Race Results 07/14/2007

Bechtelsville, Pa. ? Sean Merkel, hailing from nearby Gilbertsville, led from the drop of the green to the wave of the checkered to score his second 30-lap NASCAR Whelan All-American Series modified feature on Saturday night at Grandview Speedway. Despite starting on the pole in the event for the 30-car starting grid, he had to overcome some obstacles that included a red flag, caution periods and lap traffic which cut down the distance he built up over the rest of the competition.

      Jeff Strunk led a parade lap in memory of Chad Miller, a 17-year-old pit crew member of the team that lost his life in a tragic traffic accident earlier in the week.

      A complete restart was needed after Larry Solomon?s third turn flip brought out the red flag. He was uninjured, but the car sustained heavy damage.

      When action resumed Merkel was at the head of the pack trailed by Ryan Grim, Todd Marburger, Brad Missimer and John Tschudy.

      Craig Whitmoyer brought out the caution on the third lap when he spun in the third turn. The leader continued to be Merkel on the restart.

      It didn?t take Merkel long to open up a sizeable margin over the rest of the pack leaving Grim, Danny Erb, Kevin Hirthler and Missimer take chase.

      The final yellow was on the eighth lap for a multi-car tangle along the homestretch that included last week?s feature winner Craig Von Dohren, Doug Manmiller, Mike Gular, Jason Hamilton and Kerry Kratz. The only ones that couldn?t continue were Kratz and Gular. Merkel was still the one to beat as he kept Grim, Hirthler, Danny Erb and Marburger behind. Attempting to get into the top five were John Willman, who finished second last week and Strunk. Strunk managed to advance to fifth on the 12th lap.

      Lap after lap the order continued to be Merkel being chased by Grim, Hirthler, Erb and Strunk.

      The distance Merkel had put between himself and the rest of the pack was beginning to slowly dwindle down as he had to deal with lap traffic that were racing one another ignoring radio warnings plus the move over flag. Merkel wasn?t the only one that had to overcome the lap traffic as the rest of the front runners did also. The one that was on the move taking advantage of the situation was Strunk as he was coming on strong in the final laps.

      Time ran out for anyone to catch and try to pass Merkel and at the wave of the checkered he was victorious once again. It was his third career win at the oval. Following Merkel across the line were Strunk, Grim, who ran his best race of the season; Hirthler and Erb, who both had a change of luck for a decent finish.

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SCHUTZ CHALKS UP HIS 2ND L.M. FEATURE WIN AT GRANDVIEW

 

Bechtelsville, PA ? Defending Grandview Speedway late model point champion Chuck Schutz, behind the wheel of the Ty Zeigler-owned Mavericks Motorcycles sponsored No. ONE, chalked up his second 20-lap NASCAR Whelan All-American Series late model feature of the season on Saturday night.
      John Giesler took the early lead at the drop of the green trailed by D.D. Keely, Dean Schaeffer, Bryon Sipe and Schutz.

      Sipe, already a feature winner this year in his rookie season, moved into second on the second lap to challenge Giesler for