BECHTELSVILLE >> Every NASCAR feature winner that stood in victory lane on Saturday night at Grandview Speedway in the action sponsored by Whelen Engineering posted their first feature win of the season.
Doug Manmiller worked hard to take home the checkered in the T.P. Trailers 30-lap NASCAR Modified feature. First “The Handler” battled with veteran racer Ray Swinehart for 11 laps before he merged ahead on the 18th lap. Then runner-up Ryan Grim challenged Manmiller many times until the checkered unfurled. The Shoemakersville chauffeur, absent from the winner’s circle since July 15, 2017, couldn’t thank his car owner Lee Miller and the crew enough for sticking by him through the many obstacles they endured throughout the season.
Late Model action saw Steve Wilson prove that the race isn’t over until the final lap. It appeared Sean “Big Sexy” Merkel, who was running away with the race, was on his way to the winner’s circle before the 19th lap caution regrouped the pack. Merkel kept Wilson, shut out of a win since August 25, 2012, behind him on the restart. Three laps to go the tables turned when Wilson dove underneath Merkel for the lead and went on to claim the triumph in the 20-lap NASCAR event.
In the 25-lap NASCAR Sportsman feature, Mike Lisowski chased leader Mark Kemmerer since the 10th lap before he closed the distance enough to pressure him. Lisowski changed to the high groove with five laps to go and was able to overtake him to collect the win, his first since June 17, 2017.
Impressive was the fact that Manmiller and Wilson were the sixth different winners in their respective divisions, while Lisowski was the ninth different winner in his class.
Providing feature winners met the necessary requirements, they received monetary awards from T.P. Trailers and also product certificates from VP Fuels.
Chris Esposito passed Swinehart for the lead on the second lap of the Modified race
A front stretch chain reaction incident that sent Jeff Strunk, Brett Kressley, Kevin Hirthler and Craig Von Dohren scrambling pit side caused a yellow with two laps in. Timmy Buckwalter and Ron Kline were eliminated, but the others rejoined the action in time. Esposito held his own when action continued, but Swinehart gave him no margin to err.
Swinehart was back in command by the fourth circuit followed by Esposito, Brett Gilmore, Manmiller and Clay Butler.
Manmiller took over second on the seventh lap and within no time he was putting his bids in for the lead. Swinehart stuck to the high trek while Manmiller attempted to dive underneath to make his move, but to no avail.
The two veteran campaigners ran side-by-side for several laps without incident while Brett Gilmore, Ryan Grim and Mike Gular were bumper-to-bumper making it a five-car battle for first.
Swinehart had a slight edge on Manmiller on the straight chute, but Manmiller stayed with him.
Manmiller finally succeeded to become the new leader on the 18th lap. The battle behind Manmiller was a fierce one between Swinehart, Grim, Gilmore and Gular with Duane Howard knocking on the door trying to get into a top five spot.
Positions were constantly changing behind Manmiller as the laps wound down, but one spot that remained the same was the one Manmiller was in – the lead. He kept the competition behind him to claim his 27th career win. Finishing second for his season best run was Grim followed by Howard, Brett Gilmore, who posted his best run since switching to the modified division last year and Strunk, who came on strong after coming from the back of the pack after the second lap melee.
Heats were won by Swinehart, Jared Umbenhauer, Von Dohren and B. Gilmore. Justin Grim and Frank Cozze won the consolation races.
At the drop of the green in the Late Model feature it didn’t take polesitter Sean Merkel long to open up daylight while Drew Weisser, Wilson, Cory Merkel and Jordan Knepp diced for positions.
While Merkel outdistanced himself, Wilson and Weisser had their own battle for second while the other Merkel brothers – Kyle and Cory diced for third with Chuck Schutz waiting for a slip-up in hopes to advance.
The field was rejoined when a flat tire brought Chuck Schutz, who at one time was third, to a stop in turn one for the 19th lap caution. After a quick pit stop he returned. S. Merkel held his own on the restart, but Wilson was right there trying to take the lead away.
Lap 22 saw a new leader at the head of the pack since Wilson was now first.
Wilson never surrendered the lead and pulled into victory for his second career win followed by Sean and Kyle Merkel, Weisser and Steve Todorow.
Lex Shive led seven laps of the Sportsman feature before Kemmerer took over the reins.
