MANMILLER, MERKEL AND GARDNER GRAB FEATURE WINS AT GRANDVIEW SPEEDWAYGrandview PR
BECHTELSVILLE, PA JULY 31, 2005 . . . Welcome back Doug Manmiller. The veteran racer had been shut out of victory lane all season and had been suffering through a long streak of bad luck but it call came to an end on Saturday night when the Wyomissing, PA racer was able to drive to victory in the 30-lap J&L Speed Equipment/Dodge Night Modified feature at Grandview Speedway. Sean Merkel was a first winner on the Late Models winning the 20-lap main event and Kyle Gardner of Wind Gap, PA won the 15-lap main event for the 600cc Modifieds.
Mike Bailey earned the pole position starting spot in the 30-lapper for NASCAR Dodge Weekly Series Modifieds and lead the first 12 laps . On a caution restart Manmiller put his American Dental Services #00 Modified in front of the pack coming from fifth starting spot. Bailey and Manmiller went back and forth for the top spot with Manmiller clearly in front on the 15th circuit of the one-third-mile, clay banked oval. At least one the duo was rubbing sheet metal on the main straightaway charging into the first turn.
At 18 laps Jeff Strunk, coming from 14th starting spot, was up to challenge for his fourth win of the season. With just a handful of laps remaining Strunk and Keith Bright bill ?leaned on each other? in the second turn with both being accused by officials of moving an infield track marker out on to the track. Both were sent to the back of the field with Ray Swinehart now in second spot challenging Manmiller,
For the final few circuits Swinehart (Bechtelsville) put on a strong effort, having come from 22nd starting spot, but had to settle for second to Manmiller who earned his first win of the season. Third spot went to Jon Kellner (Lansdale) followed by Cliff Quinn (Coopersburg) who was battling for a top three position much of the night. Meme DeSantis (Temple) earned the Tom Oates Chevy Hard Charger Award coming from 27th starting position to finish fifth.
In victory lane Manmiller gave all the credit for the victory to his crew saying that they had tried 12 different setups in as many weeks in an effort to get a strong finish.
Manmiller became the 10th different Modified feature winner of the season.
Three time champion John Giesler went to the front at the drop of the green in the 20-lap Late Model feature race with Sean Merkel (Gilbertsville) grabbing the one spot on the fifth lap on the restart after a caution.
At the 14 lap marker Buddy Wharton went to the front and was ?king? for a couple laps. At 17 laps Merkel went back in front of the pack and took the victory his first career Late Model win. Wharton (Birdsboro) finished an impressive second followed by defending track Late Model champion Chuck Schutz (Pottstown), two time champion Lou Egrie (Willow Grove) and three time champion John Giesler (Aston).
The 15-lap main event for 600cc Modifieds was won by Kyle Gardner of Wind Gap, PA wheeling his own Gardner?s Auto Service entry.
Qualifying heat races for the 600cc Modifieds were won by Gardner and Scott Washburn.
Brian Shuey got the first qualifying heat win for the Late Models while the other two qualifiers were won by Sean Merkel and Lou Egrie. The Jim Brown Cash Dash went to Sean Merkel making a complete clean sweep night for the young racer.
Qualifiers for the Modifieds were won by Doug Manmiller, Jon Kellner, Cliff Quinn, Terry Meitzler and Craig VonDohren. Consolation event wins were earned by Tom Umbenhauer, Shawn Reimert and Ray Swinehart. The Cheers Tavern Cash Dash was won by VonDohren for the second week in a row.
With $10,000 being offered to the winner the Saturday, August 6th Stauffer Construction Forrest Rogers Memorial will attract a stellar field of NASCAR Dodge Weekly Series Modified racers trying to qualify for the 50 lapper. The race is run annually in memory of the man, Forrest Rogers, who had the