TEENAGE RACER SEAN MERKEL AND CHRIS SHUEY TAKES WINS AT GRANDVIEW ON SATURDAY NIGHT

BECHTELSVILLE, PA July 24, 2004 . . . ?This is something I have dreamed about since I was five years old. I have always wanted to be in victory lane at Grandview Speedway,? said teenager Sean Merkel. The Gilbertsville, PA racer made his dream come true wheeling his Agliano Brothers Trucking/Pheasantland Roller Rink #118 Modified to his first career victory in the 30-lap Hatfield Meats NASCAR Dodge Weekly Series Modified feature race on Saturday night at the Berks County clay oval. Veteran racer Chris Shuey of Orefield, PA drove the Harry?s U-Pull-It Auto Parts #21 to victory in the 20-lap main event for NASCAR ShorTrack Late Models.


            Merkel started in the number one position in the 30 lap feature and lead every lap to take home his first win. Track conditions were excellent and made for some high speed competition.  However Barry Readinger challenged the youngster early and after a caution on lap six that sent Jeff Strunk, the current Modified point leader to the back of the pack, and Meme DeSantis to the pits through for the night, Cliff Quinn came up to put pressure on the leader. A couple of times Merkel and Quinn ran side-by-side with Quinn able to get the edge a couple of times but Merkel outpowered the veteran racer to grab back first spot.


            Late in the race another youngster came charging up to second spot and put some late race pressure on Merkel but when it was all over, the checkered flag had fallen, Merkel picked up his first $2,200 victory check. Mike Gular (Harleysville) continues to seek his first feature victory settling for second. Doug Manmiller (Wyomissing), coming from 10th, finished third while Craig VonDohren (Oley) put on a great driving display to earn a fourth followed by Kyle Weiss (Hamburg).


            Current point leader Jeff Strunk, involved in an early race incident and forced to go to the rear of the field after a pit stop, came up through the pack to earn a seventh place finish in the 29 car starting field and held on to his point in the chase for the lucrative track championship.


            Chris Shuey made it look easy has head took command from his pole position starting spot and lead every lap in a 20-lap feature that saw few cautions. Rick Todorow (Quakertown) tried to reel in the leader but just was not strong enough to mount a strong challenge and was a distant second at the finish. Third spot went to Terry Snyder (East Greenville) followed by early season feature winner Jason Miller (New Tripoli) and two time champion Lou Egrie (Willow Grove).