STRUNK WINS WITH ONE ARM AND STOUDT TAKES THIRD OF SEASON AT GRANDVIEWGrandview PR
BECHTELSVILLE, PA JUNE 18, 2006 . . . With one arm tied behind his back Jeff Strunk held off all competition to win his third NASCAR Dodge Weekly Series Modified stock car 30-lap feature race at Grandview Speedway. That is an exaggeration but the five time track champion did run the final six laps of the feature race on Saturday night using one hand to keep the ignition switch on and the other to drive picking up $2200 beating hard charging Jon Kellner across the finish line by one-half car length.
In the 17-lap feature for the NASCAR Late Models, part of Norris Mechanical Contractors Night, Randy Stoudt was able to drive the TP Trailers/Rogers Auto Parts No. 22 to his third win of the season. The feature was cut to 17 laps from 20 when time ran out on the event that took five cautions to get the first lap completed.
Don Norris Jr., driving a car sponsored by the race night sponsor, led the race for nine laps before giving way to Kevin Hartnett after the two had run side-by-side for a couple laps. Hartnett, a feature winner earlier in the season, seemed to have things under control until Jeff Strunk charged up from 16th starting spot to give the leader a battle for the top spot. At the 17-lap marker Strunk took control of the race with his Gold Rush Trailers/Big Spring Car Wash No. 88.
Once in front the Bethel, PA racer built up a sizeable lead but a caution on the 22nd lap closed the field up behind him. This put Jon Kellner, who came through the field from 14th, right on the rear of Strunk and set up a torrid battle for the victory. For the final six laps Kellner, a veteran Grandview campaigner, tried everything in his bag of tricks to get the lead but fell one-half-car length short at the finish.
Strunk, who had won a Modified feature the night before at Big Diamond Raceway in the same race car, told fans during his victory lane interview that he was forced to run the final six laps with one hand as he held the ignition switch on with the other.
Second place went to Kellner (Lansdale) followed by Kevin Hartnett (Perkasie), Ryan Watt (Boyertown) who came from 12th starting spot and Kerry Kratz (Bechtelsville).
Ray Swinehart, who started 31st in the 33 car feature field using a provisional, earned the CornerStone Auto Sales Hard Charger Award gaining 20 positions and finishing 11th.
Less than 10 points separate the top three in the Modified point chase with Meme DeSantis leading the chase despite mechanical problems forcing him to miss the feature race on Saturday night. Jon Kellner is second followed by Doug Manmiller.
Track officials announced that effective July lst the Modifieds will be allowed to run aluminum cylinder heads. The car including the driver will be limited to 2400 pounds. Aluminum wheels will be allowed on cars using aluminum engines and those cars will be allowed to use the 750cfm carburetor.
The Late Model feature race turned into a demolition derby that exceeded the 30 minute time limit and forced NASCAR officials to toss the checkered flag at the end of 17 laps. Four time Late Model champion Dean Stoudt was in front of the pack at the drop of the green but on the second lap Brian Shuey, who won the opening night feature, went to the front. At lap eight, after a number of cautions and a red flag, starter Ray Kemp went to a single file restart. Randy Stoudt, who had started 18th in the feature race, charged to the front on the 14th lap and that is where he stayed for the balance of the race. The Pottstown racer labeled the feature as ?awful? and said ?drivers were driving over their heads.? He did praise the track conditions while thanking his sponsors and engine builder. Second went to Brian Shuey (Hamburg) followed by Chuck Schutz (Pottstown), Greg Hoff master (Pottstown) and Dean Stoudt (East Greenville).
Qualifying heat races for the Late Models were won by Dean Sto