BECHTELSVILLE, PA?~ Defending NASCAR Whelen All American Series 358 Modified stock car champion Duane Howard took a giant step toward winning the 2013 title as he won the 30-lap NASCAR 358 Modified feature and that win put him back up on top in the chase for the lucrative title at Grandview Speedway on Saturday night. And it was not an easy win. For the second time this season Mike Kellner was able to put his Mary Kay/Power Washers No. 57 in victory lane after the 25-lap NASCAR Late Model feature and it was Kyle Borror driving his Gunners Run Bar & Restaurant No. B4 to victory in the 25-lap Sportsman main event.
The start of the 30-lap NASCAR 358 Modified feature race had Eric Biehn charging to the front of the 28 car starting field. On the second lap Tim Buckwalter, an outstanding midget racing performer now turning his talents to the Modifieds, charged up to second spot and put the pressure on the leader. Nine time champion Jeff Strunk brought out a caution with a flat tire in the fourth turn.
On the restart Buckwalter was able to take the top spot with Biehn running second and Kevin Hirthler running third. At the midway point Ryan Grim lost a wheel bringing out a caution and on the restart Buckwalter continued to see a very fast pace with Biehn, Hirthler, Mike Laise and Doug Manmiller rounding out the top five.
Meme DeSantis allowed the field to close up on the leader when he brought out a caution stopping on the main straightaway with a tire problem. On the restart it was Buckwalter, Biehn and now Duane Howard chasing the victory. At 27 laps Howard was in second and the two were staging a crowd pleasing battle. With just a lap to go Buckwalter did a 360 degree spin in the second turn bringing out a caution and forcing him to the rear of the field giving the lead and the victory to Duane Howard.
In victory lane Howard gave a lot of credit to Buckwalter for his outstanding run saying that he would be a winner. ?It is tough coming from the back each week,? said Howard. ?The team is ready to roll now.? Howard had indicated that the team was having early season problems with the new race car but those problems seem to have been solved. Finishing second behind Oley based Howard and his BPG Racing No. 4 was Doug Manmiller (Shoemakersville) who made quite a charge to get the number two spot at the finish. Young Eric Biehn (Barto) held on to gain an impressive third place finish followed by Kevin Hirthler (Boyertown) and Jon Kellner Sr. (Lansdale).
Howard took over the point lead in the chase for the NASCAR 358 Modified title. Craig VonDohren, the point leader at the start of the night, was an early casualty in the feature race dropping him to second in the standings.
Past champion John Giesler survived a first lap melee to lead the first lap with Rick Todorow taking the top spot on the second lap. Mike Kellner charged from ninth to grab the front spot on the third lap and had Danny Snyder to deal with for the entire race.
The Late Model feature was caution filled with a couple of multi-car accidents slowing the pace of the event. At the finish Kellner (Lansdale) had his hands full with Danny Snyder (Green Lane) to just pull out the win. Snyder had second followed by Wayne Pfeil (Mohnton), Chuck Schutz (Pottstown) and Jason Miller (New Tripoli). Kellner now leads the Late Model standings by a narrow margin over defending champion Chuck Schutz who is going after his seventh title while Kellner is seeking his first.
Veteran racer Jamie Undercoffler went to the front at the drop of the green for the 24 car starting field in the 25-lap Sportsman feature race. Paul Kline was quick to grab the lead on the second lap. Kyle Borror came from ninth to grab the lead at the midway point. Craig Whitmoyer started his challenge for the win with six laps to go but had to settle for second as Borror (Peach Bottom) was able to hold on to the top spot