Race Results 04/14/2007

Bechtelsville, Pa. ? Duane Howard, behind the wheel of the Mavericks Motorcycles No. 114, repeated the same feat at Grandview Speedway on Saturday night as he did last year ? he won the season opener. The 40-lap NASCAR Whelan All-American Series modified feature to mark the start of the 45th season had 13 laps in the books before

rain curtailed the event on Sat., April 14.

      Prior to the rain, Kevin Hirthler led the first lap in the 40-lap feature until Doug Manmiller took over the reigns trailed by Hirthler, Mike Gular, Sean Merkel and Steve Swinehart.

      11 laps were completed and the yellow was thrown for Brad Missimer against the third and fourth turn boilerplate. 
      The restart saw Manmiller bobble a bit as rain started to fall making the track slick and before he corrected it, Gular was in the lead.

      Todd Marburger brought out the next caution period with a right front flat tire along the homestretch. The rain was at a steadier, heavier pace and the race was postponed with 13 laps completed.

      The top five for the restart lined up with Gular at the head of the pack followed by Manmiller, Jeff Strunk, Meme DeSantis and Hirthler. Gular held his own when action went green again, however Strunk was now in the runner-up spot pressuring him with Manmiller right behind.

      Going into the second turn after completing the 23rd lap, Gular, Strunk and Manmiller were three-wide with neither one giving an inch with $3,000 on the line. The end result was Strunk spun along the backstretch and Gular came to a rest on top of Strunk. Manmiller was sent to the rear for a rule infraction.

      The turn of events gave the ?97 point champion Howard the lead as he was fourth at the time. Howard wasted no time pulling away with Hirthler, DeSantis, Shawn Reimert and Terry Meitzler in pursuit.

      Hirthler overtook Howard for the lead on the 25th lap, but that was short-lived as Howard was back in front the next time around and DeSantis was now in second. Behind them, Hirthler, Reimert and defending and six-time point champion Craig Von Dohren comprised the top five.

      Howard continued to show the way around the 1/3-mile oval as the laps wound down with positions behind him constantly being swapped.

      The first feature checkered fell on Howard followed by DeSantis, Von Dohren, Hirthler and Reimert. Rounding out the top ten were Danny Erb, Meitzler, Jason Hamilton, Kerry Kratz and Manmiller.