BECHTELSVILLE, PA. – Craig Von Dohren of Oley, Pa. was able to take over the lead on lap 47, following a multi-lap battle with Tim Buckwalter of Douglasville, Pa., and race home with the win in the 60th anniversary season opening VP Racing Fuels Bruce Rogers Memorial Money Maker 60-lap feature race for Big Block/Small Block Modifieds Saturday Night at Grandview Speedway. The victory for Von Dohren, his first in the Bruce Rogers Memorial, was worth a cool $10,060 and was the seventh time he has won on Opening Night in Grandview track history.
Jordan Henn of Kutztown, Pa. was able wrestle the lead away from Mark Kemmerer of Green Lane, Pa. on lap 12 of the 25-lap T.P. Truck Equipment Sportsman Opening Night feature and picked up his third career victory. The main event went green to checkers without a caution and was over in just under seven minutes.
Finishing out the top five behind Von Dohren in the Modified main event was Jeff Strunk of Boyertown, Pa, Doug Manmiller of Shoemakersville, Pa., Jared Umbenhauer of Richland, Pa. and Craig Whitmoyer of Hamburg, Pa.
The remaining top five in the Sportsman main was Cody Manmiller of Philadelphia, Pa., Jimmy Leiby of West Milford, N.J., and Dakota Kohler of Kutztown, Pa.
The Modified main event saw Buckwalter race out to the lead from his pole starting position and set a quick pace. The race upfront soon became fast and furious with Buckwalter leading a group of cars including Manmiller, Von Dohren, Strunk and Brett Kressley of Orefield, Pa.
The leaders soon entered lapped traffic and had a real battle between themselves and the slower cars, putting on a crowd-pleasing duel. By lap 20, Buckwalter was leading Manmiller, Strunk, Von Dohren Kressley, Umbenhauer and Bobby Varin of Sharon Springs, NY.
This battle was slowed by the first caution for Kevin Hirthler of Boyertown, Pa. on lap 21 who stopped with mechanical problems. The lead pack shifted positions several times including Von Dohren sliding back to fourth by the half-way mark.
On lap 38 a caution for a strong running Ryan Krachun of Branchburg, NJ., who had started 19th and was running sixth, began a turnaround for Von Dohren’s run to the front.
Following that restart, he was able to pass Strunk for third, take Manmiller for second on lap 41, then track down Buckwalter, and after a multi-lap dual, slide by in turn two and have the lead to score lap 47
Several late race cautions regrouped the field, including a flat tire for Kressley and a pit stop for Buckwalter, but Von Dohren survived all to race home to the huge $10,060 pay day.
The remaining top ten spots went to Buckwalter who rebounded from a flat front tire, Jordan Henn who was doing double-duty, Nate Brinker of Macungie, Pa., Bobby Gunther-Walsh of Allentown, Pa., and Kressley.
Modified qualifying heats for the 44-car field on hand were won by Kressley, Ryan Beltz of Barto, Pa., Varin and Brian Hirthler of Green Lane, Pa. Consolations were won by Dylan Swinehart of Fleetwood, Pa. and Brad Brightbill of Sinking Spring, Pa.
Action in the Sportsman main was constant throughout the whole field for the entire race. Dakota Kohler and Mark Kemmerer were the early leaders before Jordan Henn quickly moved in to challenge from his fifth starting spot.
Henn put a lot of pressure on Kemmerer in heavy lapped traffic once they caught the tail of the field and the battle for the top spot was on.
Henn was finally able to make his move and slide underneath Kemmerer on lap 12 entering turn one. Once in front. Henn had to cut the path through traffic, and did so very well, never allowing anyone to catch him, racing on to the win.
The remaining laps of the feature was an entertaining battle for the remaining top ten spots down to the checkered, as Manmiller and Leiby had moved in on Kemmerer and put on a lot of pressure to the finish.
The final rundown was Henn, Kemmerer, Manmiller, Leiby and Kohler. The rest of the top ten was completed by teammates Logan Bauman of Boyertown, Pa. and Dylan Swinehart, Brian Hirthler, Ryan Grim of Laury Station, Pa., and Matt Clay of Lebanon, Pa.
Sportsman qualifying heat wins for the 36 cars on hand were won by Kohler, Kemmerer, Bauman, and Manmiller. Consolations went to Matt Yoder of Benton, Pa. and Kyle Smith of Fleetwood, Pa.
Next Saturday, April 9 will be the first point race of the brand-new season, part of the NASCAR Advance Auto Parts Weekly Racing Series featuring a double header with the T.P. Trailer Modifieds and T.P. Truck Equipment Sportsman starting at 6 pm. Pit gates open at 2 pm and grandstand gates open at 4 pm. Adult grandstand admission is $18 while children under age 12 are admitted free of charge.
On Sunday, April 10, it will be the second program of the season for the Outlaw Racing Series Enduro and Outlaw Racing Series Vintage racers with a double program starting at 1 pm.
VP RACING FUELS BRUCE ROGERS MEMORIAL MONEY MAKER BIG BLOCK/SMALL BLOCK MODIFIED FEATURE FINISH (60 laps): CRAIG VON DOHREN, Jeff Strunk, Doug Manmiller, Jared Umbenhauer, Craig Whitmoyer, Tim Buckwalter, Jordan Henn, Nate Brinker, Bobby Gunther-Walsh, Brett Kressley, Bobby Varin, Ryan Krachun, Brian Hirthler, Brad Grim, Jimmy Leiby, Kevin Hirthler, Ryan Beltz, John Willman, Ryan Grim, Duane Howard, Brad Brightbill, Kevin Graver Jr., Steve Swinehart, Ray Swinehart DNS: Dylan Swinehart
Did Not Qualify: WB James, Kyle Smith, Clay Butler, Mike Laise, Dan Waisempacher, Brad Arnold, Mike Lisowski, Eric Biehn, Kyle Weiss, Darrin Schuler, Doug Snyder, Jesse Leiby, Brett Gilmore, Steve Young, Ron Jaring Jr., Justin Grim, Corey Merkel, Mark Van Vorst, Joel Smith
American Racer Non-Qualifiers Cash ($250 each): Dylan Swinehart, Kyle Smith, Mark Van Vorst, WB James
T. P. TRUCK EQUIPMENT SPORTSMAN FEATURE FINISH (25 laps): JORDAN HENN, Mark Kemmerer, Cody Manmiller, Jimmy Leiby, Dakota Kohler, Logan Bauman, Dylan Swinehart, Brian Hirthler, Ryan Grim, Matt Clay, Kyle Smith, Mike Schneck, Adrianna Delliponte, Nathan Mohr, Michael Burrows, Kenny Bock, Jesse Landis, Colton Perry, Bryan Rhoads, Tyler James, Ryan Graver, Decker Swinehart, Matt Yoder, Mark Gaugler, Parker Guldin, Jesse Hirthler
Did Not Qualify: Wayne Rotenberger, Nate Horn, Mike Stofflet, Chris Esposito, Kyle Hartzell, Mike Myers, Zach Steffy, Michael Faust, Joey Vaccaro, Michael Cinelli