RYAN WATT AND MIKE KELLNER SHARE FEATURE WINS AT GRANDVIEW SPEEDWAYGrandview PR
BECHTELSVILLE, PA September 4, 2005… Last Saturday night Ryan Watt took his BPG Racing No. 14W Modified home as a massive pile of rumpled metal after a multi car accident. One week later, with a new body in place, Watt was able to win the 30-lap NASCAR Dodge Weekly Series Modified race at Grandview Speedway, the final NASCAR point race of the season, on a night sponsored by BPG Racing/Chad Sinon Motorsports. And Mike Kellner charged to the front early in the 20-lap NASCAR Late Model feature race to get his second win of the season.
Jeff Strunk (Bethel) won his fifth NASCAR Dodge Weekly Series championship and his fourth straight. Ron Kline (Green Lane) picked up his first NASCAR Late Model title.
Jason Smythe, for at least the second time this season, looked like he was going to get his first career victory as he started on the pole with the Becker Airport Services No. 71 and lead the first 24 laps. The Oley, PA racer was able to pull away from the 31 car starting field a number of times and held off challenges from Ed Scott,Ryan Watt and Sean Merkel. However after one of many cautions closed up the field just a few laps before, Ryan Watt, coming from 22nd starting spot, charged to the front of the pack in turn two and went on to victory.
The win for the Phoenixville, PA racer was popular with fans as the talented youngster has struggled this season. His win, worth $2,200, was the second of his career and made him the 13th different Modified feature winner of the season. Smythe managed to hold on for a second place finish with Kenny Gilmore (Fleetwood) coming from 18th starting spot to get third. Track champion Jeff Strunk (Bethel) was caught up in an early race accident and went to the back of the 31 car starting field charging back to gain a fourth place finish. Kevin Hartnett (Perkasie), a 21st place starter, brought his Berks Products No. 81 home fifth.
The 20-lap feature for the Late Models was quick and exciting as Junior Grebe set the pace for the first couple of laps with three time champion John Giesler moving to the front on the third lap. Mike Kellner, coming from fourth, took the lead on the fourth lap and stayed in front to win his second feature of the season. The 13 minute event saw Kellner (Lansdale) chased to the checkered flag by Randy Stoudt (Pottstown), winner of five feature this season, who had to settle for second. Steve Sennott (Gilbertsville) came on strong in the closing laps to get third followed by new Late Model champion Ron Kline (Green Lane) and John Giesler (Aston).
Qualifying heat races for the Late Models saw wins go to Mike Kellner, Buddy Wharton and Sean Merkel. The Jim Brown Cash Dash went to Mike Kellner giving him a clean sweep for the night.
In the NASCAR Dodge Weekly Series Modified qualifiers, with 55 Modifieds on hand, the wins went to Tracy Readinger, Danny Erb, Terry Meitzler, Greg Humlhanz and Jeff Strunk. Consolation wins were earned by Kevin Hartnett, Ryan Watt and John Tschudy. The Cheer?s Tavern Cash Dash was worth $500 to winner Greg Humlhanz.
Fans in the stands were very generous to drivers who took their helmets into the crowd and were able to collect more than $3100 that will go to the Red Cross to help their efforts in the Gulf Coast.
Racing returns to Grandview Speedway on Saturday, September 10th when the biggest event of the season is presented and that is the T.H.Properties Freedom 76 features the 358 Modifieds paying $20,000 for a win (plus lap money and other perks) and $10,000 for second. With the huge purse the event is expected to attract more than 75 entries trying for a spot in the 76-lap main event that could start as many as 40 cars. In late news Kenny Brightbill, one of the top Modified racing talents in the business today, has indicated that he will be racing in the Freedom 76.