From Item Sources
Big Diamond Raceway recently announced the 2009 award winners from each of their three primary racing classes.
Five different awards have been decided, including: Art Bair Wheel Repair (New Ringgold) Heat Winners, Shiley Fabrication (Williamstown) Rookie of the Year, Insinger Race Fuels (Dushore) Best BDR Newcomer, Seltzer Insurance (Orwigsburg) Most Improved Driver, and BFP Specialty (Bethel) Hard Luck.
Three drivers finished in a tie for most qualifying heat wins in 2009.
Duane Howard, Meme DeSantis, and Gary Wagner Jr. each earned four victories.
The '09 award belongs to the highest point finishing driver which was the '09 track champion Howard of Oley.
Kyle Follweiler, a second generation racer from Slatington, enjoyed a successful rookie career in a Modified. The 23-year old competitor captured his first career win over a talented list of drivers on Aug. 14.
Follweiler (his father Jack is a former two-time track champion) is the 2009 Rookie of the Year.
David Van Horn of Harmony NJ joined the weekly BDR field in '09. Van Horn was a past track champion in the state of New York. He captured his first career Big Diamond Modified triumph on April 24, thus earning the BDR Best Newcomer Award.
Danny Nicholas, a second generation racer from Lebanon vastly improved in the point standings from 40th ('08) to 19th ('09). Nicholas, a graduate of Tobias Slingshot racing, concentrated on his first full season of BDR activity and the results were successful. Nicholas won the Most Improved Award.
Mohnton's Jeff Strunk won the track championship in 2007 and 2008.
Although Strunk emerged victorious in the '09 regular season opener he struggled compared to previous years, finishing seventh in final points.
Strunk was involved in a nasty accident at the annual Coalcracker race, perhaps one of the worst wrecks in recent history. Strunk was the Hard Luck recipient.
Andy Fayash Jr., an accomplished racer who has earned feature wins in four different classes, enjoyed a successful 2009 behind the wheel of his #45X. The Mary D based driver was the overall heat race winner with a total of five to his credit.
Jason James of Mohrsville steadily improved during the course of the '09 sesaon and captured his first career victory in the final points race (August 21). While James won Rookie of the Year, second generation racer Brett Kressley of Orefield also enjoyed a feature victory and was the Best BDR Newcomer.
Sophomore racer Mike Lisowski Jr. of Minersville enjoyed an eyebrow raising effort throughout the '09 season. Lisowski, the nephew of past BDR Street Stock point champion Charlie Sorokach, was named Most Improved driver (finished 26 in '08 points and 6th in '09 standings).
Josh Biever of Orwigsburg had been a title contender in recent seasons, but struggled with all sorts of mechanical issues in '09. Biever was named the Hard Luck Award Winner.
The driver with the most overall heat wins in all three divisions was Joe Hendricks of Auburn. The 2008 co-track champion captured six qualifying heat wins during the course of 2009 and finished runner-up in the point standings.
After stepping up from the Enduro division, TJ Fitzpatrick of Branchdale powered to a final finish of 14th in 2009 points. Fitzpatrick was the Rookie of the Year. Steve Gromis, a forrmer Street Stock racer at the now vanished Penn National (PA) Speedway joined the Diamond Roadrunner talent sheet in '09. Gromis finished 8th in the standings and was the Best BDR Newcomer.
Bernville's Toby Chase advanced from 13th (2008) to 6th (2009) in the Roadrunner standings behind the wheel of his #88. Chase was voted Most Improved of the '09 class.
Jeremy Becker of Pottsville finished fourth in points and just might have been a title contender had it not been for one night of bad luck. Therefore, Becker won the Hard Luck Award.
Once again, Big Diamond Raceway would like to congratulate the 2009 track champions: Duane Howard (358 Modified), Kevin Beach (Sportsman), Kevin Olenick (Roadrunner), Tom Hablett (6/8 Cylinder Enduro), and Kevin Holland (4 Cylinder Enduro).