BECHTELSVILLE, PA – Duane Howard, the defending Grandview Speedway NASCAR T.P.Trailers Modified point champion, sidelined early in the Forrest Rogers Memorial race the previous Saturday night with shock problems, was back with a vengeance this time and became the seventh different feature winner this season by taking home the checkered in the 30-lap T.P. Trailers NASCAR Modified Advance Auto Parts feature. It was Howard’s first win of the year at the 1/3-mile oval moving his career win total to 78.
Another defending point champion struggling had been Brad Brightbill. He finally had a change of luck to become the seventh different 25-lap T.P. Truck Equipment NASCAR Sportsman feature winner which was also his first win of the season and 11th career triumph.
Providing the feature winners met the necessary requirements, they received monetary awards from T.P. Trailers and a certificate from VP Fuels for product awards. The Dan’s Deli ½-way hoagie award recipients were Howard and Brightbill. Decker Swinehart earned an extra $100 bonus from the track for being the highest crate engine Sportsman racer to finish.
Polesitter and rookie Darrin Schuler set the pace for seven laps while Mark Kratz, Kenny and Brett Gilmore and Ron Haring Jr. juggled positions behind him. Howard joined the mix with five laps in the books as he advanced from 12th to fifth.
Ron Myers brought out the seventh lap caution when he slowed in the second turn. On the restart Howard, who by this time was running second, put the Norm Hansell owned No. 357 at the head of the pack.
Swapping paint behind him were Doug Manmiller, Craig Von Dohren, Schuler and K. Gilmore which allowed him to open some daylight.
The pack regrouped on the 14th lap when Jared Umbenhauer and Mike Lisowski tangled in the second turn as a result of the cars ahead of them dicing for positions giving no margin to error creating the situation. Despite Manmiller’s attempts to overtake Howard on the restart Howard was still in front.
Mike Gular, on the move from his 21st starting grid after winning the consi and running fifth, brought out the caution. Sparks were coming from his car previously bringing him to a stop in turn two and the yellow to be thrown. As action resumed Howard was off and running with Manmiller, Von Dohren, Briggs Danner and Kevin Hirthler right behind waiting for a Howard false move in hopes of advancement.
Brett Kressley, last week’s feature winner, set up a one lap shoot out when he stopped in the first turn with mechanical problems. Kressley, who went pit side earlier in the event, one of the previous caution periods and rejoined the pack in last, was running a solid fifth when misfortune struck. That didn’t deter Howard as he kept the momentum going and went on to the winner’s circle. Chasing him across the line were Manmiller, Von Dohren, Danner and Ryan Grim. Sixth through tenth were Hirthler, who was the Hard Charger coming from 22nd; K. Gilmore, Umbenhauer, Dillon Steuer, a rookie racer in his first outing; and Justin Grim.
Ray Swinehart, Schuler, Haring Jr. and Eric Biehn won the heats. The consies went to Gular and Hirthler.
Sportsman action saw B.J. Joly finally have a change of luck and show the way for two laps before Brad Arnold spun in the fourth turn for the yellow. Decker Swinehart became the new leader on the restart while Joly, Mike Mammana, Jesse Landis and Brid Brightbill tousled for positions.
By the 11th lap Brightbill advanced to second in pursuit of getting past Swinehart for first.
The red was thrown on the 13th lap after Mark Gaugler rode the second turn wall. When action went green again Brightbill shot past Swinehart on the outside and into the lead.
The battle for second through fifth was now between Swinehart, Mammana, Joly and Jack Butler.
On the 14th lap Mark Kemmerer got into Joly, had him sideways, but Joly somehow saved the car and kept going without an accident, but it cost him several positions as the field went by without incident on their part.
Butler took over second on the 16th lap and set his sights on Brightbill, but his quest ended on the 23rd lap when he pulled into the infield out of competition.
Brightbill never faltered and went on to score the win. Finishing second was Mammana followed by Kemmerer, Swinehart and Brian Hirthler. Rounding out the top ten were Landis, Kyle Smith, Cole Stangle, Joly and Nate Brinker.
Heats were won by Tom Miller, Landis and Nate Mohr. Brinker won the consi.
The 3-lap Diamond Disposal Cash Dash sponsored by Sportsman driver John Mc Govern worth $100 to the winner went to Ryan Beltz. Kemmerer received $75 with Brad Arnold getting $50. Rather than it being heat winners, it was the sixth place finishers competing. Scott Kohler actually finished sixth in the third heat, but opted out which put Kemmerer in the field.
Coming up on Saturday, August 15th, is a tripleheader show featuring the T.P.Trailers NASCAR Modifieds, T.P.Truck Equipment Sportsman and Blast From the Past Vintage racers. Spectator gates open at 5:30 pm. With the first racing event getting the green flag at 7:30 p.m. The weekly Meet & Greet takes place in the main gate area starting at 5 p.m. Adult admission for the tripleheader is $15 while youngsters under 12 are admitted free.
On Saturday, August 22, another exciting doubleheader with Modifieds and Sportsman. And then on Saturday, August 29, Excel 600 Modifieds are combined with the Mods and Sportsman for another exciting tripleheader.
Lap sponsorships, $20 each, for the 50th annual Freedom 76 remain available by contacting Tommy Kramer or Tina Rogers at the track. Several laps have already been claimed for the 50th Annual Classic.
- P. Trailers Modified Feature (30-laps): 1. Duane Howard, 2. Doug Manmiller, 3. Craig Von Dohren, 4. Briggs Danner, 5. Ryan Grim, 6. Kevin Hirthler, 7. Kenny Gilmore, 8. Jared Umbenhauer, 9. Dillon Steuer, 10. Justin Grim, 11. Dan Waisempacher, 12. Louden Reimert, 13. Darrin Schuler, 14. Bobby Gunther-Walsh (alternate), 15. Carroll Hine III, 16. Ron Haring Jr., 17. Ron Myers, 18. Mark Kratz, 19. Brett Kressley, 20. Mike Gular, 21. Jeff Strunk, 22. Mike Lisowski, 23. Brad Grim, 24. Ryan Lilick, 25. Brett Gilmore, 26. Kyle Weiss, 27. Richie Hitzler, 28. Eric Biehn. DNS: Ray Swinehart. DNQ: Mark Levy, John Willman, Colt Harris and Dylan Swinehart.
T.P. Trailers Truck Equipment Sportsman Feature (25-laps): 1. Brad Brightbill, 2. Mike Mammana, 3. Mark Kemmerer, 4. Decker Swinehart, 5. Brian Hirthler, 6. Jesse Landis, 7. Kyle Smith, 8. Cole Stangle, 9. B.J. Joly, 10. Nate Brinker, 11. Kyle Lilick, 12. Ryan Beltz, 13. Jimmy Leiby, 14. Brad Arnold, 15. Dakota Kohler, 16. Nathan Mohr, 17. John McGovern, 18. Lex Shive, 19. Jesse Leiby, 20. Chris Esposito, 21. Jack Butler, 22. Kenny Bock, 23. Mark Gaugler, 24. Scott Kohler, 25. Tom Miller. DNQ: Beau Drobot, Chuck Eckert, Nick Faust, Parker Guldin, Ryan Laise, Bryan Rhoads, Steve Young and Jesse Leiby.