BECHTELSVILLE >> Paint swapping, racing action finally returned to the 1/3-mile high banks of Grandview Speedway on Saturday night following a three-week vacation courtesy of Mother Nature.
T.P.Trailers NASCAR 358 Modified action saw rookie Modified racer and 2015 Sportsman point champion Brett Kressley squeezed out of the lead by defending point champion Craig VonDohren on the white flag lap in the 30-Lap feature. VonDohren went on to score his second win of the season in which he also received $250 from T.P. Trailers and a $150 bonus in products from VP Racing Fuel for running their gasoline. VonDohren gave credit to Kressley on the battle the two ensued and also to Brad Missimer and the entire track crew for the preparation prior to the event.
Bryon Sipe became the fourth different BRC NASCAR 25-lap Late Model feature winner as he led from start to finish to stand in victory lane for the first time since his last win June 23, 2007. Sipe left for a few years and figured he’d return to the only track where he won a feature. He also garnered $100 from T.P. Trailers and also the Dan’s Deli ½-way hoagie award.
A new name entered the winner’s circle in the NASCAR Sportsman feature when Ryan Beltz, who has been competing for several years but never quite able to win, finally got the monkey off his back to win his first 25-lap NASCAR feature. An elated Beltz commented that the crew only consists of himself and his father and thanked his wife Stephanie for putting up with his racing career.
Twelve different drivers have now made it to victory lane in feature races in all three divisions after five weeks of racing.
NASCAR stock car racing action returns to Grandview Speedway on Saturday, June 4 with another great tripleheader card featuring the T.P.Trailers NASCAR 358 Modifieds, BRC Late Models and Sportsman with racing starting at 7:30 p.m. Spectator gates open at 5:30 p.m.
Ron Seltmann Jr., who won his first Modified feature last season, set the pace for four laps before Steve Swinehart, returning to action this year behind the wheel of the Ron Krex No. 9K, took over the lead.
The yellow was displayed on the seventh lap when Chris Esposito stopped in the second turn. S. Swinehart held his own on the restart, but now he had to contend with his day Ray in second trailed by Jared Umbenhauer, Mike Kellner and Doug Manmiller.
Charging towards the front on the outside was Kressley and by the 13th lap he held down the runner-up position. Behind them, R. Swinehart, VonDohren and Manmiller diced for third through fifth.
Kellner brought out the final caution on the 16th lap when he spun in the fourth turn. This time Kressley shot into first with R. Swinehart, S. Swinehart, VonDohren and Mike Gular in pursuit. It didn’t take Kressley long to outdistance himself from the rest. VonDohren regained second on lap 22 and set sail after Kressley who began to encounter lap traffic.
VonDohren closed the gap and made several advances, but to no avail since Kressley held his challenges off. Von Dohren ran Kressley up high numerous times trying to dive under, but couldn’t capitalize on it.
Coming out of turn four for the one to go signal VonDohren took Kressley up a little higher and was able to squeeze him back to second.
The lead never changed and VonDohren chalked up his second with Kressley a well-deserved disappointing second trailed by R. Swinehart, Gular and St. Swinehart, who posted his best finish. Sixth through tenth were Kenny Gilmore, Umbenhauer, Jeff Strunk, Duane Howard and Manmiller.
Seltmann Jr., R. Swinehart and Eric Biehn were the heat winners. The consi was won by Esposito.
Before the first lap of the Late Model feature could be completed the red was thrown when Lou Egrie Jr. hit the first turn wall with heavy impact coming to a rest in the infield between one and two. He got out of the car under his own power, but was shaken up a bit.
When action resumed Sipe was the leader trailed by Devin Frey, Chuck Schutz, driving Buddy Mertz’s No. 00; Drew Weisser and Randy Stoudt.
Weisser found himself in the second turn wall after contact with Stoudt and the yellow was out on lap four. Stoudt was put to the rear for the infraction.
Sipe was still the leader on the restart with Frey, Schutz, Ron Kline and Dave Ogin in tow.
