Jeff Strunk Powers to NASCAR Modified Main Event Win At Grandview

BECTELLSVILLE, PA – Nathan Mohr, a recent graduate of Upper Perkiomen High School, lost the lead twice during the running of the Summer Splash 40-lap NASCAR Sportsman feature on Saturday night at Grandview Speedway, but through the aid of restarts he jumped back into first. Mohr then proceeded to hold off the hard charges of Gary Wagner until the challenger was sidelined by tire issues, and then with two laps to go Mike Lisowski was on his bumper. Not knowing how really close challenger Lisowski actually was, he held his pace and went on to pull the Mohr-family owned No. 17M into victory lane for his first career win and it was worth $1,500.

The T.P Trailers 30-lap NASCAR Modified feature had its second repeat winner when Jeff Strunk, who recently won on June 9, survived a one-lap shoot out and was able to keep Mike Gular, who is currently at the top of the point race, behind to go on to record his 69th Saturday night career triumph. Gular also chased Strunk across the line during Strunk’s previous win.

Kyle Merkel, who returned to Late Model action a few years ago after being on other racing ventures, led the 25-lap NASCAR Late Model feature from start to finish to park the Dave “Crazy” Yost owned No. 26 mount in the winner’s circle. Merkel had been shut out of the win column since April 20, 2013.

All feature winners received monetary awards from T.P. Trailers and merchandise awards from VP Fuels providing they met the necessary requirements. The Dan’s Deli ½-way hoagie recipients were Jack Butler, Sportsman; Bobby Gunther-Walsh, Modified and Merkel, Late Model.

The Saturday night NASCAR events were all part of the Safety Net Animal Sanctuary Fundraiser.

Mohr, starting from the pole position in the Sportsman event, wasted no time keeping Derrick Smith, Andrew Kreis, Kurt Bettler and Mark Kemmerer behind him at the drop of the green by starter Ray Kemp.

By the sixth lap Butler was chasing Mohr down from the runner-up spot.

Butler reeled Mohr in on the eighth lap and took to the outside path coming off the fourth turn and advanced into first.

Behind Butler, who was hoping to pick up his first career win as a birthday present, the battle for second d was a heated one between Mohr and Wagner while Smith, Kreis and Dylan Swinehart vied for the remaining top five spots.

Debris in the fourth turn, plus the stopped car of Ryan Beltz between the first and second turn brought the pack bumper-to-bumper with the first caution on last 18. Butler continued to show the way while Mohr, Wagner, Brian Hirthler and Swinehart continued their paint swapping battles.

Jesse Landis stopped in the fourth turn for the 21st lap yellow. This time Mohr outgunned Butler to regain first and it held with Wagner following through for second with Butler falling to third.

The lead changed again when Wagner moved to the front of the pack on the 24th lap.

Butler’s valiant efforts went up in a puff of smoke when a blown engine ended his night and the final yellow with 26 laps completed.

This time the restart was better than previously and Mohr was back in first.

Despite all the challenges Mohr held his composure and didn’t faltered to go on to claim a hard-fought triumph. Chasing him across the line were Lisowski, Swinehart, Hirthler and Craig Whitmoyer.

Louden Reimert, Mohr and Bettler were the heat winners.

Polesitter Mark Kratz took the early lead in the Modified feature and within no time had a commanding lead built up over Bobby Gunther-Walsh, Chris Esposito, Briggs Danner and Bobby Trapper Jr.

Brett Gilmore slowed along the homestretch to bring out the eighth lap caution. On this restart Gunther-Walsh overtook Kratz to become the new leader.

The ½-way point, the order behind Gunther-Walsh consisted of Esposito, Kratz, Strunk, who started 15th and Danner.

Strunk moved into second on the 19th lap and set sail after Gunther-Walsh who had to deal with lap traffic along with the others.

It didn’t take long for Strunk to erase the margin and by the 22nd lap he was the third different leader.

Coming on strong behind Strunk were Gunther-Walsh, Gular, Umbenhauer and Esposito. Esposito’s night ended when he pulled into the infield with three laps to go.

Umbenhauer, who was running a solid fourth, slowed in the third turn to set-up a one-lap shoot out to the finish that involved Strunk, Gular, Craig Von Dohren, Frank Cozze and Duane Howard, who came through from 28th. Strunk quickly punched the accelerator as he knew his fellow competitors wanted to be in victory lane also.

Strunk kept everyone behind to score the win with Gular, Von Dohren, Cozze and Howard in tow. Walsh, a fan favorite, held on to have his best night of the season finishing sixth.

Heats were won by Kratz, Gunther-Walsh and Clay Butler. Justin Grim won the consi.

