BECHTELSVILLE, PA –In a night that was filled with action from start to finish on and off the track, Craig Von Dohren of Oley, Pa. worked through a six-car battle for the lead, then raced home to the win for an unbelievable tenth time in the 50-lap T.P. Trailer NASCAR Modified Forrest Rogers Memorial Saturday night at Grandview Speedway.
Von Dohren was running third as part of a dynamic battle at the front of the pack, with Eddie Strada of Lake Ariel, Pa. leading, Kevin Hirthler of Boyertown, Pa. battling Von Dohren for second, followed by Doug Manmiller of Shoemakersville, Pa., Tim Buckwalter of Douglassville, Pa., and Mike Gular of Boyertown, Pa. all challenging for top five spots when the complexion of the feature race changed on lap 33.
Leader Strada stopped with mechanical troubles drawing a caution, handing the lead to Hirthler who then locked into a terrific battle with Von Dohren for the lead, side by side at times, with Von Dohren finally taking control of the lead following a restart with just nine laps to go and motoring home to the $10,000 payday, the tenth time Von Dohren has won the memorial event in its 53rd running.
Not to be outdone by the T.P. Trailer Modified feature, the T.P. Truck Equipment NASCAR Sportsman put on a tremendous feature running the first 18 laps caution free and full of great action. Kyle Smith of Fleetwood, Pa., who started in 12th position, made some daring moves to the front, including a four wide turn two pass of three cars at once on his way to the lead, which he secured with a pass off turn four of Mark Gaugler of Boyertown, Pa. completing lap 14, on his way to the win in the 25-lap feature event.
Both winners received bonus money (Modified $300, Sportsman $200) from T.P. Trailers and Truck Equipment of Limerick, Pa., sponsors of the two divisions at Grandview Speedway, in a program run under the NASCAR Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series banner.
Following great intermission fireworks presented by Spunktown Tavern and Restaurant, the T.P. Trailer Modified Forrest Rogers Memorial honoring the track’s founder took the green flag. The early laps were sprinkled with several cautions till the drivers settled into some great side by side action. During these early skirmishes several drivers pitted with flat tires or other minor problems and rejoined the race including Mike Gular, Brett Kressley of Orefield, Pa., and Jared Umbenhauer of Richland, Pa. Even eventual winner Von Dohren got tangled with another car and bounced off the back straight wall, but continued with no apparent damage.
First year Modified driver Lex Shive of Pennsburg, Pa., Ron Haring Jr. of Alburtis, Pa., and Nate Brinker of Macungie, Pa. took turns up front setting the pace, with Brinker leading laps nine to 13, until Shive eventually secured the lead again on lap 14.
Following that lead change, the six-car tussle began up front as Hirthler, up from ninth starting spot, and Strada from tenth, had joined the action. Shive and Hirthler battled for the lead for several laps until Hirthler took command on lap 18.
Strada quickly moved in on Hirthler and made a beautiful outside pass out of turn four to score 24 to assume the lead, leaving Hirthler to battle Von Dohren for second. The duo closed in on leader Strada and soon a three-car battle for the lead ensued, practically under a blanket.
With leader Strada reaching lapped traffic on lap 29, he protected the top spot, using the lap cars to block any advances from the other two. Suddenly going down the back stretch on lap 33, Strada slowed quickly and pulled to the edge of the track with mechanical problems, and out of action.
The race and the great action were far from over, as the battle for second spot now became the race for the lead between Hirthler, who ran the high groove, and Von Dohren who ran down low. While this was going on there was plenty of other action as well as Mike Gular and Brett Kressley were motoring their way back to the front after pit stops, along with action between Manmiller, Buckwalter up from 21st starting spot and Ryan Watt of Boyertown, Pa. up from 23rd starting spot.
Hirthler at one point began pulling away from Von Dohren with the lead following several laps of great side by side action, but a couple of restarts following caution flags, allowed Von Dohren to stay with Hirthler exiting turn four on lap 40, and secure the lead entering turn one, taking the top spot in the final lead change in a feature that saw many.
