GILBERTSVILLE, PA ~?A large crowd of racers, fans, officials, sponsors and media turned out, in a snowstorm, to see Jeff Strunk of Mohnton, PA honored for his eighth Grandview Speedway NASCAR Whelen All American Series 358 Modified championship while Brian Shuey of Shoemakersville, PA took home his second NASCAR Late Model championship. The 47th annual awards banquet took place at the Gilbertsville, PA Fire Hall? on Saturday night (December 5) for the first time in several years.
?Strunk and his car owner Vince Gagliardo were able to win two feature races and tally a long list of consistent finishes to collect 4894 points giving Gagliardo his very first championship after more than 30 years as a car owner. The team collected the $10,000 first place money from track owners Bruce and Theresa Rogers. In addition there will be NASCAR point money plus the NASCAR State Title Award money.
?Finishing second behind Strunk was Oley, PA?s Duane Howard who had three wins and tallied 4664 points in the Chad Sinon owned BPG Racing modified.
?Veteran racer Meme DeSantis of Temple, PA had two wins during the point season and earned 4256 points. His car owner Harvey Bitler had 4206 points to give them a third place finish in the point standings.
?Six time track champion Craig VonDohren of Boyertown, PA finished fourth in the final point standings with 4214 points and three feature wins. VonDohren?s car owner BPG Racing had 4191 points.
?Fifth place in the Modified standings went to Terry Meitzler of Kutztown, PA and his car owner Dennis Bailey. The team earned 3823 points but had no feature wins.
?For the second time in his career Brian Shuey was able to wheel the Charlotte and Dave Eyrich owned Late Model to the NASCAR Late Model title earning 4800 points and three wins.
?Randy Stoudt of Pottstown, PA was in first spot in the NASCAR Late Model point standings but lost that lead on the final night as Shuey was able to win and gain the championship advantage. Stoudt, a past champion, and car owner Sean Merkel had two wins and 4788 points to take second spot.
?Salford?s Ron Kline, a past champion, had two wins and 4592 points to gain a third place finish in the final standings.
?The top twenty drivers and top ten car owners in each division were honored at the banquet.
?Each of the champions received a beautiful custom created championship ring from the Rogers family and custom ring went to Meme DeSantis, winner of the BPG Racing Freedom 76.
? Chad Sinon, owner of BPG Racing, was presented with a special appreciation award as a token of thanks for his continued sponsorship of the BPG Racing Freedom 76 Classic which is the biggest and richest event of the season.
?The annual Jerry Glase Memorial Award, presented in memory of the long time track employee who passed away several years back, was presented to Mark Garman for his outstanding behind the scenes support of racing at Grandview. The award is presented annually by Ernie and Marilyn Saxton who were very close friends of Glase.
?All members of the media in attendance were presented with appreciation gifts which included a Grandview Speedway logo watch keychain.
?NASCAR had awards for the top three finishers in each division along with the Track Mechanic of the Year Award which went to Scott Schaefer. In addition there were padded certificates presented to the 16 Modified drivers from Grandview that made earned spots in the top 500 NASCAR Whelen All American Series national standings. Jeff Strunk topped the list with a 20th place finish.
?A variety of special awards were presented during the evening with the Rookie of the Year Award in the NASCAR 358 Modifieds getting a lot of attention as the prestigious award was shared by three young drivers. A.J. DeSantis, who missed the last part of the season as a result of a shoulder injury suffered away from the speedway,? Kyle Follwe