Shine Like a Diamond: Delaware International Hosts ‘Diamond State 50’ Tuesday, April 26

Written by Chris Moore

DELMAR, DE – Next week’s Hurlock Auto & Speed Supply ‘Diamond State 50’ at Delaware International Speedway will be the 14th of its kind and the eighth under Bob Hilbert Sportswear Short Track Super Series (STSS) Fueled By Sunoco sanctioning.

The yearly event returns to the half-mile clay oval on the First State side of the Delaware-Maryland border as the STSS Modifieds race for 50 laps and a $5,000-plus top prize on Tuesday, April 26.

The ‘Diamond State 50’ has evolved since its inception in 1999 when Gary Stuhler won the inaugural Modified vs. Late Model event. The event changed in 2002, splitting the Modifieds and Late Models into two separate races.

Running the Modifieds and Late Models separate lasted from 2002 until 2005, when Delaware International Speedway nixed the annual event, until partnering with the Short Track Super Series to bring the ‘Diamond State 50’ back in 2015.

The Cathell family’s half-mile has hosted the ‘Diamond State 50’ under STSS sanctioning every year since the 2015 edition when Milford, N.J.’s David Van Horn Jr. won his first and only STSS race.

Sprakers, N.Y.’s Stewart Friesen won the second STSS ‘Diamond State 50’ back in 2016 and has won each of the last two editions in 2020 and 2021.

Fellow Empire State star Matt Sheppard preceded Friesen’s back-to-back wins with a pair of victories of his own in 2018 and 2019.

Boyertown, Pa.’s Ryan Watt is the only other driver to win the ‘Diamond State 50’ under STSS sanctioning, claiming the 2017 edition on his way to the South Region championship.

Now the STSS big-block/small-block Modifieds return on April 26 in Round No. 2 of the Hurlock Auto & Speed Supply South Region championship. A total purse of over $26,000 is up for grabs in the 50-lap affair that pays $1,000 for 10th and $500 to take the green.

Ringoes, N.J.’s Ryan Godown leads the South Region points heading to Delaware International Speedway after besting Boyertown, Pa.’s Mike Gular with a last-lap pass to win the ‘Speed Showcase’ at Pa.’s Port Royal Speedway.

Joining the STSS Modifieds will be the STSS Crate 602 Sportsman going for 25 laps in pursuit of a $1,500 top prize. The race will be the third attempt at Round No. 1 of the Belmont’s Garage South Region, after the previous two attempts fell by the wayside due to rain at Georgetown (Del.) Speedway and Selinsgrove (Pa.) Speedway.

Wednesday, April 27 is reserved as a rain date.

For the April 26 event, pit gates open at 3 p.m. with grandstand gates to follow at 5 p.m. Hot laps are scheduled for a 6:30 p.m. start with racing set to take place at 7:15 p.m.

Grandstand admission is $25 for Adults. $20 for Seniors (ages 65 & up) and Students (ages 13-17). Kids (ages 9-12) get in for $10 and Children ages 5 & under get in FREE.

Pit admission is $40 (ages 13 & up). Kids (ages 6-12) get in for $10 and $2 for Children (ages 5 & under).

The entire night of racing, along with every STSS race in 2022, will be broadcast LIVE on FloRacing (  

Delaware International Speedway is located at 37854 Sussex Hwy in Delmar, Del. 19940 and can be reached by phone at 302.846.3911 (office) or 302.846.3968 (race night). The speedway website is

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, FloSports, Bob Hilbert Sportswear, Halmar International, River Valley Builders, Hurlock Auto & Speed, Velocita-USA, St. Lawrence Radiology, Design for Vision & Sunglass Central, Belmont’s Garage, Precision Hydraulic & Oil, Prime MAC Tools, F.X. Caprara Car Companies, Behrent’s Performance Warehouse, Beyea Custom Headers, Bicknell Racing Products, Dirt Track Digest, EIBACH, Elite Welder Testing & Training, Flach Performance Products, Henry’s Exhaust, Hig Fab, Penske Racing Shocks, Schultz Racing Fuel Cells, Spyder Filters, Superior Remodeling, Teo-Pro Car, VAHLCO, Wegner Automotive & Wilwood.

Past ‘Diamond State 50’ Winners

2021: Stewart Friesen (STSS Modified)

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)