DELMAR, DE – A Delaware dirt-track highlight will return next summer.
The ‘Diamond State 50’ – a marquee event anticipated by fans and coveted by competitors from Delaware and beyond for several years – is set for a comeback after a 10-year absence during the 2015 season at Delaware International Speedway. Tuesday, Aug. 4 (rain date: Aug. 5) will kick off a new era of ‘Diamond State 50’ memories at Charlie Cathell’s half-mile oval.
Modifieds, big- and small-blocks, will headline the special event in a 50-lap main event paying a minimum of $5,000 to the winner, $1,000 for 10th-place and $400 to take the green flag from a $25,000-plus total purse. The support-division lineup will be announced as the event grows near.
The ‘Diamond State 50’ will be a co-promotion involving Cathell and Brett Deyo of BD Motorsports Media LLC.
The ‘Diamond State 50’ was run at Delaware International continuously for seven years starting in 1999. The most recent edition was contested in 2005. During the event’s first three years, Modifieds and Late Models competed together, against each other, in the main event. Beginning in 2002, the two divisions ran separate 50-lap features.
Cathell, the owner and promoter of the Delaware dirt track and adjoining drag strip, felt the timing was right for the return of the historic event.
“When Rick Laubach won our Championship show in October, he said in Victory Lane that he wished we would bring back the ‘Diamond State 50’ because he loves racing here,” Cathell said. “It got me thinking about trying to run a show like that again.”
Cathell’s interest was piqued when he read about the development of a South Region in the Short Track Super Series in the pages of Area Auto Racing News. The Short Track Super Series made its debut last season with a six-race series in New York and Pennsylvania. Andy Bachetti of Sheffield, Mass., won the inaugural championship, worth $10,014.
The Short Track Super Series Fueled By Hi-Tek South Region is in the works for the ’15 campaign with stops in southeastern Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware. The series kicks off on Sunday, April 19 at N.J.’s Bridgeport Speedway with the ‘South Jersey Shootout’ special. The South Region will offer a minimum of $5,000 to its champion.
“We’re looking at doing some different things this year,” noted Cathell, adding that his son, Mark, and grandson, Chad, are working to integrate some fresh ideas into the track’s ’15 lineup.
Cathell knows the ‘Diamond State 50’ moniker will conjure up fond memories with the Delaware racing community.
“That race used to bring a good field of cars down,” Cathell said. “We had cars from New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania - it was a big event for us.”
The rules for the ‘Diamond State 50’ will be structured with varying weight categories for different engine combinations ranging from the Pennsylvania/DIRTcar small-blocks to the powerful “Delaware-style” big-blocks.
Marketing opportunities for the ‘Diamond State 50’ are available now by contacting Deyo at 845.728.2781 or via e-mail: [email protected]
Deyo said he is thankful for the opportunity to present an event at Delaware International, a well-kept, respected facility.
“Charlie has 50 years of experience in managing a race track and promotion,” he said. “He is a top-notch promoter and his facility is first-class. I’m looking forward to being a part of this event and am optimistic we can work together on a huge event for the Delaware racing community.”
The Delaware Motorsports Complex, located on the First State side of the Delaware/Maryland border, includes Delaware International Speedway, the U.S. 13 Dragway and the U.S. 13 Kart Track. The Cathell family has operated the facility since 1963.
The ‘Diamond State 50’ will mark Deyo’s second promotion in the state of Delaware. Last season, together with driver Eric Kormann, he co-promoted the ‘Beach Blast’ at Del.’s Georgetown Speedway. The event attracted some 48 Modifieds and a capacity crowd with New York teenager Tyler Dippel earning the victory. The ‘Beach Blast 2’ has already been scheduled for Tuesday, Sept. 1 (rain date: Sept. 2).
The ‘Diamond State 50’ is the second of two midweek Modified events on the track’s ’15 calendar. The annual Camp Barnes Benefit Stock Car Race is slated for Tuesday, June 23. This event is run to benefit the Camp Barnes, not-for-profit youth summer camp run by the Delaware State Police in Ocean View, Del.
Past ‘Diamond State 50’ Winners
2005: Danny Johnson (Modified) & David Hill (Late Model)
2004: Ricky Elliott (Modified) & Kenny Pettyjohn (Late Model)
2002: Jimmy Horton (Modified) & David Hill (Late Model)
2001: Jimmy Horton (Modified vs. Late Model)
2000: Kenny Brightbill (Modified vs. Late Model)
1999: Gary Stuhler (Modified vs. Late Model)
-BD Motorsports Media Press Release. Photo Credit: