Another Chapter of Storied ‘Diamond State 50’ History Will Be Written April 27

Written by Chris Moore

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.

A complete information sheet for the 2021 ‘Diamond State 50’ is available on the STSS website:

The event will be broadcast live on FloRacing ( as part of the annual subscription.

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

The Short Track Super Series is presented by American Racer/Lias Tire, Sunoco Race Fuel, Insinger Performance, Bob Hilbert Sportswear, Hurlock Auto & Speed, Velocita-USA, Design for Vision/Sunglass Central, 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, K&N, Precision Hydraulic & Oil, Belmont’s Garage, QA1, Racing Optics, Superior Remodeling, Teo-Pro Car, VAHLCO, WELD Racing & Wilwood.

Past ‘Diamond State 50’ Winners

2020: Stewart Friesen (STSS Modified)

2019: Matt Sheppard (STSS Modified)

2018: Matt Sheppard (STSS Modified)

2017: Ryan Watt (STSS Modified)

2016: Stewart Friesen (STSS Modified)

2015: David Van Horn Jr. (STSS Modified)

2005: 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)