Race Results 07/18/2015

By: VICKI GEHRIS

BECHTELSVILLE, PA. ? Danny Erb, Cory Merkel and Ryan Lilick all scored their season first victories on Saturday night at Grandview Speedway in each of their division features in the activities sponsored by Hatfield Quality Meats.

All feature winners received monetary awards from T.P. Trailers and if they ran VP Fuels and met the necessary requirements received product awards.

It was a very emotional victory for Erb, who returned to Modified racing full time this year through the aid of former owner Terry Fastnacht, who also had health issues that sidelined him from racing many years. Many others helped the team return this year. Danny lost his father Mike, a former point champion and longtime campaigner who suffered health issues before he passed away in November. Erb, who finished a strong second the previous week, moved up a notch this time. His last win was June 2005, so this was certainly a long overdue awaited and crowd-pleasing victory since he defeated runner-up Duane Howard to be the ninth different winner.

Mike Bailey led the 30-lap T.P. Trailers NASCAR Whelen Modified feature for one lap before Ryan Grim took over the reins.

Grim, who has one feature win to his credit this year and has suffered through his share of misfortunes, continued to be plagued by bad luck. He was sidelined with mechanical problems and relinquished the lead back to Bailey when the yellow was thrown for the one and only caution on lap six. Bailey continued his pace on the restart with pressure being applied by Ray Swinehart, Glenn Strunk, Erb and Howard.

While Swinehart chased down Bailey, Erb, g. Strunk and Howard had their own race going on for the remaining positions. At one time they were three-wide with neither one budging.

Swinehart and Erb shot into first and second respectively on the 18th lap.

Swinehart?s lead was brief as Erb put the familiar No. 44 at the head of the pack the next time they circled around the 1/3-mile oval.

Lap cars came into play in the closing stages of the event and some had a difficult time deciding if they wanted to stay to the inside and heed the move over flag or move up to the high groove. This indecisiveness caused heads up driving on the front runners? part and even allowed Howard to close the margin on Erb.

Coming on strong toward the end of the race was Frank Cozze and he was gaining of the front two.

Erb withstood all of Howard?s move and went on to claim a well-deserved victory with Howard a close second. Cozze hung on for third to collect his season best finish trailed by Swinehart and Mike Kellner, who turned in his season best performance. Completing the top ten were Bailey, who also received the Dan?s Deli ?-way hoagie bonus; G. Strunk, Craig Von Dohren, Jeff Strunk and Mike Gular.

Kyle Borror, Swinehart and Cozze were the heat winners. The consi went to Brian Houseknecht.

Last week?s feature winner Kevin Hirthler was sidelined with mechanical problems.

In the 25-lap BRC NASCAR Late Model feature, Cory Merkel, the ?14 rookie, became the seventh different winner in the division and was chased across the line by veteran campaigner Rick Todorow.

Merkel overtook Bill Henning for the lead on the fourth lap restart needed when Drew Weisser spun in the second turn.

Battling for positions behind the youngest Merkel were Todorow, middle brother Kyle, Henning and Dan Green.

On the ninth lap current point leader Chuck Schutz, hit the first turn uke tire and shot into Steve Gross, Dave Ogin and Sean Merkel, the eldest of the Merkel?s. Schutz, Ogin and Merkel were unfortunately out of competition for the night. C. Merkel motored away quickly on the restart to maintain the top spot.

Todorow, who last scored a win in 2007, gained some ground on Merkel by the Dan?s Deli ?-way hoagie mark to challenge him, but Merkel kept him at bay.

The lead never changed and Merkel pulled into victory lane for the second time in his career, the first on