While Kemmerer showed the way, Lisowski, Shive, Kenny Bock and B.J. Joly diced for second through fifth.
Kemmerer was able to keep Lisowski behind him until five laps to go after several laps of side-by-side action. That’s when the move Lisowski made stuck and he was now first.
Lisowski never faltered and went on to claim his ninth career win. Chasing him across the line were Kemmerer, Grim, Shive and Reimert.
Grim, Brad Arnold and Lisowski were the heat winners.
Hatfield Meats will be sponsoring the Saturday night, July 21st, action at Grandview with the green flag falling at 7:30 p.m. Included in the action will be the T.P.Trailers 358 Modifieds, Late Models, Sportsman and the added excitement of the Blast from the Past Vintage Racers. Hatfield is a long time sponsor of stock car racing at Grandview and they do get the fans involved with shirt and hot dog tosses handled by their mascot Smiley the Pig.
The Saturday four division card of racing will be another exciting evening of NASCAR stock car racing on the high banks. Spectator gates open at 5:30 p.m.
At 5 p.m. the Low Down and Dirty Internet Radio Meet & Greet will feature T.P. Trailers NASCAR 358 Modified racers Kenny and Brett Gilmore.
The edge of your seat action is priced at just $15 for adults, free for youngsters under 12 and there is FREE parking on the speedway grounds. Active military are admitted free with proper ID. Check in at www.grandviewspeedway.com for more info, visit Facebook or telephone 610.754.7688.
And the night before, Friday, July 20th, 6 p.m. will see the first Friday night show of Outlaw Enduros (Big and Small cars) and Blast from the Past Vintage Modifieds. Also included will be a Mechanix race, Junkyard Car race, Super Mod 4x4 Trucks and Vintage Midgets. Pit admission is $30 while adults in the spectator area pay just $10.
RACE RESULTST.P. Trailers NASCAR Modified Feature (30 Laps): 1. Doug Manmiller, 2. Ryan Grim, 3. Duane Howard, 4. Brett Gilmore, 5. Jeff Strunk, 6. Mike Gular, 7. John Willman, 8. Craig Von Dohren, 9. Ray Swinehart, 10. Clay Butler, 11. Danny Erb, 12. Brett Kressley, 13. Kevin Hirthler, 14. Justin Grim, 15. Frank Cozze, 16. Joe Fanelli, 17. Chris Esposito, 18. Chris Gambler, 19. Eric Biehn, 20. Briggs Danner, 21. Bobby Trapper Jr., 22. Mark Kratz, 23. Jordan Henn, 24. Jared Umbenhauer, 25. Kenny Gilmore, 26. Timmy Buckwalter, 27. Brian Hirthler, 28. Ron Kline. DNQ: Dan Waisempacher, Carroll Hine III, Ron Myers, Ron Seltmann Jr., Skyler Sheriff, Ryan Lilick, Steve Swinehart, Bob Trapper and Bobby Gunther Walsh.
NASCAR Late Model Feature (20 Laps): 1. Steve Wilson, 2. Sean Merkel, 3. Kyle Merkel, 4. Drew Weisser, 5. Steve Todorow, 6. Chuck Schutz, 7. Cory Merkel, 8. Bryon Sipe, 9. Lou Egrie, 10. Jordan Knepp, 11. George Irwin, 12. Todd Ravel, 13. Terry Snyder, 14. Dallas Breidenbach, 15. Wayne Pfeil, 16. Danny Snyder, 17. Patrick Robinson.
NASCAR Sportsman Feature (25 Laps): 1. Mike Lisowski, 2. Mark Kemmerer, 3. Brad Grim, 4. Lex Shive, 5. Louden Reimert, 6. Joe Funk III, 7. Craig Whitmoyer, 8. Kenny Bock, 9. Dylan Swinehart, 10. Brad Brightbill, 11. Brad Arnold, 12. B.J. Joly, 13. Andrew Kreis, 14. Kurt Bettler, 15. Sean Weiss, 16. Jesse Landis, 17. Derrick smith, 18. Andy Clemmer, 19. Jack Butler, 20. Jim Housworth, 21. Kyle Lilick, 22. Mike Mammana, 23. Steve Young, 24. Nicho Flammer.