponed from opening night due to rain. First-year 602 Crate Sportsman driver Colin Cox and Kevin Olenick made up the front row with Cox charging to the lead when the green flag waved. Cox immediately set sail with Olenick right behind. As the leader was coming around to score lap two, third-place starter Paulie Hartwig III and fifth-place starter Joe Toth banged wheels in turn three, with Hartwig rolling to a stop requiring a tow into the pits. The restart saw Olenick give it his best shot on the outside down the front stretch and into turn one, but Cox was up to the challenge and stayed in the lead. With no more yellows to slow him down, Cox pulled out to a safe lead. Lapped traffic was the only obstacle that Cox had to deal with, but the young teenager stayed calm and eventually worked his way around the lapped cars to take home the big $1,052 first place check and record his first ever win in a full-size stock car. Olenick held on for second place over Toth, Jordan Henn and Brennan Chapman.

The regularly scheduled USS Achey, Inc. 602 Crate Sportsman feature saw Glenn Rowan and Matt Martino on the front row with Martino powering around Rowan for the lead as they entered turn one. A multi-car tangle in turn one brought out the yellow and then red for the blocked track necessitating a complete restart. Martino once again showed that he meant business as he again powered around Rowan to lead lap one. Fifth place starting Ryan Conrad quickly advanced to fourth on lap two with Logan Starr in third. Kevin Olenick and Jordan Henn moved into the top five by the time lap five was scored looking to catch the leaders. With the halfway flags displayed, it was Martino with a safe lead over Conrad, Olenick, Henn and Colin Cox. Lap 11 saw the leader Martino come up on the back of a lapped car of Mark Gaugler, with Gaugler going around coming off of turn four. The restart saw Martino take off, putting distance between himself and Conrad as Olenick, Henn and last week’s winner Mike Schneck battle each other for third thru fifth. Martino survived one more restart to take the win over Olenick, Henn, Cox and Ryan Conrad.

It was another exciting feature race for the Red White and Blue Autos Roadrunners with pole-sitter TJ Fitzpatrick, Mike Reichert, Alex Schoffstall battling three wide for almost 15 laps before Schoffstall finally got by Fitzpatrick to take the lead. Fitzpatrick held tough and stayed right with Schoffstall until disaster struck Fitzpatrick on the last lap as he lost the handle and slipped out of the groove causing him to lose many spots. Schoffstall went on to take the win making him the career leader in Roadrunner wins. Completing the top five were Kris Ney, Andrew Fayash III, Chuck Fayash and Jesse Krasnitsky.

It was Christopher Buffalino winning the Big Creek Concrete Rookie 602 Crate Sportsman feature for his first ever win. Buffalino, the cousin of modified driver Dominck Buffalino took the lead from Stephen Smith III on lap five and went to win the 15-lap race over Smith III, Chase Gular, Teague Miller and McKenzi Smith.

Next up at Big Diamond Speedway is the Anthracite Assault as the stars of the Super DIRTcar Series visit Big Diamond for the $10,000 to win 75-lap main event.