BECHTELSVILLE, PA MAY 25, 2008 . . . “We had a good car,” said Craig VonDohren in victory lane after winning the 30-lap Jeff D’Ambrosio Dodge NASCAR Whelen All American Series Modified stock car feature race on Saturday night at Grandview Speedway. That was certainly an understatement as once in front of the field the six time track champion and his Felty Farms No.1c entry dominated to win their second feature of the season.
For Ron Kline there was joy as he managed to grab the lead on the final lap and go on to victory in the 25-lap Jeff D’Ambrosio Dodge NASCAR Late Model feature. For Kyle Merkel it was heartbreak as he led all the laps except the most important, the final one, and had to settle for a third place finish.
Brian Shuey came out on top in the first ever Grandview Gauntlet Match Race eliminations for the Late Models.
Jason Hamilton charged past polesitter Troy Wink at the drop of the green for the 28-car starting field in the 30-lap NASCAR Modified feature.
Hamilton dominated the action in the first half of the feature race and avoided the numerous cautions. At the midway point Jeff Strunk, who was charging up through the field and was now in the top five, stopped in turn two bringing out the caution. On the restart Kerry Kratz, running second for several laps, went to the front while Hamilton was out of the top five after a brush with the wall in turn four.
At the 16-lap marker Craig VonDohren, from his 10th starting spot, went to the front on a caution restart. Two laps later point leader Jeff Strunk pounded the wall in turn one and was out for the night.
With 20 laps in the history books VonDohren, Kratz, Hamilton, Meme DeSantis and Tommy Scheetz Jr. made up the top five.
For the balance of the 30-lapper the top three was made up of VonDohren, who was dominating, along with Kratz and Doug Manmiller.
The finish saw VonDohren (Oley) grab the win with a comfortable lead over Doug Manmiller (Shoemakersville) who had squirted past Kerry Kratz (Bechtelsville) in the final laps. Meme DeSantis (Temple) earned fourth and Jason Hamilton (Erwinna) held on for a fifth place finish.
Duane Howard moved in front in the point standings by virtue of a seventh place finish and the fact that Jeff Strunk crashed and was credited with a 26th place finish.
Kyle Merkel started on the pole in the special 25-lap Memorial Day Late Model Classic, run in memory of many of the past heroes and personalities of Grandview Speedway, and set the pace for the start of the 24-car field.
Bryon Sipe moved up to challenge Merkel in the early laps and the two ran side-by-side for many of the first 13 laps. A caution for a John Favinger and Steve Wilson accident in turn one closed up the field behind the leaders.
At the 17-lap mark Wayne Pfeil Jr. moved into second looking to challenge for his first career Grandview win with past champion Ron Kline now in third.
At 20-laps Kline was putting strong pressure on Merkel and a Mark Malcolm flat tire that brought out the caution did not help Merkel.
Going into the final lap Ron Kline (Salford) was able to charge into the lead and go on to his first win of the season with the V&M Towing/PKMoyer No. 3 Late Model. Coming off the fourth turn to the checkered flag Randy Stoudt (Pottstown) was able to squeeze past Merkel (Gilbertsville) for second. Wayne Pfeil Jr. (Mohnton) grabbed fourth and past champion Chuck Schutz (Pottstown) settled for fifth and retained his point lead.
In the first annual Grandview Gauntlet, Wayne Pfeil Jr, Bryon Sipe, Mike Kellner and Randy Stoudt were all winners of one or more match races. However Brian Shuey (Shoemakersville) won the most important match race of the night and that was the final one putting him in the history books as the winner of the first Grandview Gauntlet.
Qualifying heat races for the NASCAR Whelen All American Series Modifieds were won by Craig VonDohren, Jason Hamilton, Kerry Kratz and Meme DeSantis while the consolation victories were earned by Brad Brightbill and Mike Gular.
In Late Model qualifying events wins went to Ron Kline, Ed Trimbur and Mike Kellner. The consolation race went to John Favinger.
The Cornerstone Auto Sales Hard Charger awards, worth $50 to each driver, went to Mike Gular in the Modifieds gaining 13 positions in the feature. Mike Kellner earned the $50 Hard Charger award for gaining nine spots in the Late Model feature race.
Fans are reminded that time is running out to send in their entry for the BPG Racing/Grandview Speedway contest that will have the June 14th Modified and URC Sprint doubleheader named after a fan. Details can be found at www.grandviewspeedway.com. Deadline for entries is June 1st.
The NASCAR Modifieds and Late Models along with the new SpeedSTRS class of competition will be in action on Saturday, May 31st at 7:30 p.m. Arnold’s Fun Center of Oaks, Pa will sponsor the night. Six time track champion Craig VonDohren and veteran modified racer Tom Mayberry will test their talents in the SpeedSTRS.
The United States Auto Club wingless sprints and the American Racing Drivers Club wingless midgets will be featured in a doubleheader Thunder on the Hill Bob Miller-Bruce Rogers promotion on Tuesday, June 3rd at 7:30 p.m.
Admission for Saturday night 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 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.
30-LAP JEFF D’AMBROSIO DODGE NASCAR 358 MODIFIED STOCK CAR FEATURE FINISH: 1. Craig VonDohren 2. Doug Manmiller 3. Kerry Kratz 4. Meme DeSantis 5. Jason Hamilton 6. Terry Meitzler 7. Duane Howard 8. Mike Gular 9. Tommy Scheetz Jr. 10. Stewart Friesen 11. Ryan Godown 12. Jon Kellner Jr. 13. John Willman 14. Don Norris Jr. 15. Brad Brightbill 16. Shawn Reimert 17. Cliff Quinn 18. Danny Hieber 19. Danny Erb 20. Kevin Hirthler 21. Troy Wink 22. Bruce Hirthler 23. Todd Smith (Rest of field did not finish) 24. Jayson Smythe 25. Mark Kratz 26. Jeff Strunk 27. Ryan Grim 28. Sean Merkel
25- LAP JEFF D’AMBROSIO DODGE MEMORIAL DAY NASCAR LATE MODEL STOCK CAR FEATURE FINISH: 1. Ron Kline 2. Randy Stoudt 3. Kyle Merkel 4. Wayne Pfeil Jr. 5. Chuck Schutz 6. Brian Shuey 7. Bryon Sipe 8. Rick Todorow 9. Mike Kellner 10. Buddy Wharton 11. Dean Stoudt 12. John Giesler 13. Danny Snyder 14. Eric Snoke 15. John Favinger 16. Ed Trimbur 17. Eric Kauffman 18. Jamie Undercoffler 19. Mark Malcolm 20. Jud Hendrickson 21. Chad Rae 22. Steve Wilson (The rest of the field did not finish) 23. Bobby Wyatt 24. Greg Hoffmaster
MEMORIAL DAY LATE MODEL GAUNTLET MATCH RACES: Wayne Pfeil Jr. won first two match races. Bryon Sipe won three match races. Mike Kellner won two match races. Randy Stoudt won one match race. Brian Shuey won the final match race over Stoudt and first annual Grandview Gauntlet title.