Von Dohren was able to pull away in the final laps to score the 50-lap feature race win, his second of the season, 10th win in the Forrest Rogers Memorial, and the 125th of his career in Saturday night NASCAR Advance Auto Parts Weekly series action.
Following Von Dohren at the finish were Hirthler, Kressley, who gained several spots late, Manmiller, Gular, Watt, Umbenhauer, Buckwalter, John Willman of Birdsboro, Pa., and Brinker.
Qualifying heats for the 36 cars on hand were won by Strada, Manmiller, Jeff Strunk of Boyertown, Pa., and Shive who all received $100 from Stringer’s Collision Center, with consolation wins going to Willman and Buckwalter.
Richard East, LLC Mechanical Contractor sponsored a $100 Hard Charger in the feature, with Ryan Watt advancing 17 positions to collect the bonus.
The T.P. Truck Equipment Sportsman feature saw Mark Gaugler take the early lead followed closely by Kyle Hartzell of Allentown, Pa. and Mark Mohr of Northampton, Pa. Kyle Smith was on the move right from the drop of the green and began picking off cars, quickly moving through the field, including the four wide, three-car pass in turn two on lap nine.
With Gaugler leading, Mohr second, Smith closed quickly in third spot, setting up a brief duel for the lead while Nathan Horn of Slatedale, Pa., Ryan Graver of Lehighton, Pa., Logan Bauman of Bechtelsville, Pa., Brian Hirthler of Green Lane, Pa. and Addison Meitzler of Kempton, Pa. were all dicing for the next several positions.
Smith took second on lap 13, then grabbed the lead of turn four to complete lap 14. Once in front Smith set sail leaving some great racing behind him between Mohr and Graver for second, and Hirthler and Meitzler for fourth.
These battles for position were slowed by just two cautions on lap 18 that shuffled the deck a little, and kept the action intense to the end, but no one had anything left for Smith who cruised to his second win of the season and fifth career Grandview victory.
Following Smith at the finish were Graver, Mohr, Hirthler, Meitzler, Dylan Swinehart of Fleetwood, Pa., Horn, Bauman, Mike Schneck Jr. of Lebanon, Pa., and Jesse Hirthler of Boyertown, Pa.
Richard East, LLC Mechanical Contractor sponsored a $50 Hard Charger in the feature, with Kyle Smith advancing 12 positions to collect the bonus.
Qualifying heats for the 35 cars on hand were won by Dylan Swinehart, Brad Grim of Coplay, Pa., Nick Faust of Phillipsburg, N.J., and Kaitlyn Bailey of Alburtis, Pa. while Nathan Mohr of Reading, Pa. and Jesse Hirthler won the consolations.
Grandview Speedway will be presenting another NASCAR Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series program next Saturday featuring the T.P. Trailer NASCAR Modifieds and the T.P. Truck Equipment NASCAR Sportsman along with the United Racing Club Sprint cars starting at 7:30 pm.
The race program on Saturday, August 26 sponsored by Paul Wright Roofing, will include qualifying events leading into the 30-lap T.P. Trailer Modified feature, the 25-lap T.P. Truck Equipment Sportsman feature, and the 25-lap URC Sprint Car main event.
Pit gates will open at 4 pm. with grandstand gates opening at 5:30 pm. warm-ups starting at 6:15 pm. and the first race of the evening getting the green flag at 7:30 pm.
The 53rd annual Freedom 76 Modified Championship is fast approaching, coming up on Saturday, September 16. Lap sponsorships at $20 per lap are now available by contacting Tina Rogers, Tommy Kramer or Jeff Ahlum at the track on race night, or by contacting Ahlum at email@example.com. Lap sponsorships are a great way for fans to wish their favorite driver’s good luck in the big race, or for businesses to do some advertising. All lap sponsorships will be read on the public address system each week leading up to and including race night on September 16, as well as a listing in the track program Grandview Groove, and will be posted on social media.
