For the seventh time this season defending champion Duane Howard was able to wheel the BPG Racing No. 4 to victory in the 30-lap Bashore Trucking NASCAR Whelen 358 Modified feature Saturday night at Grandview Speedway. Adding to a big payday night was Howard’s win in the Pepsi Challenge One-on-One Match Race Series which pitted the top ten drivers against each other with Howard winning the last three and topping Craig VonDohren to pick up the $1,500 first place money and giving him a $4250 prize money total for the night.
The 25-lap feature for the Late Models, the most exciting event of the night, saw Mike Kellner of Lansdale earn his third win of the season. Mike Lisowski of Minersville won his first 25-lap Sportsman feature of the season.
Rookie Andy Ressler went to the front in the 30-lap Modified feature that had 29 starters and set the pace for three laps before ARDC midget champion Tim Buckwalter charged to the front and held the lead for five laps. Mike Laise, who had started second, took over first spot on the ninth lap but while that was happening defending champion Duane Howard was charging through the field from his 14th starting position and took the lead on the 12th circuit of the one-third-mile, banked clay oval. Once in front Howard, who calls nearby Oley home, set a torrid pace and when the checkered flag fell Howard had lapped 11 of the feature starters and had a comfortable lead over second place finisher Jordan Umbenhauer (Richland), his best of the season. Third place was earned by Mike Gular (Green Lane) followed by Doug Manmiller (Shoemakersville) and Meme DeSantis (Temple). Just one caution was needed during the 30-lap main event.
Nine time champion Jeff Strunk was involved in an early race second turn altercation that put him out of action giving him a last place finish and left him still without a win.
Though Duane Howard won the main event Craig VonDohren continues to be the point leader as both chase after the lucrative NASCAR 358 Modified title.
“The car was running well,” said Howard in victory lane. “We have had a lot of help from the VP Racing Fuels people since we switched to gas. We have figured out something under the hood to make it work.”
Young Jordan Henn of Kutztown was able to set the pace at the start of the 25-lap Sportsman feature. The rookie racer stayed in front through the 11th lap when Mike Lisowski, coming from 6th starting spot, took command and led the rest of the event. The Minersville racer earned his first win of the season with the M&J Construction No. 15. Second place went to rookie Henn followed by Tom Miller (Barto), Brad Brightbill (Sinking Spring) coming from 23rd starting spot and Kenny Gilmore (Kutztown)
Current Sportsman point leader was involved in a mid-race multi car accident in turn four while battling for the top spot that. His involvement forced him to go to the rear of the field and charge his way back to a seventh place and allows him to hold on to his point lead in the chase for his second straight Sportsman title.
In the 25-lap main event for Late Models Sean Merkel led the first lap with the 16 car starting field following. The next circuit saw veteran Rick Todorow go to the front and set the pace until the 9th lap when Wayne Pfeil took command after battling with the leader for several laps. Pfeil held off several challenges, with as many as five racers battling for the lead, before he went to the infield with mechanical issues giving the top spot to Mike Kellner. However the final laps were not a “tea party” for the Lansdale racer as worked hard to keep his Mary Kay/Power Washers No. 57 in front of the field. At the finish Sam Schlosberg (Green Lane) was close to pushing Kellner across the finish line and settled for second. Third place want to early leader Rick Todorow (Quakertown) followed by Danny Snyder (Green Lane) and Jason Miller (New Tripoli).
Chuck Schutz, driving a borrowed car, managed to go from 16th to finish 6th in the Late Model feature and hold on to his point lead in the chase for his seventh title.
Qualifying races, 12 laps each, for the NASCAR 358 Modifieds were won by Mike Laise, Jarrad Miller and Tim Buckwalter. Don Norris won the consolation race. The Sportsman qualifiers, eight laps each, were won by Tommy Scheetz II, Jared Umbenhauer and Mike Lisowski. Late Model qualifiers, each eight laps in distance, were won by Sam Schlosberg and Sean Merkel.
The Hard Charger award for the Modifieds sponsored by Bobby Gunther Walsh and sponsors went to feature winner Duane Howard who went from 14th to 1st. The Searock Lawn Care Hard Charger award for Sportsman was earned by Brad Brightbill gaining 20 spots in the feature to finish 4th and Jeff Teets’ Salvage Transport Hard Charger award for Late Models went to Chuck Schutz racing from 16th to 6th.
Cargo Trailer Sales of Lansdale had $50 gift certificates for 10th place finishers in each feature while Dan’s Deli has their special hoagies for the leader of each feature at the halfway point. 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.
Coming up on Saturday, August 3, 7:30 p.m. featuring the NASCAR 358 Modifieds, Late Models and Sportsman. WNPV-1440AM Radio Night includes a five-lap Joe and Linda Moskal Cash Dash plus Henning Motorsports Dale Earnhardt Jr. NASCAR Lionel train giveaway. A driver meet and greet takes place when spectator gates open at 5:30 p.m. Adult admission is $15 while youngsters 12 and under are admitted free.
BASHORE TRUCKING/PEPSI CHALLENGE NIGHT NASCAR 358 MODIFIED FEATURE - 30 LAPS: 1. Duane Howard 2. Jordan Umbenhauer 3. Mike Gular 4. Doug Manmiller 5. Meme DeSantis 6. Mike Laise 7. Jarrad Miller 8. Craig VonDohren 9. Ray Swinerhart 10. Kevin Hirthler 11. Frank Cozze 12. Tim Buckwalter 13. Terry Meitzler 14. Kyle Weiss 15. Andy Ressler 16. Tommy Scheetz 111 17. Ryan Grim 18. Don Norris Jr. 19. Glenn Strunk 20. Nate Christman 21. Addison Meitzler 22. John Willman 23. Ron Seltman 24. Eric Biehn 25. Brian Houseknecht 26. Ryan Kunkle 27. Mark Kratz 28. Ron Haring Jr. 29. Jeff Strunk
BASHORE TRUCKING/PEPSI CHALLENGE NIGHT NASCAR LATE MODEL FEATURE – 25 LAPS:1. Mike Kellner 2. Sam Schlosberg 3. Rick Todorow 4. Danny Snyder 5. Jason Miller 6. Chuck Schutz 7. John Giesler 8. Drew Weisser 9. Steve Nederostek 10. Steve Batdorf 11. Sean Merkel 12. Steve Todorow 13. Bill Henning 14. Wayne Pfeil 15. Buddy Mertz 16. Dan Green
BASHORE TRUCKING/PEPSI CHALLENGE NIGHT NASCAR SPORTSMAN FEATURE – 25 LAPS: 1. Mike Lisowski 2. Jordan Henn 3. Tom Miller 4. Brad Brightbill 5. Kenny Gilmore 6. Joe Funk 7. Jared Umbenhauer 8. Brett Kressley 9. Kevin Beach 10. Paul Kline 11. Scott Davis Jr. 12. Brandon Whitmoyer 13. Joe Fanelli 14. Ryan Lilick 15. Dean Bachman 16. Sean Weiss 17. Jamie Undercoffler 18. Mike DeBellis 19. Ryan Beltz 20. Ron Krex 21. Craig Whitmoyer 22. Brian Hirthler 23. Dave Bartram 24. Tommy Scheetz II 25. Erik Renninger 26. Kyle Borror (DNS)