BECHTELSVILLE, PA August 17, 2008 . . . For the first time in his long career Tom Umbenhauer was able to wheel his Miller Building Systems/Clay Realty Group No. 19 Modified to victory in the 30-lap RCN-TV Night NASCAR 358 Modified feature race at Grandview Speedway. The 20-lap main event for Late Models went to Randy Stoudt of Pottstown picking up his second straight and 50th career victory at the Berks County oval. Stoudt was driving the Merkel Rebar/TP Trailers No. 118. Ryan Higgs of Nazareth was able to get his first 600 Modified win at Grandview in a feature shortened to nine laps due to time constraints.
The 30-lap feature for the Modifieds had a caution as the field came off the fourth turn to take the green on the first lap when Jeremy Banos got crossed up leaving Rick Schaffer and Todd Smith behind.
On restart Tom Umbenhauer charged to the front from his seventh starting spot with Todd Marburger giving him pressure.
Meme DeSantis moved into second and challenged Umbenhauer for the top spot. Just before the 10th lap a multi car accident brought out the red as the track was blocked and on the restart Umbenhauer still was in front with DeSantis pressuring.
The midway point had Umbenhauer in front earning the Dan’s Deli Halfway Award and he had a comfortable lead over challenger DeSantis. In third was Doug Manmiller who had charged up from 15th spot.
The balance of the 30-lapper had Umbenhauer keeping command while current point leader Jeff Strunk, coming from 16th starting spot, was closing in on the leader.
Laps ran out before Strunk was able to charge up and challenge for the win as Umbenhauer crossed the finish line first picking up $2250 for his winning efforts. Second spot went to Strunk (Mohnton) followed by Doug Man miller (Shoemakersville), Meme DeSantis (Temple) and Terry Meitzler (Kutztown).
In victory lane Umbenhauer told fans he was starting to doubt himself. “Everyone is so fast here,” said the Richland, PA resident. “I stayed on the bottom and stayed out of the wall.”
The winner also pointed out that the new body on his race car probably brought him luck. “I should have put it on sooner,” said the elated winner.
Craig VonDohren, a five feature winner and popular crowd favorite, has engine problems that put him out of action before the first qualifying heat was run.
For 18 of the 20 laps in the Late Model feature race it was the Danny Snyder show. The youngster looked like he was on his way to his first career win.
Randy Stoudt, who has been on a roll lately, charged from 17th starting spot and picked off Snyder with just two laps to go to take his fifth win of the season.
Snyder (East Greenville) managed to hold on to finish second followed by Kyle Merkel (Gilbertsville), who had challenged for the top spot for much of the early race, Rick Todorow (Quakertown) and Wayne Pfeil (Mohnton).
The 600 Modified feature was won by Ryan Higgs in a close battle with Butch Getz. The event was planned for 20-laps and cut to 15 and finally to nine laps with time constraints set in. Third place went to Kyle Gardner followed by Cody Coons and Jeremy Guistwite.
Qualifying heat races for the NASCAR 358 Modifieds were won by Todd Smith, Tom Umbenhauer, Meme DeSantis and Kevin Hirthler. The consolation races went to Shawn Reimert and Tommy Scheetz Jr. In the Late Model qualifiers wins were earned by Danny Snyder, Mike Kellner and Ron Kline. And the top finishers in the qualifying heats for the 600 Modifieds were Jeremy Guistwite, Bobby Scherff and Butch Getz. The 10 lap 600 Modified consolation race went to Mike Keppler.
The Cornerstone Auto Sales Hard Charger awards, worth $50 to each driver, went to Jon Kellner Jr. coming from 26th to finish 10th in the Modified feature. In the Late Model feature Randy Stoudt came from 17th to finish 1st to pick up the Hard Charger Award.
The Salvage Transport Award, $30 cash, went to Bobby Wyatt. The award goes to the Late Model racer who is the last racer to finish on the lead lap.
Racing this Saturday night, August 23rd, will include the NASCAR 358 Modifieds, Late Models and 600 Modifieds as part of Financial House Night. Racing will start at 7:30 p.m.
Admission for regular Saturday nights is $13 for adults, $5 for youngsters 6 thru 11 and under 6 are admitted free with a paying adult. There is always free parking on the speedway grounds and fans are invited to enjoy the wide array of concessions available at the track or are free to bring their food and refreshments.
Advance tickets for the huge BPG Racing Freedom 76 set for Saturday, September 13th are now available at the track. The race pays $20,000 to win and attracts a stellar field of Modified racing talents.
Grandview Speedway is located on Passmore Road, just off Route 100, Bechtelsville, PA, 10 miles north of Pottstown. For information check in at www.grandviewspeedway.com or telephone 610.754.7688.
30-LAP RCN4 CABLE NETWORK NIGHT NASCAR 358 MODIFIED STOCK CAR FEATURE FINISH: 1. Tom Umbenhauer 2. Jeff Strunk 3. Doug Manmiller 4. Meme DeSantis 5. Terry Meitzler 6. Jason Hamilton 7. Sean Merkel 8. Jon Kellner Sr. 9. Shawn Reimert 10. Jon Kellner Jr. 11. Cliff Quinn 12. Todd Marburger 13. Kevin Hirthler 14. Tommy Scheetz Jr. 15. John Willman 16. Chris Esposito 17. Ryan Grim 18. Todd Smith 19. Brad Missimer 20. Ryan Beltz 21. Jeremy Banos (Balance of field did not finish) 22. Marc Fehr 23. Troy Wink 24. Danny Erb 25. Kerry Kratz 26. Danny Hieber 27. Rick Schaffer 28. Ryan Godown
20-LAP RCN4 CABLE NETWORK NIGHT NASCAR LATE MODEL FEATURE FINISH: 1. Randy Stoudt 2. Danny Snyder 3. Kyle Merkel 4. Rick Todorow 5. Wayne Pfeil 6. Ron Kline 7. Chuck Schutz 8. Buddy Wharton 9. Bryon Sipe 10. Brian Shuey 11. Mike Kellner 12. Dean Stoudt 13. Bill Henning 14. John Giesler 15. John Favinger 16. Bobby Wyatt (Rest of the field did not finish) 17. Judd Hendrickson 18. Harry Henning III 19. Eric Snoke 20. Dennis Peiper 21. Ed Trimbur (did not start).
15 LAP RCN4 CABLE NETWORK NIGHT 600 MODIFIED FEATURE FINISH: 1. Ryan Higgs 2. Butch Getz 3. Kyle Gardner 4. Cody Coons 5. Jeremy Guistwite 6, Rob Virona 7. Mike Keppler 8. Nick Mady 9. Dave Baldwin Jr. 10. Tyler Bartik.