BECHTELSVILLE, PA September 21, 2008. . . Young Chris Esposito wheeled his JCG Environmental Services/Munches Lunches No. 31 to victory in the 30-lap Allstate Insurance NASCAR 358 Modified feature race at Grandview Speedway. The Saturday night win was the first of his career.
In the 20-lap feature for the NASCAR Late Models Brian Shuey earned his 5th win of the season with the Bob Fisher Chevy No. 5x and Nick Pecko came home first in the Tobias SpeedSTR 15-lap feature which was his third win of the season and gave him the season championship.
Jeff Strunk was officially crowned the NASCAR Whelen All American Series Modified Champion for 2008. The title was his seventh at Grandview. Chuck Schutz earned the 2008 NASCAR Late Model championship for his fourth career title at the Bechtelsville clay oval.
The Saturday night show closed out the 2008 regular season at Grandview Speedway with a Thunder on the Hill Halloween Celebration event planned for October 18th. The open competition show scheduled for September 27th has been cancelled.
Jeremy Banos took advantage of a fourth “rub” of Bobby Gunther Walsh as the 29 car starting field charged toward the green flag and took the lead on the first circuit of the one-third-mile, banked clay oval.
Marc Fehr challenged with eight laps completed while Walsh hung on to third spot.
With the halfway mark showing Banos, hoping to win his first feature race, busy holding off challenger Chris Esposito. Brad Missimer, also looking for his first win, held third spot.
Missimer was challenging Banos at the 20-lap mark but disaster struck for the leader on the 23rd lap when he got too high in the third and fourth turns bouncing off the wall and giving the lead to second place Esposito. Banos was out of the top ten by the time he got control of his race car.
Esposito, one of the true low budget racers at Grandview, spent the rest of the 30 laps holding off strong challenges of two time feature winner Terry Meitzler. At the finish the Perkasie, PA racer had a narrow lead in grabbing his first career victory and the $2,200 first place money.
Second spot went to Meitzler (Kutztown) followed by Rick Schaffer (Woxall), Brad Missimer (Bechtelsville) and Ryan Godown (Ringoes, NJ).
In victory lane an emotional Esposito told the crowd that he had not even planned to race this season. He gave his crew all the credit for the win and he pointed out that “patience pays at Grandview.”
Danny Snyder charged to the front to lead the 20 car starting field on the first lap of the 20-lap Late Model feature. One lap later Bill Henning took command looking for his third win of the season.
With half the race completed Henning picked up the Dan’s Deli Halfway Leader Award with Wayne Pfeil, searching for his first career win, now running second.
Point leader Chuck Schutz and challenger Randy Stoudt had a spirited battle going on until the 17th lap when Stoudt got into the back of Bill Henning and hit the third turn wall putting him out of the race and ending his championship hopes.
On the restart after the Stoudt incident defending champion Brian Shuey, who started in 9th spot, was able to take command and ride to victory. The win was the fifth of the season for the Shoemakerville, PA racer. Second spot went to Schutz (Pottstown) followed by Mike Kellner (Lansdale), coming from 18th starting spot, Bill Henning (Lansdale) and Wayne Pfeil (Mohnton).
Leading all 15 laps 15-year-old Nick Pecko (Vandling) rode to victory in the Tobias SpeedSTR feature race. Legendary dirt track racer Richie Tobias, creator of the SpeedSTR racers, finished and was closing in on the winner at the finish. Third place went to Billy Vaninwegan.
Qualifying heats for the NASCAR 358 Modifieds went to Chris Esposito, Shawn Reimert, Brad Missimer and Bobby Gunther Walsh. Consolation victories were earned by Kerry Kratz and Jon Kellner Sr.
Late Model qualifiers went to Randy Stoudt, Dean Stoudt and Brian Shuey.
The qualifying race for the SpeedSTRS was won by Pecko.
The Cornerstone Auto Sales Hard Charger award worth $50 went to Mike Kellner in the Late Models charging from 18th starting spot to finish third in the 20 lap feature. Craig VonDohren went from 24th starting position to finish 7th in the 30-lap Modified feature.
Tenth place Late Model feature finisher John Giesler earned a $50 gift certificate from Cargo Trailer Sales of Lansdale, PA.
A collection by racers in the grandstands at intermission raised $1005 for Late Model racer Jud Hendrickson who was critically injured in a motorcycle highway accident that involved a deer.
Auto racing will return to the Grandview Speedway on Saturday, October 18th at 6 p.m. when the Halloween Thunder on the Hill five division, all features no qualifying events, is presented. Included in the show will be 25-lap features for the NASCAR 358 Modifieds, URC Sprints, ARDC Wingless Midgets, Legends and 600 Modifieds plus an appearance by the Garden State Vintage Racers.
On Sunday, October 19th at 4 p.m. Enduro racing will return to Grandview. The events, sanctioned by NEETS, will include a 131-lap feature for the six and eight cylinder cars along with a 131-lap event for 4-cylinder and trucks racers.
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.
ALLSTATE INSURANCE NIGHT 30-LAP MODIFIED STOCK CAR FEATURE FINISH: 1. Chris Esposito 2. Terry Meitzler 3. Rick Schaffer 4. Brad Missimer 5. Ryan Godown 6. Kevin Hirthler 7. Craig VonDohren 8. Jeff Strunk 9. Doug Manmiller 10. Jon Kellner Sr. 11. Shawn Reimert 12. Danny Erb 13. Tommy Scheetz 14. Kerry Kratz 15. Jon Kellner Jr. 16. Bobby Gunther Walsh 17. Marc Fehr 18. Don Norris Jr. 19. John Willman 20. Todd Marburger 21. Glenn Owens 22. Jeremy Banos 23. Sean Merkel 24. Mark Kratz 25. Meme DeSantis 26. Tom Umbenhauer 27. Troy Wink 28. Ryan Beltz 29. John Tschudy.
ALLSTATE INSURANCE NIGHT 20-LAP LATE MODEL STOCK CAR FEATURE FINISH: 1. Brian Shuey 2. Chuck Schutz 3. Mike Kellner 4. Bill Henning 5. Wayne Pfeil 6. Bryon Sipe 7. Danny Snyder 8. Kyle Merkel 9. Dean Stoudt 10. John Giesler 11. Ron Kline 12. Rick Todorow 13. Bobby Wyatt 14. Chuck Keely 15. Brad Missimer 16. Randy Stoudt 17. Johnny Favinger 18. Greg Hoffmaster 19. Buddy Wharton 20. Dennis Pieper.
ALLSTATE INSURANCE NIGHT 15-LAP SPEEDSTR FEATURE FINISH: 1. Nick Pecko 2. Richie Tobias 3. Billy Vaninwegan 4. Craig VonDohren 5. Andy Burkhart 6. Willy Evernham 7. Kyle Hieber 8. Steve Hicks 9. Paul Lotier Jr.