BECHTELSVILLE, PA September 11, 2011 . . . “The driver sucked for the last couple of months,” is the way Duane Howard summed things up after winning the 30-lap Green Lane Wm. Penn/Four Star Lettering 30-lap NASCAR 358 Modified feature at Grandview Speedway on Saturday night. For Howard it was his fifth win of the season but first since June 18. The 20-lap feature NASCAR Late Models went to Kory Fleming giving the Milford, NJ racer his first career victory at the Berks County oval. And Skip Smith of Hatfield, PA drove his son Todd’s Black Horse Auto Body sponsored No. 39 to victory in the Vince’s Towing Legends Owners 15-lap feature race.
The night of racing closed out the NASCAR point season at Grandview Speedway with Jeff Strunk winning his ninth NASCAR 358 Modified title while his car owner Norm Hansell picked up his very first car owners title at Grandview. The championship is worth in excess of $10,000 to the championship team.
In the Late Models it was Chuck Schutz claiming his fifth championship along with car owner Ty Zeigler.
Bobby Gunther Walsh put his Interstate Batteries No. 1 Modified in front of the 31 car starting field with Brad Grim in hot pursuit. At nine laps Eric Biehn brought his car to a stop in the 4th turn bringing out a caution and closing the field on leader Walsh. On the restart Grim was able to charge past Walsh in the fourth. Two laps later Jimmy Horton IV stopped in turn 3 causing another caution and putting Kyle Follweiler in a position to contend for the win.
At a little past the halfway mark Ryan Godown, charging through the field, went the infield with mechanical issues and Brad Grim continued to be the pacesetter looking for his first career win.
At 23 circuits completed Danny Erb spun in turn three creating a caution and at the same time Craig VonDohren was limping to the pits with a tire issue. One lap later Chris Esposito brought caution out stopping in turn four before heading to the pits.
A multi car accident in turn one with five laps to give brought out the final caution and gave Duane Howard the opportunity to charge past Grim on the restart after having worked his way from the 21st starting position.
At the finish Howard, who calls Oley home, had a comfortable lead as he picked up the win and claimed the $2,500 first prize money. Second spot went to Kyle Follweiler (Slatington) picking up his best finish of the season. Kevin Hirthler (Boyertown) came on strong to claim third followed by Kyle Weiss (Hamburg) and Doug Manmiller (Shoemakersville).
In victory lane Howard said, “We got the black bear off our back tonight. We have had tough luck over recent weeks but the team never gave up. Last year we could nothing wrong. Things were different this year.”
Howard had high praise for champion Strunk and congratulated him on his ninth title. Howard’s win moved him into second in the final standings with Craig Von Dohren getting third.
Kory Fleming charged into the lead at the drop of the green from starter Ray Kemp with 21 Late Models behind him. In the early laps Doug Walton pressured the lead with Randy Stoudt, looking for his 58th career win to tie the record, running third.
At the midway point Mike Kellner was challenging the leader with Walton dropping back to third.
For the final ten laps of the final Late Model point feature race of the season Fleming was able to hold off several challenges from Kellner to claim his first career victory at Grandview Speedway. Second spot went to Kellner (Lansdale) followed by Danny Snyder (Green Lane), Randy Stoudt (Pottstown) and Doug Walton (Spring City).
“I didn’t think we would ever get here,” said Fleming as he stood in victory lane.” We have had a great car the last couple of weeks. The crew gave me a great car tonight.”
Fleming thanked his Mom and Dad along with sponsors Ultimate Air (his sponsor for ten years), Valley Auto Supply and Moninghoff Appliances and Supplies.
In the 15-lap Vince’s Towing Legends Owners race Skip Smith (Hatfield) managed to get pass Rod Breitenstein with about half the race in the record books and went on to win with Dennis Bailey (Kutztown) finishing a close second. Rod Breitenstein finished third followed by Vince Gagliardo Jr. and Donnie Hoffman.
Qualifying heat races, each eight laps, for the Late Models were won by Ron Kline, Fleming and Randy Stoudt. Qualifiers for the NASCAR 358 Modifieds, 12 laps each, had victories going to Jack Swain, Ron Seltman, Bobby Gunther Walsh and Todd Smith. The consolation races, 10 laps each, were won by Duane Howard and Terry Meitzler.
The Cargo Trailer Sales gift certificates went to 10th place feature finishers Kevin Hartnett in the Modifieds and Jason Miller in the Late Models.
The Dan’s Deli Halfway Leader awards in each feature were presented to Kory Fleming in the Late Models and Brad Grim in the Modifieds.
The Salvage Transport Late Model Hard Charger award was earned by Ron Kline going from 22nd to 14th while Mike Kramer/Sponsors of Bobby Gunther Walsh Modified Hard Charger Award went to Duane Howard coming from 21st to first.
Christman’s Meat Market Pit Pass Award, a $30 pit pass, went to Kory Fleming.
The biggest event of the season is set for Saturday, September 17th at Grandview Speedway with the running of the $20,000 to win BPG Racing Freedom 76. The Auto Glass Specialties BPG Racing Freedom Fan Fest takes place in the afternoon from 1 p.m. to 4 p..m. with kids games, autograph opportunities, dunk tank, display of race cars and more. Funds raised go to Boobie Nation. Rain date, using the same schedule, is set for Saturday, September 24.
If the rain date is not needed an open competition doubleheader for Modifieds and Late Models will be run starting at 7 p.m. That will be the final regular season Saturday night show. A NEETS Enduro show will be presented on Sunday, September 25th at 1 p.m. Included with the two 100 lap Enduros will be Vintage racers in action along with a Ladies Enduro. Admission is just $10.00.
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.
GREEN LANE WM. PENN/4 STAR LETTERING NASCAR WHELEN 358 MODIFIED FEATURE FINISH (30 LAPS): 1.Duane Howard 2. Kyle Follweiler 3. Kevin Hirthler 4. Kyle Weiss 5. Doug Manmiller 6. Don Norris Jr. 7. Brad Grim 8. Todd Smith 9.. Jordan Umbenhauer 10. Kevin Hartnett 11. Ryan Grim 12. Ron Seltman 13. Jeff Strunk 14. John Willman 15. Kenny Gilmore 16. Bobby Gunther Walsh 17. Meme DeSantis 18. Terry Meitzler 19. Craig VonDohren 20. Mike Gular 21. Glenn Strunk 22. Jimmy Horton IV 23. Eric Biehn 24. Danny Erb (Balance of the starting field did not finish all the laps) 25. Jarrad Miller 26. Chris Esposito 27. Mike Laise 28. Jack Swain 29. Ray Swinehart 30. Jon Kellner Jr.
GREEN LANE WM. PENN/4 STAR LETTERING NASCAR LATE MODEL MEMORIAL FEATURE FINISH (30 LAPS): 1. Kory Fleming 2. Mike Kellner 3. Danny Snyder 4.. Randy Stoudt 5. Doug Walton 6. John Favinger 7. TJ Mayberry 8. Rick Todorow 9. Wayne Pfeil Jr. 10. Jason Miller 11. John Giesler 12. Greg Hoffmaster 13. David Ogin 14. Buddy Mertz 15. Andy Ressler 16. Dirk Rimrott (Balance of starting field did not finish) 17. Drew Weisser 18. Steve Butler 19. Dallas Breidenbach 20. Chuck Schutz 21. Lou Egrie Sr. 22. Bill Lightcap
VINCE’S TOWING LEGENDS OWNERS RACE (15 LAPS): 1. Skip Smith 2. Dennis Bailey 3. Rod Breitenstein 4. Vince Gagliardo Jr. 5. Donnie Hoffman