BECHTELSVILLE, PA Jeff Strunk and Chuck Schutz look like they just may be on their way to adding another championship to their already impressive resume at Grandview Speedway.
Strunk, an eight time NASCAR Whelen All American Series 358 Modified champion, won the 30-lap Hatfield Quality Meats NASCAR 358 Modified feature race on Saturday night wheeling by Kevin Hirthler on the 28th lap to grab the $2,500 first place money. In the 20-lap feature for Late Model stock cars Chuck Schutz, a four time champion, was able to grab his fourth win of the season.
At the drop of the green for the 28-car starting field for the 30-lap Modified feature race Bobby Gunther Walsh set the pace with his Interstate Batteries sponsored entry. On the second circuit Ryan Grim charged to the front and looked as if he was on his way to his first career win as he set the pace through the 18th lap. A multi car accident on the 19th circuit of the one-third-mile, banked clay oval brought out the caution. With the field in tight formation Kevin Hirthler was able to take his Green Lane Wm. Penn/Four Star Lettering No. 117 to the front in search of his second win of the season.
Jeff Strunk, having come from 15th starting spot, was right on the rear of the leader with 20 laps completed and Craig VonDohren, coming from 19th starting position, was running third.
The final 10 laps saw Strunk and Hirthler running in side by side competition with Hirthler using the high groove and Strunk sticking to the edge of the infield. With the 28th lap indicated Strunk (Bechtelsville) was able to take the Norm Hansell owned Norm’s Save Station No. 357 to the lead and set the pace to the checkered flag with Hirthler (Boyertown) close behind. Third spot was earned by VonDohren (Boyertown) followed by Ryan Grim (Laury’s Station) and Duane Howard (Oley) who spun on the first lap and went to the rear of the field.
“I had to stick to the bottom but had to make a change in the closing laps to get by him (Hirthler),” said Strunk in victory lane. He dedicated his win to his grandmother who tries to get out to all the races even though she is in her nineties. “We had a great car with a great crew and a great owner.”
The victory increased his point lead to 77 points over defending champion Duane Howard in the chase for the lucrative Grandview Speedway NASCAR 358 point title.
Kory Fleming started on the pole in the 20-lap Late Model feature and ran in the number one spot for the early laps. However young Mike Kellner charged to the front on the sixth circuit. At the halfway mark Chuck Schutz, coming from 7th starting position, came up to challenge the leader and two battle for the top spot. At 13 laps Schutz was able to move past Kellner in Turn four to take the lead. Setting the pace for the balance of the laps Schutz (Pottstown) was able to put the BPG Racing/Jesse Baro Trucking sponsored entry in victory lane.
Second place went to Kellner (Lansdale) followed closely by Danny Snyder (Green Lane), Kory Fleming (Milford, NJ) and Jason Miller (New Tripoli).
Schutz had high praise for his crew and gave them much of the credit for the victory.
Qualifying heat races, each eight laps, for the Late Models were won by John Favinger and Mike Kellner. In the 358 Modifieds qualifying races, each 12 laps, were won by Shawn Reimert, Eric Biehn, Justin Grim and Kyle Follweiler. Consolation race wins, each race 10 laps, were won by Meme DeSantis and John Willman.
The Cargo Trailer Sales gift certificates went to 10th place feature finishers Ryan Godown in the Modifieds and TJ Mayberry in the Late Models.
The Dan’s Deli Halfway Leader awards in each feature were presented to Ryan Grim in the Modifieds and Mike Kellner in the Late Model feature.
The Salvage Transport Late Model Hard Charger award was earned by Chuck Schutz while the Mike Kramer/Sponsors of Bobby Gunther Walsh Modified Hard Charger Award went to Craig VonDohren.
Christman’s Meat Market gave a $30 pit pass to John Favinger.
NASCAR 358 Modifieds and Late Models are featured in a doubleheader show on Saturday, July 30th that will also feature the Pepsi/Bashore Trucking one-on-one Modified Challenge races with the winner getting $1500. Racing 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
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