BECHTELSVILLE, PA April 5, 2009 . . . For the fourth year in a row Duane Howard was able to wheel the Chad Sinon owned BPG Racing No. 4 Modified stock car to victory in the 40-lap NASCAR Whelen All American Series modified stock car feature race at Grandview Speedway on Saturday night. In the companion “More Money 20” for late models the win went to past champion Brian Shuey for the second year in a row.
In victory lane both Howard and Shuey thanked the fans for their great support despite the bone chilling cold weather. Both drivers referred to those in the grandstands as “the real race fans.”
Howard, a past track champion, started on the pole for the start of the 40-lap modified feature race earning that position as a result of winning the first qualifying heat race of the night. When the green flag dropped the Oley, PA racer took command of the race and was able to survive 12 caution periods and challenges from Meme DeSantis, Mike Gular and Craig VonDohren to lead all the laps and earn the $3,000 first place money.
Second spot went to Mike Gular. Coming from a sixth place starting spot the Green Lane, PA racer challenged for the top spot a few times but fell short in his efforts settling for the runner-up position. Veteran racer Meme DeSantis (Temple) was a factor in the battle for the win all throughout the feature race but settled for third followed by defending track champion Jeff Strunk (Mohnton) coming from 15th starting spot and Tom Umbenhauer (Richland).
Young A.J DeSantis, son of Meme DeSantis, earned the top rookie finish with a strong 10th place effort.
The Howard win marked the sixth year in a row that a Chad Sinon owned car won the season opener.
In the 20-lap NASCAR “More Money 20” late model feature the Shuey, a past champion, earned the pole starting position with a win in the first qualifying event of the night. The veteran driver put the starting position to good use setting the pace at the start and leading all the laps on the way to victory.
More than $700 was added to the late model purse by a variety of sponsors through a promotion put together by track employee Mark Garman.
Just as Howard had to do in the modified feature Shuey also had to survive a variety of cautions as the Shoemakersville, PA racer was able to wheel the Bob Fisher Chevy sponsored No. 5x late model to victory. Second spot was earned by defending late model champion Chuck Schutz. The Pottstown racer was able to mount a couple of challenges but had to settle for second spot as he kicked off defense of his title. Ron Kline (Salford) finished third followed by Danny Snyder (East Greenville) and Randy Stoudt (Pottstown) who came back from an early race pit stop to replace a tire to finish in the top five. However after the finish Stoudt was moved back two spots for a rules infraction giving fifth spot to Kyle Merkel.
The Cornerstone Auto Sales of Fleetwood Hard Charger Award for the modifieds went to John Willman who came from last starting spot to finish ninth gaining 19 spots. In the late model feature the award, $50, also went to Willman who started 21st and finished 10th. It is the first time that one driver was able to win the award in both divisions on the same night.
Qualifying heats for the NASCAR 358 modifieds went to Duane Howard, Meme DeSantis, Shawn Reimert and Craig VonDohren while the consolation races were won by Chris Esposito and Terry Meitzler. The late model qualifiers were won by Brian Shuey, Randy Stoudt and John Geisler. There was no consolation race.
Coming up on Saturday, April 11th at 7 p.m. is a tripleheader show of NASCAR 358 Modifieds, Late Models and a first time appearance for Sidewinder Sprints. Adult admission for the night is $14.
April 18th, 7 p.m. Auto Locator Magazine will sponsor the doubleheader show featuring the NASCAR Modifieds and Late Models.
The first of eight NEETS Enduro events will be presented on Sunday, April 26th featuring a 100-lap event for 6/8 cylinder racers and a 100-lap race for 4-cylinder cars. Racing starts at 2:30 p.m. for “The Spring Fling.”
Grandview Speedway is a one-third-mile, banked clay oval track located on Passmore Road, just off Route 100, in Bechtelsville, PA, just 10 miles north of Pottstown. For information telephone 610.754.7688 or visit their website at www.grandviewspeedway.com.