BECHTELSVILLE, PA Eight NASCAR Whelen All American Series 358 Modified feature wins, the fact that he did not finish worse than 10th all season, the hard work of his pit crew and having a supportive car owner all made it possible for Duane Howard to win his fourth Grandview Speedway Modified title. Both Howard and NASCAR Late Model champion Brian Shuey were honored for their championship winning efforts at the NASCAR sanctioned Berks County clay oval 48th Awards Banquet at the Gilbertsville, PA Fire Hall on Saturday night.
Howard (Oley) and his car owner Chad Sinon teamed to win the track championship with a 1098 point edge over second place finisher Jeff Strunk (Bechtelsville). Howard became the first driver to win the Modified title other than Jeff Strunk and Craig VonDohren since 1999. The championship winning team picked up $10,000 championship money courtesy of track owners Bruce and Theresa Rogers. In addition there was point fund money from NASCAR, the NASCAR state title money and the $5,000 earned as the third place finisher in the NASCAR Whelen All American National title chase. On top of all that Howard and Sinon picked up a $10,000 check as the American Racer Cup Modified champions. Finishing in the third through fifth spots in Grandview Speedway Modified points were Ryan Godown (Ringoes, NJ), Craig VonDohren (Boyertown) and Mike Gular (Green Lane). VonDohren earned more than $4,000 from the American Racer Tire Cup championship finished tied for second with Stewart Friesen.
Late Model champion Brian Shuey picked up the lion’s share of point money for the Late Model racers as he celebrated his third title in four years and his second in a row. The Shoemakersville racer shared the championship loot with his car owners Charlotte and Dave Eyrich. Randy Stoudt (Pottstown) finished second in the final standings just 284 points behind the champion. Rounding out the top five were Chuck Schutz (Pottstown), Ron Kline (Salford) and Mike Kellner (Lansdale).
Several Modified racers received special awards including:
Rookie of the Year - Jordan Umbenhauer
Best Newcomer - Jarrad Miller
Most Improved Drivers - Addison Meitzler and Kyle Follweiler
Best Appearing Car - Chad Sinon’s BPG Racing #4
Best Appearing Crew - Ed and Karen Nowotarski’s #11 crew
Sportsmanship - John Willman
Hard Luck - Jason Hamilton
In the Late Model division special awards were presented to:
Rookie of the Year - T.J. Mayberry
Best Newcomer - Drew Weisser
Most Improved Driver - Kory Fleming
Best Appearing Car - Nate Christman
Best Appearing Crew - Bill and Harry Henning #80
Sportsmanship - Jim Stoudt
Hard Luck - Mike Kellner
The annual Grandview Groove track magazine Most Popular Driver Awards, by vote of the fans, were earned by Modified racer Mike Gular and Late Model racer Rick Todorow.
Top three finishers in each division received awards from NASCAR and the NASCAR Mechanic of the Year award went to
Track photographer Chris Budihas had photo awards for the top three in each division.
The prestigious Jerry Glase Memorial Award, created by Marilyn and Ernie Saxton in an effort to keep the late track employee’s memory alive, was presented to the Kellner Family for their outstanding support of racing at Grandview in both Modifieds and Late Models.
Several members of the media received appreciation awards for their support of racing at Grandview.
Each champion and the BPG Racing Freedom 76 winner Meme DeSantis received custom created rings courtesy of Bruce and Theresa Rogers.
Car owner Chad Sinon received an appreciation award to recognize his outstanding support of racing at Grandview which includes sponsorship of the BPG Racing Freedom 76.
Thunder on the Hill Series promoters Bruce Rogers and Bob Miller presented special certificates to four of the participants in the First Annual Vince’s Towing Legend Owners Race.
Dennis Bailey received the Bump & Run Award, Wayne Renninger was the recipient of the Better Then, But Bad Now Award, Harvey Bitner took home the Better Owner Than Driver Award and Vince Gagliardo got the He Ken When to Retire Award.
Once the awards were completed attendees enjoyed the balance of the evening dancing to the music of a DJ and reliving the 2010 season and talking about the coming season.
The 2011 season is tentatively scheduled to start on Saturday, March 26th with a Free to the Public Practice Day with a 12 noon starting time. New specs for the Late Model division will be announced in the very near future. A full schedule of events for 2011 should be available shortly.