Race Results 05/03/2003


BECHTELSVILLE, PA MAY 3, 2003 . . . A four year victory drought came to an end on Saturday night at Grandview Speedway for Kenny Gilmore when he won the 30-lap NASCAR Dodge Weekly Series Modified feature race in a down to the checkered flag battle with Jon Kellner. Just .190 seconds separated Gilmore, driving the Freddy Hamm owned #45 modified, from second place Kellner at the finish. And Ray Swinehart, a former modified champion at Grandview Speedway, was able to wheel the Dames Chevrolet #33 Bernheisel late model to his first NASCAR Late Model feature win.
Doug Manmiller put the brand new #00 modified in front of the 29-car starting field at the drop of the green. Barry Readinger went to the front on the second lap after a caution restart. At five laps top point chasers Meme DeSantis and Craig VonDohren were involved in an incident in turn four with VonDohren out for the night and DeSantis going to the back of the pack.
Terry Meitzler was able to bring the Geil’s Automotive #61 to the front of the field on the 5th lap restart.
On a 19th lap restart Manmiller was back in front with Jon Kellner chasing him. Meitzler had disappeared from the top five. On the 22nd circuit of the one-third-mile, banked clay oval Jon Kellner, a winner just a couple weeks back, was able to take control of the race.
However at the 26th lap Gilmore, who calls Fleetwood, PA home, charged under Kellner coming off the fourth turn and took command. The next four laps saw the two swap the lead back and forth a number of times with Gilmore able to “out drag” Kellner to the finish line and grab his first win since April 24, 1999 when he had driven the Nick Esposito #7 to victory.
Second went to Kellner (Lansdale) followed by Keith Brightbill ( Mohnton), Rick Schaffer (Woxall) and Jeff Strunk (Bethel). Strunk had gone to the back of the pack early in the race after visiting the pits and came back to get a strong fifth place finish and move into second place behind Kellner in the battle for the lucrative NASCAR modified point chase.
In the 20-lapper for NASCAR Dodge Weekly Series Late Models Junior Grebe was the leader at the end of the first lap with Randy Stoudt, a multi feature winner last season, charging to the front. At the nine lap marker Chuck Schutz, coming from seventh, moved into first. Stoudt and Schutz swapped the lead back and forth many times up until the 17th lap when the top two got caught up behind two slower cars who “refused” to give up on their back of the pack battle. Schutz tried to get under one of the slower cars and spun and Stoudt ended up being part of the accident. The two went to the back of the pack with Junior Grebe getting the number one spot. Ray Swinehart had come from 11th to take second.
As the top two charged under the white flag Swinehart was able to get by Grebe and went on to win the feature race, his first ever though he has won often in the modified competition.
Swinehart, from Bechtelsville, was less than a car length in front of Grebe at the finish. Grebe (Boyertown) earned a strong second place finish followed by former champion John Giesler (Aston), Sam Schlosberg (Green Lane) and Lou Egrie (Willow Grove).
Qualifying heat races for the modified stock cars were won by Doug Manmiller, Kenny Gilmore, Jeff Strunk, Rick Schaffer and Greg Sarangoulis. Consolation events went to Ryan Beltz, Kyle Weiss and Jon Kellner Jr. And the Cash Dash worth $460 was won by Greg Sarangoulis, the biggest victory of his racing career.
In late model preliminaries qualifying heats were won by Chuck Schutz, Randy Stoudt and Ron Kline while the consolation was awarded to Mike Wunderlich.
Ray Swinehart continues to be the point leader in the late model division.