Race Results 05/05/2007Grandview PR
Bechtelsville, Pa. ? Sean Merkel didn?t have the ?06 season at Grandview Speedway he was hoping for behind the wheel of the family-owned No. 118 as he was plagued with various problems throughout the year. Saturday night the Gilbertsville speedster started on the outside pole of the 30-lap NASCAR Whelan All-American Series modified feature started on the outside pole next to his buddy Brad Missimer and wasted no time putting the Pheasantland Rollerdrome/Merkel Rebar mount into the top spot. In the closing stages of the event Merkel had some tense moments after making contact with the lap car of Jon Kellner Jr., who then spun. It was not easy for Merkel, who last won July 24, 2004, to capture his second career victory at the 1/3-mile oval ? his first of the season as former point champion Ray Swinehart, who also received damage to his car when Kellner Jr. spun, was right on his back bumper at the drop of the checkered in the event sponsored by Whelan Engineering.
On the initial start Merkel was the early race leader trailed by Larry Solomon, Brad Missimer, Mike Gular and Ryan Watt.
Gular took over second to challenge Merkel on the seventh lap restart needed when Mark Kratz slowed his pace with a flat tire.
By the 10h lap Merkel had a comfortable lead built up while Gular, Solomon, Swinehart and Missimer diced for second through fifth.
The yellow was thrown when Craig Von Dohren spun in the fourth turn on the 12th lap. Merkel remained in the top spot on the restart, but by this time Swinehart advanced to second to put his bids in for the lead with Gular, Solomon and Jeff Strunk hoping for a false move.
Lap traffic was coming into the picture by the 21st lap and they were being instructed via radio to hold their position that the leader was approaching. This allowed Swinehart to cut into Merkel?s lead as the distance between them was dwindling.
With five laps to go, Merkel knew Swinehart was gaining ground on him. He went to the inside of the la car of Kellner Jr. The pair collided and as a result Kellner Jr. spun along the backstretch and the yellow was thrown. Swinehart was right behind the incident