Another Chapter Of Short Track Super Series’ Diamond State 50 History To Be Written April 27th

Story By: CHRIS MOORE / SHORT TRACK SUPER SERIES – DELMAR, DE – The Cathell family’s Delaware International Speedway has hosted numerous high-profile events over the years.

Since 2015, the Bob Hilbert Sportswear Short Track Super Series (STSS) Fueled By Sunoco has brought the ‘Diamond State 50’ back to the forefront of the racing schedule at the half-mile clay oval located on the First State side of the Delaware-Maryland border.

The ‘Diamond State 50’ began in 1999 as a Modified vs. Super Late Model event and was won by Gary Stuhler. Kenny Brightbill and Jimmy Horton won the next two editions as combined Modified and Super Late Model events in ’00 and ‘01, respectively.

The format changed in ‘02 and the Modifieds and Super Late Models ran two separate feature events. Winners included Horton (Modified) and David Hill (Super Late Model) in ’02, Mother Nature in ’03, Ricky Elliott (Modified) and Kenny Pettyjohn (Super Late Model) in ’04 and Danny Johnson (Modified) and Hill (Super Late Model) in ’05.

After the ‘05 edition, the ‘Diamond State’ 50 laid dormant for 10 years.

In 2015, the STSS came to DIS during its inaugural South Region season and brought back the ‘Diamond State 50’ moniker to Delmarva racing. New Jersey’s David Van Horn Jr. won the first STSS edition of the ‘Diamond State 50’ which was also his first career STSS win.

The all-time winningest STSS driver Stewart Friesen won the following year in ‘16, holding off a hard charging Duane Howard to grab the checkered flag. The following year, Boyertown, Pa.’s Ryan Watt won by driving around Friesen on a late-race restart.

Savannah, N.Y.’s Matt Sheppard went back-to-back in ‘18 and ‘19. The ‘18 triumph was Sheppard’s first career DIS victory and came by 13 seconds over second-place-finishing Watt.

During the most recent edition last August, Friesen outgunned Sheppard in a battle of Modified titans to win his second ‘Diamond State 50’ event. Friesen and Sheppard thrilled the fans by running side-by-side, lap-after-lap on the tacky Delaware clay.

Another chapter in the ‘Diamond State 50’ history will be written on Tuesday, April 27 (rain date: April 28) when Hurlock Auto & Speed of Hurlock, Md., present the ’21 event with STSS Modifieds taking part in Race No. 4 of the Velocita-USA South Region presented by Design for Vision and Sunglass Central. A $25,000-plus purse has been posted including $5,000 to win, $1,000 for 10th and $400 to start.

Joining the STSS Modifieds on the card: STSS Crate 602 Sportsman Belmont’s Garage South Region Event No. 3 (25 laps, $1,500 to win), Southern Delaware Vintage Stock Cars and Delaware Super Trucks.

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