BECHTELSVILLE, PA?~ For the first time in his career Kyle Merkel was able to wheel his Excel Collision/Gouldey Meats No. 117 to victory in a Steel Block Bandits Late Model feature race winning the 40-lap feature at Grandview Speedway on Saturday night. In the 20-lap main event for Sportsman stock cars Joe Masiado came home the winner with the Valley Auto NAPA Parts No. 43.
?Kyle Merkel had a storybook night starting off by winning the 12-lap qualifying race and then coming back to lead the 25-car starting field to the green in the 40-lap Late Model feature. The young Gilbertsville racer who has been traveling with the Steel Block Bandits this season was able to do it all in front of his hometown fans.
?Merkel was, for the most part, the man to beat as he led almost all the laps and was able to survive numerous restarts with close to 50-caution laps being recorded. Only Mike Kellner, who charged through the pack, to take the lead on the 25th circuit of the one-third-mile, banked clay oval was able to take the top spot from Merkel. However that lead was short lived as mechanical problems sent to Kellner to the infield and out for the night on the 26th lap.
?Merkel, a former regular in the Late Model ranks at Grandview, was able to take back the top spot and that is where he stayed for the balance of the feature race picking up $2,000 for his winning efforts.
?In victory lane Merkel had nothing but praise for his team, his sponsors and his engine builder Larry Lombardo. The young Gilbertsville, PA racer told the fans that he would have been very disappointed if he had not been able to win the race in front of all his hometown fans.
?Second spot went to Brian Shuey (Shoemakersville) who was a thorn in Merkel?s side all night as he challenged the leader in the early laps and then came back in the final laps to challenge again but ended up settling for the runner-up position.
?Randy Stoudt (Pottstown) came home with a strong third place finish while Ron Kline (Salford), a contender for the top spot early in the event, settled for fourth. Andy Fries (Mercerburg, PA) finished in fifth spot.
?The 20-lap feature for Sportsman stock cars had Joe Masiado (Bethlehem) getting the top spot on the start and leading all the laps despite an overheating engine in his Valley Auto Parts entry. The win, the first ever for Masiado at Grandview, was worth $1,000.
?Second spot went to Brad Brightbill (Sinking Spring). The young racer was closing on the leader when the checkered flag fell. Craig Whitmoyer came home third followed by Mike Lisowski and Kevin Beach.
?Qualifying heat races, 12 laps each, for the Late Models were won by Ron Kline, Kyle Merkel and Brian Shuey. The 15-lap B-Main was won by Nate Christman. Eight Late Models represented the Steel Block Bandits while 19 of the Grandview Late Models were on hand.
?Qualifying events, eight laps, for the Sportsman were won by Joe Masiado and Craig Whitmoyer.
?Alex?s Lemonade stand will benefit from the Saturday, August 7th doubleheader night of racing featuring the NASCAR 358 Modifieds and Late Models sponsored by the Mavericks Motorcycle Club. Racing starts at 7:30 p.m.
?Coming up on Saturday, August 14th at 7:30 p.m. will be the annual Forrest Rogers Memorial Classic for NASCAR 358 Modifieds. The race pays $10,000 to win. In addition the Late Models will be in action.
?Reasonably priced opportunities to market through motorsports at Grandview Speedway are available by contacting Ernie Saxton Communications, Inc. at 215.752.7797. A color brochure outlining all the opportunities is available upon request.
?Grandview Speedway is located at 43 Passmore Road in Bechtelsville, PA, just a short distance off Route 100, 10 miles north of Pottstown. For information telephone 610.754.7688 or check in at www.grandvi