BECHTELSVILLE, PA – In the Saturday night racing action at Grandview Speedway broadcast by RCN-TV, Allentown later in the week, five-time NASCAR track modified point champion Duane Howard started off the show by putting the Norm Hansell-owned Norm’s Save Station No. 357 in victory lane at the conclusion of the 30-lap TP Trailers NASCAR 358 Modified feature postponed by rain on June 1 for his second win of the season.
It appeared Steve Swinehart, winless since May 2004, was going to claim the win in the first feature only to get bottled up behind a lapped car on the 27th lap. Howard capitalized on the opportunity to sneak through the opening on the backstretch to motor into the winner’s circle for his 74th career win. Howard commented they have a good team with good equipment, but they just have to start showing it to get the results of their hard work.
Craig Von Dohren, behind the wheel of the Pioneer Pole Buildings/Keith Harring Transportation No. 1 C, overtook Ray Swinehart for the lead in the second Modified feature from the regular portion on the 20th lap and proceeded to hold off the continuous pressure from runner-up Kevin Hirthler to garner his third win at the oval. Von Dohren felt his car didn’t feel that fast towards the end of the “interesting” race, but he still got the job done.
TP Truck Equipment Sportsman rookie driver Parker Guldin has been experiencing his share of ups and downs with carburetor and other issues in his first year learning stages at the 1/3-mile oval having been in competition in New Jersey last year where he won two features. Finally fellow Craig Whitmoyer, a rookie in the Modified class, stepped in to help and found the problem for the team. Whatever Whitmoyer did, helped as Guldin regained the lead from Sean Weiss on the fifth lap and later held off the constant challenges of Dean Bachman and finally second place finisher Brad Brightbill. Guldin’s crate powered engine earned him an extra $100.
Providing all feature winners met the necessary requirements, they received monetary awards from TP Trailers and a certificate from VP Fuels for product awards. The Dan’s Deli ½-way hoagie award recipients were S. Swinehart, R. Swinehart and Guldin.
Steve Swinehart grabbed the early lead at the onset of the first Modified feature trailed by Justin Grim, Jordan Henn, Ryan Lilick and K. Hirthler.
The only yellow was on the fourth lap caused when Louden Reimert slowed his pace. Swinehart held his position, but by now Henn, Hirthler, Howard and Jeff Strunk were chasing him.
Lap traffic by lap 17 caused the front runners to use heads-up driving, but Swinehart still managed to maintain the lead.
With five laps remaining, Howard and Strunk moved into second and third respectively to put their bids in for the lead.
On the 27th lap a slower car in the high lane in front of Swinehart allowed Howard to scoot by and become the new pacesetter.
Howard never looked back and went on to capture the victory followed by S. Swinehart, who endured a heartbreak at a chance for victory; last week’s feature winner Strunk, Henn, for his best finish and K. Hirthler.
Steve Wilson, another rookie, took the early lead at the drop of the green in the second Modified feature.
Wilson held the lead until Ray Swinehart took over the number one position on the 10th lap.
Behind Swinehart dicing for the remaining positions were Wilson, Hirthler, Grim and Mike Lisowski with the order constantly changing.
Hirthler was challenging his father-in-law for first by the 13th lap with Von Dohren, Doug Manmiller and Grim chasing.
Von Dohren charged into second on the 17th lap to pursue Swinehart and four laps later he was at the head of the pack.
Lap 22 saw Hirthler advance to second and give Von Dohren a run for the money as the side-by-side battle ensured.
Von Dohren succeeded at holding off the competition and chalked up Saturday night win number 108 chased across by Hirthler, Manmiller, Jared Umbenhauer and Howard, the Hard Charger recipient in both features starting 13th and 22nd.
Heats were won by R. Swinehart, Ron Seltmann Jr., S. Swinehart and Wilson. Jordan Henn and Howard won the consies.
Polesitter Sean Weiss led the Sportsman feature until the fifth lap restart created for an incident in the second turn and on the backstretch. On the restart Guldin put the Penny’s Shear Heaven/Oley Feed Mills No. 11 into the lead.
