BECHTELSVILLE, PA Young Danny Snyder won the biggest Late Model race of the season at Grandview Speedway taking the top prize in the Jesse Baro Trucking Firecracker 40 on Saturday night. The win, the third of the season for the Green Lane racer, earned Snyder $2350 including bonus cash from Baro Trucking and TP Trailers. Duane Howard increased his lead in the chase for the NASCAR 358 Modified title winning his eighth feature race of the season while Joe Funk earned his first Sportsman feature victory at Grandview Speedway.
More than 90 race cars filled the competition area while a strong turnout of fans was on hand to witness a full evening of stock car racing competition topped by a fan pleasing Fireworks display.
The Firecracker 40 saw Bill Henning set the early pace from his pole position starting spot. A three car tangle in Turn 2 on the fifth lap brought out the caution and created a lot of activity with Henning, the leader, having a steering malfunction send him into the guard rail during the caution. Point leader Chuck Schutz went to the pits as did four feature winner Mike Kellner. Both did return to restart at the back of the field.
Getting set for the restart with Andy Ressler as the leader the caution had to stay out as Ressler headed to the pits with mechanical woes giving the lead to rookie Steve Nederostek.
For the next 11 laps Nederostek and Danny Snyder staged an attention grabbing battle for the top spot with Snyder finally able to gain the top spot on the 17th lap and hold on to put the Ford’s Property Maintenance/Rhoads Bros. Livestock Hauling No. 4s in victory lane.
Nederostek did keep the pressure on Snyder, trying to get his number one spot back for several laps with Sean Merkel nipping at his rear.
At the finish Merkel (Gilbertsville) was able to come on strong to gain a second place finish to winner Snyder while Ron Kline (Salford), who looked to be contender early in the race, settled for third. Nederostek (Walnutport) finished in fourth with Chuck Schutz (Pottstown) coming back from his early race problems to finish fifth.
Glenn Owens in his “Hoagie Wagon” was in front of the 28-car starting field for the 30-lap NASCAR 358 Modified feature for the first two laps with Bobby Gunther Walsh charging into first on the third circuit. An early race caution for a two car tangle in Turn 3 had Owens back in front on the restart but Walsh was quick to regain the front spot.
Walsh, a WAEB-790AM on air radio personality, set the pace until a dozen laps were completed with Chris Esposito able to take control. Just past the midway point Duane Howard, who had worked his way up from a 16th place starting position, challenged for the lead. A multi-car accident brought out the caution. Meme DeSantis, a fan favorite, had front end problems send him to the pits. On the restart Esposito had mechanical problems send him to the infield giving the lead to Duane Howard.
Once in front Howard (Oley) was able to keep the Blue Bell Air No. 4 in the number one spot leading Doug Manmiller to the checkered flag. Manmiller (Shoemakersville) came from 26th starting spot to grab the runner-up finish. Mike Laise (Pottstown) had his best finish of the season holding on to third in a spirited battle with Jeff Strunk that lasted several laps. Nine time track champion Strunk (Pottstown) finished fourth followed by Kyle Follweiler.
Craig VonDohren, the six time track champion, started last in the feature and managed a strong seventh place finish.
Ryan Beltz made a strong run on the first lap to take first spot from Guy Germano and be the leader at the completion of the first circuit of the one-third-mile oval in the 25-lap Sportsman feature race. Beltz stayed in front until a multi car accident on the 6th lap brought out the caution and on the restart Germano was able to regain the lead. A few laps later Beltz was back in front but at the 16th lap Joe Funk, coming from ninth, put his Morrisville Tavern No. 14J in front. At the same time Beltz went to the pits done for the night.
Funk (Coopersburg) was able to hold off challenges for the final laps and took home his first win at Grandview. Second place was earned by John Kovatch IV followed by Kyle Borror, Jared Umbenhauer and Kenny Gilmore.
Qualifying heat race wins (each 12 laps) for the NASCAR 358 Modifieds were won by Gary Hager, Jeff Strunk, Ron Seltman and Mike Laise while the two 10-lap consolation races were won by Kevin Hirthler and Rick Laubach. In the Sportsman division the three eight lap qualifiers went to Kenny Gilmore, Guy Germano and Ryan Beltz while the Late Model qualifiers, both eight laps, were won by Bill Henning and Sean Merkel.
Texas Roadhouse Restaurant of Wyomissing, PA presented two free dinners to each feature winner on Saturday night. The feature winners also received cash bonuses from T.P.Trailers of Limerick, PA. Cargo Trailer Sales presented $50 gift certificates to the 10th place finishers in each feature while Dan’s Deli of Boyertown, PA had two large hoagies for the leader at the halfway mark in each feature race. The Bobby Gunther Walsh and Sponsors Hard Charger Award in the 358 Modified feature went to Doug Manmiller for gaining 24 positions. In the Late Models the Salvage Transport Service Hard Charger Award was earned by Lou Egrie Sr. as he gained 10 positions in the feature. In the Sportsman feature Paul Kline earned the Searock’s Lawn Care Hard Charger Award gaining 13 spots.
Racing action returns to the one-third-mile, banked clay oval at Grandview Speedway on Saturday, July 21, 7:30 p.m. the Bashore/Pepsi Challenge featuring the URC Sprint Cars, NASCAR 358 Modifieds and the Pepsi Challenge that has Modified racers going one-on-one until just the winner remains and collects $1,500. The Modified feature rewards the winner with a starting spot in the SuperNationals. Adult admission is $22, youngsters 6 through 12 pay just $5 and kids under 6 are admitted FREE.
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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