For the third time this season Duane Howard put the Mike Petruska-owned/Atlas Paving No. 66 in victory lane in the 30-lap NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Modified feature on Saturday night at Grandview Speedway. Chasing the Oley racer across the line to be runner-up two weeks in a row was Meme DeSantis, who also received the Dan’s Deli halfway leader award. In addition to the top prize money, Howard picked up an additional $250 from T.P. Trailers, Limerick making for a $2750 pay day.
Wayne Pfeil chalked ups his second 25-lap NASCAR BRC Late Model feature victory for his fifth career win at the track by a comfortable margin over Dan Green. The Mohnton, PA racer also received $100 from T.P. Trailers.
The 25-lap NASCAR Sportsman feature finally had a different name in the winner’s circle. Green Lane, Brian Hirthler, the 2012 rookie who has suffered through ups and downs this year, held off all competitors to record his first-ever career win in which he earned an additional $100 from T.P. Trailers.
Former Reading Fairgrounds modified and sprint racer Jimmy Baker led from start to finish to win the 15-lap Blast From The Past Vintage Car feature. Ronnie Peck, a former Grandview late model point champion won the heat race.
All racing activities were sponsored by PBGW – Pritchard, Bieler, Graver and Willison.
Coming up on Saturday, June 21, 7:30 p.m. a doubleheader show featuring the URC sprinters and NASCAR 358 Modifieds. The night is sponsored by RCN-TV and will be taped by RCN for showing at a later date.
On Sunday, June 22, 7:30 p.m., the TSRS Winged Sprinters and ARDC Wingless Midgets will be featured in the first Open Wheel Spectacular of the season. The top talents of each organization will be seen in a full series of qualifying events leading up to 25-lap features for both divisions.
At the start of the 30-Modified feature Mike Laise jumped into the early lead followed by Chris Gambler, Ron Seltmann Jr., Todd Smith and Kyle Borror.
Borror stopped on the backstretch for the first yellow on lap three that ended his night. Laise was still first on the restart, but now DeSantis was pressuring him.
The lead changed on the seventh lap when DeSantis, the “Temple Tornado,” who started eighth dove underneath Laise and made the move stick.
Behind DeSantis by this point were Kevin Hirthler, Doug Manmiller, Laise and John Willman, ninth, second, 13th and 11th-place starters.
Joining the top five by the 16th circuit was Howard who was running the high groove in his Teo-chassis since that was the lane that worked best for him. “The front runners were running hard trying the inside lane and that’s what helped me on the outside as the track has two lanes,” said Howard in victory lane.
Lapped traffic came into play by lap 17. Coming off the fourth turn Laise got somewhat sideways, clipped the guardrail and got a left front flat tire bringing out the 18th lap caution. The restart was voided when a three-car backstretch incident eliminated Justin Grim and Chris Esposito. The leader continued to be DeSantis, however, Howard, having come from 14th starting spot, was now in a challenging position making his presence known with Hirthler, Jeff Strunk and Willman in tow.
Manmiller, who was running up front developed a right rear tire and began falling off the pace eventually stopping in the fourth turn on the 23rd lap for the yellow. DeSantis was still in command on this restart.
Howard had just taken over the lead when the yellow came out on lap 24 when Brad Arnold and Don Norris Jr. tangled in the third turn. It was still Howard first when action resumed with DeSantis trying unsuccessfully to regain first.
It was Howard the rest of the way until the checkered unfurled for his 62nd career win. Finishing second was DeSantis followed by Strunk, Hirthler and Craig Von Dohren, last week’s feature winner. Sixth through tenth were Willman, Frank Cozze, Seltmann Jr., Jon Kellner and Mike Gular, who received a Cargo Trailer product certificate.
Laise, DeSantis and Kellner won the heats. The consi was won by Don Norris Jr.
The yellow was out before the first lap of the Late Model feature was completed when Cory Merkel, who ran so well the previous week was eliminated after a backstretch tangle with Buddy Mertz.
Polesitter Dave Ogin led for one lap before Pfeil put the J & H Automotive No. 72 at the head of the pack.
Ron Kline, last week’s feature winner, didn’t fare so well this week when he hit the backstretch wall putting him out of contention. Steve Wilson and Bill Henning were also involved. Henning was the only one that continued. Pfeil held his own on the restart while Dan Green, Steve Butler and Kory Fleming diced for positions.
