2013 TrackChaser Report #21--Little Diamond, PA
After a year of waiting and three false starts, the Little Diamond (Big Diamond Inner Oval) Speedway finally opened last Thursday. Their plan for the track went from racing Saturdays, to racing Sundays, to racing Thursdays before they even held a race. But the fourth time was the charm.
I left right from work in Bethlehem and headed to Diamond. Pam had a banquet in Bloomsburg, related to some presentation she was doing there on Friday morning, and couldn't make it this week. I arrived before the gates opened and the first person I saw was TrackChaser group member Dwight Bucks, who would be making Little Diamond his first new track of 2013. After a 15 minute nap in the car, I headed inside. Admission was $8.
The Little Diamond track is different than most inner ovals in that it is perpendicular to the outer oval, not parallel. In other words, the turns are right on the middle of the big track on both the frontstretch and the backstretch. Actually, the track is almost circular and larger than I was expecting.
There were three divisions scheduled. The 125cc Micro Sprints, the 270cc Micro Sprints, and the Slingshots. There were ten 270 Micros, but only one of the 125's. The Slingshot race was a tour race for the group, yet still drew only a dozen cars.
The field of TrackChasers in the stands rivaled anything in the pits. There were ten from the group on hand. The ten included Guy Smith (1492 tracks), Gordy Killian (1331 tracks), Mike Knappenberger (942 tracks), Paul Weisel (885 tracks), Bruce Eckel (667 tracks), Bing Metz (529 tracks), Dwight Bucks (342 tracks), Edward Corrado (250 tracks), Russ Currie (203 tracks), and Will White (786 tracks). Pat Eckel joined Pam in having to work and miss the opener. The only other group member I was expecting was Chris Tyrrel, but I didn't see him. Also with Mike and Gordy was Jeff Sands, who I believe is somewhere between 100 and 150 tracks, I believe. Jeff actually had the best weekend of any of the US TrackChasers heard from so far, as he added four PA tracks in four days.
Gordy was celebrating his official retirement from work day with a new track tonight, and a four day trip with Mike on the weekend. Congrats again to the former breadman.
The show was planned for a 7:00 start and they vowed to do their best to run it in two hours. With the low car count, that should not be a problem. They started only about five minutes behind schedule, ran two non-stop heats for the Micros and two more non-stop heats for the Slingshots. The track was in good shape with no dust, but with its circular shape and somewhat tacky surface there was not much passing as just about everyone was hooked up. The four heats took just 20 minutes.
When they said they were going to push the show along, they weren't kidding. They announced that it would only be 15 minutes before they would start the Micro Sprint feature. I walked down to the pit refreshment stand (the main one was not open) and bought some fresh cut fries and a Diet Coke for me and Killian. By the time I got back, the Micros were already on the track for their feature.
The Micro feature went non-stop too. The final race was the Slingshot tour event. One more race without a caution, and the entire night would be caution free. It almost happened, but some douche spun off the track, sat there for two laps, then drove back to the edge of the track to force a yellow. Did he think he was going to be able to make up those two laps he was down in the last five?
The last race ended at 8:00. Incredibly, the entire show was over in an hour. The next race at Little Diamond is this coming Thursday. I hope to return again with Pam, Bruce hopes to return with Pat, and Dwight said he would probably be there again this Thursday as well. I have the track on my schedule again in July when Roland is planning on being there. With three visits, Little Diamond will likely be my "home" track for 2013.
After all the false starts, what needed to happen at Little Diamond was that they run a complete program as scheduled. They did that. Now they just have to stay the course and dig themselves out of the hole they put themselves in last year with all the false starts and late cancellations. Unfortunately, they already overreacted to having just one 125cc Micro on hand, and removed them from every show scheduled the rest of the year. The track also had an enduro on the big track Saturday afternoon. When the car count was only 19, they again pulled the trigger and canceled all four remaining enduros scheduled for 2013.
Guy & Pam Smith 2013 Summary
2013 New Tracks--Guy 15 / Pam 6
2013 Events-- Guy 21 / Pam 7
2013 Total Tracks-- Guy 21 / Pam 7
2013 Additional Non TC Tracks--Guy 1 / Pam NA
Lifetime Total Tracks--Guy 1,492 / Pam 843
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