Race Results 07/04/2015

By: VICKI GEHRIS

BECHTELSVILLE, PA. ? After two consecutive rain outs, racing finally returned to the Berks Co. 1/3-mile oval of Grandview Speedway. Earlier on Saturday night persistent showers looked like it could have been three in a row. It finally stopped and following consistent efforts to get the cars out on the track and cooperation from everyone action, sponsored by Liberty Fire Co., New Berlinville, got underway about 40 minutes late.

The 30-lap T.P. Trailers NASCAR Whelen Modified feature saw current point leader Craig Von Dohren charge into the lead when leader Ron Haring Jr. got too high off turn four on the 19th lap. Von Dohren stayed up top since he ?knew that?s where he had to run,? and went on to collect his second win of the season by a comfortable margin over two-time feature winner Kevin Hirthler. He also collected $250 from T.P. Trailers, $150 in products from VP Fuels and an Ingersoll Rand Tool Package. Von Dohren gave thanks to Bob Green of Pioneer Pole Buildings, Keith Harring from K.L. Harring Trucking and especially crew chief Jason Bashore.

The Libs Firecracker 40-lap BRC Late Model feature winner was Sean Merkel for his first victory of the season and also his first in the 45th year of the Firecracker 40 for a $2,000 payday. He won the race for his wife Lindsay. It was by far an easy triumph for Merkel since Chuck Schutz was right on his bumper the final seven laps.

In NASCAR Sportsman racing Paul ?The Dude? Kline, shut out of the winner?s circle at the track since June 2013, held off Craig Whitmoyer?s bids the last five laps to chalk up his season first win.

In Modified action, outside pole starter and second generation driver Ron Haring Jr. took the early lead followed by Mark Kratz, Ryan Kunkle, Kyle Borror and Bobby Gunther-Walsh.

Ron Seltmann Jr., a feature winner this year, brought out the fourth lap yellow when he stopped in the second turn. The restart was void following a multi-car fourth turn incident. The next try was no better after Kunkle was turned around and this accident blocked the backstretch as several cars were involved. Haring Jr. was still first when action went green again, but now Gunther-Walsh was pressuring him.

It didn?t take Haring Jr. long to outdistance himself with Gunther-Walsh still second. Behind them a four-car battle for third ensued between Kevin Hirthler, Borror, Von Dohren and Umbenhauer.

Meme DeSantis stopped in the second turn for the final caution on the 15th lap which regrouped the pack. Haring Jr. held his spot on the restart, but now Von Dohren, who started 15th, was right on his bumper.

Haring Jr. got a little too high off turn four, Von Dohren took advantage of the situation and shot ahead to become the new leader on lap 19.

Within no time Von Dohren had a sizeable lead built up leaving Hirthler, Haring Jr., Gunther-Walsh and Borror in pursuit.

Most positions but the lead changed and Von Dohren pulled into victory lane for his 92nd win followed by Hirthler, Doug Manmiller, who started dead last in 28th; Ryan Watt, the consi winner from 22nd and rookie Umbenhauer, who started 17th. Sixth through tenth were Borror, Haring Jr., Ray Swinehart, Duane Howard and Gunther-Walsh.

Ryan Grim, Haring Jr. and Mike Bailey won the heats. The consi went to Watt.

Rick Todorow, the 2001 winner of the Firecracker 40, was off and running at the start challenged by Cory Merkel, Lou Egrie Jr., Kory Fleming, who gave several bicycles to lucky children earlier, and Dan Green.

Randy Stoudt, the defending race winner, was a victim of circumstances and hit the homestretch wall for the seventh lap caution. Others were involved, but Stoudt was the only one out of the race. Todorow was till the pacesetter on the restart with C. Merkel and Fleming giving him no room to falter.

By the half-way point of the race, the order behind Todorow now consisted of S. Merkel, C. Merkel, Schutz and Fleming.

The lead changed hands on the 22nd lap since