BECHTELSVILLE, PA Stock car racing at Grandview Speedway is definitely a contact sport and that was proven on Saturday night in a wild show that saw Craig VonDohren and Kevin Hirthler share victories in the two 30-lap NASCAR 358 Modified features and Chuck Schutz win the 20-lap Late Model feature. All the excitement was part of Robert Guinther Night presented by BPG Racing. Guinther won the opportunity to have the night named after him by writing the best essay on why he felt the night should be named in his honor.
The first 30-lap feature (actually 29 laps with the first lap having been completed the previous Saturday before rains brought a halt to the action) saw Bill Gensler set the early pace. A multi car melee brought out the caution with two laps down. On the restart young Mike Laise took charge. At five laps Duane Howard brought out the caution as he came to a stop in turn two with tire problems. Craig VonDohren, coming from seventh, took over the top spot.
VonDohren, a six time track champion, looked like he was on his way to a win when mechanical problems slowed his pace allowing Kevin Hirthler to take control after a spirited side-by-side battle with VonDohren. Hirthler (Boyertown), driving the Four Star Lettering No. 117, rode to victory for his second win of the season. Doug Manmiller (Shoemakersville), who had started 16th in the original feature lineup, came home with a second place finish followed by VonDohren (Boyertown), Terry Meitzler (Kutztown) and Ryan Godown (Ringoes, NJ).
The second 30-lapper for the NASCAR Whelen All American Series 358 Modifieds saw Mike Laise control things for the first couple laps even surviving a 10-car accident in the first turn. On lap three Laise bounced off the wall giving the lead to Todd Marburger. A couple of cautions rearranged the field of competitors with Terry Meitzler in front with 10 laps in the record book.
At the midway point Craig VonDohren was pressuring Meitzler for the top spot and with less than 10 laps to go in the feature event VonDohren was able to charge to the front and set the pace for the closing laps to grab his second win of the season. VonDohren earned $2200 for his victory at the wheel of the BPG Racing/Alex Lemonade No. 1c modified. Meitzler was able to hold on for second spot followed by Jon Kellner Sr. (Lansdale), current point leader Jeff Strunk (Mohnton) coming from 27th starting spot and Billy Pauch Jr. (Frenchtown, NJ).
Chuck Schutz (Pottstown) made it look easy as he took the lead on the first lap of the 20-lapper for NASCAR Late Models and he never looked back as he had a comfortable lead with the BPG Racing No. 1 when the checkered flag flew.
Rick Todorow tried to stay within “shouting distance” of the leader and was kept busy holding off Ron Kline. At the finish Todorow (Quakertown) was second followed by Kline (Salfordville). Fourth place was earned by Randy Stoudt (Pottstown) and the TP Trailers No.118. Brian Shuey (Shoemakersville) finished fifth.
Jeff Strunk continues to lead the point chase for the NASCAR 358 Modifieds as he shoots for his eighth track title and Ron Kline is tops in the Late Model point chase.
Qualifying heats for the Late Models were won by Schutz, Bill Henning and Wayne Pfeil. In qualifying action for the 358 Modifieds wins went to Bill Gensler, Jason Smythe, Mark Kratz and Todd Marburger. Consolation race victories were earned by Brad Missimer and Jason Hamilton.
Ron Kline earned the Cornerstone Auto Sales of Fleetwood, PA Hard Charger Award gaining seven spots in the Late Model feature. Mike Gular came from 24th to finish 7th earning the Hard Charger Award in the first 30-lapper for modifieds while Jeff Strunk came from 27th to 4th in the second 30-lapper to capture the extra money.
The Dan’s Deli Halfway Awards were earned by Chuck Schutz in the Late Model feature, Craig VonDohren in the first 30-lapper and Terry Meitzler in the second 30-lapper.
Cargo Trailer Sales had gift certificates for the 10th place finishers each feature race.
Coming up on Saturday, July 25, 7:00 p.m. is a four feature show that will include two feature races for the URC sprint cars and two for the NASCAR 358 modifieds plus qualifying events. NEETS Enduro competition is set for Sunday, July 26th at 2:30 p.m. The NASCAR 358 Modifieds race for $10,000 to win in the Forrest Rogers Memorial 50-lapper on Saturday, August 1st along with late model stock car racing action.
Grandview Speedway is a one-third-mile, banked clay oval track located at 43 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.