This weekend’s running of the 5th annual Diamond Cup presented by Champion Produce added more fuel to the ever-growing fire that has existed in this year’s Pro Truck Series battle of youth vs. experience.
After 175 laps in two nights of racing that included three separate main events, defending Pro Truck champion John Newhouse stood victoriously in front of his fans clutching not one, but two trophies after winning Saturday nights Hoosier Tires West 75 to become the 2017 Pro Truck Series Diamond Cup Champion.
The 602’s fired up on Friday night as Agri-Service presented the Century Motorsports and Marine Motor Freedom 50. Rolling off on the inside of the front row, Drew Reitsma came off with the kind of speed you would expect to see from a vigilante acting in evasion.
With Reitsma on point, the race for second got hot as Jayden Park and Jason Quale went to work on running down the Newhouse duo. Much to the dismay of the no. 73 team, a late race caution flew on lap 40 when Jayden Park and Jason Quale got together on the backstretch in a pure racing incident that would ultimately change the fate of the race for Drew Reitsma in an unexpected way.
The heartbreak for Reitsma began when the no. 4 of Jerry Rice got into the back of the Rodney Park to bring out the yellow with 5 to go. As the field fell in line with the pace-car, Reitsma’s no. 73 unexpectedly lost power on the backstretch, allowing 2nd place runner John Newhouse to inherit the lead, ultimately Newhouse would hold onto to capture his 2nd win of the season. Mason Newhouse, Jerry Rice, Jayden Park, and Casey Pehrson rounded out the top five in race 1 of the night.
After the sun gave way to the darkness, the lights of the MVS came on and the Pro Trucks rolled back out for round 2 of the night as the Sleep Solutions Good Night’s Sleep 50. Twenty laps into the second race of the night, the Newhouse team once again found themselves in the front and engaged in a door to door battle that lasted the entirety of the race. In the end, point’s leader Mason Newhouse was able to edge off his father’s no. 26 by just three/tenths of a second in a crowd-pleasing photo finish at the line.
Night 2 of the Diamond Cup weekend presented by Champion Produce was highlighted with the Pro Truck Series running of the Hoosier Tires West 75.
Despite having his fair share of troubles on night 1 of the Diamond Cup, Rodney Park came out strong in the early stages of the 75-lapper by leading the first 20 laps before being passed by his son and teammate Jayden Park in the no. 24 truck. Unfortunately for J-Rod, the veteran experience acquired over the years by John Newhouse prevailed over the rookie driver out of Salt Lake City, as the no. 26 took to the top spot after a mid-race restart sparked a spirited and clean battle that lasted the better part of 7 laps. Newhouse seemingly put it on cruise control from that point on, and was able to capture his second win of the weekend, and third of the year.
Jayden Park held on to finish with an impressive second place spot, former champion Scott Luttmer, who made his first appearance of the 2017 season came home 3rd, while points leader Mason Newhouse stayed consistent with a 4th place showing, and finally rounding out the top five was Drew Reitsma in the Reitsma Holsteins no. 73.
More importantly for Newhouse was the fact that he earned the honors of being named as the one and only 2017 Diamond Cup Champion, after splitting the honor with former three time champion Johnny Pierre in the 4th annual running of the Diamond Cup from last year in Meridian.
The Pro Truck Series is a regional touring series competing In Idaho and Utah. You can catch them in action at Meridian Speedway, Magic Valley Speedway, Pocatello Raceway, and Rocky Mountain Raceway. The trucks are full fiberglass bodied race vehicles with a spec motor, transmission, rear-end, and suspension. You can catch the Pro Trucks back in action on Saturday July 1, for their second race of the year at Meridian Speedway.