Bechtelsville, PA On a night when many fans were wrapped in blankets to stay warm in what could only be described as bone-chilling cold weather Don Norris was able to drive the Limerick Diner No. 976 Modified to victory in the 30-lap NASCAR Whelen All American Series 358 Modified stock car feature race at Grandview Speedway. In the 20-lap main event for the Late Models, the Topless Truckin’ 20, Ron Kline was able to drive his self-owned ING Financial No. 3 to a win.
“More or less Duane (Howard) had a run on me on the final lap,” said Norris in victory lane as he explained how he held off the challenge of point leader Howard in the final lap. “I shut the door on him. It was a great race.
“Duane was high and low trying to get me. This is a big deal for a small team with a limited budget.” Norris went on to thank all his sponsors.
The Douglassville racer started on the pole and held off the challenges of a number of drivers as he road to his second career win and picked up the $2,200 first place money.
Norris was challenged by Jon Kellner Jr. early and then had A.J. DeSantis trying to take the top spot. With two thirds of the race in the record books Kellner Jr. came back to challenge again but with five laps to go Duane Howard, coming from 15th starting spot in the 30 car field, was right on the rear bumper of the leader. Norris and Howard warmed up the hearty fans that turned out in the brutally cold weather with some great side by side action. Norris used the high groove to his advantage and Howard used the low groove. At the finish Norris had just a very narrow margin of victory in topping point leader Howard (Oley). Third spot went to Jon Kellner Jr. (Lansdale) and fourth was earned by Jon Kellner Sr. (Lansdale) while Tommy Scheetz Jr. (Boyertown) came home fifth. Norris was credited with leading all the laps. Kellner Sr. was later disqualified when his car failed post race tech inspection giving fourth to Scheetz Jr. and moving Ryan Godown to fifth.
“I started on the pole and if I didn’t win I should have kicked myself in the rear,” said past champion Ron Kline as he celebrated his 21st career win in Victory Lane.
Kline has had a lot of bad luck this season including last week when rear problems on his No. 3 ING Financial Late Model kept him from being able to start the feature race. This week everything seemed to go his way as he started in the pole position, in front of the 23 car starting field, and set the pace for the entire race leading every lap to grab the victory and pick up the increased first place prize money for the special Topless Truckin’s 20 feature. Kline, who calls Salford home, did run a topless Late Model as did the majority of the feature race starters. In fact four of the top five finishers ran topless.
Randall Paxton, not running topless, made a strong effort to grab first from Kline in the early laps but them seemed to settle in and ride to a strong second place finish. Third place went to past champion Chuck Schutz (Pottstown) followed by defending champion Brian Shuey (Shoemakersville) and Kurt Spotts (Pennsburg).
Late Model heat winners each earned $50 courtesy of Cheers Tavern and they were Ron Kline, John Favinger and Chuck Schutz. The Cash Dash featuring the second place finishers in the heat races was won by Brian Shuey earning $100.
In the 358 Modified qualifying heats the wins were earned by A.J. DeSantis, Tommy Scheetz Jr., Terry Meitzler and Jon Kellner Jr. The consolation races were won by Jeff Strunk and John Willman.
The Cargo Trailer Sales $50 gift certificates went to 10th place finishers Ron Coverly in the Late Model feature and Craig VonDohren in the 358 Modifieds.
Dan’s Deli had their Halfway Leaders Awards going to Ron Kline in the Late Models and Don Norris in the Modifieds.
Auto Locator magazine sponsors the Saturday, April 24th events at Grandview Speedway. The doubleheader show starts at 7 p.m. featuring Late Models and 358 Modifieds. Sidewinders will be added to the May 1st show and will use a 7:30 p.m. starting time that will be in place right on up to the September 18th BPG Racing Freedom 76 Classic.
A special advertising opportunity is available for businesses, race teams or fans wishing to advertise in the Grandview Groove track magazine. Business card size ads for new advertisers are priced at just $150 and will run for the balance of the season.