The battle behind Guldin for second through fifth was intense between Dean Bachman, Brad Brightbill, Weiss and Mark Kemmerer, who were just waiting for Guldin to slip-up.
Guldin and Bachman diced for the lead for a while until Brightbill took over second.
Guldin stuck with his “don’t give up” attitude and never faltered to pull into the winner’s circle a very jubilant first time victor followed by Brightbill, Bachman, for his best finish, Weiss and Kemmerer.
Weiss, Guldin and Bachman won the heats.
Here is what is coming next at Grandview. Saturday, June 22nd, Wingless Super Sportsman make their first appearance in a tripleheader that also features the T.P.Trailers NASCAR 358 Modifieds and the T.P.Truck Equipment Sportsman plus the qualifying events for all divisions. Spectator gates open at 5:30 p.m. with racing getting the green at 7:30 p.m. Adult admission for this tripleheader card is just $15 for adults while youngsters under 12 are admitted free.
On Sunday, June 23, 1 p.m. Outlaw Enduro and Blast from the Past Vintage racing action is the attraction.
T.P. Trailers Modified Feature (30-laps) June 1: 1. Duane Howard, 2. Steve Swinehart, 3. Jeff Strunk, 4. Jordan Henn, 5. Kevin Hirthler, 6. Jared Umbenhauer, 7. Brent Gilmore, 8. Justin Grim, 9. Brett Kressley, 10. Frank Cozze, 11. Rick Laubach, 12. Kyle Weiss, 13. Alex Yankowski, 14. Craig Von Dohren, 15. Doug Manmiller, 16. Ryan Lilick, 17. Craig Whitmoyer, 18. Louden Reimert, 19. Mike Lisowski, 20. Dan Waisempacher, 21. Bobby Gunther Walsh, 22. Richie Hitzler, 23. Ryan Grim, 24. Ray Swinehart (alternate), 26. Ron Kline, 27. Kenny Gilmore, 28. Danny Erb. DNQ: Mark Kratz, Tim Buckwalter, Joe Funk III, Clay Butler, Mark Levy, Skylar Sheriff, Mike Laise, Eric Biehn, Ron Seltmann Jr., Steve Wilson, Brian Houseknecht and Ron Myers.
T.P. Trailers Modified Feature (30-laps): 1. Craig Von Dohren, 2. Kevin Hirthler, 3. Doug Manmiller, 4. Jared Umbenhauer, 5. Duane Howard, 6. Brett Kressley, 7. Ray Swinehart, 8. Alex Yankowski, 9. Mike Lisowski, 10. Clay Butler, 11. Kyle Weiss (provisional), 12. Justin Grim, 13. Danny Erb, 14. Rick Laubach (provisional), 15. Ryan Grim, 16. Dan Waisempacher, 17. Briggs Danner, 18. Joe Funk III, 19. Ron Kline, 20. Jordan Henn, 21. Steve Wilson, 22. Mark Levy, 23. Jeff Strunk, 24. Bobby Trapper Jr., 25. Steve Swinehart, 26. Brett Gilmore, 27. Ron Seltmann Jr., 28. Craig Whitmoyer, 29. Kenny Gilmore, 20. Ryan Lilick. DNQ: Frank Cozze, Ron Myers. Bobby Gunther Walsh, John Willman, Mark Kratz, Kyle Kania, Dylan Swinehart, Ritchie Hitzler and Louden Reimert.
T.P. Truck Equipment Sportsman Feature (25-laps): 1. Parker Guldin, 2. Brad Brightbill, 3. Dean Bachman, 4. Sean Weiss, 5. Mark Kemmerer, 6. Brandon Edgar, 7. Brad Grim, 8. Jesse Landis, 9. Kyle Smith, 10. Nathan Mohr, 11. Scott Kohler, 12. Brian Hirthler, 13. Andrew Kreis, 14. Kenny Bock, 15. Derrick Smith, 16. Andy Clemmer, 17. Kyle Lilick, 18. Josh Adams, 19. Steve Desmelyk, 20. B.J. Joly, 21. Tom Miller, 22. Brad Arnold, 23. Joey Vaccaro, 24. Nate Brinker, 25. Jack Butler.