Money Maker News, Notes and Quotes – DTD Exclusive

By KEN BRUCE

Jeff Strunk wasn’t sure if they would be able to get their season started as the Zubi’s No. 88z team was awaiting their motors to be ready from being freshened up over the winter. Thankfully, one of the team’s Morrison motors was ready in time and Strunk was able to drive to a second-place finish to open the 2022 season in the Bruce Rogers Memorial Money Maker race at Grandview Speedway. 

Strunk started on the outside pole for the 60-lap main event, a strong running Doug Manmiller was able to get by Strunk early on and into second. Strunk settled into the third spot early in the race until Craig Von Dohren moved up to battle him for third. The two long time rivals battled tooth and nail for many laps. The two swapped the third position many times until Von Dohren took over for good on a lap 38 restart. Strunk would eventually get back by Manmiller for second and that is where the Bechtelsville, Pa., driver would finish.

“It was a good solid run for us tonight,” said Strunk in his team’s trailer after the race. “I knew when I was racing with Craig (Von Dohren) there that whoever got the upperhand there was going to probably be win the race. Doug (Manmiller) started fading some there at the end and we were able to get by him. Craig was able to get by me on that one restart there and that was the race. It was a good solid start for us finishing second and I was able to run with Craig, so I know we have a good car going forward. Last year, he was just a little better than us. Now I think we have something that can put us right there with him.”

Over the winter, Grandivew Speedway added new clay to the track and had new LED lights installed which made a big difference for the drivers.




“I don’t think the new clay was anything out of the ordinary as far as the track goes,” explained Strunk. “It was a little choppy tonight, but that is to be expected for this time of the year. The new lights are awesome! They are really nice and make a big difference out there for the drivers, we can all see so much better now. The Rogers family has done a great job with the track and getting those lights up was a great thing to do.”

Doug Manmiller Finishes Third

Starting fourth on the grid, Manmiller was able to work his way to second early on and pressure then leader Tim Buckwalter. Manmiller ran second for much of the race until the late going when Strunk worked his way past him forcing Manmiller to settle for a third-place finish when all was said and done. It was a good start to the season for the Jason Miller owned No. 44.

“I’ll take it, it is good to get out to a good start,” cited Manmiller rushing to get out of his racing suit so he can go watch his son Cody race in the Sportsman feature. “I wish we could’ve been a little bit better. We were close, but Craig and Jeff were just a little bit better tonight. The track was a little confusing tonight. The groove moved around quite a bit, it started out on the bottom then went to the top and then back to the bottom again. I just didn’t get to the bottom quick enough there at the end, but I’ll take a third place tonight.”

Money Maker Notes:

42 cars took part in tonight’s qualifying races with Brett Kressley, Ryan Beltz, Bobby Varin and Brian Hirthler winning the four heat races. Dylan Swinehart and Brad Brightbill were the winners of the two consolation races…

Tough break for young Dylan Swinehart who crossed the line first in his consolation race with smoke billowing from the Bailey No. 81 forcing the team to scratch from the feature…

Duane Howard looked fast early on in the Butch Getz No. 15G only to pull off suddenly with what was diagnosed as engine issues. The No. 15G team had recently installed a new LJL/Kevlar spec 358 in the car…

Pre-race favorite Brett Kressley had a solid top five run going when the No. 19K suffered a flat tire late in the race…

Bobby Varin was the driver wheeling the Norm Hansell No. 357 on this night and looked extremely fast in his heat coming from deep in the starting field to take the win. In the feature, Varin was running right outside of the top five when a flat tire ended their night…

Heartbreaker for Timmy Buckwalter who led the first 47 laps of the feature race before Craig Von Dohren was able to wrestle the lead away from him. A couple of laps after losing the lead, Buckwalter headed to the pits with a flat tire. Buckwalter was able to make it back up to finish sixth in the race…

Attrition plagued the Modified feature race as only nine cars finished the race. Mechanical failures were the culprit as there were no cautions thrown for wrecks in the race…

The new LED lighting was a big hit with the drivers. I talked to some drivers after the race and they all agreed it was a marked improvement over what was there before…

Invader Ryan Krachun was very impressive in the feature. Krachun started race in 19th and was running sixth and challenging for fifth when the family-owned No. 29K slowed with rear end problems…

Jared Umbenhauer made his debut as a car owner and came home with a solid fourth place finish…

Drivers doing double duty at Grandview driving in both the Modifieds and Sportsman were Jimmy Leiby, Brian Hirthler, Jordan Henn (winner of the sportsman feature), Kyle Smith, Dylan Swinehart and Ryan Grim…

A very nice fifth-place finish for “The Hook” Craig Whitmoyer in the Modified feature…

If you have any questions or comments. I can be reached at dirtracefan25@hotmail.com or on Twitter @dirtracefan25.