Christopher Bell Pockets $10,000, Jeff Strunk Wins Mod Thriller As Grandview Defeats Mother Nature Tuesday Night

Pennsylvania Sprint Car Speedweek - Grandview Speedway - 39B Christopher Bell

BECHTELSVILLE, PA – Mother Nature offered a reprieve to race fans Tuesday Night at Grandview Speedway, providing just enough clear weather for Norman, Oklahoma’s Christopher Bell to claim the 410 Sprint Car main event, while Boyertown, Pennsylvania’s Jeff Strunk scored the win in the Modified portion of the double-header event.  A big crowd turned out for the NAPA Auto Parts Thunder on the Hill event attracting a field of thirty 410 sprint cars and thirty-eight modifieds.   The battles were plentiful all night but the biggest story was how the Grandview Speedway track crew fought back after  a thunder stormed drenched the speedway surface.   The outstanding  work by the track crew with help from the modifieds quickly returned the speedway back into race ready conditions after a one hour and fifteen minute rain delay.  As the checker flag fell on the modified feature, the rain once again began to fall, but the show in its entirety was presented.

Bell used up every inch of the racetrack on his way to a $10,000 payday as part of Pennsylvania Sprint Car Speedweek.   The was Bells first ever Thunder on the Hill Racing Series victory.

“I had a hard time figuring out where the car worked best, I just kept moving around,” Bell explained in post-race victory lane ceremonies.  “I almost crashed a couple of times.”

Pole-sitter Lucas Wolfe and Bell raced down to the drop of the green, but action slowed quickly for a six-car tangle that sidelined Pennsylvania Speedweek point leader, Freddie Rahmer.

Bell didn’t bat an eye on the ensuing restart racing around Wolfe and disappearing from the competition – a man on a mission, Bell encountered lapped traffic on the 8th circuit dodging slower cars with his sight set on the winner’s purse.

James McFadden, aboard the Kasey Kahne Racing No. 9 machine, slid passed Wolfe on the 12th lap and it didn’t take long for him to rope in Bell and challenge for the lead.  The red flag flew just prior to the halfway when Jessie Attard got upside down in turn three.

Bell had his hands full on the restart with McFadden and Lance Dewease right on his rear bumper.

“I struggled just passed halfway, I used every inch of the race track and tried to block those guys behind me,” Bell explained.

McFadden would make one last-ditch effort for the victory, but ultimately settled for second, Lance Dewease finished in third, Lucas Wolfe in fourth, and past Thunder Cup winner Aaron Reutzel finished in fifth.

Christopher Bell’s sweep included the Quick Time with a lap of 11.617.  Heat Races were won by Aaron Reutzel, Lucas Wolfe, Danny Dietrich, and Kyle Reinhardt.  Mark Smith scored the win in the B-Main.

Brett Kressley and Mike Gular started on the front row of the NASCAR 358 Modified feature event, with Gular gaining control of the top spot.  Gular dominated the first half of the 30-lap event clicking laps off with a strong contingent of Modified drivers behind him.

The top three competitors were door-to-door in the closing portion of the event, with Gular, Kressley, and Strunk all moving to the point in a single lap.  Strunk would score the upper hand threading three-wide between Gular and Kressley.

Strunk led the final ten laps of the feature event with Kressley well within striking distance and riding the rear bumper of #126 on the final lap.   Kressley rolled home in second, Mike Gular finished in third, Craig VonDohren in fourth, and Duane Howard rounding out the top five.   Kressley worked his way to victory lane, but this time to congratulate the great run by Strunk.   The thirty lap modified win was worth $3,000.

NASCAR Modified Heat Races were won by Don Norris, Jr., Steve Young, Brett Kressley, and Ryan Watt.  Consolations were won by Craig Whitmoyer and Glenn Strunk.

Rain delayed the start of the event with 410 Sprint Car Time Trials finally rolling off at 8:45 PM, the rain fell again at the drop of the checkered flag.

The 30th Anniversary season of the NAPA Auto Parts Thunder on the Hill Racing Series continues on Tuesday, July 30 at Grandview Speedway with the USAC NOS Energy Drink Midget National Championship event dubbed Ken Brenn Midget Masters.  NASCAR 358 Modifieds are also on the card.