At the conclusion of the Dan’s Deli ˝-way award mark, the order behind Pfeil now consisted of Green, Ogin, Sean Merkel and Randy Stoudt. Attempting to break into the top five was Chuck Schutz.
Positions behind Pfeil were constantly changing, but he made sure he was always in front and went on to claim the win trailed by Green, Stoudt, Ogin and Merkel. Rounding out the top ten were Schutz, Lou Egrie Sr., Butler, Joe Fanelli and Fleming, the Cargo Trailer product certificate recipient.
Butler and Green were the heat winners.
In Sportsman action rookie Kevin Dries took the early lead and set the pace for four laps before the yellow came out when Ken Eckert Jr. stopped on the backstretch. On the restart Jamie Undercoffler became the new leader, but Dries stuck with him trying to dive underneath him to regain the lead.
Dries was back in front on the second and two 12-lap restarts. Hirthler had just taken the lead, but the lap didn’t count.
The top five at the Dan’s Deli half-way mark were Dries, Hirthler, Craig Whitmoyer, Jared Umbenhauer and Undercoffler.
The lead changed on the 19th lap when Hirthler put the Wm. Penn/Green Lane/4-Star Letting mount ahead. Umbenhauer and Whitmoyer followed through for second and third as Dries went high and fell to fourth.
Behind Hirthler, the real battle was for second between Umbenhauer and Whitmoyer.
Hirthler never faltered and pulled into the winner’s circle to earn a long-awaited, well-deserved triumph. Taking second at the line were Whitmoyer with Umbenhauer, third; Kenny Gilmore, fourth and Brett Kressley, who came back to finish fifth after being involved in one of the 12th lap skirmishes. Dries came home sixth for his best finish trailed by Dave Bartram, Sean Weiss, Jim Housworth and Undercoffler.
Dries, Ryan Beltz and K. Gilmore won the heats. Steve Davis, substituting for a graduating Ryan Lilick, won the consi.
Modified Feature (30 Laps): 1. Duane Howard, 2. Meme DeSantis, 3. Jeff Strunk, 4. Kevin Hirthler, 5. Craig Von Dohren, 6. John Willman, 7. Frank Cozze, 8. Ron Seltmann Jr., 9. Jon Kellner, 10. Mike Gular, 11. Nate Christman, 12. Ray Swinehart, 13. Tommy Scheetz III, 14. Ryan Grim, 15. Todd Smith, 16. Jordan Umbenhauer, 17. Mike Laise, 18. Chris Gambler, 19. Eric Biehn, 20. Don Norris Jr., 21. Mike Kellner, 22. Doug Manmiller, 23. Brian Houseknecht, 24. Brad Arnold, 25. Justin Grim, 26. Chris Esposito, 27. Terry Meitzler, 28. Kyle Borror. DNQ: Andy Ressler, Bobby Gunther-Walsh and Ryan Kunkel.
Late Model Feature (25 Laps): 1. Wayne Pfeil, 2. Dan Green, 3. Randy Stoudt, 4. Dave Ogin, 5. Sean Merkel, 6. Chuck Schutz, 7. Lou Egrie Sr., 8. Steve Butler, 9. Joe Fanelli, 10. Kory Fleming, 11. Rick Todorow, 12. John Giesler, 13. Buddy Mertz, 14. Lou Egrie Jr., 15. Bill Henning, 16. Ron Kline, 17. Steve Wilson, 18. Cory Merkel.
Sportsman Feature (25 Laps): 1. Brian Hirthler, 2. Craig Whitmoyer, 3. Jared Umbenhauer, 4. Kenny Gilmore, 5. Brett Kressley, 6. Kevin Dries, 7. Dave Bartram, 8. Sean Weiss, 9. Jim Housworth, 10. Jamie Undercoffler, 11. Ryan Beltz, 12. Erik Renninger, 13. Mike Lisowski, 14. Doug Snyder, 15. Chris Jenkins, 16. Ken Eckert Jr., 17. Steve Davis, 18. Brett Gilmore, 19. Jason Neidlinger, 20. Dean Bachman, 21. Guy Germano, 22. Jordan Henn, 23. Mike Stringer, 24. Charles Webber.
Vintage Feature (15 Laps): 1. Jimmy Baker, 2. Dennis Drain, 3. Kevin Kuser, 4. Ronnie Peck, 5. Kevin Barndt, 6. Vince Gagliardo Jr., 7. Fred Simmons