BECHTELSVILLE, PA June 1, 2008 . . . Jason Hamilton had one of those weekends that most racers just dream about. The Erwinna, PA racer won the 25-lap Arnold’s Family Fun Center NASCAR Whelen All American Series Modified feature on Saturday night at Grandview Speedway. The night before he won the 25-lap 358 Modified feature at Big Diamond Raceway making for a clean sweep weekend for the Flurer Machine No.16 Modified team.
Craig VonDohren (Oley) climbed into a Richie Tobias SpeedSTR, similar to a midget with a spoiler, for the first time and won the 15-lap SpeedSTR feature race.
Ma Nature put on a tremendous display of rain, wind, lightning and thunder, wiping out the 20-lap Late Model feature. That event will be run first on Saturday night, June 7th as part of the Craftsman Tools Night doubleheader that will also feature a full program of NASCAR 358 Modifieds and Late Models starting at 7:30 p.m.
Mike Laise put his E & S Productions sponsored No. 15 on the pole but his lead was short lived as Sean Merkel charged to the front early in the first lap.
Through five laps Merkel set the pace with Laise and Jason Hamilton following. By the seventh circuit of the one-third-mile banked clay oval Jason Hamilton was putting pressure on the leader.
A caution on the 12th circuit bunched the field up and on the restart from starter Ray Kemp, Hamilton was able to charge to the front.
Kerry Kratz, coming from eighth spot, moved into the runner-up position on the 16th lap with Ryan Godown showing a lot of strength with the No. R1 now in third.
Defending NASCAR Modified champion Jeff Strunk came from 15th starting spot and at 20-laps was running fourth and having quite a battle with Godown.
With 25-laps in the record book Ma Nature decided to put on a display of rain, thunder and lightning along with strong winds that dimmed the track lights and brought the entire field to a quick and safe stop.
With the heavy rains continuing and the front straightaway turned into Lake Grandview, promoter Bruce Rogers was forced to call the NASCAR 358 Modified feature complete giving the win to Jason Hamilton for his second victory of the weekend. Second spot went to Kerry Kratz (Bechtelsville), who was closing in on the leader when the race was halted. Jeff Strunk (Mohnton) came from 15th starting spot to finish third and take back the point lead by just four points over Duane Howard in the chase for the lucrative NASCAR and Grandview Speedway Modified point titles. Ryan Godown (Ringoes, NJ) claimed fourth in one of his strongest showings of the season. Tom Umbenhauer (Richland) grabbed a well earned fifth place finish.
The 15-lap SpeedSTRS feature had Billy VanInwegan Jr. grabbing the early lead. Doug Rose also held the lead for a few laps. NASCAR Sprint Cup car owner Ray Evernham, making his first run on dirt, hit the fourth turn guardrail forcing him out of competition early.
Craig VonDohren, a six time track champion, came from the last row to grab the lead with two thirds of the main event completed and rode to a fairly easy win. VonDohren referred to the new SpeedSTRS created by Richie Tobias as “twitchy but fun to race.”
Second spot went to Billy VanInwegan, Jr. followed by Nick Pecko, Willy Evernham and NASCAR/ARCA racer Erin Crocker.
Qualifying heats for the SpeedSTRS went to Billy VanInwegan Jr. and Nick Pecko.
In the Modified qualifiers wins were earned by Doug Manmiller, coming from last to first, Sean Merkel, Shawn Reimert and Kerry Kratz. The consolation races went to Don Norris Jr. and Duane Howard.
Heat race victories in the Late Models went to Dean Stoudt, Brian Shuey and Chuck Schutz. The consolation was won by Greg Hoffmaster.
The Cornerstone Auto Sales Hard Charger award, worth $50 to the driver, went to Jeff Strunk coming from 15th starting spot to third in the final finish.
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. Topping the entry list are such names as Fast Freddie Rahmer, Billy Pauch Sr. and Lucas Wolfe.
Coming up on Saturday, June 7th Craftsman Tools Night will feature the NASCAR 358 Modifieds and Late Models. The Late Models will kick off the show with their rained out 20-lapper from Saturday. Both divisions will then run a full series of qualifying events topped off by 28 cars starting in the 30-lap Modified feature and 24 cars taking the green in the 20-lap Late Model feature.
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.
25-LAP ARNOLD’S FUN CENTER NASCAR 358 MODIFIED STOCK CAR FEATURE FINISH: 1. Jason Hamilton 2. Kerry Kratz 3. Jeff Strunk 4. Ryan Godown 5. Tom Umbenhauer 6. Sean Merkel 7. Stewart Friesen 8. Craig VonDohren 9. Doug Manmiller 10. Duane Howard 11. Brad Brightbill 12. Danny Hieber 13. Mike Gular 14. John Willman 15. Kevin Hirthler 16. John Tschudy 17. Don Norris Jr. 18. Shawn Reimert 19. Danny Erb 20. Mike Laise 21. Cliff Quinn 22. Jon Kellner Jr. 23. Jason Smythe 24. Tommy Scheetz Jr. 25. Terry Meitzler 26. Glenn Owens 27. Ryan Grim 28. Rick Schaffer.