BECHTELSVILLE, PA – Taking the lead with six laps remaining in the 30-lap T.P. Trailer NASCAR Modified feature event, Tim Buckwalter of Douglasville, Pa. raced to his first win of the season and third career victory Saturday night at Grandview Speedway.
Buckwalter was in a multi-lap duel with Ron Haring Jr. of Alburtis, Pa., when he pulled a slider on Haring Jr. entering turn one on lap 24 to secure the lead, then worked through lapped traffic in the closing laps to become the season’s tenth different T.P. Trailer Modified feature winner, and also ended his own personal win drought at the track, which last saw Buckwalter score a Modified victory on August 26, 2017.
Brian Hirthler of Green Lane, Pa. ended a bit of a personal dry spell as well, as the speedway’s all-time T.P. Truck Equipment NASCAR Sportsman feature wins leader scored his second win of the season and first since Opening Night on April 8, in the evening’s 25-lap T.P. Truck Equipment Sportsman feature race.
Hirthler avoided an eleven-car pile-up on lap four of the main event, secured the lead from Parker Guldin of Fleetwood, Pa. on lap eight, then ran the remaining laps through some serious lapped traffic to score his second win of the season and 20th career victory over point leader Logan Watt of Boyertown, Pa. who made a late race charge to grab second place.
The 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.
The 30-lap T.P. Trailer Modified feature got off to a slow start with five caution flags slowing the action during the first nine laps before the drivers settled into a rhythm and got down to some serious racing.
Ron Haring Jr. took the lead from the opening green and set the pace through the early restarts being challenged by Eric Kormann of Carneys Point, N.J. for the top spot while Kevin Graver Jr. of Lehighton, Pa. and Buckwalter who started ninth, were already up front battling for third position.
While these drivers were up front, more close racing for position was going on right behind them between Jared Umbenhauer of Richland, Pa., Doug Manmiller of Shoemakersville, Pa., Mike Gular of Boyertown, Pa., Ryan Beltz of Barto, Pa., Brett Kressley of Orefield, Pa., and Ryan Grim of Laurys Station, Pa.
Buckwalter, Gular and Kressley were all using the outside lane to advance positions toward the front and by lap 12 Buckwalter was challenging Haring Jr. for the lead, while Umbenhauer, Kressley and Gular were in a great battle with Kormann for third position.
Haring Jr. continued to lead with Buckwalter trying to track him down as the race would run caution free the remainder of the event. Umbenhauer and Kressley would move past Kormann into third and fourth and slowly close on the lead duo while still battling each other along the way.
Haring Jr. would reach lapped traffic by lap 18 and started moving through quite well, however Buckwalter would get close at times, and Umbenhauer and Kressley really closed in as things really got wild up front for the leaders.
After being close a couple of times, and making a mild challenge for the lead, Buckwalter got the chance he needed on lap 24 entering turn one when he threw a slider at Haring Jr., with the two rubbing wheels briefly, with Buckwalter becoming the new race leader.
With Buckwalter out front working heavy lapped traffic in the closing laps, the action was still fast and furious behind him with positions constantly changing, Haring Jr. running second, Umbenhauer third, and Kressley fourth.
Point leader Kressley knew that every spot is important in the championship chase, and after taking the white flag, made a breath-taking low groove pass of both Umbenhauer and Haring Jr. in one move entering turn one, to grab position two in the final rundown.
Jeff Strunk of Boyertown, Pa. who started 25th, made a steady climb through the field and finished in ninth spot to receive the Richard East LLC Mechanical Contractor Hard Charger bonus of $100.
At the wave of Starter Ray Kemp’s checkered flag, it was Tim Buckwalter scoring the long awaited T.P. Trailer Modified feature win, followed by Kressley, Haring Jr. with his best run of the year, Gular who picked up a spot on the last lap, Umbenhauer, Craig Von Dohren of Oley, Pa., Ryan Grim, Graver Jr., Strunk, and Kevin Hirthler of Boyertown, Pa. who rebounded after going to the back of the pack and starting over early in the race.
Qualifying heats for the 31 cars on hand were won by Haring Jr., Hirthler, and Buckwalter. No consolation was run.
The 25-lap T.P. Truck Equipment Sportsman feature also got off to a rocky start, as an eleven-car pile-up occurred on a lap four restart exiting turn four, taking out several cars and sending some others to the back to start over.
Parker Guldin, who started ninth on the grid and was running fourth on the restart, became the race leader, with Mark Mohr of Northampton, Pa. and Brian Hirthler of Green Lane, Pa. right behind him.
Hirthler rode the outside lane and quickly moved to second, then moved in and challenged Guldin before taking the lead on lap eight.
With the race running green the rest of the way, Hirthler built up a comfortable lead, leaving a great battle behind him for second between Guldin, Adrianna Delliponti of Norristown, Pa., and Kyle Smith of Fleetwood, Pa.
Point leader Logan Watt of Boyertown, Pa. and last week’s winner Brad Grim of Coplay, Pa. were having a duel for the fifth spot which Watt eventually won. After securing fifth, Watt took off after the other three ahead of him.
In the final laps, Watt caught the three drivers ahead of him, rode the outside lane, and picked off all three positions to grab second spot with four laps to go, but was nearly a straightaway behind Hirthler leaving no time to make a challenge for a win.
At the drop of the checkered flag, Hirthler scored his second win of the season, followed by Watt, Delliponti for her second consecutive top three finish, Smith, Guldin, Brad Grim, Mark Mohr, Brett Gilmore of Kutztown, Pa., Jesse Hirthler of Boyertown, Pa., and Jesse Landis of Gilbertsville, Pa.
