Race Results 05/24/2014Grandview PR
By: VICKI GEHRIS
BECHTELSVILLE, PA. ? Duane Howard became a free agent at the end of the 2013 season after long-time car owner Chad Sinon retired from the sport.
Over the winter months, Howard, the five-time Grandview Speedway point champion teamed up with N.J.-based car owner Mike Petruska and the Atlas Paving No. 66 team.
The first time out Howard demolished the car in the practice session, but came back opening night to finish second to Stewart Friesen.
Saturday night Howard started in the ?lucky 13th? spot in the 30-lap NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Modified feature and quickly worked his way towards the front of the 29-car starting grid. Howard caught up with three-time feature winner Doug Manmiller, slid underneath him coming out of turn two and emerged as the new leader on the 26th circuit. He stayed there until the wave of the checkered to win his first feature of the season. Standing in victory lane Howard admitted he was a ?little surprised to be winning so late in the season, but thanked his family and new team for sticking by him over the tough winter months.? In addition to the top prize money in the event sponsored by Whelen Engineering and broadcast live by WEEU 830-AM, Reading radio, he picked up an additional $250 from T.P. Trailers, Limerick.
Bobby Gunther-Walsh charged to the front on the start and set the pace for 12 laps before the yellow came out after Meme DeSantis found himself taking a hard hit into the third turn wall. He was uninjured and drove away, but later dropped out. The red was brought out on the restart as cars where three-wide coming down the homestretch and Tim Buckwalter hit the first turn wall and took a wild ride. Left with nowhere to go Kevin Hirthler was also involved. Both drivers were unhurt, but finished for the night. This restart saw Ron Seltmann Jr. storm past Gunther-Walsh and into the lead with Manmiller and Frank Cozze, moving on the outside, follow through for second and third respectively.
The lead changed for the third time on the 17th lap when Manmiller took over the position and Cozze was right behind for the runner-up spot to challenge for the number one position.
Howard joined the top three mix by the 21st lap and battled with Cozze for three laps before clearing him and set sail after Manmiller.
With five laps to go Howard closed in on Manmiller to challenge him. Going into the second turn Manmiller went up just enough for Howard to slide underneath him. The move stuck and Howard was now first.
Howard never looked back and went on to score his 60th career win at the 1/3-mile oval tailed by Manmiller, Cozze, Craig Von Dohren and Jeff Strunk. Sixth went to Keith Hoffman, the Bridgeport speedway promoter who had a night off and made an impressive run, followed by Nate Christman, John Willman, Mike Gular and Seltmann Jr., recipient of the Dan?s Deli ?-way hoagie mark and the Cargo Trailer certificate.
Seltmann Jr., Tommy Scheetz III and Chris Gambler won the heats. The consi was won by Kevin Hirthler.
Wayne Pfeil, whose visions of a 25-lap BRC Late Model feature victory went up in smoke last week, led from the green until the checkered to collect his first win of the year. He didn?t have an easy task since he held off current point leader Randy Stoudt in the closing stages to earn an extra $100 from T.P. Trailers.
Polesitter Pfeil kept the J&H Automotive No. 72 in front on the restart with Bryon Sipe, Dan Green, Jason Miller and Rick Todorow in tow.
It didn?t take Pfeil, without a win since September 2013, long to outdistance himself from the rest of the pack and by the 11th lap caught up to lap traffic. He had to use ?patience since it was hard to slow down when they were running side-by-side for positions.
The 17th lap caution brought out when Kory Fleming was spun in the fourth turn and made contact with the wall erased Pfeil?s sizeable lead. Last week?s feature winner Sammy Schlosberg was placed to the rear for initiat