BECHTELSVILLE, PA June 19, 2011 . . . The top six finishers in the 30-lap Whelen Engineering NASCAR 358 Modified feature race on Saturday night at Grandview Speedway are guilty of producing what may have been one of the most exciting finishes seen at the Berks County oval in many years with all of them, led by winner Duane Howard, finishing within a car length of each other.
The win, the fourth of the season for current point leader Howard, was worth $2500 for the BPG Racing No. 4 team and was easily the toughest one to win with the top six rubbing wheels and bouncing off each other in the closing laps.
Randy Stoudt was able to add to his impressive resume by driving the Cheers Tavern/TP Trailers No.18R to victory in the 20-lap feature for the Late Models and Pat Hires came home the winner in the 40-lap NEETS Big Car Enduro race.
In victory lane Howard said, “Rubbing tires with (second place finisher) VonDohren made for great racing. The track surface made for great racing.” He also gave credit for the win to his engine builder, Main Racing Engines.
Mike Laise took charge early in the 30-lap modified feature race with Brad Missimer able to put the Schaefer Motorsports No. 327 in front at the four lap mark. Jeremy Banos challenged the leader until a ninth lap caution when he dropped out.
At the midway point Missimer still had command of the race but veteran Ryan Godown was on his rear. A caution on the 23rd lap had John Willman dropping out and Ryan Godown getting the top spot on the restart. Missimer came back to recapture the front spot with the two actually rubbing wheels.
In the final laps there were a number of lead changes between the top six with Duane Howard able to grab the lead on the 28th lap after a little pushing and shoving amongst the top six. The Oley veteran was able to hold off the final lap challenge from Craig VonDohren (Boyertown) to gain the win. Jeff Strunk (Bechtelsville) finished in third behind VonDohren while Ryan Godown (Ringoes, NJ) finished fourth and veteran Meme DeSantis (Temple) had a strong fifth place finish.
Brad Missimer (Bechtelsville) led most of the laps but had to settle for sixth place in the final finishing order.
Doug Walton was the early leader in the 20-lap late model feature race and made his way through a couple cautions to hold on to the top spot until the fourth circuit of the one-third-mile, banked clay oval when Kory Fleming went to the front. Randy Stoudt was right behind him in second.
At the halfway mark Fleming still had control with Stoudt giving him a strong challenge.
Stoudt went to the front on the 11th lap and set the pace for the balance of the feature race. The victory was the second of the season for the Pottstown racer. Second place was earned by Ron Kline (Salford) who was closing on the leader. Point leader Chuck Schutz (Pottstown) finished third followed by Danny Snyder (Green Lane) and Fleming (Milford, NJ).
Stoudt, the leading late model feature winner amongst active drivers, told fans after the race as he celebrated the win that “the victory restored his confidence.” He also apologized to Kory Fleming for getting into him a couple of times during the feature race.
The special attraction NEETS Big Car Enduro, a 40 lapper, was run off very quickly with Pat Hires (Levittown) leading the final segment to take the win, picking up $500 for his efforts. Second spot went to Chuck Eckert (Schuylkill Haven) followed by
Jason Brown (Auburn), Brian Yelk (Douglassville) and Drew Ott (Zeiglersville).
Qualifying heat races for the late models (each 8 laps) were won by Mike Kellner and Kory Fleming. In the modified qualifiers (12 laps each) wins were earned by Meme DeSantis, John Willman, Ryan Godown and Brad Missimer. The 358 modified consolation races (10 laps) went to Kenny Gilmore and Kevin Albert Jr.
The entire show consisting of three different types of racing was completed by 10:30 p.m. There were 44 NASCAR 358 Modifieds in action.
The Cargo Trailer Sales gift certificates went to 10th place feature finishers Lou Egrie in the Late Model feature and Don Norris Jr. in the 358 Modifieds.
The Dan’s Deli Halfway Leader awards in each feature were presented to Kory Fleming in the Late Models and Brad Missimer in the 358 Modifieds.
The Salvage Transport Late Model Hard Charger award was earned by Chuck Schutz after gaining 13 spots in the feature while the Mike Kramer/Sponsors of Bobby Gunther Walsh Modified Hard Charger Award went to Kyle Weiss for his charge from 24th to 9th in the 358 Modified feature gaining 15 positions.
NASCAR 358 Modifieds and Late Models are in action this Saturday, June 25th, with racing starting at 7:30 p.m. The Checkered Flag Fan Club will be there to honor the winners and signing up new and renewal members for their wonderful fan organization that supports all forms of motorsports. The events will be video taped by RCN-TV for showing during the week.
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. For marketing information telephone Ernie Saxton at 215.752.7797 or email Esaxton144@aol.com.