Delmar, DE – In an absolutely crucial race in the South Region point standings, David Van Horn Jr. dominated the ‘Diamond State 50’ for a massive $5,000-plus payday, and a new lead in the standings.
Harmony, N.J.’s Van Horn, after drawing the fourth-starting position, eventually took the lead on lap 29, and cruised to the victory for his first Short Track Super Series (STSS) victory. The ‘Diamond State 50’ was the fourth of the five-race STSS Fueled by Hi-Tek Pioneer Pole Buildings Inc. South Region schedule presented by Scotty’s Speed & Diesel.
“This is the biggest win of my career,” Van Horn exclaimed in Victory Lane with his Harmony Sand and Gravel-sponsored No. 71 as fireworks lit up the sky. “This is a great feeling.”
The win marked Van Horn’s third top-10 finish of the South Region, and his second finish inside the top-two. The victory adds Van Horn’s name to the BD Motorsports Media LLC all-time win list, and surges him into the South Region points lead with one race remaining Tuesday, Sept. 1 at Georgetown (Del.) Speedway.
Van Horn pocked $5,215 cash plus other incentives for his triumph in the event co-sponsored by Taylor & Messick and Hurlock Auto & Speed Supply.
At the drop of the green it was Craig Von Dohren who jumped out to the early lead from his third starting spot followed by Ryan Watt and Van Horn before Neal Williams slowed on lap eight to bring out the first caution.
On the ensuing restart, Watt, who entered the night in a tie for the South Region points lead with Rick Laubach, pulled ahead of Von Dohren. While Watt, Von Dohren and Van Horn settled into their respective positions, Jamie Mills, Matt Jester, Anthony Perrego and Ryan Godown were busy taking and losing positions just outside the top-five.
Jamie Mills was a man on a mission from his 21st starting position. By lap 12, Mills had begun battle with Matt Jester for the fifth spot and on lap 18 he dove underneath Beau Wilkins for fourth.
After a slew of cautions on lap 20, Watt led Van Horn, Mills, Von Dohren and Perrego when championship contender Godown slowed and pulled into the pits.
Van Horn took advantage of that restart snagging the lead after side-by-side action with Watt for four laps.
“I saw Jamie Mills pass us on the top on a restart (that was negated for a caution),” Van Horn noted. “It looked good out there so I thought I might as well go out there and it worked.”
From then on, Van Horn didn’t look back despite a barrage of challenges on a multitude of restarts. One such restart allowed Mills to slide underneath Watt for second. Mills made contact with Watt and ran over his front end sending him spinning. Perrego and Laubach, other championship contenders, were also involved in the incident, and Mills pitted after being sent to the rear of the field for contact by series officials. With that shake up, Jester was the beneficiary of second position.
Another slew of cautions occurred on lap 35, but once the green unfurled, it was for the final time as Van Horn drove to the victory.
Matt Jester, the Milford, Del., native, crossed the line in second on an up-and-down evening. In the first couple of laps, Jester was a hard charger, jumping into the top five after drawing ninth.
“I thought I was going to do something big after the beginning of the race,” Jester announced. “But then the big-blocks with their big motors came through the field. We got better at the end as the track dried out and we could roll the top, but Van Horn really had us beat.”
He dropped a couple of positions but eventually worked his way back to the runner-up spot. Jester went home with $3,150.
Craig Von Dohren finished third in the Dick Biever-owned No. 14s. The Oley, Pa. driver started in third, moved to the lead, and continued to move throughout the top five, but always was in the mix.
“We were okay,” Von Dohren said of the night. “We weren’t a third-place car, but we’ll take it.”
Scoring an under-the-radar fourth was Hurlock, Md.’s Shawn Ward, aboard the No. 7W. Ward started the feature event in fifth, got mixed up in some incidents that pushed him back a couple of spots, but he persevered to finish with his first STSS top-five.
Brad Trice of Parsonsburg, Md., rounded out the top five making three First State mainstays in the first five. Trice was another one who benefitted tremendously from the mid-race tangles. He cashed in on the opportunity, though, by running a consistent and solid race.
Finishing sixth through 10th, respectively, were: Mills, of Milford, Del., who battled for a sixth despite being sent to the rear on two separate occasions; Orefield, Pa.’s Brian Kressley struggled in the early portion of the race but was able to turn a 14th starting spot to a seventh-place finish; Beau Wilkins of Milford, Del., who battled for eighth after running the first half of the event in the top five before being involved in a lap 35 with Mills; Laurel, Del.’s Scott Van Gorder had his share of exciting moments as well including some contact under the caution with Ryan Godown, but fought for ninth from a 25th starting spot; Dave Dissinger of Mohrsville, Pa., managed a 10th thanks to a solid heat race which pushed him into one of the nine redraw positions.
Bi-Rite Auto Sales of Milford, Del., $50 STSS Modified heat winners were Watt, Van Horn and Jester. Watt also pocked another $100 cash as the quickest of the three heat winners courtesy of Vahlco Wheels. Milford, Del.’s Jordan Watson wired the consolation event with 28 big-block/small-block Modifieds pitside.
Brad Trice moonlighted in the Crate 602 Sportsman division and walked off with a $1,000 payday in a 25-lap event that ran green-to-checkered. Trice wired the field after starting from the pole position. Chasing Trice to the checkered by Carson Wright, Kevin Sockriter, Richie Wilson and Jordn Justice.
Billy Cropper won an eventful 12-lap Super Truck main event.
The next STSS South Region event – the championship round – takes place on Tuesday, Sept. 1 (rain date: Sept. 2) with the ‘Blast at the Beach’ to be held at Georgetown (Del.) Speedway. Modifieds race 35 laps for $5,000 to win and $500 to start. Crate 602 Sportsman, Delmarva Chargers and Super Trucks complete the program as the inaugural South Region champion will be decided.
