BECHTELSVILLE, PA Talk about changing your luck. Mike Gular had nothing but bad luck on Friday when his hauler broke down on the way to the races, his finger was seriously injured when a crew member hit it with a hammer and he finished last in the feature race. Then on Saturday night at Grandview Speedway Gular saw his luck change for the better, much better, as he drove the Eastern Rigging No. 53 to victory in the 30-lap NASCAR Whelen 358 Modified feature race holding off the bold challenges from point leader and defending champion Duane Howard.
Chuck Schutz of Pottstown was able to drive to his second Late Model feature win of the season despite having to drive the last eight laps without power steering in the BPG Racing No. 1.
Dan Waisempacher, a relative newcomer to Grandview, put his “Confederate Special” out front at the drop of the green for the 30-lap 358 Modified feature race and had Brad Missimer right on his rear bumper for several laps. On the 9th lap Waisempacher went wide in the fourth turn giving second place Addison Meitzler the opportunity to move in front. One lap later, on a 10th lap restart after a caution, Waisempacher took back the number one spot. A multi car accident off turn two sent eight time track champion to the pits for repairs. At 11 laps with Waisempacher still in front Brad Missimer, running in the top five, got an assist into the front straightaway wall putting him out of the race.
At the 12 lap marker Mike Gular seemed to charge from nowhere passing the top three and grabbing the lead.
The midway mark had Craig VonDohren, running in the top three, heading to the pits with smoke pouring out the back of his racer.
Two laps later point leader Duane Howard moved into second spot and set his sights on leader Gular. The balance of the race had Howard chasing Gular, sometimes moving to side by side action, with Gular able to hold off the defending champion to grab the $2,500 first place money.
“We had a lot of problems yesterday,” said the Green Lane racer in victory lane. “Tonight the race car was awesome. We really have the car figured out for here.”
Howard (Oley) got second and holds on to the point lead in the chase for the lucrative track and NASCAR titles. Third place was earned by Ryan Godown (Ringoes, NJ) in one of his best efforts of the season. Young Addison Meitzler (Kutztown) had his strongest showing of the young season finishing fourth while Jeff Strunk (Bechtelsville) made two visits to the pits and still was able to gain a fifth place finish.
Popular Kory Fleming looked like he was going to be able to pick up his first win of the season as he led the first eight laps of the 20-lap Late Model feature before getting caught up in a second turn incident with a hard charging Danny Snyder that sent Fleming to the pits done for the night and Snyder to the back of the field.
With Fleming out Johnny Favinger took charge but on lap 12 past champion Chuck Schutz charged to the front. Last week’s feature winner Ron Kline was running third when he dropped out on the 12th circuit of the one-third-mile, banked clay track.
Johnny Favinger kept it close but was not able to challenge the leader as Schutz was able to lead the rest of the laps and pick up his second win of the season. Favinger (Birdsboro) finished second followed by Randy Stoudt (Pottstown), Randall Paxton (later disqualified when his car failed to pass tech inspection). Fourth spot want to Mike Kellner (Lansdale) while fifth was earned by past champion John Giesler.
“Ron Kline showed me the way to take the lead,” commented a happy Chuck Schutz in victory lane. “We had the power steering go out on the 12th lap.”
With the win Schutz was able to move into first place in the chase for the title.
Qualifying heat races for the Late Models, 8 laps each, were won by Kory Fleming and Ron Kline. In the NASCAR Whelen 358 Modifieds the qualifying heat races, 12 laps each, were won by Brad Missimer, Chris Esposito, Jarrod Miller and Don Norris. Consolation race wins went to Kyle Weiss and Duane Howard. Howard qualified for the feature in a heat race but had mechanical problems which forced him to go to a backup car to qualify through the consolation race.
The entire night of racing was finished in less than three hours. There were 45 modifieds trying for the 28 starting spots in the feature race.
The Cargo Trailer Sales gift certificates went to 10th place feature finishers Rick Todorow in the Late Model feature and Kenny Gilmore in the 358 Modifieds.
The Dan’s Deli Halfway Leader awards in each feature were presented to Mike Gular in the 358 Modifieds and John Favinger in the Late Models. The Christman Meat Markets Pit Pass Award went to Randy Stoudt.
The Salvage Transport Late Model Hard Charger award was earned by Mike Kellner gaining 12 spots in the feature having started 16th and finishing 4th while Cornerstone Auto Sales/Sponsors of Bobby Gunther Walsh Modified Hard Charger Award went to “Professor” Glenn Strunk who started 25th and finished 6th gaining 19 positions.
AMSOIL USAC National Wingless Sprint Series along with ARDC Wingless Midgets will be in action at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, May 31st. NASCAR 358 Modifieds and Late Models are part of the Jesse Baro Trucking Night show on Saturday, June 4th.
And on Sunday, June 5th, 1 p.m. the NEETS Enduros are in action in two 100-lap features plus a special feature for the ladies. The Outlaw Slingshots will be there with a special feature sponsored by Mike Feltenberger’s Strapped In magazine plus there will be two 15-lap features for the Vintage Modifieds.
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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