Merkel started in the top slot in the 25-lap NASCAR Late Model feature and was off and running at the onset trailed by Steve Todorow, Lou Egrie, Chuck Schutz and Danny Snyder, the current point leader. Trying to into the top five was Drew Weisser and he accomplished that fete on the fifth circuit when he moved into fifth.

A flat tire with two laps to go ended Todorow’s night when he stopped in turn three out of contention. Now Schutz, the defending pint champion, was behind Merkel on the restart but Merkel managed to stay ahead.

No one was able to overtake Merkel and he went on to claim a well-deserved win. Finishing second was Schutz followed by Egrie, Snyder and Weisser.

Sprint car racing will be part of the big four division show of racing presented by Bechtelsville Car Wash on Saturday, June 30th at NASCAR sanctioned Grandview Speedway. The Mid-Atlantic Sprint Series (MASS) 305 Sprinters will be making their first appearance of the season on the one-third-mile, banked clay oval with racing action getting the green flag at 7:30 p.m.

The battle for the NASCAR T.P.Trailers 358 Modified championship will continue with point leader Mike Gular leading the action. Sportsman stock cars and Blast from the Past Vintage cars will make up the balance of the exciting night of racing action.

And on Tuesday, July 3rd the Thunder on the Hill Series, a co-promotion between Bob Miller and the Rogers Family, will offer the 410 Pennsylvania Sprint Speed Week Series plus the 358 Modifieds. Racing starts at 7:30 p.m

RACE RESULTS

Summer Splash NASCAR Sportsman Feature (40 Laps): 1. Nathan Mohr, 2. Mike Lisowski, 3. Dylan Swinehart, 4. Brian Hirthler, 5. Craig Whitmoyer, 6. Louden Reimert, 7. Mark Kemmerer, 8. Brad Grim, 9. Brad Brightbill, 10. Jim Housworth, 11. Joe Funk III, 12. Mike Mammana, 13. Kyle Lilick, 14. Andrew Kreis, 15. Jesse Landis, 16. Kenny Bock, 17. Kurt Bettler, 18. Gary Wagner, 19. Andy Clemmer, 20. Derrick Smith, 21. Jack Butler, 22. Brad Arnold, 23. Ryan Beltz, 24. Lex

T.P. Trailers NASCAR Modified Feature (30 Laps): 1. Jeff Strunk, 2. Mike Gular, 3. Craig Von Dohren, 4. Frank Cozze, 5. Duane Howard, 6. Bobby Gunther-Walsh, 7. Doug Manmiller, 8. Briggs Danner, 9. Kevin Hirthler, 10. Brett Kressley, 11. Timmy Buckwalter, 12. Clay Butler, 13. Eric Biehn, 14. Bobby Trapper Jr., 15. Mark Kratz, 16. Mike Mahaney, 17. Ryan Lilick (provisional), 18. Ron Seltmann Jr., 18. Steve Swinehart, 20. Ron Kline, 21. Dan Waisempacher, 22. Jared Umbenhauer, 23. Chris Esposito, 24. Joe Fanelli, 25. Justin Grim, 26. Kenny Gilmore, 27. John Willman, 28. Ray Swinehart, 29. Brett Gilmore. DNQ: Bobby Trapper, Skylar Sheriff, Ryan Grim and Ron Myers.

NASCAR Late Model Feature (25 Laps): 1. Kyle Merkel, 2. Chuck Schutz, 3. Lou Egrie, 4. Danny Snyder, 5. Drew Weisser, 6. Wayne Pfeil, 7. Steve Wilson, 8. Jordan Knepp, 9. Steve Todorow, 10. Todd Ravel, 11. Brian Shuey

COMING EVENTS:

Saturday, June 30 Bechtelsville Car Wash Night –Modifieds, Sportsman, Mid-Atlantic Sprint Series and Vintage Racers – no Late Model racing

Tuesday, July 3 410 Pennsylvania Sprint Speed Week Series plus 358 Modifieds (NASCAR points) part of Thunder on the Hill Series – Gates open at 5 p.m. Racing at 7:30 p.m.

Saturday, July 7 Firecracker 40 for Late Models plus T.P.Trailers NASCAR 358 Modifieds and Sportsman

Saturday, July 14 Whelen Engineering Night featuring T.P.Trailers NASCAR 358 Modifieds, Late Models and Sportsman

Friday, July 20 Outlaw Enduros and Blast From the Past Vintage Racers – 6 p.m.

Saturday, July 21 Hatfield Quality Meats Night featuring T.P. Trailers 358 Modifieds, Late Models, Sportsman and Blast from the Past Vintage Racers