BECHTELSVILLE, PA Defending NASCAR Whelen 358 Modified champion Duane Howard showed that he is very serious about winning a second straight title at Grandview Speedway as he won the 30-lap Bechtelsville Car Wash NASCAR 358 Modified feature race on Saturday night giving him three wins out of four features run so far this season. In the 20-lap feature for the Late Models Ron Kline was able to earn his first feature win of the 2011 season.
The 358 Modified feature was a thriller with Howard, who had started 16th, having to battle young Jon Kellner Jr. for the top spot in the final laps and finally get the lead on the 29th circuit of the one-third-mile, banked clay oval.
In victory lane Kellner was showing off the right rear tire that was almost burned off the rim. “I gave the car everything it had,” said Howard. “Every competitor here at Grandview is on top of his game.” The Oley racer had high praise for Kellner’s effort to hold on to the top spot.
Kellner game to victory lane to congratulate the winner. “I did everything I could to keep him (Howard) from winning,” said the Lansdale youngster.
Cliff Quinn jumped in front of the 30-car starting field at the drop of the green with Jeremy Banos on his rear. Ryan Godown ended his night against the first turn wall on the ninth lap and during the caution Brad Missimer, a top five runner at the time, headed to the pits.
On the restart a three car tangle brought out another caution.
At 10 laps Quinn went high in turn three and Banos was able to take charge but his lead was short lived with Jon Kellner Jr. charging to the front on the 12th circuit.
With half the race in the records Kellner Jr. was in front with young newcomer Jimmy Horton IV, his dad a dirt track racing legend, in second followed by Kyle Weiss and Duane Howard now making his move toward the front.
At the 22 lap marker Kellner Jr. was on top, Horton IV was second and Howard had gained third spot.
A short time later Howard charged by Horton to grab second and put pressure on first place Kellner Jr.
On the 29th circuit Howard was able to grab the number one in the fourth turn and then lead the field to victory picking up $2,500 for the BPG Racing team. Second spot went to Kellner Jr. (Lansdale) followed by Jimmy Horton IV (Neshanic Station, NJ), Craig VonDohren (Boyertown) who came from 20th starting spot and Kyle Weiss (Hamburg) getting his best finish of the season.
A multi-car accident on the first lap brought out a red flag in the Late Model feature with Ron Kline in front of the field. There were no injuries and on the restart Kline was again able to take command with Chuck Schutz giving the leader plenty of pressure.
At seven laps a multi car accident eliminated Randy Stoudt as he was charging to the front along with Kory Fleming and Randall Paxton.
With half the race completed Ron Kline dominated with Schutz challenging and that is the way it stayed right to the checkered flag. Kline (Salford) got credit for leading all the laps with his Harleysville Mattress/V&M Towing No. 3 to get his first win of the second. Schutz (Pottstown0 was second followed by Danny Snyder (Green Lane), Rick Todorow (Quakertown) and Mike Kellner (Lansdale).
“The car was fast,” said Kline, a former champion. “We have been fast all season but have had a lot of dumb things go wrong. It all came together tonight.”
Qualifying heat wins for the Late Models, each eight laps, went to Randy Stoudt and Ron Kline. In the NASCAR 358 Modifieds the qualifying heat races, each 12 laps, were won by Jeremy Banos, Cliff Quinn, newcomer Jack Swain and Jimmy Horton IV while the Modified consolation races, each 10 laps, had Kenny Gilmore and Mike Gular as the winners. The Bechtelsville Car Wash 5-lap Cash Dash for Modified heat winners was won by Jack Swain. 48 Modifieds were on hand trying for spots in the feature race.
The Cargo Trailer Sales gift certificates went to 10th place feature finishers Dirk Rimrott in the Late Models and Jeff Strunk in the Modifieds.
The Dan’s Deli Halfway Leader awards in each feature were presented to Ron Kline in the Late Models and Jon Kellner Jr. in the Modifieds.
The Salvage Transport Late Model Hard Charger award was earned by David Ogin gaining nine positions, starting 17th and finishing 8th while Cornerstone Auto Sales/Sponsors of Bobby Gunther Walsh Modified Hard Charger Award went to Craig VonDohren who started 20th and finished 4th gaining 16 positions.
The Christman Meat Market Free Pit Pass Award, worth $30.00 went to Late Model racer Lou Egrie Jr.
Coming up on Wednesday, May 25th, at 7:30 p.m. the Keystone Cup 410 Sprint cars along with the 358 Modifieds. Adult admission is $20. Then on Saturday, May 28th, 7:30 p.m. the NASCAR 358 Modifieds are in action along with the Late Models. First 300 adult fans through the main gate will receive a free ticket to the June 11th ARCA/NASCAR activities at Pocono Raceway.
Grandview Speedway, a NASCAR sanctioned one-third-mile, banked clay track, is located at 43 Passmore Road, Bechtelsville, PA, just off Route 100, 10 miles north of Pottstown. For race information telephone 610.754.7688 or check in at www.grandviewspeedway.com
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