Since the 1960’s, Grandview Speedway has been presenting exciting wheel to wheel NASCAR stock car racing every Saturday Night starting in April and running through October, plus special events. Grandview Speedway is located at 43 Passmore Road, Bechtelsville, Pa. 19505, just off Route 100, ten miles north of Pottstown, Pa.
Information is always available at www.grandviewspeedway.com or on Facebook, or by telephone at 610.754.7688.
T.P. TRAILER NASCAR MODIFIED FORREST ROGERS MEMORIAL FEATURE FINISH (50 laps): CRAIG VON DOHREN, Kevin Hirthler, Brett Kressley, Doug Manmiller, Mike Gular, Ryan Watt, Jared Umbenhauer, Tim Buckwalter, John Willman, Nate Brinker, Jimmy Leiby, Carroll Hine III, Chris Esposito, Craig Whitmoyer, Joe Funk, Darrin Schuler, Jesse Leiby, Lex Shive, Chris Gambler, Eddie Strada, Bobby Trapper Jr., Ron Haring Jr., Jeff Strunk, Eric Biehn, Justin Grim, Mike Lisowski, Ryan Grim, Kevin Graver Jr.
DID NOT QUALIFY: Ryan Beltz, Mark Malcolm, Bobby Gunther-Walsh, Eric Kormann, Kyle Weiss, Glenn Owens, Mark Kratz, Ray Swinehart
RICHARD EAST, LLC MECHANICAL CONTRACTOR HARD CHARGER ($100): Ryan Watt (+17)
STRINGERS COLLISION CENTER HEAT WINNERS BONUS ($100 EACH): Eddie Strada, Doug Manmiller, Jeff Strunk, Lex Shive
T.P. TRUCK EQUIPMENT NASCAR SPORTSMAN FEATURE FINISH (25 laps): KYLE SMITH, Ryan Graver, Mark Mohr, Brian Hirthler, Addison Meitzler, Dylan Swinehart, Nathan Horn, Logan Bauman, Mike Schneck Jr., Jesse Hirthler, Mark Gaugler, Kenny Bock, Nathan Mohr, Cody Manmiller, Brett Gilmore, Logan Watt, TJ Mayberry, Nick Faust, Kaitlyn Bailey, Tom Miller Jr., Molly Struss, Brad Grim, Adrianna Delliponti, Kyle Hartzell, Parker Guldin, Keith Haring
DID NOT QUALIFY: Bryan Rhoads, Ronnie Solomon, Nicholas Hamm, Brandon Banos, Bastian Miller, Joey Vaccaro, Steve Young, Monte Pool, Brad Arnold
RICHARD EAST, LLC MECHANICAL CONTRACTOR HARD CHARGER ($50): Kyle Smith (+12)
UPCOMING EVENTS –
Sat. August 26 – T.P. Trailer NASCAR Modifieds, T.P. Truck Equipment NASCAR Sportsman, URC Sprints – 7:30 pm – PAUL WRIGHT ROOFING NIGHT
Fri. September 1 – Outlaw Racing Series Enduro, Outlaw Racing Series Vintage, Slingshots – 7 pm
Sat. September 2 – T.P. Trailer NASCAR Modifieds, T.P. Truck Equipment NASCAR Sportsman – 7:30 pm
Sat. September 9 – CHAMPIONSHIP NIGHT – T.P. Trailer NASCAR Modifieds, T.P. Truck Equipment NASCAR Sportsman, TRIVIA NIGHT – 7:30 – SPUNKTOWN TAVERN NIGHT
Fri. September 15 – 10th annual FREEDOM 38 SPORTSMAN CHAMPIONSHIP – T.P. Truck Equipment Sportsman 38 laps, Modified Practice for Freedom 76 – 7:30 pm
Sat. September 16 – 53rd annual FREEDOM 76 MODIFIED CLASSIC – T.P. Trailer Modifieds 76 laps – 7 pm