Story By: BOB MILLER / THUNDER ON THE HILL – BECHTELSVILLE, PA – Two races complete, four to go in the PA 358 Spec Modified Tri-Track Series of 2022.
Both Grandview and Big Diamond Speedway’s presented one event of the newly created PA 358 Modified Tri-Track Series with Craig Von Dohren taking the $5,225 win at Grandview on May 29 as Brett Kressley took the win at Big Diamond on Friday night, June 3. The next event will take place at Grandview Speedway on Tuesday night, June 14 when the NAPA Auto Parts Thunder on the Hill Racing Series presents the USAC National Non-Wing Sprints joined by the 358 Modifieds.
Currently, Tim Buckwalter of Douglassville, PA leads the PA Tri-Track Series point chase with 304 points over Louden Reimert boasting 251 points. Rounding out the top five are Brett Kressley (250), Jack Butler (247) and Craig Von Dohren (246). Also in the chase to PA Tri-Track Series Title of 2022 are Mike Lisowski (231), Jeff Strunk (231), Duane Howard (227), Billy Pauch Jr (224) and Nick Rochinski (218).
The Tuesday, June 14 Thunder on the Hill Tri-Track event will open with timed warm-ups to determine the heat race line-ups. GT Radiators Qualifying heats will pay $200 to win followed by a consolation and the 30 lap Modified feature paying $3,000 to the winner. Pioneer Pole Buildings posted a $2,000 bonus for any first time Thunder on the Hill feature winner making it a $5,000 payday for just 30 laps.
Some new and exciting talent is in chase of that bonus to include Louden Reimert, Jack Butler, Mike Lisowski, Nick Rochinski, Ryan Krachun and Eddie Strada just to name a few. And don’t count out the Tri-Track point Leader Tim Buckwalter who nearly won his first Thunder Show in 2021. He will have his eye on that $5,000 check for just 30 laps. On Tuesday night, June 14 at Grandview, the gates will open at 5 PM with race time set for 7:30 PM
The Tri-Track Series continues at Big Diamond on Friday night, July 1 with two stops still remaining at the BAPS Motor Speedway. One date to be announced and then the series will close out at BAPS Motor Speedway on Saturday, November 12. The PA Tri-Track Series champion will be crowned at this event and the point money will be distributed at that time as well.
The Series started after a trio of tracks united to form the Pennsylvania 358 Spec Modified Tri-Track Series, which includes Big Diamond Speedway, Grandview Speedway/Thunder on the Hill and BAPS Motor Speedway. “We’ve hosted Modified races at BAPS the last few years and have heard fans talking about that series,” said Kolten Gouse, General Manager of BAPS Motor Speedway. “That was a popular deal, and it got us thinking about doing something similar.”
Pennsylvania modified fans can’t help reminiscing about the former Tri-Track Sportsman Modified Tour that dominated the early 1990s. It featured Friday night stops at popular Big Diamond Speedway before shifting to weekend staples Grandview Speedway and Penn National Speedway for intense racing on Saturday and Sunday nights. The modified scene, as people knew it, was disappointed in 1996 when Penn National closed its gates forever. Since then, area modified drivers and fans have asked for a similar collaboration and the return of the Tri-Track Series.
This is a change to not only bring back what was a popular group of races in a smaller capacity to start, but also promote the spec 358 modifieds and to show a good alliance of local tracks working together.
Each event will pay a minimum of $3,000 to win and $300 to start the feature. There will be a minimum point fund for the top 10 drivers that run all six events that will feature $1500 to the series champion and $150 for the tenth driver that runs all events.
“We look forward to working with some of the local tracks in Pennsylvania” Big Diamond Speedway promoter Jake Smulley said. “This should help build up the PA 358 Spec Modified deal in the region and eliminate the need to travel far for special spec races.” “Hopefully, it will lead to bigger things down the road for the fans, racers and the racetracks”.
To be Eligible, driver would need to run all six Pennsylvania 358 Spec Modified Tri-Track Series events. The Point Fund is Based on all 6 events being completed, with the point fund being paid at the last race at BAPS Motor Speedway.