Jesse Hirthler of Boyertown, Pa. who started 26th, made a steady climb through the field and finished in ninth spot to receive the Richard East LLC Mechanical Contractor Hard Charger bonus of $50.
Qualifying heats for the 41 cars on hand were won by Tom Miller Jr. of Pottstown, Pa., Nicholas Hamm of Nanticoke, Pa., Dylan Swinehart of Fleetwood, Pa., and Logan Bauman of Bechtelsville, Pa., with Jesse Landis and Ryan Graver of Lehighton, Pa. winning 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 starting at 7:30 pm.
The race program sponsored by Spunktown Tavern and Restaurant on Saturday, September 9 will be the final point race of the season and will include qualifying events leading into the 30-lap T.P. Trailer Modified feature and the 25-lap T.P. Truck Equipment Sportsman feature event.
Adult grandstand admission is $20, students 10-15 with ID are $10, while children ages 9 and under are admitted free of charge. Pit admission is $35 for NASCAR members and $45 for non-members.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.
The Freedom 76 weekend begins on Friday, September 15 with the 10th annual Freedom 38 Sportsman Championship race paying $2000 to the winner, plus a bonus of $500 from Lisa’s Landscaping, along with practice time for Modified drivers wishing to participate in the Freedom 76.
On Friday, pit gates open at 3 pm with grandstand gates opening at 5:30 pm. and racing at 7:30 pm. Adult Grandstand admission is $5, while children ages 9 and under are admitted for free. Pit admission on Friday is $35, and no license is required. There is no rain date for the Friday event.
On Saturday, September 16, the 53rd annual Freedom 76 will be run for the 358 Modifieds paying $30,061 to the winner! The program includes qualifying races, cash dash and the Minuteman 20 leading up to the 76-lap Championship main event.
Pit gates open at 9 am for inspections, Grandstand ticket windows open at 3 pm. with racing starting at 7 pm. Fans will be able to enter the Grandstand areas between 9 am. and 12 Noon to reserve seats with blankets.
Adult Grandstand tickets on Saturday will be $40, students 10-15 with ID are $20, while children ages 9 and under are admitted free of charge. Pit admission will be $45, and no license is required. There will be no advanced tickets sold for this event, and the rain date is Saturday, September 23.
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 FEATURE FINISH (30 laps): TIM BUCKWALTER, Brett Kressley, Ron Haring Jr., Mike Gular, Jared Umbenhauer, Craig Von Dohren, Ryan Grim, Kevin Graver Jr., Jeff Strunk, Kevin Hirthler, Doug Manmiller, Eric Kormann, Justin Grim, Mike Lisowski, Ryan Beltz, Jimmy Leiby, Ryan Watt, Eric Biehn, Carroll Hine III, Darrin Schuler, Mark Kratz, Bobby Trapper Jr., Eddie Strada, John Willman, Bobby Gunther-Walsh, Lex Shive, Ray Swinehart, Chris Esposito
DID NOT QUALIFY: Bobby Trapper Sr., Mike Laise, Chris Gambler
RICHARD EAST, LLC MECHANICAL CONTRACTOR HARD CHARGER BONUS ($100): Jeff Strunk +16
T.P. TRUCK EQUIPMENT NASCAR SPORTSMAN FEATURE FINISH (25 laps): BRIAN HIRTHLER, Logan Watt, Adrianna Delliponti, Kyle Smith, Parker Guldin, Brad Grim, Mark Mohr, Brett Gilmore, Jesse Hirthler, Jesse Landis, Cody Manmiller, Ryan Graver, Logan Bauman, Nathan Horn, Dakota Kohler, Mike Schneck Jr., Kyle Hartzell, Dylan Swinehart, Joey Vaccaro, Michael Burrows, Keith Haring, Colton Perry, Tom Miller Jr., Steve Young, Zach Steffey, Zane Roth, Addison Meitzler, Nicholas Hamm
DID NOT QUALIFY: Jordan Henn, Nathan Mohr, Decker Swinehart, Molly Struss, Monte Pool, Ronnie Solomon, TJ Mayberry, John Redner, Kenny Bock, Tyler James, Kaitlyn Bailey, Stephen Laubach, Nick Faust
RICHARD EAST, LLC MECHANICAL CONTRACTOR HARD CHARGER BONUS ($50): Jesse Hirthler +17
UPCOMING EVENTS –
Saturday, September 9 – CHAMPIONSHIP NIGHT – T.P. Trailer NASCAR Modifieds, T.P. Truck Equipment NASCAR Sportsman, TRIVIA NIGHT – 7:30 – SPUNKTOWN TAVERN NIGHT
Friday, September 15 – 10th annual FREEDOM 38 SPORTSMAN CHAMPIONSHIP – T.P. Truck Equipment Sportsman 38 laps, Modified Practice for Freedom 76 – 7:30 pm
Saturday, September 16 – 53rd annual FREEDOM 76 MODIFIED CLASSIC – T.P. Trailer Modifieds 76 laps – 7 pm
Saturday, September 23 – Outlaw Racing Series Enduro, Outlaw Racing Series Vintage, Xcel 600 Modifieds – 7 pm (Rain date for Freedom 76)
Saturday, October 14 – Outlaw Racing Series Enduro, Outlaw Racing Series Vintage, Xcel 600 Modifieds – 5 pm.