HOWARD, STRUNK, KELLNER, ROCHELLE WIN FEATURES IN FRONT OF BIG CROWD AT GRANDVIEW SPEEDWAYGrandview PR
BECHTELSVILLE, PA APRIL 22, 2007. . . Past champions Duane Howard and Jeff Strunk, young talent Mike Kellner and visitor Jason Rochelle kicked of the Grandview Speedway 2007 season, officially, with victories on Saturday night at the Berks County oval.
In the opening event of the night, the completion of the 40-lap NASCAR Whelen All American Series Modified feature race that was stopped because of rain the previous Saturday, three time track champion Duane Howard was able to take the lead on the 26th lap and take the Maverick?s Motorcycle Club owned #114 Modified to victory lane.
Mike Gular led the field for the restart with 13 laps in the record book Jeff Strunk, a five time track champion, applied pressure as did Doug Manmiller. The pressure caught up to all of them on the 23RD circuit, in the second corner of the one-third-mile, banked clay oval, when all three tried to fit in a space made for, perhaps, just one. The end result was that Gular?s THProperties entry was out for the night, Strunk was restarting at the back and Manmiller, who had survived the accident, was sent to the rear for causing the melee.
On the restart Kevin Hirthler was able to take command but that was short lived with Howard moving to the front and that is where the Oley, PA veteran stayed until the checkered flag came out. It was the second year in a row that Howard collected the $3,000 first prize money for winning the opener.
Second spot went to Meme DeSantis (Temple) followed by Craig VonDohren (Oley), Kevin Hirthler (Green Lane) and Shawn Reimert (Oley).
The 30-lap NASCAR Modified feature race saw Jeff Strunk bringing the Gold Rush Custom Trailers/Touch of Green Landscaping #126 Modified to victory lane. The Mohnton, PA racer chased Rick Schaffer for the first half of the race getting by him on the 13th circuit only to have Schaffer take it back on the 14th lap. At the 18th marker Strunk went to the front and stayed until the checkered flag dropped. Doug Man miller (Wyomissing) was putting pressure on Strunk at the finish but had to settle for second followed by Meme DeSantis (Temple), Rick Schaffer (Woxall) and Duane Howard (Oley).
The second and third place finishes for the night put Meme DeSantis in front of the NASCAR Modified point standings with 588 counters compared to second place Duane Howard with 577.
The Late Model 20-lapper had Mike Kellner going to the front early and holding off strong early race challenges from defending champion Chuck Schutz. The Lansdale teenager led just about all the laps in grabbing the win. Schutz (Pottstown) finished a strong second followed by past champion Ron Kline (Green Lane), Dean Stoudt (East Greenville) and Kyle Merkel (Gilbertsville).
Randy Stoudt, the leading feature winner in Late Models of the active drivers, was working his way toward the front, trying to get win number 38 when he spun, He came back to finish 9th.
Jason Rochelle of Schnecksville, PA came from 8th starting spot to grab the lead late in the 15-lap feature for the Rolling Thunder Legends cars and go on to grab the victory. Keeping it in the family Paul Rochelle finished second followed by Steve Nederostek, Randy Kissinger and Tim Henry.
Heat wins for the Legends went to Jason Rochelle, Ronnie Dunstan and Tom Mayberry while the consolation victory went to Tyler Bear.
Qualifying heat wins for the Late Models were earned by Chuck Schutz, Mike Kellner and Dean Stoudt.
Heat wins for the Modifieds, leading up to the 30-lap feature, were taken by Duane Howard, Kevin Hirthler, Donny Erb, Meme DeSantis and Jeff Strunk. Consolation wins went to Larry Soloman, Danny Erb and Jon Kellner Jr.
The Cornerstone Auto Sales of Fleetwood, PA Hard Charger Awards went to Danny Erb in the 40-lap Modified feature for gaining 21 spots to finish 6th after starting 27th. In the 30-lap Modified