JEFF STRUNK WINS 40-LAPPER FOR MODIFIEDS AT GRANDVIEW, RON KLINE PREDICTS WIN AND THEN DOES IT IN 20 LAP LATE MODEL FEATUREGrandview PR
BECHTELSVILLE, PA April 9, 2005 . . ?.With less than a lap to go Danny Erb seemed heading for his first NASCAR Modified feature win on Saturday night at Grandview Speedway but there were challenges from Craig VonDohren and Jeff Strunk with Sean Merkel also in the mix. Kevin Hartnett was also a factor up to the closing laps when a fourth turn skirmish caused damage on his car and slowed his pace. When the checkered flag fell Jeff Strunk had won the Susquehanna Patriot Bank 40-lap NASCAR Dodge Weekly Series Modified feature while VonDohren and Erb limped across the finish line after being involved in a third turn skirmish, a result of Erb getting sideways and VonDohren being left with no place to go.
In the 20-lap main event for the NASCAR Late Model stock cars Ron Kline predicted that he would win the main event and then preceded to do just that. The Salfordville, PA racer led all the laps in riding to the victory.
Tommy Sheetz put his mount in front of the 29-car starting field at the drop of the green. By the second lap Donny Erb had his ?Abilities in Motion? #42 leading the pack. On the eight circuit, after a caution, Donny was headed to the pits as the result of running over debris on the track and flattening two tires. Danny Erb was in front of the field on the restart and that is where he kept the Conestoga Valley Custom Kitchens #44 right on up to the final lap of the main event.
Danny was able to hold off challenges from a variety of challengers running the race of his life. The Boyertown racer was able to out power the field after restarts for a large number of cautions.
On the final lap Erb got wide in turn one giving challengers Strunk and VonDohren a chance to gain ground. Strunk took advantage of the situation when Erb got the car turned sideways in turn three, was hit by VonDohren when he had no place to go, allowing Strunk to go to the front and lead Sean Merkel to the finish line.
Strunk, who calls Bethel, PA home, brought the BPG Racing/Chad Sinon Motorsports #88 from 22nd starting spot to win while Sean Merkel (Gilbertsville, PA) brought his Pheasantland Roller Rink #118 from 25th to finish second. Merkel earned the Tom Oates Chevy Hard Charger Award for his efforts. Danny Erb (Boyertown) was able to finish third followed by Craig VonDohren (Oley) and Doug Man miller (Wyomissing).
The victory showed that Strunk and car owner Chad Sinon are very serious about their efforts to win a third straight track title and their first NASCAR Dodge Weekly Series Divisional title. The season is being touted as the ?Farewell Tour? as Sinon has announced that he will be leaving the sport as a car owner at the end of the racing season.
In the 20-lapper for Late Models Ron Kline put his Zern?s Market #3 in front of the field at the drop of the green and lead all the laps to gain the victory in the season opener. Second spot went to Harry Neiman Jr. (Bower Beach, DE) who had his hands full holding off challenges from young Steve Sennott (Gilbertsville). Fourth spot was earned by Kyle Pensinger (Lyon Station) while four time champion Dean Stoudt (East Greenville) finished fifth.
Chris Shuey earned the Jim Brown Hard Luck cash award as he was involved in a first lap accident unable to complete a lap with the Harry?s U-Pull-It Auto Parts #21.
Qualifying heat races for the NASCAR Modifieds (more than 50 on hand) went to Tommy Sheetz, Donny Erb, Jon Kellner Jr., Danny Erb and Mike Bailey. Consolation races were won by Rich Wisdo, Jeff Strunk and Larry Solomon. The Cheers Tavern Cash Dash for Modifieds was won by Jon Kellner Jr.
In qualifying events for Late Models wins went to Sean Merkel (doing double duty with his first appearance in a Late Model and also running the NASCAR Modifieds), Ron Kline and Bill Henning. The 10-lap consolation race was won by Brian Shuey. Ron Kline made it a clean sweep by