The final caution was on the 14th lap after Ogin and Cory Merkel got together on the backstretch with Merkel spinning. Also involved having nowhere to go were Brian Shuey and Lou Egrie Sr. Only Egrie Sr. could continue. Sipe motored away quickly on the restart.
No one was able to pass Sipe and he went on to claim a well-deserved win trailed by Frey, Schutz, Kline and Ogin. Rounding out the top ten were Bill Henning, Dan Green, Joe Fanelli, Shawn Horning and Egrie Sr.
C. Merkel and Shuey won the qualifying heats.
In Sportsman competition John McGovern took the early lead at the onset of the Sportsman feature.
Battling for positions behind him were rookie Dylan Swinehart, Beltz, Nathan Mohr and Brandon Whitmoyer.
Beltz moved into second on the sixth lap restart needed when Kenny Bock spun in the fourth turn and began to pressure McGovern.
The lead was swapped on the 14th lap just after McGovern picked up the Dan’s Deli ½-way hoagie award as now Beltz was at the front of the pack.
With five laps to go Swinehart overtook second and took chase after Beltz.
The long wait was finally over for Beltz as he pulled into victory lane for a long overdue triumph. Finishing an impressive second was Swinehart, who showed sportsmanship and went over to congratulate Beltz, followed by McGovern, for his best finish; B. Whitmoyer and Mohr, who also turned in his best run ever. Completing the top ten were Jim Housworth, Craig Whitmoyer, who came from deep in the pack after taking a provisional and starting 27th; Mike Lisowski, Brian Hirthler and Ryan Lilick.
T.P. Trailers Modified Feature (30 Laps): 1. Craig Von Dohren, 2. Brett Kressley, 3. Ray Swinehart, 4. Mike Gular, 5. Steve Swinehart, 6. Kenny Gilmore, 7. Jared Umbenhauer, 8. Jeff Strunk, 9. Duane Howard, 10. Doug Manmiller, 11. Kevin Hirthler, 12. Ryan Grim, 13. Kyle Borror, 14. Frank Cozze, 15. Ryan Watt, 16. Danny Erb, 17. Don Norris Jr., 18. Chris Esposito, 19. Ron Seltmann Jr., 20. Ron Haring Jr., 21. Kory Fleming, 22. Chris Gambler, 23. Bobby Gunther-Walsh, 24. Tim Buckwalter, 25. Mike Kellner, 26 Brian Houseknecht, 27. Eric Biehn, 28. John Willman. DNQ: Blaine Bracelin, Carroll Hine III and Mike Wahl.
BRC Late Model Feature (25 Laps): 1. Bryon Sipe, 2. Devin Frey, 3. Chuck Schutz, 4. Ron Kline, 5. Dave Ogin, 6. Bill Henning, 7. Dan Green, 8. Joe Fanelli, 9. Shawn Horning, 10. Lou Egrie Sr., 11. Cory Merkel, 12. Brian Shuey, 13. Randy Stoudt, 14. Drew Weisser, 15. Lou Egrie Jr.
Sportsman Feature (25 Laps): 1. Ryan Beltz, 2. Dylan Swinehart, 3. John McGovern, 4. Brandon Whitmoyer, 5. Nathan Mohr, 6. Jim Housworth, 7. Craig Whitmoyer, 8. Mike Lisowski, 9. Brian Hirthler, 10. Ryan Lilick, 11. Jordan Henn, 12. Brad Brightbill, 13. Dean Bachman, 14. Brad Arnold, 15. Ryan Higgs, 16. Mark Kemmerer, 17. Ryan Shupp, 18. Chris Jenkins, 19. Joe Funk III, 20. Jesse Landis, 21. Paul Kline, 22. Brian Papiez, 23. Brett Gilmore, 24. Kenny Bock, 25. Jack Butler, 26. Paul Houseknecht, 27. Kyle Lilick. DNQ: Josh Adams, Derrick Smith, Dean Ficarro, Lex Shive, Mike Koffel, Steve Searock, Andrew Kreis and Mike Stringer.