To learn more about the Short Track Super Series or BD Motorsports Media LLC, visit www.shortttracksuperseries.com or www.bdmotorsportsmedia.com, call 845.728.2781 or e-mail [email protected]. “Like” Short Track Super Series on Facebook or follow @ShortTrackSS on Twitter.
DIAMOND STUDS: The ‘Diamond State 50’ returned for the first time since 2005 at Charlie Cathell’s Route 13 facility, drawing competitors from New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware and Maryland. A large crowd took in the event, which was postponed by 24 hours due to strong storms and rain on the originally scheduled Tuesday date….
David Van Horn Jr. holds a 23-point lead in the STSS South Region entering the finale at Georgetown which offers increased championship points. The top-eight in the standings are separated by just 58 points….
Despite a tangle that swept him out of second-place, Ryan Watt marched on for an 11th-place finish that earned him a remarkable $1,165 cash including lap money and bonuses….
Track conditions for the 50-lap main were wide and smooth, with plenty of passing throughout the field allowing a mix of engine combinations to be competitive….
A spectacular fireworks display sent the field off on the traditional STSS four-wide salute, drawing a buzz from the crowd….
Rick Laubach and Anthony Perrego continued their streak of perfect attendance in all STSS events, North and South, during the 2015 season….
The Short Track Super Series is presented by Hi-Tek Race Fuel, American Racer/Lias Tire, Bob Hilbert Sportswear, Pioneer Pole Buildings Inc., Scotty’s Speed & Diesel, East Coast Speed/ECS Auto, Behrent’s Performance Warehouse, Allstar Performance, ATL Fuel Cells, Bicknell Racing Products, COMP Performance Group (COMP Cams, Driven Racing Oil & Quarter Master), Crane Ignition, Dirt Track Digest, Fast Axle, Fox Racing Shocks, Henry’s Stainless Steel Exhaust, Hig Fab Chassis, Hyperco, Kirkey Racing Fabrication, Lineman Racing, Pilat Graphic Design, Race Pro Weekly, Racers Guide, S&D Bodyline, S&W Awards, Shiley Fabrication, Simplicity Design, Teo-Pro Car, Vahlco Wheels & VP Racing Fuel.
TAYLOR & MESSICK/HURLOCK AUTO & SPEED SUPPLY ‘DIAMOND STATE 50’ RACE SUMMARY – AUGUST 5, 2015
Short Track Super Series Fueled By Hi-Tek Modified Feature Finish (50 Laps): DAVID VAN HORN JR. ($5,215), Matt Jester, Craig Von Dohren, Shawn Ward, Brad Trice, Jamie Mills, Brian Kressley, Beau Wilkins, Scott Van Gorder, Dave Dissinger, Ryan Watt, Ron Roberts, Eric Vent, Anthony Perrego, Dale Hawkins, Rick Laubach, H.J. Bunting III, Bobby Watkins, Billy Pauch Jr., Ryan Godown, Matt Hawkins, Eric Kormann, Michael White, Neal Williams, Jordan Watson, Jimmy Horton.
Did Not Qualify: Norman Short, Dana Walker.
‘Lucky 7’ Lap Money Breakdown ($1,348 Total): Ryan Watt ($265); David Van Horn Jr. ($165); Craig Von Dohren ($160); Brad Trice ($140); Beau Wilkins ($125); Shawn Ward ($113); Matt Jester ($100); Jamie Mills ($100); Anthony Perrego ($80); Brian Kressley ($40); Rick Laubach ($40); Ryan Godown ($20).
Allstar Performance Bonuses ($50 Certificates): Craig Von Dohren (third) & Beau Wilkins (eighth)
American Racer/Lias Tire Bonuses (FREE Tire): Dave Dissinger (10th) & Anthony Perrego (14th)
ATL Fuel Cell Bonus ($100 Certificate): Brad Trice (fifth)
Behrent’s Performance Warehouse Bonuses ($50 Gift Cards): Shawn Ward (fourth) & Scott Van Gorder (ninth)
Bi-Rite Auto Sales Heat Winner Bonus ($50 Cash): Ryan Watt, David Van Horn Jr. & Matt Jester
Bob Hilbert Sportswear Bonuses ($100 Certificates): Craig Von Dohren (third), Eric Vent (13th) & Michael White (23rd)
DTM Motorsports Top Delaware International Speedway Regular ($250 Cash): Shawn Ward (fourth)
Fast Axle Bonus ($50 Certificate): Brian Kressley (seventh)
Fast Qualifier By Vahlco ($100 Cash): Ryan Watt (19.781 seconds)
Givens Produce Winner’s Watermelon: David Van Horn Jr. (first)
Hard Charger Presented By VP Racing Fuels (FREE Drum of Fuel): Scott Van Gorder (25th to ninth)
Lineman Racing Bonuses ($50 Certificates): Brian Kressley (seventh) & Billy Pauch Jr. (19th)
Shiley Fabrication Hard Luck Award (Bumpers & Rubrails): Jordan Watson (27th)
S&W Awards Winner’s Hardware (Custom Trophy): David Van Horn Jr. (first)
Vahlco Wheels Bonus (FREE Wheel): Brad Trice (fifth)
Crate 602 Sportsman Feature Finish (25 Laps): BRAD TRICE ($1,000), Carson Wright, Kevin Sockriter, Richie Wilson, Jordn Justice, Dwayne Crockett, Bryan Brasure, Devin Dodson, Scott Hitchens, Wesley Smith, Brandon Grosso, Brett Ballard, Brandon Watkins, Matt Stangle, Matt Smith, Dylan Betts, Brian Hitz, Jeff Marker, Freddy Massey.
Story By: Series PR
Photo Credit: Series Facebook Page