BECHTELSVILLE, PA September 14, 2008 . . . Fans went home from Grandview Speedway on Saturday night perhaps wondering if there had been a couple more laps would Craig VonDohren still have been able to win his fourth BPG Racing Freedom 76 Modified Classic in front of a huge fan turnout.
When the checkered flag was waved by starter Ray Kemp VonDohren was just a narrow margin in front of Doug Hoffman who had whittled his lead from a straightaway to just about nothing in the closing laps of the 76-lap race.
VonDohren used the low groove to his advantage as he brought the Mike Harvey owned Felty Farms No. 1c home first and picked up $20,000 plus a large amount of lap money for his victory.
Hoffman, running the high groove, was actually turning laps during the race that were two miles an hour faster than the Oley based winner VonDohren.
In victory lane the winner told fans that he was upset that he had had to go to a backup car for the race but it turned out to be “not a bad backup.” He also gave a lot of credit to engine builder Main Engines.
VonDohren also captured the Cornerstone Auto Sales Hard Charger Award worth $100 as he came from 22nd starting position to first.
Kerry Kratz jumped in front of the 31 car starting field at the drop of the green and his second lap at 79.124 mph was the quickest lap turned by any of the starting field.
Hoffman was quick to take the top spot, after starting third, on the fourth circuit restart after a caution for Brian Kressley who had mechanical problems force him to a stop and then head for the pits done for the night.
A multi car tangle on the seventh lap in the third and fourth corners brought out a caution and sent late model ace Randy Stoudt and Meme DeSantis to the pits.
With 20 laps completed Hoffman was comfortable in first followed by Kratz, Duane Howard, Shawn Reimert and Terry Meitzler.
Howard moved up to challenge Hoffman with 34 laps in the record book and the two had fans on their feet as the duo went side-by-side in a battle for the front spot.
At the halfway mark Hoffman kept the BPG Racing No. 60Over in front with Howard second and six time track champion Craig VonDohren now a contender having come from 22nd starting spot.
VonDohren went to the front on the 50th lap after some spirited competition with Hoffman.
When Sean Merkel brought his car to stop in the second turn bringing out the caution a red flag was displayed bringing all the cars to a stop for fuel.
Friends and family of Randy Johnson, a track fireman who passed away earlier this year, made the 55th worth $955 to the leader and VonDohren was able to hold off Hoffman to grab that cash.
For the final laps of the modified classic Hoffman steadily chopped away at VonDohren’s lead but his efforts fell short by just a few car lengths as VonDohren was able to win his seventh feature of the season at the Bechtelsville one-third-mile, banked clay oval.
Second spot went to Doug Hoffman (Allentown), making his first racing start this year, who had led most of the laps. He picked up $10,000 for his efforts. Third went to Duane Howard (Oley), Hoffman’s BPG Racing teammate. Doug Manmiller (Shoemakerville) grabbed fourth with Kerry Kratz (Bechtelsville), an early race leader, coming home fifth.
Danny Hieber topped a stellar field to pickup $1,000 for his win in the Alpine Building and Pole Supply Cash Dash. Hieber drives the Nitro Fish No. 107 owned by NHRA Pro Stock racer Kenny Koretsky.
Area Auto Racing News presented their Hard Luck Award to Brad Missimer as tire problems forced him out of his qualifying heat while in a qualifying position on the final lap.
The Aw Shucks I Did Not Make The Feature Award, $100 sponsored by racer Chris Gambler and track photographer Chris Budihas, went to first alternate Don Norris Jr.
Just so he would not be hungry during his victory celebration VonDohren also picked up a 76 inch hoagie courtesy of Dan’s Deli in Boyertown, PA.
Qualifying heat races for the more than 70 modifieds, sending the top four finishers in each event to the BPG Racing Freedom 76, were won by Duane Howard, Kenny Brightbill, Danny Hieber, Rick Schaffer, Sean Merkel and Danny Erb.
Consolation races (sending the top three in each race to the Minuteman 20) went to Keith Brightbill, Kurt Spotts, and Brad Brightbill.
The Schaeffer Motorsports Minuteman 20, sending the top four finishers to the main event, was won by Jason Hamilton followed by Jon Kellner Sr., Randy Stoudt and Brett Hearn.
The last point race of the 2008 season takes place on Saturday, September 20th at 7 p.m. Included will be the NASCAR 358 Modifieds, Late Models and SpeedSTRS. The night is sponsored by Allstate Insurance and they will have more than 200 prizes, including NASCAR Cup sheet metal, to give away.
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 own food and refreshments.
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.
BPG RACING FREEDOM 76 MODIFIED STOCK CAR FEATURE FINISH: 1. Craig VonDohren 2. Doug Hoffman 3. Duane Howard 4. Doug Manmiller 5. Kerry Kratz 6. Kevin Hirthler 7. Jeff Strunk 8. Ray Swinehart 9. Jason Hamilton 10. Tom Umbenhauer 11. Terry Meitzler 12. Jimmy Horton 13. Ryan Godown 14. Brett Hearn 15. Kyle Weiss 16. Kenny Gilmore 17. Jon Kellner Sr. 18. Danny Erb 19. John Stangle (Rest of the starting field did not finish). 20. Sean Merkel -71 laps 21. Kenny Bright bill -43 laps 22. Shawn Reimert - 43 laps 23. Troy Wink -43 laps 24. Rick Schaffer - 35 laps 25. Todd Smith - 24 laps 26. Danny Hieber - 24 laps 27. Tommy Scheetz Jr. - 14 laps 28. Meme DeSantis - 7 laps 29. Randy Stoudt - 7 laps 30. Mike Gular - 3 laps 31. Brian Kressley - 3 laps.