BECHTELSVILLE, PA For the ninth time this season Duane Howard was able to wheel the BPG Racing NO. 4 to victory in the 30-lap NASCAR Whelen 358 Modified feature race at Grandview Speedway on Saturday. The victory was more than enough to earn him the 2012 NASCAR Whelen All American Series Modified title worth in excess of $10,000 giving him a career total of five championships at the Berks County oval. Mike Kellner took his Mary Kay/Power Washers No. 57 to victory lane in the 20-lap Late Model feature giving the Lansdale racer his sixth win of the season. Chuck Schutz earned a fourth place finish and gave him his sixth track Late Model championship. In the two 25-lap Sportsman features wins went to Brad Brightbill (his third of the season) and Guy Germano (his first of the season).
Jeremy Banos charged to the front in the 30-lap 358 Modified feature race but all action came to a halt before the lap was completed when an accident involved half of the 28 car starting field brought out a red flag. Several top runners were included in the accident including Duane Howard and Craig VonDohren (both were able to continue). On the restart Banos was again in front and set the pace until the ninth lap when Jeff Strunk spun in turn two and officials sent Ray Swinehart to the rear for a rule infraction. Swinehart apparently did not agree with the decision and took his No. 33, a feature winner just a couple weeks back, to the pits. On the restart John Willman went to the front and was in charge until the 23rd circuit when Michael Weinert and Brad Grim crashed in Turn 3 bringing out the red. Neither driver was injured.
Craig VonDohren had taken the lead in the feature race but on the restart was unable to continue giving the lead to Duane Howard who had charged from 20th starting spot to take the lead and had been challenge VonDohren.
Howard was able to hold the top spot over Doug Manmiller to the finish.
In victory lane the announcer took one look at the rear of Howard’s car and described it as “Holy Crap” because of the damage. The Oley racer indicated that he felt lucky to be in victory lane picking up $2750 for his efforts. Manmiller (Shoemakersville) was putting pressure on Howard at the finish and earned a strong second place finish. John Willman (Birdsboro) grabbed third followed by Nate Christman (Oley) and Jarrad Miller (Barto).
Lou Egrie Sr. led the field to the green and was in command for six laps before Mike Kellner was able to move by him to take the lead. Kellner (Lansdale) was able to lead the rest of the way to pick up win number six on the season. Jason Miller (New Tripoli) finished second and was closing on the leader at the finish. Wayne Pfeil (Mohnton) grabbed third while Chuck Schutz (Pottstown) had a consistent performance that earned him a fourth place finish and the championship for 2012. Sean Merkel (Gilbertsville) came home fifth.
In the first Sportsman feature, 25 laps, rained out back on August 11th, Guy Germano took command on the first lap and led all the way to grab his first ever victory at Grandview Speedway. The Richlandtown racer, driving his own Operating Engineers Local/Utility Line Service No. 542, was being challenged at the finish by second place finisher Bobby Lilick (Plymouth Meeting). Third was earned by Brad Brightbill (Sinking Spring) followed by point leader Jared Umbenhauer (Richland) and Kevin Beach (Minersville).
The regularly scheduled 25-lapper for Sportsman was a seesaw battle between eventual winner Brad Brightbill and point leader Jared Umbenhauer for most of the second half of the race. Andy Fayash led early with Kevin Beach in front on the seventh circuit. At 14 laps Brightbill put his Roadrunner Fuel/Vince’s Towing No. 19 in front. The rest of the race was back and forth between Brightbill and Umbenhauer, the two battling for the win and the track Sportsman title. At the finish Brightbill (Sinking Spring) was narrowly in front followed by Umbenhauer (Richland). Third place went to Kevin Beach (Minersville) followed by Bobby Lilick (Plymouth Meeting) and Guy Germano (Richlandtown). The battle for the Sportsman title will be decided this Saturday when the final night of point racing is presented. Umbenhauer has a 152 point edge over Brightbill.
Qualifying heat races, 12 laps each, for the NASCAR 358 Modifieds were won by Carroll Hine III, Jeremy Banos, Brad Grim and Doug Manmiller. Consolation races, 10 laps each, for the 358 Modifieds went to Duane Howard and Chad Brachman. Sportsman qualifiers, 8 laps, were won by Mike Lisowski, Brad Brightbill and Kaitie McCardle. The Late Models had Steve Nederostek and Mike Kellner winning their qualifying races.
T.P. Trailers of Lansdale paid a $250 bonus to the NASCAR 358 Modified feature winner while each of the other feature winners received $100. Texas Roadhouse Restaurant of Wyomissing presented each feature winner with 2 FREE dinners at their popular restaurant. Bobby Gunther Walsh and Sponsors had a $50 Hard Charger Award for Duane Howard who gained 19 positions in the 358 Modified feature. Chuck Schutz earned the Salvage Transport Hard Charger Award for going from 11th to 4th in the Late Model feature. Jared Umbenhauer gained 11 spots in one Sportsman feature and Brad Brightbill gained 12 spots in the second Sportsman feature both gaining Searock Lawn Care of Bath, PA Hard Charger Award. The leaders in each feature at the midway point earned a couple of giant hoagies courtesy of Dan’s Deli in Boyertown. Cargo Trailer Sales of Lansdale had $50 gift certificates for one outstanding performer in each feature race.
NASCAR sanctioned stock car racing returns to Grandview Speedway on Saturday, September 8th at 7:30 p.m. The last point races of the season feature the 358 Modifieds, Late Models and Sportsman features. The 50th Anniversary Champion’s Night is sponsored by Four Star Lettering/Green Lane Wm Penn. There will be a fund raising helmet collection to raise money for Bobby Gunther Walsh’s dad Joe Walsh who was recently injured in a racing related incident.
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
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