Race Results 05/31/2014Grandview PR
By: VICKI GEHRIS
BECHTELSVILLE, PA. ? It may have taken Duane Howard and the Mike Petruska-owned/Atlas Paving No. 66 modified team a few weeks to get things ironed out at Grandview Speedway, but once they did Howard, the five-time point champion, was back in a place he?s grown accustomed to ? victory lane. ?After starting deep in the pack three weeks ago, the Petruska?s found something and made adjustments. Since then I?ve had a fast hot rod? ever since commented the current point leader after winning his second straight 30-lap NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Modified feature on Saturday night. Howard said, ?the competition is always strong here every week and I was able to deal with the side-by-side racing of the lap traffic.? He finished by a comfortable margin over second-place finisher Kevin Hirthler.
Sean Merkel won his third 25-lap NASCAR BRC Late Model feature by a healthy margin over runner-up Randy Stoudt.
The 25-lap non-stop NASCAR Sportsman feature winner for the fourth time this season was defending point champion and current point leader Jared Umbenhauer.
T.P. Trailers, Limerick, cash awards went to Howard, $250 while Merkel and Umbenhauer received $100. The Dan?s Deli ?-hoagie winners were Brad Arnold, modified; Merkel, late model and Joe Masiado, sportsman. The Cargo Trailers certificate were received by Mike Gular, modified; John Giesler, late model and Mike Stringer, sportsman.
Andy Ressler wasted no time charging from second into the lead at the start of the modified feature.
Rookie racer Brad Arnold moved into second on the fourth lap to challenge Ressler for the top spot.
Nate Christman clipped the second turn guardrail and continued before he stopped in the fourth turn for the first yellow with ten laps scored. On the restart Arnold outgunned Ressler for the lead. By this time Howard advanced from 15th into third while Chris Esposito and John Willman completed the top five.
Ressler was back in front one lap later when Arnold went high off of turn four.
The lead was short-lived for Ressler when Arnold regained first on lap 13.
First and second on the 14th lap was Ressler and Howard as Arnold began fading backwards.
Howard was the new leader on the 15th lap while Ressler, Esposito, Willman and Hirthler battled for second through fifth.
Within five laps Howard built up a sizeable lead while the four-way battle for second behind him was a highly contested one between Willman, Esposito, Ressler and Hirthler.
Arnold?s fine run ended when he slowed in the third turn for the 22 lap cautions. Howard held his own when action continued followed by Willman, Hirthler, Esposito and 14th place starter Frank Cozze.
The pace regrouped for the final time with five to go when Eric Biehn stopped with a flat tire to bring out the caution. It was still Howard in command, but now Hirthler was second to attempt to overtake him.
Howard never faltered and pulled into the winner?s circle trailed by Hirthler, Cozze, Willman and Doug Manmiller, who came from 22nd after having to run the consi in which he won. Jeff Strunk hung on for sixth trailed by Craig Von Dohren, Esposito, Kyle Weiss and Mike Gular.
Arnold, Tommy Scheetz III and Ressler won the heats. The consi went to Manmiller.
In late model action Steve butler led for two laps until the 2005 point champion Ron Kline overtook him on the third lap restart needed for a fourth turn multi-car incident created when a car got sideways and everyone scrambled.
The action behind Kline was hot and heavy between Bryon Sipe, Dan Green, Butler and Jason Miller.
Sipe spun in the second turn for the sixth lap yellow with Chuck Schutz and Butler also involved since they had nowhere to go. Kline continued his pace on the restart with Green, Merkel, Schlosberg and Lou Egrie in pursuit.
On the 12th lap Green slowed his pace in the second turn. Cars went in every direction to avoid him, but Lou Egrie rode up over him bringing out th