Bechtelsville, PA Tough luck seemed to follow Brad Missimer all throughout the early weeks of the season but good luck found the young racer on Saturday night as he wheeled the A & Z Furniture/Cheers Tavern No. 327 Modified to victory in the 30-lap NASCAR Whelen All American Series 358 Modified feature race at Grandview Speedway. In the companion 20-lap feature race for the NASCAR Late Models Ron Kline was able to wheel the ING Financial/V&M Towing No. 3 to his second win of the young season.
Missimer, grandson of track owner Bruce Rogers, started on the pole and led the 28 car starting field through the first lap with Jon Kellner Sr. giving the youngster plenty to think about as he challenged for the top spot. With five laps in the record book Missimer was still in front of the pack with veteran racer Kellner right on his tail followed by Danny Erb, Don Norris Jr. and Terry Meitzler.
Kellner remained the nemesis of leader Brad Missimer until the midway point of the race when Danny Erb moved into the runnerup spot. For the balance of the race it was Erb, running his best race of the season, nipping at Missimer''s heels and at one time pulling alongside in an effort to take over the top spot.
At the finish Missmer, who hails from Bechtelsville, was just a narrow margin in front of Danny Erb (Boyertown) followed by Jon Kellner Sr. (Lansdale), Don Norris Jr. (Birdsboro) and Craig VonDohren (Boyertown).
“The crew and Don (Schaefer) should be getting the credit for the win,” said Missimer in victory lane. “I saw Danny Erb stick his nose underneath me (in the final laps) and thought I should calm down and hold on. That is what I did.” It was the second career win for Missimer.
Even before one lap of the 20-lap Late Model feature race could be run there were two multi car accidents and a power failure that darkened the speedway. While the Late Models sat on the track waiting for the electric to be restored rain began to fall and that mixed with the 30-40 mph winds made for less than desirable conditions.
Once the lights went back on Bill Henning was in front of the field but Mike Kellner charged to the front to lead on the second lap. At the four lap marker Ron Kline stuck a nose under Kellner in turn two and the two made contact with Kellner ending up headed for the pits. On the restart Kline was in front and set the pace for the balance of the 20-lap feature race holding off an early race challenge from then point leader Randy Stoudt and a late race challenge from Chuck Schutz. The win was the second of the season for Kline who calls Salford home. Second spot went to Schutz (Pottstown) followed by Brian Shuey (Shoemakersville), Danny Snyder (Green Lane) and Randall Paxton (Factoryville).
In victory lane Kline was quick to apologize for the incident with Mike Kellner early in the feature. Apparently officials did not think he did anything wrong as he was not penalized.
Point leader Randy Stoudt went to the pits midway in the feature race for the Late Models with tire problems and the resulting 14th place finish gave the point lead to defending champion Brian Shuey.
Modified point leader Duane Howard finished seventh giving him enough points to continue to hold the top spot.
Qualifying heat races for the Late Models were won by Ron Kline, Brian Shuey and Randy Stoudt. In the NASCAR 358 Modifieds qualifying heat victories went to Ray Swinehart, Brad Missimer, Duane Howard and Jon Kellner Sr. The consolation races for the Modifieds were won by Shawn Reimert and Mike Gular.
Dan’s Deli Halfway Awards went to Ron Kline in the Late Model feature and Brad Missimer in the Modifieds. The Cargo Trailer Sales 10th Place Award was earned by Rick Todorow in Late Models while Kevin Hirthler got the award in Modifieds.
A tripleheader show is set for Saturday, May 15 at 7:30 p.m. featuring the NASCAR Whelen All American Series 358 Modifieds, American Racing Drivers Club wingless midgets and the open cockpit SpeedSTRs. Admission for adults is $20, youngsters 6 through 11 pay $5 and kids under 6 are admitted free. There is always free parking on the grounds of the speedway.
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