KEVIN HIRTHLER AND RICK TODOROW WIN NASCAR FEATURES AT GRANDVIEW SPEEDWAY VERY CLOSE POINT BATTLES IN MODIFIEDS AND LATE MODELSGrandview PR
BECHTELSVILLE, PA August 26, 2007 . . . Young Kevin Hirthler drove the family owned Green Lane Wm. Penn/Four Star Lettering No. 117 Modified to victory Saturday night in the 30-lap MidLantic Machinery NASCAR Whelen Modified feature race at Grandview Speedway. For the Green Lane, PA racer it was his first career Modified win at the Berks County clay oval.
In the 20-lapper for NASCAR Late Models Rick Todorow had to wait out a 90-minute rain delay before being able to win his first feature race since June, 2004.
The finishes of the Saturday night events set up one of the closest point battles in the history of the track as Jeff Strunk takes a 12 point lead over Duane Howard into the September 1st Modified race. Brian Shuey has a one point edge over Ron Kline in the chase for the Late Model championship on the final point night.
Glenn Owens put his mount in front of the 29-car starting field and set the pace, surviving some early race skirmishes, for the first three laps. Hirthler, coming from 11th starting spot, took command of the race on the fourth circuit of the one-third-mile, banked clay oval.
At the ten lap marker Jon Kellner Jr. came up to challenge Hirthler for the top spot and the two stayed in those positions throughout the final 20-laps leading to starter Ray Kemp?s checkered flag.
The final laps of the feature race were uneventful with Hirthler a comfortable margin in front of Kellner (Lansdale) at the finish. Third spot went to Kerry Kratz (Bechtelsville) for one of his best efforts of the season. Mike Gular (Green Lane) came from 19th to finish fourth with Doug Manmiller (Shoemakersville) taking fifth after starting 21st.
In the battle for the lucrative NASCAR Modified title Jeff Strunk, with a sixth place finish after starting 24th, was able to gain the lead with a 12 point edge going into the final point events of the season coming up on Saturday, September 1st. Duane Howard, the point leader going into the night?s events, got caught up in an on track incident that may have caused some handling problems in the car, had to settle for a 12th place finish dropping him to second in the standings.
When action resumes on Saturday night Strunk will be going for his sixth track title while Howard will be trying for his fourth. Of course the fact that there is about $15,000 in point fund money and a Champion?s Trip to the Panama up for grabs will make the battle even more interesting.
Rick Todorow started on the pole and finished in first in the 20-lap Late Model feature. It sounds pretty easy but it took the veteran Quakertown, PA racer a 90-minute rain delay and more than three years to get the victory.
Early in the race Todorow was challenged by Wayne Pfeil but at the six lap marker young Mike Kellner charged from sixth to grab second and put some heavy pressure on the leader.
At 11 laps Kellner charged to the front coming off turn four when Todorow bobbled. At 13 laps Billy Graham spun creating a multi car tangle that eliminated the point leader Brian Shuey and a couple of others.
On the 17th circuit Todorow was back in front as a result of a ?bobble? by Kellner and that is where he stayed to grab the win.
In victory lane the low key Juniper Auto Body Shop owner said it seemed like ?ten years since he last won.?
Second spot went to four time Late Model kingpin Dean Stoudt (East Greenville) for what may have been his strongest effort of the season. Third place went to Mike Kellner (Lansdale) followed by Ron Kline (Salford) and Jon Kellner Sr. (Lansdale).
With Brian Shuey out early and credited with a 16th place finish and Ron Kline finishing fourth the battle for the Late Model title goes into the final night of point events with Shuey holding just a one point edge in his quest for a first championship.
Qualifying events for the NASCAR Wh