GILBERTSVILLE, PA A large crowd of racers, fans, officials, sponsors and media turned out, in a snowstorm, to see Jeff Strunk of Mohnton, PA honored for his eighth Grandview Speedway NASCAR Whelen All American Series 358 Modified championship while Brian Shuey of Shoemakersville, PA took home his second NASCAR Late Model championship. The 47th annual awards banquet took place at the Gilbertsville, PA Fire Hall on Saturday night (December 5) for the first time in several years.
Strunk and his car owner Vince Gagliardo were able to win two feature races and tally a long list of consistent finishes to collect 4894 points giving Gagliardo his very first championship after more than 30 years as a car owner. The team collected the $10,000 first place money from track owners Bruce and Theresa Rogers. In addition there will be NASCAR point money plus the NASCAR State Title Award money.
Finishing second behind Strunk was Oley, PA’s Duane Howard who had three wins and tallied 4664 points in the Chad Sinon owned BPG Racing modified.
Veteran racer Meme DeSantis of Temple, PA had two wins during the point season and earned 4256 points. His car owner Harvey Bitler had 4206 points to give them a third place finish in the point standings.
Six time track champion Craig VonDohren of Boyertown, PA finished fourth in the final point standings with 4214 points and three feature wins. VonDohren’s car owner BPG Racing had 4191 points.
Fifth place in the Modified standings went to Terry Meitzler of Kutztown, PA and his car owner Dennis Bailey. The team earned 3823 points but had no feature wins.
For the second time in his career Brian Shuey was able to wheel the Charlotte and Dave Eyrich owned Late Model to the NASCAR Late Model title earning 4800 points and three wins.
Randy Stoudt of Pottstown, PA was in first spot in the NASCAR Late Model point standings but lost that lead on the final night as Shuey was able to win and gain the championship advantage. Stoudt, a past champion, and car owner Sean Merkel had two wins and 4788 points to take second spot.
Salford’s Ron Kline, a past champion, had two wins and 4592 points to gain a third place finish in the final standings.
The top twenty drivers and top ten car owners in each division were honored at the banquet.
Each of the champions received a beautiful custom created championship ring from the Rogers family and custom ring went to Meme DeSantis, winner of the BPG Racing Freedom 76.
Chad Sinon, owner of BPG Racing, was presented with a special appreciation award as a token of thanks for his continued sponsorship of the BPG Racing Freedom 76 Classic which is the biggest and richest event of the season.
The annual Jerry Glase Memorial Award, presented in memory of the long time track employee who passed away several years back, was presented to Mark Garman for his outstanding behind the scenes support of racing at Grandview. The award is presented annually by Ernie and Marilyn Saxton who were very close friends of Glase.
All members of the media in attendance were presented with appreciation gifts which included a Grandview Speedway logo watch keychain.
NASCAR had awards for the top three finishers in each division along with the Track Mechanic of the Year Award which went to Scott Schaefer. In addition there were padded certificates presented to the 16 Modified drivers from Grandview that made earned spots in the top 500 NASCAR Whelen All American Series national standings. Jeff Strunk topped the list with a 20th place finish.
A variety of special awards were presented during the evening with the Rookie of the Year Award in the NASCAR 358 Modifieds getting a lot of attention as the prestigious award was shared by three young drivers. A.J. DeSantis, who missed the last part of the season as a result of a shoulder injury suffered away from the speedway, Kyle Follweiler and Addison Meitzler shared the award. Meitzler recently received the NASCAR Whelen All American Series State Rookie of the Year Award in Concord, NC.
Other special awards in the NASCAR 358 Modified division were:
The Top Newcomer Award went to rising young star Billy Pauch Jr. of Frenchtown, NJ. He is the son of dirt track racing legend Billy Pauch.
Sean Merkel received the Hard Luck Award as he finished 20th in the final standings after finishing 11th in the 2008 standings.
The Most Improved Driver was Brad Missimer who was able to gain his first feature victory and be a contender in a number of feature races during the season.
The Sportsmanship Award was presented to veteran racer John Willman who is willing to help everyone.
Best Appearing Car honors was earned by the Bailey Fabrications No. 81 driven by Terry Meitzler.
The Kerry Kratz crew took home the Best Appearing honors.
In the NASCAR Late Model division Rookie of the Year honors went to Oley, PA’s Nate Christman who was able to grab a win this year and finish 11th in the final standings.
The Top Newcomer Award was presented to Kory Fleming in his first year of competition at the Bechtelsville, PA oval.
Chuck Schutz, the 2008 champion, was presented the Hard Luck Award as he dropped to 9th in the final standings.
Wayne Pfeil Jr. was able to win his first feature and that earned him the Most Improved Driver Award.
Buddy Mertz earned the Sportsmanship Award by lending his car to another racer, Kyle Merkel, so that he could hold on to his top five point position.
Veteran racer Rick Todorow, owner of his own auto body business, received the Best Appearing Car Award.
Best Appearing Crew award went to the dressed in pink crew of John Favinger.
Champions awards from the Checkered Flag Fan Club were presented to Shuey and Strunk by Vicki Gehris.
The 47th annual banquet closed out with music for dancing, some great door prizes being won by attendees and socializing going on until the early hours of the next morning.
