Xavier Sprague wins the Crate Classic, Reimert victorious in Modifieds at Big Diamond

Lasting Legends Night at Big Diamond Speedway was a huge success as fans and competitors alike were able to reminisce with some of the track’s legendary drivers. The autograph lines were long and many people stopped to take pictures of those who set the stage for today’s action. But lest not forget, the real reason we all come to Big Diamond on a Friday night, the ultimate racing action and Friday night bore that out with Xavier Sprague winning the initial Crate Classic $3,000 to win the race for the USS Achey, Inc. 602 Crate Sportsman holding off defending champion Jordan Henn. The Quandel Concrete modifieds saw Louden Reimert chalk up his first Big Diamond victory of the year charging from 17th to take the win. The Red White and Blue Autos Roadrunners saw Jarod Bassininsky win for the second time this season.

The headline division on this night was the USS Achey, Inc. 602 Crate Sportsman with 24 cars taking the post to try and win the $3,000 winner’s prize. The luck of the draw saw Brennan Chapman and Xavier Sprague occupying the front row to start the 30-lap main event. Sprague led lap one with Chapman following in second as Jordan Henn moved to third from his fourth starting position. Sprague was starting to pull away from the field as Chapman and Henn had a great battle for second with Henn getting the upper hand as lap 13 was scored. Sprague, who had opened up a ten car length lead now had Henn glued to his back bumper as the leaders approached the back of the field.

Lap 19 saw the first yellow of the race put out with Kevin Olenick spinning in turn two. Sprague was able to regain his lead on the restart after some hard racing in turn one between the two leaders but as the saying goes, cautions breed cautions and a multicar tangle coming out of turn two slowed the race once again. With a single file restart being mandated due to the back-to-back yellows, the race was set to resume but again the start was called off as Logan Starr stopped going into turn three with a broken front end. Sprague was able to retain his lead with Henn a few car lengths behind as fifth place runner Colin Cox was forced off the track down the backstretch dropping him out of the top ten.

Sprague was able to keep a safe distance between himself and Henn with a fierce battle going on for third between Chapman and Mike Schneck Jr. Henn made a late race push to try and mount a challenge to Sprague, but to no avail as Sprague took the checkered flag to win the Crate Classic and the $3,000 winner’s prize. Jordan Henn was second followed by Brennan Chapman, Mike Schneck Jr and Kyle Smith.

“I don’t know how to explain this at all, it’s a great feeling to go back-to-back,” said the excited Sprague post-race. “This is very awesome to get $3,000 here with everyone watching me. I just hope you guys came out here to watch a show and I hope you remember my name because I am going to be big this year, hopefully.”

The Quandel Concrete 358 Modifieds closed out the show with a very exciting 25-lap feature race. Michael Burrows and Matt Yoder led the talented field to the green flag with Burrows jumping out to lead the way at the drop of Warren Alston’s green flag. The yellow was out before a lap was completed when points leader Logan Watt went off the backstretch after contact with Brett Kressley and came to a stop. Logan was able to continue. A complete restart ensued with Burrows once again back to the point with Yoder in tow. Doug Smith Jr and Eddie Strada were making moves to the front. Louden Reimert started in 17th spot and by lap five was scored in eighth.

Lap six saw the yellow out to slow the pace with the cars of Ryan Watt, Logan Watt, Paulie Hartwig III and last week’s winner Kevin Beach Jr all getting together in turn one. Ryan Watt received the worst damage and had to be towed into the pits. Back to racing and Burrows maintains the lead with Smith Jr going to second and Strada to third past Yoder with Reimert coming on fast on the outside lane and now into third. Up front, Smith Jr was catching the leader Burrows and challenged him for the lead on lap 13. The racing was slowed on lap 13 with two-time winner this season Jeff Strunk slowing with a flat tire. The top five at the halfway point were Burrows, Smith Jr, Strada, Reimert and Mike Lisowski.

With the green flag flying on lap 13, Burrows and Smith Jr resumed their battle for the lead with Smith Jr taking the lead as lap 14 was scored. Another yellow slowed the pace with Hartwig III going around in turn one. Smith Jr was able to stay in front on the restart with Reimert charging to the outside and into second past Burrows and Strada. Burrows’ strong run came to an end as stopped in turn three on lap 16 to bring out the yellow. Smith Jr shows the way on the restart with Reimert making a charge on the outside. Reimert continued his outside charge and pulled alongside the leader Smith Jr on lap 18. One lap later and it was Reimert making the pass for the lead while Brett Kressley was making moves and was now up to fourth with 5 laps remaining.

Smith Jr wasn’t done yet and never let Reimert get away in the remaining laps and challenged the leader as they approached the two to go flags. Smith Jr gave it one last effort on the last lap, but Reimert was not to be beaten on this night and took the checkered flag for his first Big Diamond Speedway win of the season. Doug Smith Jr, Mike Lisowski, Brett Kressley and Duane Howard rounded up the top five.

“The track was two grooves for the feature, the heats were a little dicey and I thought we were done for after seeing we were starting 17th,” said the happy Reimert. “You never give up and run your hardest and tonight we were able to come out on top. I felt good on the bottom, and I jumped to the top when I got into second after Strada showed me his nose after that last yellow came out. It was tough but we have been digging every week and working hard and just glad it finally happened.”

The Red White and Blue Autos Roadrunner 20-lap feature was another in a long line of crowd pleasers with Jarod Bassininsky taking the on lap one and holding off the challenges of Chuck Fayash to win his second feature of the year over Chuck Fayash, Alex Schoffstall and Andrew Fayash III.