BECHTELSVILLE, PA – Danny Erb, shut out of the winner’s circle since July, 2015, was close to victory lane on numerous occasions this season only to be plagued by mechanical gremlins, made his own luck on Saturday during K&N Performance Filters Night at Grandview Speedway. He took advantage of an opportunity to put the Terry Fasnacht-owned, Conestoga Valley Custom Kitchens No. 44 in the lead, when leader Mike Kellner got trapped behind two lapped cars racing side-by-side. Erb shot through a hole and into the first spot on the eighth lap of the T.P. Trailers 30-lap NASCAR 358 Modified Feature and went on to score his first win of the season.
In the 25-lap BRC NASCAR Late Model Feature, opening night winner Ron Kline, who has struggled to claim another victory, led from start to finish to finally “get the monkey off his back” and be back in the win circle. He is the first repeat winner in the division.
Sophomore racer Ryan Higgs overpowered one-time NASCAR Sportsman feature winner this season Dylan Swinehart on the eighth lap restart of the 25-lap event and withstood all challenges the rest of the way to capture his first career triumph at the track. The Nazareth, PA. native dedicated the victory to his late uncle John.
All feature winners in the activities sponsored by K&N Performance received monetary awards from T.P. Trailers, product awards from V.P. Fuels providing they ran gas and met all the necessary requirements and the Dan’s Deli ½-way Hoagie certificate.
Modified action saw Kellner charge from third to first at the drop of the green with challenges coming from Erb, Colt Harris, Blaine Bracelin and Ray Swinehart.
Kellner’s sizeable lead was being shortened when he approached lapped cars with runner-up Erb closing in fast waiting for the opportunity to take over the lead.
Despite being shown the move-over flag several times the back of the pack continued racing side-by-side as they were running for positions also. Their actions were the break Erb needed to make something happen. Erb squeezed the Nick Gatto powered mount between Kellner and the others to become the new leader on the eighth circuit.
Within no time Erb outdistanced himself and was now being chased down by Kellner, Harris, Swinehart and Kyle Borror.
Heavy traffic came onto the front runners again by the 19th lap and it was heads up driving.
The only caution of the race was when Blaine Bracelin hit the homestretch wall with heavy impact on the 21st lap. He was uninjured, however, the car sustained considerable damage. Before the restart Swinehart, while running fourth and Brett Gilmore, who earlier was in the thick of the battle, went pit side and were out of contention. The leader continued to be Erb, but Kellner lost momentum and fell back to fifth with Borror, Jeff Strunk, who was charging through the pack from 23rd after finishing second in the consi, and Jared Umbenhauer were second through fifth. Craig Von Dohren joined the front five on the 23rd lap.
In the later stages Erb hopped the cushion off turn four, had it sideways but still managed to stay in first.
Erb finally had a change of luck and pulled into victory lane for his third career win. Unfortunately his car owner Terry Fasnacht was not in attendance to see him park the Touch of Green Landscaping special in victory lane since he was feeling under the weather. This is the second win he missed. Turning in his best performance since the opener for a well-deserved second was Strunk followed by Borror, Von Dohren and Umbenhauer.
Kellner, Ron Seltmann Jr., Harris and Erb were the heat winners. Consies went to Doug Manmiller and John Willman.
Kline wasted no time putting the Jr. Grebe owned No. 3 into first at the start of the Late Model feature followed by Steve Todorow, Brian Shuey, Bryon Sipe and Chuck Schutz.
Shuey overtook second on the fourth lap to take chase after Kline, who had a hefty lead built up.
The field closed in on Kline several times during the numerous cautions, but on the 13th lap yellow when Jordan Knepp and Dirk Rimrott tangled on the backstretch, Shuey made a huge run to try and get underneath him, but to no avail and Kline was off and running.
Shuey’s solid run ended with five laps to go when he stopped in turn four with a flat left rear tire for the final caution. The lead never changed as Kline was still first.
No one was able to stop Kline from claiming his 38th career win. Finishing second was Todorow trailed by Sipe, Schutz and Steve Wilson.
Andrew Kreis set the pace for one lap in the Sportsman feature before Jeromy Guistwite took over the reins. That lead was short-lived since on the second lap caution needed when Mike Mammana and Jim Housworth tangled between turns three and four Swinehart motored into the top spot.
Behind Swinehart jockeying for positions were Guistwite, Dean Bachman, Higgs and Kreis.
