BECHTELSVILLE, PA “It was a gift,” said Craig VonDohren as he celebrated his win, his second of the season, in the 30-lap WNPV-1440 AM Radio Night NASCAR 358 Modified feature race at Grandview Speedway on Saturday night. “It was a shame for Duane (Howard). He was fast. The 53 spun him around. It was a good call by officials to put the 53 back. I got a gift here tonight. We have not been good here this season.”
VonDohren was referring to an accident on the 21st lap in the second turn as Gular tried to get under Howard who had lead the feature for several laps. The result was that Howard ended up sitting in the infield done for the night. Gular, who would have taken the lead, was sent to the back of the field by NASCAR officials and VonDohren was given the lead.
Ron Kline was able to wheel his V&M Towing/Harleysville Mattress No. 3 to victory in the 20-lap Late Model feature that had just five cars running at the finish. “We had a lot of luck here tonight,” said Kline as he and a young fan named Nicholas, celebrating a fifth birthday, celebrated his fourth win of the season. “Chuck (Schutz) is tough competition.”
Jon Kellner Jr. went to the front at the drop of the green for the 28 car 358 Modified starting field. Before the second lap could be completed a multi car accident in the second turn had eight time champion Jeff Strunk getting over on his side with the previous week’s feature winner Mike Laise involved along with Terry Meitzler and Jack Swain.
On the restart Shawn Reimert brought a caution as he came to a stop in turn two.
With the green back out Kellner Jr. continued to lead the pack while Duane Howard was charging up from his 14th starting spot. Addison Meitzler was giving Kellner quite a battle for the lead.
At ten laps Howard was able to take the lead after a caution that involved John Willman, Kyle Follweiler and Meitzler.
At the halfway mark Howard was in front with Mike Gular a distant second.
With 21 circuits of the one-third-mile, banked clay track in the record books Gular had closed up on the bumper of leader Howard and then tried to squeeze between Howard and the guard rail in turn two. The two made contact with Howard taking a wild spin and finishing up sitting in the infield waiting for help to the pits. Gular inherited the lead but only for a brief moment as NASCAR officials were quick to penalize Gular and send him to the rear of the field. Six time champion Craig VonDohren took the lead with his Pioneer Pole Buildings/Felty Farms No. 1c entry.
VonDohren was able to lead the rest of the laps with Doug Manmiller closing in the final laps.
Boyertown based VonDohren picked up $2,500 for his win while Man miller (Shoemakersville) finished second followed by Kevin Hirthler (Boyertown), Meme DeSantis (Temple) and Jeff Strunk (Bechtelsville) charging back from his first lap incident.
With Howard being credited with 18th, his worst finish in two seasons, Strunk took over the point lead that Howard had held since the start of the season in the chase for the NASCAR 358 Modified title. Strunk has 2990 points while Howard sits second with 2954.
Steve Butler set the early pace in the 20-lap Late Model feature. On the second circuit Kory Fleming had the lead but a second turn incident with Mike Kellner had the two making contact and Ron Kline ended up in front of the field.
Once in front Kline had his hands full as point leader Chuck Schutz worked the low groove, hugging the infield, and Kline taking the scenic route running the high groove.
With eight laps completed, the starting field had been cut to five as a result of a number of on track incidents.
The closing laps saw Kline and Schutz continue their battle with Kline (Salford) able to hold on for the win. Schutz (Pottstown) took a close second. Randy Stoudt (Pottstown) grabbed third followed by Dan Snyder (Green Lane) and John Giesler (Aston). Schutz continues to lead the Late Model point standings.
Earning wins in the Late Model qualifying heats, each eight laps, were Wayne Pfeil Jr. and Steve Butler. Victories in the 12-lap qualifiers for the 358 Modifieds went to Eric Biehn, Jeff Strunk, Chris Esposito and Mike Laise while wins in the two 10-lap consolation races for the Modifieds were shared by Craig VonDohren and Ray Swinehart.
The Cargo Trailer Sales gift certificates went to 10th place feature finishers Kyle Weiss in the 358 Modifieds and Steve Butler in the Late Models.
The Dan’s Deli Halfway Leader awards in each feature were presented to Duane Howard in the 358 Modified feature and Ron Kline in the Late Model feature.
The Salvage Transport Late Model Hard Charger award was earned by Danny Snyder while the Mike Kramer/Sponsors of Bobby Gunther Walsh Modified Hard Charger Award went to Craig VonDohren coming from 20th to first in the feature.
Christman’s Meat Market gave a $30 pit pass to Chuck Schutz.
NASCAR 358 Modifieds and Late Models are featured in a doubleheader show sponsored by Hatfield Quality Meats. Racing starts at 7:30 p.m.
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