HOWARD, STOUDT, STRUNK AND SHUEY ARE PART OF A HOLLYWOOD ENDING AT GRANDVIEW SPEEDWAYGrandview PR
BECHTELSVILLE, PA September 2, 2007 . . . Hollywood film producers probably could not have come up with such a great Hollywood ending as happened at Grandview Speedway on Saturday night.
When the evening started Jeff Strunk had a 12 point lead over Duane Howard in his quest for a sixth NASCAR Modified title. Duane Howard did all that he could to win the NASCAR Whelen All American Modified Series championship as he finished second in his qualifying heat and won the 30-lap NASCAR Modified feature race. Jeff Strunk finished second in the feature and third in his qualifying heat. When all the figures were tallied Strunk had won the closest finish in track history grabbing the title by just one point over Howard.
A stunned Duane Howard stood in victory lane unbelieving that he had lost the championship by one point. He sort of indicated that it was not as big a deal as people were making it out to be. ?I still have a job to go to on Monday morning,? said Howard. ?It was a heck of a battle.? There just may have been tears in his eyes. Howard and his BPG Racing/Chad Sinon Motorsports No. 4 team had done all that they could on that final point night.
And Jeff Strunk and his Gold Rush Custom Trailers No. 126 team were celebrating. Car owner Glenn Hyneman said, ?We had a job to do and did it.? That pretty much said all that had to be said. Strunk dedicated the championship to 17-year-old Chad Miller, son of crew chief Donnie Miller, who had been killed in a single car auto accident several weeks back.
It was pretty much the same story in the NASCAR Late Model division as Randy Stoudt drove the TP Trailers No. 10 Late Model to victory in the 20-lap feature race. He had gone into the final race 25-points behind the point leader Brian Shuey. When the race was over he was 5-points behind and Shuey, who had finished third in a late race charge, earned his first NASCAR Late Model championship.
Stoudt told the crowd, ?I really thought the motor would give out. It has been a good season.? He had birthday cake waiting for him as he was celebrating his birthday and winning the championship would have made for a nice gift. ?I really like winning features (he won six during the season). I think that is better for sponsors and the fans than winning championships.?
Shuey thanked his car owners and labeled his crew as the best in the business. ?It was a great year going down to the last lap,? said Shuey about winning his first title. The Shoemakersville, PA racer won his first track title and thanked his sponsors including the primary sponsor Bob Fisher Chevy.
Mark Fehr charged to the front of the pack on the drop of the green for the Green Lane Wm. Penn/Four Star Lettering Night modified feature race. Fehr was in front for five laps before Don Norris took control and was setting a very quick pace. At 11 laps completed Duane Howard, coming from 12th, was putting pressure on the leader and charged to the front on the 12th circuit.
Jeff Strunk moved to second, after starting 11th, to put the pressure on the frontrunner. The final 10 laps was a chase to the checkered flag with Duane Howard (Oley) able to hold off Strunk to gain his fifth win of the season and the $2,200 that goes with it. It was a great warmup for the rich THP Freedom 76 that is set at Grandview Speedway for Saturday, September 8th that offers $20,000 to win.
Strunk (Mohnton) finished second while Kevin Hirthler (Bechtelsville) charged from 24th starting position to grab third. Fourth spot went to Don Norris Jr. (Douglassville) followed by Jason Hamilton (Erwinna).
Three-time past champion John Geisler went to the front at the start of the 20-lapper for the Late Models while teenager Kyle Merkel grabbed the front spot on the fourth lap. Randy Stoudt, coming from seventh, took control of the race on the sixth lap.
Once in front Stoudt was comfo