410 Sprint Car Time Trials

1.  Christopher Bell – 11.617  2. James McFadden – 11.638  3. Lance Dewease – 11.645  4. TJ Stutts – 11.661  5. Aaron Reutzel – 11.665  6. Lucas Wolfe – 11. 670  7. Cory Eliason – 11.703  8. Kyle Reinhardt – 11.727  9. Dale Blaney – 11.728  10. Kyle Larson – 11.755  11. Danny Dietrich – 11.763  12. Rico Abreu – 11.789  13. Freddie Rahmer – 11.790  14. Dylan Cisney – 11.807  15. Jessie Attard – 11.808  16. Anthony Macri – 11.815  17. Alan Krimes – 11.837  18. Tyler Reeser – 11.928  19. Ryan Taylor – 11.928 20. Kyle Moody – 11.939 21. Mark Smith – 11.954  22. Jared Esh – 11.972  23. Brett Michalski – 12.066  24. JJ Grasso – 12.103  25. Tony Stewart – 12.108  26. Chase Dietz – 12.108  27. Brandon Rahmer – 12.166  28. Darren Mollenoyux – 12.219  29. Barry Shearer – 12.278  30. Dave Blaney – NT

Heat 1 (10 Laps) – 1. Aaron Reutzel  2. Christopher Bell 3. Dale Blaney  4. Freddie Rahmer  5. JJ Grasso
Heat 2 (10 Laps) – 1. Lucas Wolfe  2. Kyle Larson  3. James McFadden  4. Dylan Cisney  5. Jared Esh
Heat 3 (10 Laps) – 1. Danny Dietrich  2. Cory Eliason  3. Lance Dewease  4. Jessie Attard  5. Brandon Rahmer
Heat 4 (10 Laps) – 1. Kyle Reinhardt  2. Rico Abreu  3. Anthony Macri  4. Kyle Moody  5. TJ Stutts
B-Main (10 Laps) – 1. Mark Smith  2. Alan Krimes  3. Tyler Reeser  4. Chase Dietz
A-Main (35 Laps) – 1. Christopher Bell 2. James McFadden  3. Lance Dewease  4. Lucas Wolfe  5. Aaron Reutzel  6. Danny Dietrich  7. Kyle Larson  8. Rico Abreu  9. Anthony Macri  10. Cory Eliason  11. JJ Grasso  12. Kyle Reinhardt  13. Alan Krimes  14. Jared Esh  15. Chase Dietz  16. Kyle Moody  17. Tyler Reeser  18. Mark Smith  19. Jessie Attard  20. TJ Stutts  21. Dale Blaney  22. Freddie Rahmer  23. Dylan Cisney 24. Brandon Rahmer


NASCAR 358 Modifieds
Heat 1 (10 Laps) – 1. Don Norris Jr.  2. Kyle Weiss  3. Doug Manmmiler  4. Ryan Beltz  5. Dylan Swinehart
Heat 2 (10 Laps) – 1. Steve Young  2. Jeff Strunk  3. Craig VonDohren  4. Rick Laubach  5. Kenny Gilmore
Heat 3 (10 Laps) – 1. Brett Kressley  2. Louden Reimert  3. Ron Kline  4. Briggs Danner  5. TJ Lilly
Heat 4 (10 Laps) – 1. Ryan Watt  2. Mike Gular  3. Duane Howard  4. Kevin Hirthler  5. Frank Cozze
Consolation (10 Laps) – 1. Craig Whitmoyer  2. Danny Bouc
Consolation (10 Laps) – 1. Glenn Strunk  2. Brett Gilmore
Feature (30 Laps) – 1. Jeff Strunk  2. Brett Kressley  3. Mike Gular  4. Craig VonDohren  5. Duane Howard  6. Kyle Weiss  7. Rick Laubach  8. Ryan Watt  9. Louden Reimert  10. Doug Manmiller  11. Don Norris, jr.  12. Kevin Hirthler  13. Craig Whitmoyer  14. Briggs Danner  15. Frank Cozze  16. Danny Bouc  17. Glenn Strunk  18. Ron Kline  19. TJ Lilly 20. Ryan Beltz  21. Brett Gilmore  22. Steve Young 23. Dylan Swinehart  24. Kenny Gilmore.

“Special thanks go out to all involved in the Tuesday night Thunder on the Hill event, including the hard-working track crew, every Modified team that helped work the track, the patience of the 410 sprint car drivers and teams, the event track officials and especially the many race fans who turned out with the very threatening weather forecast”, commented co-event organizer Bob Miller.