Bechtelsville, PA “I didn’t think it was ever going to end,” was the comment of Craig VonDohren in Victory Lane at Grandview Speedway on Saturday night after winning the 30-lap NASCAR Whelen All American Series 358 Modified feature. The early laps of the race saw the caution flying often but the second half turned into quite a battle between winner VonDohren and second place finisher Kevin Hirthler.
In the Late Model feature Danny Snyder showed his rear bumper to the 24 car starting field leading all 20-laps to pick up his first win of the season. And ARDC midget standout Tracy Readinger went to the front with six laps completed in the 20-lap feature for the Sidewinder Sprints and led the rest of the way to claim the victory.
After four Saturday night events for the NASCAR 358 Modifieds and the Late Models there have been no repeat feature winners.
Jeremy Banos led the 30-car starting field to the green flag but veteran racer Jon Kellner Sr. was quick to put his Banes Roofing No. 20 in front of the pack. Several cautions hampered the race progress during the early laps with Kellner Sr. able to hold on to the top spot with three laps in the record book.
On a restart after a sixth lap caution Kevin Hirthler, coming from 10th starting spot, was able to put the Four Star Lettering No. 117 in front of the surviving field of Modifieds. Early leader Kellner limped to the pits with mechanical problems.
At the midway point Craig VonDorhen, coming from 12th with the Felty Farms No. 1C, was right on the rear of Hirthler and the two staged a fan pleasing battle for the top spot. With two thirds of the feature in the record book VonDohren went to the front and held the top spot until the checkered flag fell picking up the $2,200 first place money. For the Boyertown racer it was his first win of the season and his 71st career victory at the Berks County clay oval. Second spot went to Kevin Hirthler (Bechtelsville) followed by defending champion Jeff Strunk (Mohnton) who had come from 20th starting spot. Ryan Godown (Ringoes, NJ) finished fourth after starting 25th and Duane Howard (Oley) came home fifth from 17th starting spot.
In the Late Model feature, 20 laps on the one-third-mile, clay oval, Green Lane’s Danny Snyder was able to but the 3STARZ Landscaping No. 4s in front of the 24 car starting field and led all the laps to grab the victory. The ride to victory saw Snyder fending off efforts by Randall Paxton, seeking his first career win at Grandview, to grab the top spot early in the race and then in the late laps held off Randy Stoudt. At the finish Snyder had a comfortable margin of victory. Stoudt (Pottstown) finished second followed by Randall Paxton. Fourth place went to Brian Shuey (Shoemakersville) and Rick Todorow (Quakertown).
The 20-lap feature for the Sidewinder Sprints, making their only appearance of the season, had Gary Funck leading early and Mike Kiser taking the top spot until the sixth lap when Tracy Readinger (Oley) was able to put the D&S Archery No.2T in front and lead the rest of the way for the win. Second spot was earned by Mark Strickler coming from 13th starting spot followed by Mike Dicely, Mike Kiser and D.J. Montgomery.
The race night for the NASCAR Modifieds kicked off their participation in the new American Racer Tire East Coast Modified Cup point program. Racers that participate are in a position to share in the more than $100,000 in cash and awards bring posted by American Racer Tires. In a special drawing Modified racer Bobby Gunther Walsh won an American Racer tire.
Qualifying heat races, 12 laps for the 358 Modifieds, were won by Jeremy Banos, Craig VonDohren, Jordan Umbenhauer and Kevin Hirthler. Modified consolation races, 10 lap events moving the top four finishers to the feature, were won by Ray Swinehart and Shawn Reimert. Late Model qualifiers, 8 laps each, went to Ron Kline, Mike Kellner and Randy Stoudt while the consolation race, also 8 laps, was won by Kyle Merkel.
The Cargo Trailer Sales $50 gift certificates went to the tenth place finishers in each NASCAR feature going to Kyle Merkel in the Late Models and Jordan Umbenhauer in the Modifieds. The Dan’s Deli Halfway Leader Award went to Danny Snyder in the Late Model feature and Kevin Hirthler in the Modifieds.
The battle for the championships, some of the top performers unable to win so far, at Grandview Speedway continue on Saturday, May 8th at 7:30 p.m. when the NASCAR Whelen All American Series 358 Modifieds and Late Models are in action. The night is sponsored by Auto Locator Magazine and the first 200 paying adults that go through the front gate will receive a free Pocono Raceway ARCA race ticket.
Reasonably priced opportunities to market through motorsports at Grandview Speedway are available by contacting Ernie Saxton Communications, Inc. at 215.752.7797. A color brochure outlining all the opportunities is available upon request.
Grandview Speedway is located at 43 Passmore Road in Bechtelsville, PA, just a short distance off Route 100, 10 miles north of Pottstown. For information telephone 610.754.7688 or check in at www.grandviewspeedway.com