Veteran dirt track modified racer Meme DeSantis was able to snap the winning streak, five modified feature wins in a row for Duane Howard, picking up his second win of the season in the 30-lap NASCAR 358 Modified race at Grandview Speedway on Saturday night. Robbie Stillwaggon topped the 24-car starting field in the 25-lap Rislone URC sprint feature and Ronnie Peck was first across the finish line in the 15-lap Blast from the Past Vintage car race.
Young Jon Kellner Jr. set the early pace for the 29-car starting field in the 30-lap 358 Modified feature race with recent Drexel University graduate Todd Smith in second spot. At five laps a two car tangle in turn 1 brought out the caution closed up the field behind the leader. Two laps later Don Norris Jr. had his Limerick Diner No. 976 turned around along with Jarrad Miller bringing out another caution. Again the field closing up on the leader.
At 10-laps it was still young Kellner and his Power Washer No. 67 in front with Chris Esposito and Jon Kellner Sr. close behind.
With half the race in the record book Kellner Sr. was able put his Vince’s Towing No. 41 in front of his son now in second and Meme DeSantis coming from 13th starting spot now in third.
It took until the 24th lap, on a restart after a caution for a stopped Mike Gular on the backstretch that brought out a caution, for DeSantis to charge to the front coming off the fourth turn.
Craig VonDohren, coming from 16th starting spot, charged up through the field to challenge DeSantis in the closing laps and on the final lap made a bold move to try to squeeze under the leader in the first turn but DeSantis was having none of that and closed the door on him. VonDohren was forced to settle for his third straight second place finish.
At the checkered flag it was DeSantis wheeling the NoSteroids.com/Dino’s Wings & Things No.88D to victory. The Temple racer had just a narrow margin over Craig VonDohren (Oley). Third spot was earned by Jon Kellner Sr. (Lansdale) followed by Frank Cozze (Wind Gap) and Jeff Strunk (Pottstown).
In victory lane DeSantis told victory lane announcer “Whippy” that he had given a couple away in recent weeks and he was not going to give this one away.
Duane Howard, who had a five race win streak going into the Saturday night program, was never a factor and had to settle for 11th after starting 23rd in the feature as a result of qualifying through a consolation race.
Howard does maintain his point lead by a very narrow margin, just 19 points, over six time track champion Craig VonDohren.
Johnathan Swanson lead the field to the green flag and set the pace for the first five laps of the 25-lap Rislone URC sprint feature. At the six lap mark Troy Betts used the outside groove to charge to the front of the 24-car field. Betts was able to hold off challenges from Josh Weller from the 8th through the 19th lap and looked like he was going to be able to hold off the challenge from defending URC champion Robbie Stillwaggon with the battle starting on the 20th lap.
Betts and Stillwaggon put on a fan pleasing battle with Betts holding the top spot until the final lap when Stillwaggon, going for his second win of the season with the traveling sprint car organization, charged past the leader coming off the second turn. Betts came back strong trying to reclaim his lead in the final turn of the 25-lapper but had to settle for second.
Stillwaggon (Burlington, NJ) drove the Fred Kennedy owned Quality Auto Body No. 89 to the victory with Troy Betts (New Castle, DE) claiming second. Third spot went to Josh Weller (Mertztown) followed by Hall of Fame sprint racer Kramer Williamson (Palmyra, PA) and Brain Carber (Piperville, PA)
Stillwaggon thanked his family and sponsors in victory lane saying the car worked anywhere he put it the track to claim the win.
The Blast from the Past Vintage car feature, a 15 lapper, saw Ronnie Peck (Pottstown) charge in front of the starting field and never look back as he easily won the feature race. His teammate Jim Baker, a long time standout in area racing, finished second with both of them appearing in victory lane as Peck was given credit for the A Class victory and Baker was tops in the B Class. Thirds spot went to Vince Gagliardo followed by Dave Smith and Kevin Dries.
Qualifying heat races, each 12 laps, for the NASCAR 358 modifieds were won by Ryan Grim, Ron Seltman, Jeff Strunk and Mike Gular. The two 10-lap consolation races for the modifieds were won by Doug Manmiller and Ryan Godown. The 10-lap qualifiers for the Rislone URC sprint cars went to Johnathan Swanson, Steve Downs and Josh Weller. The single 8-lap heat race for the Vintage cars was won by former Grandview modified standout Ronnie Peck.
The Hard Charger award for the Modifieds sponsored by Bobby Gunther Walsh and his sponsors went to Kyle Follweiler who came from 27th to finish 12th in the modified feature race.
Cargo Trailer Sales of Lansdale had $50 gift certificates for 10th place finisher in the Modified feature and Ronnie Peck who won the Vintage feature while Dan’s Deli had their special hoagies for the leader of the modified feature at the halfway point and the winner of the Vintage feature. VP Racing Fuels has a $150 product bonus for the first NASCAR 358 Modified feature finisher using their fuel, $100 product bonus for the first Late Model feature finisher using their fuel and $75 product bonus for the first Sportsman feature finisher using their fuel and carrying VP decals on the race car and VP patch on uniform.
Racing action on Saturday, June 22nd at 7:30 p.m. (Warm-ups at 6:45p.m.) Included will be NASCAR 358 Modifieds, Late Models and Sportsman (40 lap feature) sponsored by Bashore Trucking and BFP Specialties. At least 14 events of racing. Spectator gates open at 5:30 p.m. Adult admission is just $20.00, youngsters 6 through 12 pay just $5 and under 6 are admitted FREE. As gates open there will be drivers doing a meet and greet along with having their race cars on display.
Sunday, June 23rd, 1 p.m. the Outlaw Enduro racers will be in action along with the Blast from the Past Vintage cars.