The ‘Diamond State 50’ at Delaware International Has Produced A ‘Who’s-Who’ of Past Winners

DELMAR, DE – One of the most prestigious events contested in the state of Delaware, the annual ‘Diamond State 50’ boasts a virtual ‘who’s-who’ of past winners.

On Tuesday night, April 30, the tradition continues at Delaware International Speedway, when Hurlock Auto & Speed presents the ‘Diamond State 50’ for the Bob Hilbert Sportswear Short Track Super Series (STSS) Fueled By Sunoco Velocita-USA South Region presented by Design for Vision and Sunglass Central.

The ‘Diamond State 50’ will mark the first Modified event of the 2019 season at Delaware International and brings along great anticipation. STSS big-block/small-block Mods battle for 50 laps with more than $25,000 on the line: $5,000-plus to win, $1,000 for 10th and $400 to take the green.

Also on the card: STSS Crate 602 Sportsman ($1,500 to win), Southern Delaware Vintage Stock Cars and Delaware Super Trucks.

The first ‘Diamond State 50’ was contested in 1999 as a Modified vs. Late Model Challenge. Legendary Gary Stuhler etched his name as the inaugural winner. The same format continued for ’00 and ’01 with Kenny Brightbill and Jimmy Horton taking the victories.

Modifieds and Super Late Models split for the ’02 edition and again it was Horton with the Modified triumph and David Hill the Super Late Model winner.

After weather took the ’03 edition, Ricky Elliott topped the ’04 Modified portion and Kenny Pettyjohn was the Super Late Model victor.  New York State invader Danny Johnson bested the Modified field in ’05 and David Hill again was the Super Late Model victor.

After an absence of 10 years, Delaware International promoter Charlie Cathell and Short Track Super Series organizer Brett Deyo agreed to bring the event back in 2015 under the STSS sanction.

David Van Horn Jr. broke through in the return of the ‘Diamond State 50’ in ’15 and first-ever Short Track Super Series race at the speedway. Stewart Friesen invaded and won the ’16 event. A year later, Friesen was again in contention for the win, but Ryan Watt swept past on the outside to steal the checkered. Matt Sheppard emerged from a side-by-side battle with Watt to earn the ’18 triumph.

Who will it be on the 30th? 50 laps will decide it.

Complete race information has been posted on the STSS website:

For the ‘Diamond State 50’ all gates open at 4 p.m. A drivers’ meeting is planned for 6 p.m. Hot laps hit the track at 6:30 p.m., with racing at 7:15 p.m.

Adult grandstand admission is $25. Students (ages 7-13) pay $5. Kids 6 and under are FREE.

Pit admission is $35 (no license required). Students (ages 7-13) pay $10 for pit admittance and Kids 6 and under are FREE.

In the event of inclement weather, a rain date of May 1 is in place for this event.

To learn more about the 2019 Short Track Super Series Fueled By Sunoco, visit, e-mail, check out ‘Short Track Super Series’ on Facebook or @ShortTrackSS on Twitter or Instagram.

Delaware International Speedway is located at 37854 Sussex Highway in Delmar, Delaware 19940. The speedway office phone is 302.846.3911 and the website is

The Short Track Super Series is presented by American Racer/Lias Tire, Sunoco Race Fuel, Insinger Performance, Bob Hilbert Sportswear, Halmar International, Velocita-USA, Design for Vision/Sunglass Central, Rob Sherlock Roofing, ATL Racing Fuel Cells, Behrent’s Performance Warehouse, Beyea Custom Headers, Bicknell Racing Products, Dirt Track Digest, EIBACH Springs, Fast Axle, Fox Racing Shocks, Henry’s Exhaust, Hig Fab, HyperCo, Kirkey Racing Fabrication, Land Hoe Maintenance, K&N, MJK Home Maintenance, Precision Hydraulic & Oil, QA1, Racing Optics, Superior Remodeling, Teo-Pro Car, VAHLCO, Velocita, WELD Racing & Wilwood.

Past ‘Diamond State 50’ Winners

Matt Sheppard (STSS Modified)
Ryan Watt (STSS Modified)
Stewart Friesen (STSS Modified)
David Van Horn Jr. (STSS Modified)
Danny Johnson (Modified) & David Hill (Late Model)
2004: Ricky Elliott (Modified) & Kenny Pettyjohn (Late Model)
2003: Weather
2002: Jimmy Horton (Modified) & David Hill (Late Model)
2001: Jimmy Horton (Modified vs. Late Model)
2000: Kenny Brightbill (Modified vs. Late Model)
1999: Gary Stuhler (Modified vs. Late Model)