Bechtelsville, PA Duane Howard was able to win the 50-lap NASCAR Whelen All American Series 358 Modified feature at Grandview Speedway comfortably on Saturday night. The win, worth $4250, was the second in a row for the Oley, PA racer at the wheel of the Blue Bell Air No. 4 Modified owned by Blue Bell’s Chad Sinon.
Also winning for the second week in a row was Ron Kline as the veteran racer came from 18th starting spot to get the lead in the final turn of the final lap of the 50 lap Late Model feature. The Salford, PA racer was at the wheel of the V&M Towing No. 3 as he picked up $1600 for his winning efforts.
And in the Sportsman 50 lapper that closed out the triple 50 feature show Brad Brightbill of Sinking Spring, PA was able to bring his Roadrunner Racing Fuels No. 19 home for his first win at the Berks County clay oval. Brightbill, son of dirt track racing legend Kenny Brightbill, earned $1,600 for his win.
All three feature winners were able to add to the announced win money by earning bonus bucks from T.P. Trailers of Limerick, PA as all three carried the T.P. decals clearly visible on each side of their race cars.
Even before the first lap was completed in the 50-lap main event for the 358 Modifieds Meme DeSantis brought out the caution coming to a stop in turn two. And both Ryan Grim and Jon Kellner Sr. were headed for the pits.
Young Michael Weinert set the pace for the first dozen laps of the Modified feature race with Glenn Strunk charging to the front on the 13th circuit of the one-third-mile, banked clay track. Duane Howard, coming from 16th starting position, took the lead after a few laps of side-by-side action with Strunk.
In the first half of the race no less than five different drivers brought out cautions as they stopped on the track for a variety of problems.
Once in front Howard was able to hold off challenges from Glenn Strunk, Craig VonDohren, Ray Swinehart and Shawn Reimert.
Swinehart went to the pits on the 30th lap while running in the top five.
Six time track champion Craig VonDohren was able to slide up in front of Glenn Strunk in the second turn to take over second on the 33rd lap and set his sights on the leader.
Howard was able to hold on to the top spot with a comfortable margin of victory when the checkered flag fell while VonDohren (Boyertown) had to settle for second. Shawn Reimert (Oley) came home third followed by Bechtelsville’s Glenn Strunk and Michael Weinert (Tamaqua).
Howard had high praise for his crew as he celebrated his second win of the season and is the current point leader in the NASCAR 358 Modified division.
The most exciting event of the night had to be the 50-lap Late Model feature race that saw Andy Ressler lead for half the race before Mike Kellner was able to put his Mary Kay/Power Washer No. 57 in front of the field. The second half of the 50 lapper was a battle between Kellner and challenger Danny Snyder.
With the checkered flag in the hand of starter of Ray Kemp Kellner and Snyder battled for the top spot with Ron Kline sticking his nose in. With the finish line in sight Kellner and Snyder made contact while Kellner hitting the wall hard.
With the caution out the field was set for the final lap with Ron Kline in front and able to hold off the challenge of second place finisher Sean Merkel (Gilbertsville). Defending champion Chuck Schutz (Pottstown) came home third followed by early leader Andy Ressler (Emmaus) and Lou Egrie Sr. (Willow Grove).
Kline told the crowd from victory lane “that he did not like winning that way (with the wreck that took out the leaders so close to the finish).”
A multi car tangle on the first lap had Mike Stringer in front on the restart. At ten laps Kyle Borror went to the front and held the top spot until the 25th lap when Brad Brightbill, coming from 14th starting spot took the lead. In the closing laps Paul Kline (Muhlenberg) was able to challenge Brightbill for the win but had to settle for the number two spot. Craig Whitmoyer (Hamburg) came on strong to finish third. Borror (Peach Bottom) managed to hold on for fourth while Ryan Beltz (Harleysville) came home fifth.
“I drove the car as hard as a car would go,” said winner Brightbill. “The car was on a rail (handling well).” Brightbill made sure to give all his sponsors proper credit for their involvement with the winning team.
The Salvage Transport Hard Charger award in the Late Model feature went to Ron Kline who gained 17 spots from his 18th place start to his first place finish. The Bobby Gunther Walsh Sponsors Hard Charger award was earned by CraigVonDohren in the 358 Modified feature coming from 23rd to finish second. And Searock Lawn Care Hard Charger award for Sportsman went to Brightbill who came from 14th starting spot to finish first.
Dan’s Deli of Boyertown had large hoagies for the Halfway Leaders in each feature while Texas Roadhouse of Trexlertown had two dinners for each feature race winner.
Cargo Trailers had gift certificates for the 10th place finishers in each feature.
Qualifying heats for the NASCAR 358 Modifieds, each 12 laps, were won by Ron Seltman, Shawn Reimert, Michael Weinert and Addison Meitzler. Consolation races for the Modifieds, each 10 laps, had Mike Gular and John Willman winning.
The three eight lap qualifying heats for the Late Models were won by Andy Ressler, Danny Snyder and Mike Kellner. And qualifiers for the Sportsman racers, also eight laps, had Steve Searock and Kevin Beach winning.
Coming up on Saturday, April 21st is a tripleheader show featuring the NASCAR 358 Modifieds, Late Models and Sportsman. Modifieds run a 30 lap feature while the Late Models and Sportsman each have a 20 lap feature race. Racing starts at 7 p.m. Adult admission is $15 while youngsters 12 and under are admitted FREE.
On Sunday, April 22nd, 2 p.m. the Sunday Small Car Series will kick off with 270cc and 600cc Micro Sprints, Slingshot racers and 600 Modifieds. Adult admission is just $5.
The first NEETS Enduro event, featuring races for big cars, small cars and ladies, takes place on Sunday, April 29th at 1 p.m. with the Blast from the Past Vintage Cars as an added attraction.
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