Leading all the laps Josh Weller was able to drive his CnB Mushroom/Phillip's Garage/Weller Ins. sponsored No.63 to victory in the 25-lap Rislone URC Sprint Series feature at Grandview Speedway on Saturday night. In the 30-lap NASCAR 358 Modified feature Don Norris Jr. put his family owned Limerick Diner sponsored No. 976 in victory lane for the first time this season using a 'loaner motor' from engine builder Doug Meyers.
Craig VonDohren was able to win the last four match races, beating point leader Duane Howard in the final event, using a new Pioneer Pole Buildings race car powered by gasoline for the first time to take the $1,500 first place money in the Bashore/Pepsi Challenge.
In the 25-lap feature for the URC sprinters Weller was able to hold command of the starting field at the drop of the green and set the early pace over the 25 car starting field. At the six lap marker Bryn Gohn brought out the only caution of the feature race allowing challenger Davie Franek and the rest of the field to close up on the leader.
While Weller and Franek led the action point leader Robbie Stillwagon was busy working his way through the field from his eleventh place starting position. At the halfway mark it was Weller in command being chased by Franek, Mark Bitner and Stillwagon.
Weller, who calls Mertztown, PA home, held control for the balance of the race with Mark Bitner gaining second spot on the final circuit of the one-third-mile, banked clay oval. Davie Franek came home third followed closely by Stillwagon and Kevin Nagy.
The 30-lap feature for the NASCAR 358 Modifieds included heartbreak for Jon Kellner Jr. as he looked to be well on his way to his first feature win of the season having built up a huge lead over the 29 car starting field. On the 16th lap Dan Waisempacher spun between the first and second turn, Kellner got caught up in the spin and limped to the pits as a result of some damage from the incident.
Kellner had lead all the laps since taking the lead from early pacesetter Eric Biehn on the third circuit.
With Kellner out of the race the lead went to Brad Grim but just two laps later, after a caution restart, Don Norris Jr. charged to the front of the field and set the pace for the balance of the 30 laps to grab the $2,500 first prize money and $250 bonus bucks from T.P.Trailers of Limerick, PA.
As a result of his win Norris also earned a guaranteed starting spot in the Short Track SuperNationals presented by VP Racing Fuels and Pioneer Pole Buildings October 6th at Five Mile Point Speedway.
Second place went to Brad Grim (Allentown) for his best effort of the season chasing the leader for the final half of the 30-laps. Nine time track champion Jeff Strunk (Pottstown) had another strong outing getting third finishing spot as he continues to stay within striking distance of the point leader Duane Howard in the chase for a 10th title.
Chris Esposito (Perkasie) put together an impressive effort running in the top five most of the night and gaining a fourth place finish for his 'underfunded' race team. Mike Gular (Green Lane) came home fifth after starting 13th.
Craig VonDohren, a six time track champion, came home in seventh spot gaining 14 positions from his 21st place starting position earning him the Bob Gunther Walsh and Sponsors Hard Charger Award.
Point leader Duane Howard had a flat force him to the pits early and putting him to the rear of the field on the caution restart. Howard managed to gain a ninth place finish and continue to hold on to his point lead in the chase for the lucrative NASCAR 358 Modified championship.
Jon Kellner Sr. was on a roll as he won the first five one-lap match races in the Bashore/Pepsi Challenge race but he could not get by Craig VonDohren in their one lap battle. VonDohren managed to bring his Pioneer Pole Buildings No. 1C home first in the final four match races and claim the $1,500 first place money. The win for the Boyertown racer was the bright spot of the season so far as the past champion told the fans in victory lane that the team has been 'struggling this season.'
Qualifying heat races for the URC Rislone Sprint Series racers, each 10 laps, were won by Weller, Bitner and J.J. Grasso. The B-Main, a 12 lap event, was won by Kevin Darling earning him an extra $100 bonus courtesy of CnB Mushrooms.
In the qualifiers for the NASCAR Whelen 358 Modifieds, each 12 laps, the wins were earned by Jon Kellner Jr., Jeff Strunk, Jarrad Miller and Mike Gular. The two 10-lap consolation races were won by VonDohren and Kevin Hirthler.
Texas Roadhouse Restaurant of Wyomissing had a couple dinners for each feature winner. The Dan's Deli Halfway Leader Award was earned by Jon Kellner Jr. while Cargo Trailer Sales of Lansdale had a $50 gift certificate for 10th place finisher Doug Manmiller.
Racing action returns to the one-third-mile, banked clay oval at Grandview Speedway on Saturday, July 28, 7:30 p.m. with the Hatfield Quality Meats Night featuring the NASCAR 358 Modifieds, Late Models and Sportsman stock cars.
FEATURE RACE FINISHES BASHORE/PEPSI CHALLENGE URC SPRINT CAR FEATURE: Josh Weller, Mark Bitner, Davie Franek, Robbie Stillwaggon, Kevin Nagy, Chad Trout, JJ Grasso, Andy Best, Joey Biasi, Joe Zuczek, Larry Kelleher, Kevin Darling, Art Liedl, Ed Aikin, Tyler Ross, Randy West, Scott Lutz, Tim Hogue, Ryan Wilson, Kramer Williamson, JR Berry, Dan Mazy, Bryn Gohn, Jimmy Reppert, Jonathan Swanson,. DNQ- - - Steve Downs, George Streaker, Jeff Fithian, David Swanson, Troy Betts, Jarrad Fink, Rory Jenney, Chris Weiss, Jimmy Stitzel.
BASHORE/PEPSI CHALLENGE NASCAR 358 MODIFIED FEATURE, 30 LAPS: 1. Don Norris Jr. 2. Brad Grim 3. Jeff Strunk 4. Chris Esposito 5. Mike Gular 6. Kyle Weiss 7. Craig VonDohren 8. Meme DeSantis 9. Duane Howard 10. Doug Manmiller 11. Brad Missimer 12. Shawn Reimert 13.Jarrad Miller 14. Rich Ricci Jr. 15. Kevin Hirthler 16. Terry Meitzler 17. Tommy Scheetz III 18. Jon Kellner Sr. 19. Gary Hager 20. Ryan Grim 21. Justin Grim 22. Dan Waisempacher 23. Eric Biehn 24. Addison Meitzler 25. Kyle Follweiler 26. Jon Kellner Jr. 27. John Willman 28. Ray Swinehart 29. Cliff Quinn
BASHORE/PEPSI CHALLENGE (One on one challenge races featuring the top 11 competitors in the NASCAR 358 Modified point standings): Jon Kellner Sr. won five match races. Craig VonDohren won the final four match races giving him $1,500 as the overall winner.