KRATZ AND KLINE END TWO YEAR DROUGHTS AT GRANDVIEW SPEEDWAYGrandview PR
BECHTELSVILLE, PA April 17, 2004 . . . Both Kerry Kratz and Ron Kline ended two year win droughts on Saturday night when each won NASCAR feature races at Grandview Speedway. Kratz took the top honors in the 30-lap NASCAR Dodge Weekly Series Modified feature while Kline was able to grab the win in the 20-lap NASCAR ShorTrack Late Model feature race. Each driver had last won features in their respective divisions on the same date, August 17th, in 2002.
Kratz, at the wheel of the Hopko Excavating/Spunktown Tavern #1k, started outside the front row and took the lead at the drop of the green with Kyle Weiss right on his rear bumper. At the eight lap marker defending champion Jeff Strunk spun coming off turn four bringing out the caution and closing up the field. Rick Schaffer, the all time leading modified feature winner, was now running second to leader Kratz. The top two stayed the same with Kyle Weiss chasing them right up to the 25th lap when Craig Whitmoyer brought out the caution. In the scramble on the restart Kratz, who calls Bechtelsville home, was able to hold on to his lead with former champion Terry Meitzler now running second.
In the final five laps of chasing to the checkered flag Kratz was able to master the one-third-mile, clay banked oval and hold off the strong efforts of Terry Meitzler to get his first win since August, 2002. Meitzler (Kutztown) hung on for second followed by Kyle Weiss (Hamburg), Rick Schaffer (Woxall) and Meme DeSantis (Temple).
The 20-lap NASCAR ShorTrack Late Model feature had Steve Sennott setting the early pace with the Kochel Equipment #61 with former champion John Giesler giving him a run for the lead in the early laps and Ron Kline, in the Zern?s Market #3, coming on to challenge at the ten lap marker. Sennott and Kline ran side-by-side for several laps with Kline getting the edge with just a handful of laps remaining. Once in front the Salfordville, PA racer was able to keep Sennott from getting back in front and went on to win his first feature race since August, 2002. Sennott (Gilbertsville) came home a very close second followed by defending champion Randy Stoudt (Pottstown), Chuck Schutz (Pottstown) and Dean Stoudt (East Greenville).
Qualifying heat wins for the late models went to Ron Kline, Rick Todorow and Chuck Schutz while the Jim Brown sponsored Cash Dash was won by Ron Kline.
In the modified qualifiers the victories were earned by Keith Brightbill, Cliff Quinn, Ken Gilmore and Steve Swinehart (beating his father Ray in a close one). The consolation races went to Craig VonDohren and Mike Gular. And the Cheer?s Tavern Cash Dash worth $410 was won by Kenny Gilmore.
The next two Saturday night shows, April 24th and May lst, will feature the NASCAR Dodge Weekly Series Modifieds and ShorTrack Late Models. At least 13 events of stock car racing presented. Racing starts at 6 p.m.
Grandview Speedway is a one-thir