Higgs advanced to second on the seventh lap to put his bids in for the lead.
Kurt Bettler brought out the final caution when he stopped in turn four on lap seven. On this restart Higgs outgunned Swinehart to become the new pacesetter in the outside groove, but Swinehart hung in there down low never giving up as he was all over his back bumper.
With five laps to go Higgs and Swinehart approached lapped traffic and fast approaching to make it a three-way battle was last week’s feature winner Ryan Lilick.
Higgs never surrendered the lead and went on to chalk up a hard-fought win chased across the line by Swinehart, R. Lilick, Bachman and Lisowski.
Heats were won by Guistwite, Swinehart and Bachman. Housworth won the consi.
The Sportsman stocks will be featured on Saturday, June 3 with a $1,500 to win 40-lap main event. Also in action will be the TP Trailers 358 Modifieds and BRC Late Models. Adult admission is $20 for this special event while youngsters 6 through 11 pay just $5 while kids under 6 are admitted free.
And on Sunday, June 4, 1 p.m. action will include Big Car Enduros (twin 60s), Small Car Enduros (twin 60s), Junkyard Car Enduro (50-laps), Ladies Race plus Blast from the Past Vintage Cars (two classes- two features)
Grandview Speedway continues to be one of the most successful NASCAR short track operations in the nation having been presenting stock car racing events under the Rogers family promotion for the past 55 years. The season at Grandview continues from late March to November. The one-third-mile, banked clay track is located on Passmore Road, just off Route 100, in Bechtelsville, PA, 10 miles north of Pottstown. A full line of concession and novelty items is offered. Fans are invited to the pit area after the racing events have been completed and racing equipment loaded into the trailers. Race information is available at www.grandviewspeedway.com, Facebook, Twitter and at 610.754.7688. And it is a good idea to link up with Rainedout.com to get latest info on rainouts.
NASCAR T.P. Trailers Modified Feature (30-Laps): 1. Danny Erb, 2. Jeff Strunk, 3 Kyle Borror, 4. Craig Von Dohren, 5. Jared Umbenhauer, 6. Ryan Grim, 7. Ryan Watt, 8. Frank Cozze, 9. Duane Howard, 10. Kevin Hirthler, 11. Doug Manmiller, 12. Mike Gular, 13. Colt Harris, 14. Brian Krummel, 15. Rick Laubach, 16. Kory Fleming, 17. Dan Waisempacher (alternate), 18. Briggs Danner, 19. Mike Kellner. DNF: 20. Chris Gambler (alternate), 21. Ray Swinehart, 22. Blaine Bracelin, 23. Brett Gilmore, 24. Joe Fanelli, 25. John Willman, 26. Ron Seltmann Jr., 27. Kenny Gilmore, 28. Addison Meitzler. DNS: Justin Grim and Brian Houseknecht. DNQ: Bobby Gunther-Walsh, Mark Kratz, Kyle Weiss, Craig Whitmoyer, Brett Kressley and Steve Swinehart.
BRC Late Model Feature (25-Laps): 1. Ron Kline, 2. Steve Todorow, 3. Bryon Sipe, 4. Chuck Schutz, 5. Steve Wilson, 6. Lou Egrie Sr., 7. Blaine Emery. DNF: 8. Brian Shuey, 9. Kyle Merkel, 10. Wayne Pfeil, 11. Jordan Knepp, 12. George Irwin, 13. Dirk Rimrott, 14. Todd Ravel, 15. Dan Hoffman, 16. Andy Cassel. DNS: Damon Neff.
Sportsman Feature (25-Laps): 1. Ryan Higgs, 2. Dylan Swinehart, 3. Ryan Lilick, 4. Dean Bachman, 5. Mike Lisowski, 6. Ryan Beltz, 7. Brian Hirthler, 8. Nathan Mohr, 9. Mike Mammana, 10. Brad Grim, 11. Jeromy Guistwite, 12. Jim Housworth, 13. Ken Eckert Jr., 14. Kyle Lilick, 15. Brandon Whitmoyer, 16. Louden Reimert, 17. Ryan Shupp, 18. Andrew Kreis. DNF: 19. Mark Kemmerer, 20. Brad Arnold, 21. Kurt Bettler, 22. Paul Houseknecht, 23. Derrick Smith, 24. Jack Butler. DNQ: Steve Young, Kenny Bock, Andy Clemmer, B.J. Joly.