BECHTELSVILLE, PA APRIL 3, 2004 . . . Three time NASCAR Modified champion Jeff Strunk showed that patience pays at Grandview Speedway. The Bethel, PA racer started 22nd in the 40-lap Patriot Bank sponsored Modified feature race and took the lead on the next to last lap to grab Saturday’s opening night victory. In the companion 20-lapper for Late Model stock cars Chris Shuey of Hamburg, PA had a fairly easy time in riding to victory.
Doug Manmiller looked like he was going to open his season with a victory as he held off several challenges to be in the lead at 38 laps after grabbing the top spot at the drop of the green. Craig VonDohren put pressure on Manmiller for much of the race and even got by him, briefly, on the 30th circuit of the one-third-mile clay oval. At the 35 lap marker VonDohren and Manmiller made contact coming off turn two as a slower car clogged the groove. Manmiller made a move to get by the slower car just as VonDohren was alongside of him and that contact put VonDohren into a spin and put him at the back of the pack on the restart.
With just five laps to go Manmiller still had the GMIFirst/American Dental in front of the field with Meme DeSantis now the challenger. For three laps DeSantis put heavy pressure on the leader but DeSantis seemed to make contact with the rear of Manmiller’s car and then an infield tire marker wiping out the front end of his Norm’s Save Station entry putting him out of the race.
On the restart Jeff Strunk, who had worked his way from 22nd to be in a challenging position, took advantage when Manmiller’s mount “lost momentum for a fraction of a section” and allowed Strunk to gain the top spot. The final two spots saw Manmiller trying to get back the lead he lost to no avail as Strunk rode to victory.
Second spot went to a “heartbroken” Manmiller (Wyomissing), followed by Tracy Readinger (Oley), Duane Howard (Oley) and Jon Kellner Sr. (Lansdale).
The 20-lap main event for the NASCAR Dodge Weekly Series Late Models had Ron Kline in front at the start. By the seventh lap Chris Shuey had moved into second spot and was working on the rear bumper of Kline. On a seventh lap restart after a caution Shuey was able to put the Harry’s U-Pull-It #21 in front of the pack and that is where he stayed until the green flag fell. Second spot went to Rick Todorow (Quakertown) who came on in the final laps to give Shuey some work to do in holding him off. Third was earned by last year’s champion Randy Stoudt (Pottstown) coming from far back in the pack of 26 starters. Fourth was taken by four time champion Dean Stoudt (Green Lane) followed by Dean Schaeffer (Pottstown).
Qualifying heats for the 30 late models went to Ron Kline, Brian Shuey and Dean Schaeffer while the consolation win was earned by Kyle Pensinger.
In Modified qualifying events for the more than 60 modifieds on hand were won by Doug Manmiller, Steve Swinehart, Meme DeSantis, Tracy Readinger and Kyle Weiss.
Consolations were won by Duane Howard, Jeff Strunk and Donny Erb.
The Advanced Building Systems Cash Dash worth $485 was won by Doug Manmiller.
Easter will be celebrated at Grandview Speedway on Saturday, April 10th with the first 10 people showing up dressed as Easter Bunnies winning a ticket to a future race event at Grandview Speedway. The best appearing bunny will win a very nice prize and five youngsters will go home with a chocolate bunny courtesy of Reppert’s Candy Inc. And a lucky bunny, older than 18, will win a ride in the two seat modified stock car.
The NASCAR Modifieds and Late Models will be featured in at least 13 events of “contact sport” stock car racing with the green flag falling at 6 p.m. A 30-lap feature starting 29 cars tops the action for the modifieds and a 20-lap feature with 26 racers will complete the late model portion of the show. Gates open for fans at 4 p.m.
Admission is $12 for adults, $3 for youngsters 6 through 11 and under 6