BECHTELSVILLE, PA February 29, 2004 . . . Fans coming out to watch NASCAR Dodge Weekly Series stock car racing at Grandview Speedway this season will hear the Kellner name often. Lansdale’s Jon Kellner Sr. has been a “major player” at Grandview for many years. Jon Kellner Jr., a senior in high school, is a regular in the Modified stocks and this season Mike Kellner, a 16 year old 10th grader, will become the fourth Kellner to have raced on the one-third-mile, banked clay oval.
Some years back Jon Sr.’s dad Don Kellner was a top performer in the late model competition. However no one has ever topped the career record for late model wins, 57 victories, owned by Jon Sr.
“We are working on six cars, five modifieds and one late model. In fact all the cars are pretty much ready to go except for a 2004 Bicknell racer being prepared for Jon Jr.,” said Kellner Sr. “We have three modifieds (one with a big block motor) ready to go in Cary Duncan’s garage (Duncan is the car owner). And I have three cars in my own garage for the kids to race. A lot of people don’t realize that I own the cars driven by Jon Jr. and Mike. I do get some help from sponsors and from my sons with the costs.”
During the 2004 season Jon Sr. will be driving a 2003 Bicknell race car. It has only been raced once. The Dirt Wheels race car from last season will be a back-up car. And there is a second Bicknell car, with a big block motor, that will be used at special events at Grandview, Big Diamond, Bridgeport and New Egypt Speedways.
“I was pretty happy with last season. There was feature win early in the season and a second race that I had won and my own miscue cost me the win with two laps to go. A third place finish in the points was good. It sets us up well for the new season,”
said the many time Late Model champion. “We are looking for a season that includes more wins and it would be great to get a title. But luck has a way of coming into play at Grandview and can turn a good season into a bad one?or a bad season into a good one.”
A few years back Jon Sr. had talked about quitting. His family talked him out of it. “I will be driving as long as Cary Duncan is the car owner. When he quits I will quit driving. However I will always be involved in racing with my sons,” said the 42 year old racer. “I am excited about Mike and Jon Jr. and their racing. They are great kids. Never been in trouble. They do well in school (Dad makes it a point that grades have to be good to keep racing.) and they work on the race cars every night. I don’t push them.”
Both youngsters have been successful racers in quarter midgets and micro sprints. Their 300 plus trophies far outnumber Dad’s.
Jon Sr. and Jr. will be racing against each other. The perfect scenario for dad would be to be leading and have his son take the lead and the win from him. “My car owner would not be happy but I would be very happy,” said Kellner. “I don’t like the thought of having to pass my son to win. But we can handle it if and when that happens.”
Mike will racing a full sized race car for the first time when the late models take to the track on Saturday, April 3, 6 p.m. for the Patriot Bank sponsored opening night that will feature the NASCAR Modifieds and Late Models.
“I have told Mike just as I told Jon that I want him to race to finish races. He is not expected to set the world on fire in his first season. In fact it could take three or four years to really be a contender,” commented the senior Kellner. “I think he will do well. Jon Jr. is moving his career along. He had a strong season qualifying for a lot of the features in 2003. And that does not come easy at Grandview.”
Sponsorship support for the Jon Jr. and Mike Kellner racing efforts will come from Ladner Insurance, Kenco Hydraulics, Power Washers (Lansdale), Hutt’s Glass, Brinckman Coins and West Point Supply. The Modifieds driven by Jon Sr. are supported by Hutt’s Glass, Watash S