It was announced that the 49th annual banquet will take place at the Gilbertsville, PA Fire Hall on November 20th.
Grandview Speedway management has tentatively announced that their 48th season will kick off with the traditional free-to-the-public practice session on Saturday, March 27th at noon.
Season tickets for the 2010 season are now available for just $300 and include a reserved seat for all Saturday night events presented. For information telephone 610.754.7688.
OFFICIAL FINAL POINT STANDINGS FOR NASCAR MODIFIEDS
1. Jeff Strunk, Mohnton, PA #41 4894**
2. Duane Howard, Oley, PA #4 4664***
3. Meme DeSantis, Temple, PA #88D 4256*
4. Craig VonDohren, Oley, PA #1C 4214***
5. Terry Meitzler, Kutztown, PA #81 3823
6. Billy Pauch Jr., French Town, NJ #8P 3817*
7. Kevin Hirthler, Green Lane, PA #117 3749**
8. Mike Gular, Harleysville, PA #53 3664
9. Doug Manmiller, Shoemakersville, PA #14 3251
10. Jason Hamilton, Erwinna, PA #15 3171
11. Jon Kellner Sr., Lansdale, PA #8 2960
12. Ryan Godown, Ringoes, NJ #R1 2881**
13. Shawn Reimert, Oley, PA #58 2584
14. John Willman, Birdsboro, PA #74W 2563
15. Kerry Kratz, Bechtelsville, PA #87 2275
16. Keith Brightbill, Reading, PA #K2 2195
17. Danny Heiber, Penndel, PA #107 2013
18. Addison Meitzler, Kutztown, PA #21 2002*
19. Tom Umbenhauer, Richland, PA #19/357 1928
20. Sean Merkel, Gilbertsville, PA #118 1904
21. Ray Swinehart, Bechtelsville, PA #33 1819*
22. Brad Missimer, Bechtelsville, PA #327 1808*
23. Don Norris, Douglassville, PA #976 1725
24. Jason Smythe, Oley, PA #71 1610
25. Ryan Grim, Laury’s Station, PA #17 1603
26. Jon Kellner Jr., Lansdale, PA #67 1560*
27. Kyle Follweiler, Slatington, PA #42 1528
28. Troy Wink, Mohrsville, PA #44/47 1527
29. Ryan Beltz, Schwenksville, PA #221 1456
29. Keith Hoffman, Allentown, PA #15J 1456
Also Feature Winner, Tommy Scheetz
1. 41 Vince Gagliardo 4894
2. 4 BPG Racing 4664
3. 88D Harvey Bitler 4206
4. 1C BPG Racing 4191
5. 81 Bailey Fabrications 3823
6. 8P Bob Greene 3817
7. 117 Green Lane Wm. Penn 3749
8. 53 Terry Fasnacht 3664
9. 14 Breitenstein Motorsports 3183
10. 15 Bert Jones 3171
OFFICIAL FINAL POINT STANDINGS FOR NASCAR LATE MODELS
AS OF SEPTEMBER 5, 2009
1. Brian Shuey, Shoemakersville, PA #5 4800***
2. Randy Stoudt, Pottstown, PA #118 4788**
3. Ron Kline, Salfordville, PA #3 4592**
4. Kyle Merkel, Gilbertsville, PA #117 4475*
5. Wayne Pfeil Jr., Mohnton, PA #72 4324*
6. Mike Kellner, Lansdale, PA #57 4308***
7. Danny Snyder, Green Lane, PA #4S 4298*
8. Chuck Schutz, Pottstown, PA #ONE 4236***
9. Rick Todorow, Quakertown, PA #93 4208
10. John Giesler, Aston, PA #ZT1 3792
11. Nate Christman, Oley, PA #37 3640*
12. Bill Henning, Lansdale, PA #80 3486
13. Jonathan Favinger, Birdsboro, PA #18 3182
14. Kurt Spotts, Pennsburg, PA #70 3034
15. Doug Walton, Spring City, PA #02 2640
16. Buddy Wharton, Birdsboro, PA #7B 2500
17. Dallas Bridenbach, Spring City, PA #007/2 2231
18. Buddy Mertz, New Berlinville #00 2102
19. Dennis Pieper, Salford, PA #409 2041
20. Jamie Undercoffler, Pennsburg, PA #1J 1802
21. Kory Fleming, Milford, NJ #704 1703
22. Andy Ressler, Macungie, PA #28 1659
23. Chris Wojnar, Boyertown, PA #69/88 1284
24. Bobby Wyatt, Reading, PA #14 1256
25. D.D. Keely, Linfield, PA #707 697
26. Randall Paxton, #22R 579
27. John Willman, Birdsboro, PA #7B 417
28. Dirk Rimroh, #007 405
29. Rusty Hassall, Bechtelsville, PA #10 389
30. Lou Egrie, Huntington Valley, PA #X4 361
* denotes feature win
1. 5-Star Charlotte and Dave Eyrich 4800
2. 118 Sean Merkel 4788
3. 3 Ron Kline 4592
4. 72 Wayne Pfeil 4324
5. 57 Mike Kellner 4308
6. 117 Merkel Racing 4305
7. 4S Danny Snyder 4298
8. ONE Ty Zeigler 4236
9. 93 Isabella Todorow 4208
10. ZT1 John Giesler 3792