JEFF STRUNK AND CHRIS SHUEY EACH NOTCH THEIR FIFTH FEATURE WINS AT GRANDVIEW SPEEDWAY ON SATURDAYGrandview PR
In victory lane Strunk apologized for a multi car accident that he felt he may have caused midway in the feature race. However most observers felt the accident, which eliminated several cars, was brought on by Rick Schaffer and Jon Kellner Jr. both charging for the same top five position and tangling going toward turn three. The Bethel, PA racer did give most of the credit for the victory to his crew.
The victory did move Strunk closer to earning his fourth modified championship at the Berks County oval and kept him in the running for the NASCAR New England Regional championship worth close to $50,000. Strunk and VonDohren will battle it out for the title on Saturday night.
Ron Solomon got crossed up in turn four and that brought out the first caution. Solomon went from his pole position starting spot to last in the 29 car field before the first lap was complete. Mike Bailey was in front on the restart but Jon Kellner Jr. was quick to take the lead. Three laps later Bailey was back in front and set the pace, surviving a number of on track incidents that eliminated a large number of cars, until the 24th lap. Strunk, who had been chasing Bailey for several laps, took the top spot and was able to hold off a strong challenge from Craig VonDohren (Oley) who finished second (coming from 12th starting spot. Bailey (Kutztown) held on to third spot followed by Jon Kellner Sr.(Lansdale) coming from 15th starting position. Tracy Readinger (Oley) came from 18th to grab fifth. Winner Strunk started in 13th postion.
The 20-lap feature for NASCAR ShorTrack Late Models resembled a destruction derby rather than a race for the first five laps. In fact after five cautions in five laps the field was forced to restart single file in an effort to get the 20 lap event completed in a timely manner. Chris Shuey was able to shoot to the front, getting around pole sitter Buddy Wharton early, and lead all the laps in picking up his fifth win. The Orefield driver was able to hold off some serious challenges during the event but all fell short as Shuey had a comfortable lead over second place Jason Miller (New Tripoli) at the finish. Third spot went to Chuck Schutz (Pottstown) as he wrapped up the 2004 NASCAR ShorTrack Late Model championship. Randy Stoudt (Pottstown), the 2003 champion, came home fourth with Ron Kline (Salfordville) getting fifth.
Qualifying heat races for the Modifieds, each 10 laps, were won by Danny Erb, Jon Kellner Sr., Craig VonDohren, Rick Schaffer and Kevin Hartnett. Consolation victories (55 cars on hand) were earned by Barry Readinger, Sean Merkel and Meme DeSantis. The Cheers Tavern Cash Dash worth $300 went to Jon Kellner Sr.
In the Late Model preliminaries the wins were taken by Buddy Wharton, Kyle Pensinger and Chris Shuey. Ron Kline won the 10-lap consolation and it was Buddy Wharton winning the Jim Brown Cash Dash.
Fans and racers are reminded not to be left out. Raffle tickets are now available that could win them a trip for two as part of the annual Champion?s Trip in late November. This year the trip goes to Aruba for eight days and seven nights. Raffle tickets for the trip (the trip is valued at more than $3000 and is for two people) are priced at $20.00 each. About 50 tickets remain available. Each Saturday night stock car feature winner receives a free chance on the trip courtesy of Ernie Saxton Communications, Inc.
Coming up on Saturday, Sept 4, 7:30 p