BECHTELSVILLE, PA The 50th Anniversary celebration at Grandview Speedway got off to big start on Saturday night with a big crowd in the grandstands to watch Duane Howard, Ron Kline and Jared Umbenhauer win the NASCAR Whelen All American Series feature races.
Howard, a past champion, was able to lead just about every lap as he won the 30-lap NASCAR 358 Modified feature race by a comfortable margin driving the Chad Sinon owned Blue Bell Air modified.
The veteran racer from Oley, PA had high praise for the track conditions as the race was run from green flag to checkered flag without a single caution lap.
“I was hanging on at the end,” said Howard in victory lane. “It was great to get the new car dialed in this early in the season. The track held up well and made for w very wide racing surface.”
Howard picked up a $250 bonus from T.P. Trailers of Limerick, PA for winning and having the T.P. Trailers decals clearly visible on both sides of the race car.
Ron Kline put his Harleysville Mattress/V&M Towing entry in front of the pack at the start of the 20-lap feature for Late Models. Danny Snyder gave Kline a strong challenge and actually took the lead when Kline went high in turn one. Kline came back to get the top spot on the 19th lap and went on to win.
“The brake pedal just went to the floor (on the 17th lap when Kline went high in turn one) and I just went high,” said Salford, PA based Kline as he celebrated the win. “I just was not going to let Danny beat me so I just ran hard in the final laps without brakes.”
Jared Umbenhauer of Richlandtown, PA waited until the 23rd lap of the 25 lap Sportsman feature race to grab the lead and go on to win with Eastern Rigging sponsored racer.
“I want to thank Grandview for bringing the Sportsman here to race. I love this track,” said Umbenhauer during his interview with victory lane announcer Pete Knappenberger. “I played it safe for much of the race. The track had good bite.”
Both Kline and Umbenhauer had the T.P. Trailers decals on their cars and earned an extra $100 for their wins.
Nine time NASCAR 358 Modified champion Jeff Strunk (Pottstown) grabbed second early in the Modified feature and settled for that as the final finishing position. Third spot went to Doug Manmiller (Shoemakersville), six time champion Craig VonDohren (Boyertown) and early race leader Kyle Weiss (Hamburg).
Danny Snyder (Green Lane), despite a strong effort to take the win, had to settle for second in the Late Model feature with Gilbertsville’s Sean Merkel finishing third. Fourth and fifth finishing positions went to defending Late Model champion Chuck Schutz and Wayne Pfeil Jr.
Craig Whitmoyer (Hamburg) led many of the Sportsman feature laps but fell two laps short of winning and had to settle for second. Brad Brightbill finished third followed by Dave Dissinger and Joe Funk.
Heat winners in the 358 Modified division, each 12 laps, were Kyle Weiss, Doug Manmiller, Jeff Strunk and Duane Howard while the Modified consolation races, each 10 laps, were won by Wade Hendrickson in his first appearance as a Saturday night regular in the Banes Roofing No. 20 and Nate Christman.
Qualifying heat winners in the Late Models were Danny Snyder, Ron Kline and Rick Todorow. Each heat was eight laps in distance.
And the Sportsman qualifiers, each eight laps, the wins were taken by Dave Dissinger and Kyle Borrow.
The Bobby Gunther Walsh Hard Charger award, $50, in the Modified feature went to Nate Christman for gaining seven spots in the feature race. The Salvage Transport Late Model Hard Charger Award was earned by Mike Kellner as he went from 18th to 7th in the feature. And in the Sportsman feature the Searock Lawn Care Hard Charger Award was earned by Paul Kline for racing from 19th to a 6th place finish.
Cargo Trailer Sales had $50 gift certificates for each 10th place feature winner and Dan’s Deli of Boyertown had two giant hoagies for the drivers leading at the halfway mark in the three feature races.
Texas Roadhouse Restaurant of Trexlertown, PA gave two dinners to each feature winner.
Coming up on Saturday, April 14th is the 50th Anniversary Special feature 50-lap features for the NASCAR 358 Modifieds ($4,000 to win), Late Models ($1500 to win) and Sportsman ($1500 to win). Racing starts at 7 p.m. Admission for adults is $25 for this special event and $5 for youngsters 12 and under.
NOTES: The free-to-the-grandstand practice session on Friday night attracted close to 100 race cars including modifieds, late models, sportsman, Enduros, 270 micros, 600 modifieds, midgets and more. A healthy turnout of fans made for an exciting event of entertainment. Even dirt track racing legend Kenny Brightbill was on hand to watch the action.
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