BECHTELSVILLE, PA Veteran NASCAR 358 Modified racer Doug Manmiller won the 30-lap NASCAR Whelen All American Series 358 Modified feature race at Grandview Speedway on Saturday night. The win was the first at Grandview for the Shoemakersville, PA racer since July 8, 2006. In the 20-lap feature for the NASCAR Late Models Chuck Schutz survived the caution marred event to win his third of the season.
In victory lane Manmiller had nothing but high praise for his crew, the sponsors, and car owners Josh and Beth Biever. “The guys busted their tail getting this new car ready,” said Manmiller. “What a run.”
Manmiller pointed out that the car finished the race with some front end damage as a result of an altercation with one of the track’s guard rails early in the feature race.
Brad Grim charged to the front at the start in the 30-lap Modified feature race with Todd Smith and Brad Missimer tagging along. Six time champion Craig VonDohren brought out the first caution when he clipped an infield marker tire and spun. At the five lap marker Grim was still in front but Brad Missimer had moved into second spot.
The next time around a three wide effort in turn four did not work and Brad Grim hit the wall with Missimer getting the top spot.
Just short of the halfway mark Kyle Follweiler spun in turn one and the resulting caution had the field close up on the leader.
On the restart Nate Christman, a graduate of the Late Model ranks, charged to the front coming off turn four.
At 20 circuits Christman looked to be on his way to a first career win but Doug Manmiller had different ideas.
First Manmiller got rid of Missimer and set his sights on the leader.
At 25 laps Manmiller was right on the rear of the lead and just two laps later he took control of the race and went on to win. Jeff Strunk (Bechtelsville) finished second (after starting the race in 21st spot) while Nate Christman (Oley) had the best finish of his career in the Modifieds getting third. Duane Howard (Oley) finished fourth while fifth spot went to Mike Gular coming from 19th starting spot.
The 20-lap feature for NASCAR Late Models was a caution filled event that had a multi car accident halting activity even before the first lap was complete. John Favinger did manage to lead the first lap with Kory Fleming in hot pursuit.
With Ron Kline charging on the outside and Kory Fleming holding on to second spot the two tangled bringing out another caution. And just two laps late Steve Butler spun to create another caution while Favinger continued to be the man to beat.
At eight laps Favinger had mechanical problems giving the lead to Wayne Pfeil. Just a couple laps after that Chuck Schutz charged to the front with Randy Stoudt close behind.
With five circuits of the one-third-mile, banked clay oval remaining Stoudt tried a slide up in front of leader Schutz with Stoudt spinning out and going to the rear of the field while Schutz was able to maintain the lead.
For the next five laps Schutz (Pottstown) was able to hold on to the top spot for his third win of the season and kept him in first place in the Late Model point standings. Second spot went to Sean Merkel (Gilbertsville) followed by Rick Todorow (Quakertown), Ron Kline (Salford) and Randy Stoudt (Pottstown) able to charge back from his spin.
Schutz, a four time track Late Model champion, thanked his sponsors, his crew and his car owners. He was able to continue his lead in the point chase as he tries for championship number five.
Qualifying heat victories (each 12 laps) in the 358 Modifieds were won by Jarrad Miller, Brad Missimer, Duane Howard and Kevin Hirthler while the 10-lap consolation races were won by Jeff Strunk and Jack Swain. The Late Model qualifiers, each 8 laps, were won by John Favinger and Kory Fleming.
The Checkered Flag Fan Club, a fan organization that supports all forms of motorsports, was on hand to honor the winners.
The Cargo Trailer Sales gift certificates went to 10th place feature finishers Meme DeSantis in the 358 Modified and John Favinger in the Late Models.
The Dan’s Deli Halfway Leader awards in each feature were presented to Wayne Pfeil in the Late Models and Nate Christman in the Modifieds.
The Salvage Transport Late Model Hard Charger award was earned by by Sean Merkel gaining 11 sports in the feature while Mike Kramer/Sponsors of Bobby Gunther Walsh Modified Hard Charger Award went to Jeff Strunk gaining 19 positions.
The 410 sprints and 358 modifieds will be in action on Tuesday, June 28th at 7:30 p.m. The Pennsylvania Sprint Speedweek event will be the 100th Thunder on the Hill promotion presented at Grandview Speedway.
Coming up on Saturday, July 2nd, 7:30 p.m. will the big event of the season for the late model stock cars, the Curt J. High &Associates Firecracker 40 along with the 358 modifieds plus a great FIREWORKS show. Late Model racer Kory Fleming will give away two bikes to young girls and two bikes to young boys. Adult admission is $20. Keith Gerhart will be on hand to sing the National Anthem and God Bless America.
Finishing out the big holiday weekend at Grandview will be the NEETS Enduro racing events along with Outlaw slingshots. Racing at 1 p.m. on Sunday, July 3rd. The Enduros will run a 107 lap race for big cars and a 104 lap race for small cars plus a race for the ladies. Slingshots go in qualifying events topped by a 25-lap feature.
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