Bechtelsville, Pa. ? Meme DeSantis, hadn?t been in victory lane at Grandview Speedway for quite some time until he won a Thunder on the Hill feature show Weds., May 20, 2009. He enjoyed it so much that on Saturday night, the ?Temple Tornado? charged into the lead on the 18th lap restart and held off the charges of current point leader Duane Howard to win his first 30-lap NASCAR Whelen All-American Racing Series modified. This event was from the May 23 portion of the show that was postponed due to rain and electrical storm. The activities were sponsored by Whelen. Steve Young took the early lead followed by rookie Kyle Follweiler, Keith Brightbill, Ryan Grim and Todd Marburger.
Don Norris Jr. stopped in the first turn while Ray Swinehart was along the backstretch to bring out the first yellow with one lap in the books. The restart was void as Marburger spun in the fourth turn with Shawn Reimert and Duane Howard also involved as cars scrambled. Reimert was the only one unable to continue as he was towed back to the pits. Follweiler charged into the lead on the restart with Brightbill moving into second at the same time.
Gary Hieber stopped along the third turn bringing out the next yellow with two laps completed. Once again the restart was brought back to the line for a multi-car incident in the fourth turn. Since there was a rash of ?yellow? fever in the early stages, the restart was single file.
Follweiler was still at the head of the pack when action resumed, but now Jason Hamilton was in the runner-up spot putting pressure on him. The lead changed on the sixth lap when Hamilton moved into the top spot, but Follweiler didn?t surrender easily as he stuck right with him trying to regain the lead. Hamilton ran low while Follweiler stuck to the high groove.
Follweiler made a strong run on Hamilton, contact was made between the veteran and the rookie and Follweiler found himself put in the homestretch wall with heavy impact. He managed not to flip, but then broke in turn one bringing out the yellow on the eighth lap. Hamilton kept the lead through the turn of events on the restart with the top five comprised of Brightbill, Billy Pauch Jr., DeSantis and Jeff Strunk. Brightbill became the new leader on the 10th lap to show the way for the rest of the pack.
Strunk stopped in the third turn with a flat right rear tire to bring out the yellow on the 15th lap. A quick pit stop to change the tire and he was back out. Brightbill was still the leader on the restart, however, Craig Von Dohren made a bold move and took over second with Pauch Jr., DeSantis and Howard, who went to the rear on the second lap,
Von Dohren?s run ended when his car broke and he brought out the final caution on the 17th lap. On the restart DeSantis, the ?old man?, charged to the front trailed by Howard, Pauch Jr., Brightbill and Doug Manmiller. Lap after lap DeSantis and Howard diced for the lead, but DeSantis held his position while the others waited for a false move.
DeSantis never surrendered the lead and pulled into victory lane for a well-deserved triumph followed by Howard, Pauch Jr., Manmiller, who scored his best finish and Brightbill, for his season best performance. Rounding out the top ten were Hamilton, Ryan Godown, Terry Meitzler, Strunk and Don Norris Jr.