For Immediate Release
BECHTELSVILLE, PA JULY 14,2004 ? While the battle for this year?s NASCAR Dodge Weekly Series New England Region championship rages on, the race for the Grandview Speedway track title is heating up as well. Grandview, the lone dirt track among NASCAR?s New England Region tracks, is located in Bechtelsville, Pa. and a trio of area drivers is doing all they can to keep their track points race wide open.
Three-time track champion Jeff Strunk, of Bethel, Pa., has come on strong after a slow start to his season, and now leads the track standings after four wins and 10 top-five finishes. Next up is five-time track titlist Craig Von Dohren, of Oley, Pa., and in third place is veteran driver Meme DeSantis, who has recorded two wins in 2004. The three drivers are separated by just 75 points in the track standings.
DeSantis, of Temple, Pa., says the third-mile track is a perfect stage for this type of close Dirt Modified racing.
?The reason for the competition at Grandview is the race track itself,? said DeSantis. ?I had to learn to like it. I didn?t initially like running there, but it grows on you.?
With two top competitors ahead of him in the standings, DeSantis says he needs to step up his own racing program to stay within reach of the leaders.
?We?ve just got to be more consistent,? said DeSantis. ?It?s going to be tough to win.?
Adding to the challenge, DeSantis is racing with a three-year-old Troyer chassis. His particular version is a chassis the Rochester, N.Y.-based company no longer produces. A new ride might make DeSantis more competitive, but would also force his team to re-learn all their chassis setups and race strategies.
?We?ve done well with this car and it?s won at Grandview,? said DeSantis. ?Now, I think that the car we?re running now has quite a few races on it, and they don?t build them anymore. So, that leaves us limited options. We could go to the newer cars like everybody else has, and then we?d be behind those guys because they?ve been running them. Or, we?ll dig to get this car to make it through the year, which is what we?ve been doing.?
Von Dohren, meanwhile, has another honor headed his way if he continues his winning pace. His next feature victory will be his 51st win at the track, placing him in a tie for the Grandview?s all-time win record, currently held by Rick Schaffer.
Elsewhere, 2001 NASCAR Dodge Weekly Series champion Ted Christopher took over the top spot in the New England Region standings, after getting his fifth feature victory at Connecticut?s Stafford Motor Speedway. Christopher?s move ends Vinny Annarummo Jr.?s seven-week run at the top of the standings. Annarummo, of Swansea, Mass., remains at the top of the Seekonk (Mass.) Speedway Pro Stock standings and is now ranked third in the New England Region. Grandview?s Strunk is ranked second.
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