BECHTELSVILLE, PA?~ With five laps left in the 30-lap NASCAR 358 Modified feature race at Grandview Speedway on Saturday night there were still five racers in serious contention for the win but when the checkered flag fell it was defending champion Duane Howard taking his third win of the season. In the 25-lap feature for Late Models the win went to Chuck Schutz for the second time this season and put him in front in the battle for his seventh track Late Model title. Brett Kressley grabbed the lead on the 19th lap of the 25-lap Sportsman feature and drove to his second win of the season.
Justin Grim grabbed the early lead in the 30-lap NASCAR 358 Modified feature with 29 cars starting the event. Grim was able to hold off challenges from Kyle Follweiler. At the 11 lap marker Mark Kratz?s mount caught fire and that brought out a caution closing up the field. On the restart Follweiler was able to charge to the front and held the top spot until the 18th circuit of the one-third-mile, banked clay track when nine time track champion Jeff Strunk took the lead having come from 14th starting spot.
While all this was going on Duane Howard was working through the field from and had become a contender. A five car battle for the top spot included leader Strunk, Howard, Frank Cozze, Craig VonDohren and Doug Manmiller.
At the 28-lap marker Howard was able to charge under Jeff Strunk with his BPG Racing No. 4 to grab the lead and race to a $2750 payday (including the TP Trailers $250 bonus).
?Strunk ran a great race,? said the Oley racer in victory lane. ?Everyone ran clean. We got stuck in the back early but the top worked for us. It was a helluva race.?
Second spot went to Jeff Strunk (Pottstown) followed by Frank Cozze (Wind Gap), Craig VonDohren (Oley) coming from 21st and Doug Manmiller (Shoemakersville).
Howard continues to lead the standings in the chase for the lucrative NASCAR 358 Modified title.
The 25-lap Late Model feature took a couple of tries to get started with a couple of multi car tangles bringing out cautions. Bill Henning, the leader on the first lap, suffered a mechanical failure that put him into the third turn wall.
Once the starting field got settled down Lee Miller set the pace but by the 5th lap Chuck Schutz, coming from 11th, took the lead and went on to win. In the final closing laps, having survived a series of accidents involving several competitors, Schutz held off Sam Schlosberg, who came from 12th starting spot, as he challenged for the lead. Schutz (Pottstown) kept his BPG Racing/Pioneer Pole Buildings No. 1 in front to grab the victory. Schlosberg (Green Lane) had to settle for second for his best effort of the season. Jason Miller (New Tripoli) finished third followed by Mike Kellner (Lansdale) and Steve Nederostek (Walnutport).
?I worried about the restarts because it took a while for my car to get going,? said Schutz when the feature race was over and he was celebrating in victory lane. ?I didn?t like the cautions and the crashed cars. The top groove really worked for us.?
With his win Schutz was able to take over the lead in the Late Model point standings.
Lady racer Kaitie McCardle, celebrating her birthday, set the pace in the early laps of the 25-lap Sportsman feature race. Veteran Paul Kline charged to the front on the third lap with McCardle keeping pace.
A mid race caution allowed the field to close up on the leaders and at the 19th lap Brett Kressley, coming from 11th starting spot, was able to put his Kressley Auto and Truck Sales No.19K in front and set the pace to the finish. Paul Kline challenged the leader to the finish but the Muhlenberg racer had to settle for second. Jared Umbenhauer (Richland) finished third followed by McCardle (Honeybrook) and Kyle Borror (Peach Bottom).
?It was pretty much fun,? was the comment from Kressley when interviewed by Channel 13 TV. ?The c