CRAIG VONDOHREN WINS 6TH IN DELAWARE BIG BLOCK FALL CHAMPIONSHIPS

By Charlie Brown, Delmar, DE – Beautiful autumn weather provided the backdrop for the $60,000 2017 Delaware Dirt Track Championships at the Delaware International Speedway. The two night event provided some great racing action. A total of 170 teams took part in the 2017 finale.

Craig VonDohren of Oley, Pa. made a statement in the trilling 50-lap Big Block Modified Fall Championship. VonDohren had won five previous Fall Championships coming into the event and was looking to be the first repeat winner in the sixth event of the 2017 Full Throttle Series.

Qualifying took place on Friday night with heat wins going to VonDohren, Matt Jester, Ryan Watt and Brandon Watkins. Two consolations on Saturday night were captured by Scott VanGorder and Dale Hawkins.

VonDohren drew the pole in the inversion draw and would lead all 50 laps but the race was far from a cake walk for the popular driver. JoJo Watson brought out the first yellow before a lap was in forcing him to restart in the rear. It would be the first of a flock of 13 yellows throughout the race but there were no serious incidents.

Ryan Watt and Jordan Watson dogged the VonDohren from the high groove for the first 19 circuits. By lap 20, JoJo Watson had moved from the rear of the field to third settling in behind Watt. Eighteen laps of caution free racing found Watt trying to use lapped traffic to grab the lead. The plan didn’t work out for Watt as something broke in the rear of the car with ten to go sending him high on two wheel before slamming back down on all fours in turn three.

Disaster almost struck on the restart when JoJo and VonDohren made contact coming off turn four. H.J. Bunting made his presence know on the restart getting by Jordan Watson for third while Michael White and Richie Pratt, Jr. battle for a top five spot.

The final yellow would fly with four laps to go as Eric Vent came to a stop. VonDohren made a clean getaway on the restart with Watson still trying everything he could to get by on the top. VonDorhen held solid for the final four laps to post his sixth Fall Championship Big Block win and became the only two time winner this season in the six Full Throttle Series event. The win with bonuses was worth $7225. JoJo Watson had to settle for second after an amazing drive with Bunting taking third. Fourth went to Jordan Watson and Pratt, Jr. won the battle for fifth.

“I was a tough deal,” said VonDohren in Victory Lane. “This place is unbelievable. It was fast on the bottom and fast on the top and different guys were coming. There was only one way for me to go and that was backwards and I sure as hell didn’t want to do that.”

50-Lap Big Block Modified Finish: 1. Craig VonDohren; 2. JoJo Watson; 3. H.J. Bunting; 4. Jordan Watson; 5. Richie Pratt, Jr.; 6. Michael White; 7. Jamie Mills; 8. Neal Williams; 9. Jared Umbenhauer; 10. Robert Dutton; 11. Dale Hawkins; 12. Eric Vent; 13. Jim Britt; 14. Ryan Watt; 15. Brandon Watkins; 16. Kyle Fuller; 17. Carson Wright; 18. Scott Hitchens; 19. Daniel Johnson, Jr.; 20. Scott VanGorder; 21. Matt Jester; 22. Westley Smith; 23. Wayne Weaver; 24. Kevin Scott, Jr.; DNQ: Brad Trice; Greg Humlhanz; Clay Tatman; Scott Hulmes; Howard O’Neal; Brian Hitz; Dave Schamp; T.J. Williams; Charlie Moore.