Column By: TOM WENNER / RPW – MINERSVILLE, PA – Mark Smith is taking a liking to the Big Diamond Speedway in 2022.
In July Smith won the United Racing Club 360 Sprint Car main event and now a month later scores a cool $5,000 410 Sprint Car feature event.
Smith swept the night, scoring a strong heat race win and then leading all of the laps in the 30 lap feature to steal the $5k purse from the 24 car field.
The veteran started on the pole and led all 30 laps, but it was not easy as Freddie Rahmer, Dylan Norris and Jeff Halligan all took shots at the leader during the race. Smith was scheduled to start 3rd in the race and. However, when Tyler Esh was unable to fire his #35 Sprint Car, officials motioned for Smith to move up from 3rd, and not slide Freddie Rahmer who was scheduled to start 2nd into the pole starting spot.
Mark Smith took advantage of that new found gift and drove away from the field.
Mark Smith and Freddie Rahmer led the 24 car field to the green flag. Tyler Esh took the green and pulled off with mechanical failure on the #35 410 Sprint Car.
Mark Smith took the lead from Rahmer at the start with Dylan Norris, Jeff Halligan, Cory Haas the early top 5.
On Lap 4 the caution lights were flashing for Timmy Buckwalter who spun in turn 4. Buckwalter re-fired the Lotier 7 and rejoined the field. Smith remained the leader with Rahmer, Norris, Halligan and Haas the top 5.
The field was restacked and another attempt at green failed as Travis Scott spun his sprint car in turns 1 & 2.
We go back to racing on lap 5 with Mark Smith powering into the lead, Rahmer, Norris, Halligan, and Kyle Moody now make up the top 5.
As the field approaches lap 8, there is a 3 way battle for the field waging up front. Smith out front, but Fast Freddie Rahmer and Dylan Norris are now attacking the leader. Dylan Norris gets into the front stretch wall and spins.
The caution lights are displayed and the Norris #44 needs a tow as the front end suffered damaged from the contact. The Dylan Norris #44 is retired from the event.
Mark Smith remains the leader as Rahmer, Halligan, Moody, Haas, and Ryan Smith are the top 5.
The field goes back to green and the racing is outstanding Halligan sweeps past Rahmer for 2nd. Smith continues his dominance at the front.
At the 10 down mark of the race Mark Smith is the man at the front of pack, Halligan is 2nd, Rahmer 3rd, Moody 4th, Tyler Ross has the #75 in 5th now.
As the field registers lap 12, Smith is now into lap traffic and the race is about to get more interesting.
At the crossed flags point of the race Smith remains the leader but #45 of Jeff Halligan is running down the race leader. Rahmer, Moody, and Ross remain the top 5.
On lap 17 Devin Adams takes the #99 into the infield.
On lap 20 Jeff Halligan makes his attempt at the race lead and clips the wall. The slide job did not work and Mark Smith speeds away with the lead while Halligan recovers and regroups in 2nd. Rahmer, Moody, Ross, Devin Border from 15th Is 6th, and Ryan Smith is 7th.
At the 5 to go mark of the race Mark Smith is now out and controlling the race with Halligan, Rahmer, Moody, Ross and Borden the Top 5.
Mark Smith goes uncontested over the final laps to score the Big Diamond Speedway 410 Sprint Car $5000 main event win. Jeff Halligan finished 2nd followed by Freddie Rahmer, Tyler Ross, Kyle Moody, Devon Borden, Ryan Smith, Billy Dietrich, Cory Haas, and Austin Bishop.
Mark Smith commented in victory lane that the 410 power plant was provided by Selinsgrove Ford and it surely had the ponies to handle the Big Diamond clay on Friday night. Smith thanked CRC Lubricants, Rich Mar Florist, Mach One Chassis, Wilwood Brakes, CSI Shocks, NGK Spark Plugs, and Century 21 Mertz and Associates.
Smith applauded the Big Diamond Speedway on how great the racing surface was on Friday night. Jake Smulley and the track crew laid down water on the top of the track before the 410 Sprint Car main and it created a wide fast race track. Mark Smith mentioned in victory lane that Jake should pay whoever is doing the track a-little more money, They did a really good job and the race fans were treated to an outstanding 410 Sprint Car main event.