BECHTELSVILLE, PA August 26, 2012 . . . Gary Hager was able to win the first 30-lap NASCAR Whelen All American Series 358 Modified feature of his career on Saturday night at Grandview Speedway. However it was Duane Howard, the current 358 Modified point leader, who went home with the big bucks as his second place finish in the 30-lap feature race, coming from 27th starting spot, earned him the American Racer Cup championship and the $10,000 cash prize. Other winners in the Kauffman’s BBQ Chicken Night were Steve Wilson in the Late Models, Craig Whitmoyer in the Sportsman and Mike Kiser was tops in the Sidewinder Sprint feature.
Eric Biehn was able to put the Yarnall Plumbing No. 87 in front of the 28 car starting field in the NASCAR 358 Modified feature race. A multi-car melee in turn four on the 11th lap sent nine time track champion to the pits done for the night and allowed the field to close up on the leader. Glenn Owens, running second at the time, took his Hoagie Wagon #73 to the pits out of the event.
Gary Hager charged to the front at the halfway mark with Biehn settling in at second spot followed by young Michael Weinert. The final 15 laps saw Hager hold a commanding lead while Duane Howard, who had qualified through a consolation and started 27th, was charging through the field.
At the finish Hager (Stewartsville, NJ) had his East Valley Trucking No. 44H comfortably in front while Howard (Oley) came home second. Michael Weinert (Tamaqua) finished third for one of his strong efforts at Grandview. Biehn (Barto) finished fourth while Todd Smith (Hatfield) grabbed fifth. Hager’s win made him the 11th different feature winner this season the 358 Modifieds.
Howard actually thought they he won the race and tried to pull into victory lane not realizing that Hager had a huge lead to grab the win. However Howard did have a smile on his face when he learned that he was $10,000 richer as a result of his American Racer Cup champion.
Howard’s regular BPG Racing #4 was torn up in a qualifying heat accident that had him getting upside down when he was forced to ride over Chris Gambler who was knocked into his path by another competitor. Howard’s team had to go to a back up car which made the second place finish even that much more incredible.
The 20-lap Late Model feature had Steve Wilson taking the lead on the first lap and never giving up the front running spot, leading all 20 laps to get his first career victory in his rookie season. Driving an unsponsored car owned by sprint car racer Sam Schlossberg the East Greenville racer was able to hold off the late race challenge by point leader Chuck Schutz to get the win. Second went to Schutz (Pottstown) followed by Lou Egrie Sr. (Willow Grove), Steve Nederostek (Walnutport) and Mike Kellner (Lansdale).
Craig Whitmoyer (Hamburg) put his Engles Auto Body No. 99 in front of the field in the 25-lap Sportsman feature race on the eighth circuit taking the top spot from Mike Lisowski. Whitmoyer held off strong competition from current point leader Jared Umbenhauer to gain his third win of the season. Umbenhauer (Richland) took second followed by Kieslowski (Minersville), Brad Brightbill (Sinking Spring) and Joe Funk Jr. (Coopersburg).
The 20-lap Sidewinder Sprint feature, a special one time attraction, had a wild start with three sprinters flipping before the first lap was completing. Competition on the one-third-mile, banked clay oval proved to be tough on the Sidewinders as Mike Kiser (Cooperstown, NY) led all the laps with his Eagle Enterprises No. 99 in winning the feature race that had just four of the sprinters finishing out of the dozen cars that started the race.
The 12-lap NASCAR 358 Modified qualifying events were won by Ron Seltman, Gary Hager, Jeff Strunk and Todd Smith. The two 10-lap consolation races went to Ryan Grim and Brad Grim.
In the Late Model qualifiers, each eight laps, the wins were taken by Mike Kellner and Steve Todorow. The Sportsman qualifiers, also eight laps, went to Kaitie McCardle, Erik Renninger and Guy Germano. Mike Kiser and Josh Chess won the Sidewinder eight lap qualifiers.
Cash bonuses went to the NASCAR stock car feature winners courtesy of T.P. Trailers of Limerick, PA. Dinners went to each feature winner courtesy of Texas Roadhouse Restaurant of Wyomissing and the leaders at halfway received giant hoagies courtesy of Dan’s Deli of Boyertown. Cargo Trailer Sales in Lansdale had $50 gift certificates for outstanding performers in each stock car feature.
The Bobby Gunther Walsh and Sponsors Hard Charger Award went to Duane Howard in the NASCAR 358 feature for gaining 25 positions. Paul Kline earned the Searock Lawn Care of Bath, PA Hard Charger Award in Sportsman as he gained 13 spots in the feature. And in the Late Models the Salvage Transport Hard Charger Award was earned by Mike Kellner gaining 11 positions.
NASCAR sanctioned stock car racing returns to Grandview Speedway on Saturday, September 1st at 7:30 p.m. The next to last point races of the season feature the 358 Modifieds, Late Models and two Sportsman features.
Admission for regular Saturday night stock car racing events is $15 for adults, youngsters 12 and under 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. For marketing information telephone Ernie Saxton at 215.752.7797 or email Esaxton144@aol.com.