BECHTELSVILLE, PA August 25, 2013 . . . For many racers nine features wins would make a pretty good career; nine feature wins for Duane Howard is the makings of another impressive season in an already impressive career. The Oley, PA racer wheeled the BPG Racing No. 4 to victory in the 30-lap RCN Night NASCAR Whelen All American Series 358 Modified feature race at Grandview Speedway on Saturday night holding off point leader Craig VonDohren who had charged from 26th starting position to challenge for the win. The 25-lap Late Model feature was won by Steve Nederostek of Walnutport putting his Salvage Transport No. 69 in victory lane for the first time this season. And in the 25-lap main event for Sportsman Kenny Gilmore of Fleetwood was able to drive his Russell E. Conrad Plumbing & Heating No. 7 to his first win of the 2013 season.
The 30-lap Modified feature had Jon Kellner Jr. taking the top spot from pole sitter Justin Grim on the first lap and setting the pace for 24 laps holding off challenges from a variety of racers. At 24 laps, on a caution restart, young Kellner spun in Turn 2 giving up the lead and setting up a fan pleasing battle between Jeff Strunk, looking for his first Grandview feature win of the season, and Meme DeSantis. Unfortunately the battle between the duo only lasted until the first turn of the restart lap when both Strunk and DeSantis tangled and ended against the wall. Strunk was out for the night and DeSantis was able to continue and finished 12th.
On the restart Duane Howard, who had come from 15th starting spot, was in front with point leader Craig VonDohren and Nate Christman challenging. The final laps saw Howard able to hold on to the lead and grab the $2750 first place money (including the $250 TP Trailers bonus).
In victory lane Howard dedicated the win to his number one fan, his daughter, who is off to Fordham University. “The team is focused, the driver is focused,” said Howard. “However I don’t know that we would have had anything for Strunk and DeSantis.”
Second spot went to Craig VonDohren (Oley) who continues to hold a commanding lead in the point battle for the 2013 NASCAR Whelen All American Series 358 Modified championship. If he is able to hold on to the top spot, with just two point races remaining, it would be his seventh track championship. Third spot went to Nate Christman (Fleetwood) for one of his best efforts of the season followed by Ryan Grim (Laury’s Station) and Kyle Weiss (Hamburg).
Rick Todorow led the Late Model feature starting field to the green but Steve Nederostek quickly took the top spot in the 25-lap main event. On the fourth lap Wayne Pfeil charged into the lead with Nederostek in second. Pfeil was able to hold on to the first position, holding off the challenges from Nederostek, until the 13th lap when Nederostek was able to take command and set the pace for the balance of the race to earn his first win of the season. Finishing a close second was Wayne Pfeil (Mohnton) followed by Sam Schlosberg (Green Lane), Danny Snyder (Green Lane) and Sean Merkel (Boyertown).
Defending champion Chuck Schutz, the Late Model point leader going into the night, finished 13th after dropping out of the feature. With a 7th place finish Jason Miller was able to move in front of the Late Model point standings with at least the top five in the standings still having a chance to win the championship. Miller has been able to take the point lead despite not having won a feature during the season.
An 11-car accident took place on the first lap of the Sportsman main event sending a few of the regular top performers to the pits done for the night. On the restart of the 25-lap feature Jamie Undercoffler was in first spot but Mike Lisowski charged to the front before the first lap was completed and held the lead for the first three laps. Kenny Gilmore, coming from fifth starting spot, took the lead on the fourth lap and never looked back as he was in front for the balance of the feature race. Craig Whitmoyer (Hamburg) tried to take the lead away from the Fleetwood racer but had to settle for second. Third spot went to Jared Umbenhauer (Richland) who continues to lead the point standings as he tries for his second straight Sportsman title. Last week’s feature winner Joe Funk (Coopersburg) finished fourth
followed by Brad Brightbill (Sinking Spring).
Qualifying heat races, each 12 laps, for the NASCAR 358 Modifieds were won by Ryan Grim, Jon Kellner Sr., Justin Grim and Mike Laise while the 10 lap consolation race wins went to Mike Gular and Tim Buckwalter. The Late Model qualifiers, 8 laps each, were won by Danny Snyder and Steve Nederostek. In the Sportsman qualifying events, each 8 laps, the wins were earned by Mike Lissowski, Jamie Undercoffler and Kaitie McCardle.
The Hard Charger award for the Modifieds sponsored by Bobby Gunther Walsh and sponsors went to Craig VonDohren as he went from 26th starting spot to second. The Searock Lawn Care Hard Charger award for Sportsman was earned by Craig Whitmoyer going from 1th to 2nd and Jeff Teets’ Salvage Transport Hard Charger award for Late Models was earned by Sean Merkel moving from 12th to 5th in the 25 lap feature.
Cargo Trailer Sales of Lansdale had $50 gift certificates for 10th place finishers in each feature while Dan’s Deli has their special hoagies for the leader of each feature at the halfway point. VP Racing Fuels has a $150 product bonus for the first NASCAR 358 Modified feature finisher using their fuel, $100 product bonus for the first Late Model feature finisher using their fuel and $75 product bonus for the first Sportsman feature finisher using their fuel and carrying VP decals on the race car and VP patch on uniform.