Race Results 08/09/2014Grandview PR
By: VICKI GEHRIS
BECHTELSVILLE, PA. ? Danny Johnson, aka ?Doctor? invades the 1/3-mile high banks of Grandview Speedway on Saturday night to operate on the hometown favorites in the 44th Annual Forrest Rogers Memorial presented by Pioneer Pole Buildings and televised by RCN-TV 4.
The Dr. also stands for driver as the N.Y. native started last in his heat and finished third, came from 16th in the 28-car starting grid into second on the 31st lap and began to battle leader Duane Howard. Johnson gained the top spot on the 37th lap restart with Howard, the defending race winner, trying aimlessly to regain the lead.
Coming in for the checkered Johnson got trapped behind lap cars and Howard, coming with a full head of steam, almost passed him for the win. Fate wouldn?t have it that way since Johnson held on for the victory with Howard on his tailpipe in the 50-lap NASCAR Whelen All-American Modified feature. After almost 11/2-hour wait until he cleared ?tech? since his engine wasn?t sealed he received the $10,000 top prize money. He was glad he ?got the opportunity to run and that people still believe in him.? He had 10,000 reasons to smile.
Mike Laise took the early led on the initial green trailed by Mike Kellner, Todd Smith, Don Norris Jr. and Chris Esposito.
M. Kellner?s fine run ended on the 11th lap when he slowed in the third turn for the first caution. Laise held his ground on the restart with Esposito, Kyle Borror, Don Norris Jr. and Howard in pursuit. Doug Manmiller was trying to get in on the action.
Howard advanced to second on the 17th lap restart for a front stretch mishap and coming out of the fourth turn to complete the 19th lap he dove underneath Laise and into the lead.
By the 28th lap Howard, Dan?s Deli ?-way leader recipient, checked out and the race was for second between Laise, Manmiller and Johnson. Behind them hoping for a miscue were Norris Jr. and Kyle Weiss.
Johnson got past Laise on the 31st lap and set sail after Howard.
The field regrouped when Todd Smith spun on the 36th lap for the yellow. Since the leader gets choice which lane he wants to restart in, Howard, who usually runs the inside, picked the outside so that put Johnson inside. Johnson passed Howard for one lap on the restart, but that quick Howard was in front again. Howard?s lead was short-lived when Howard was back in first on lap 39.
The battle behind Johnson and Howard for third through fifth was a heated one between Manmiller, who never won the event; Jeff Strunk, a two-time winner; and Craig Von Dohren, who won the race five times. At the same time the front runners encountered lap traffic.
With the checkered flag in sight Johnson found himself behind traffic. Howard saw this to his advantage and gave it one last try to pass him. Howard fell 0.146 seconds short. Johnson pulled into victory lane with Howard on his bumper followed by Strunk, Manmiller and Von Dohren. Rounding out the top ten were Weiss, early leader Laise, Nate Christman, Norris Jr. and Kevin Hartnett, recipient of the Cargo Trailer certificate.
Howard, Esposito, Smith and Norris Jr. won the heats. Consi winners were Terry Meitzler and Brian Kressley.
Randy Stoudt, the current Late Model point leader, was victorious for the fifth time when he won his 62nd career feature in the 25-lap BRC Late Model feature. He also received $100 from T.P. Trailers, Limerick, $100 from J & H Automotive and the Dan?s Deli ?-way hoagie award.
Steve Butler led for eight laps before contact was made between runner-up at the time Stoudt and himself with Butler spinning to bring out the ninth lap caution period.
Stoudt was the new leader when action resumed while Cory Merkel, Wayne Pfeil, Sean Merkel and Dan Green diced for positions.
S. Merkel and Pfeil overtook second and third on the 13th lap and set sail after Stoudt, who increased the distance each passing lap.
No cautions were needed once Stoudt was ahead to give anyone the opportunity to cha