BECHTELSVILLE, PA – Following another classic duel, Ryan Godown of Ringoes, N.J. was able to hold off the challenges of several drivers including Doug Manmiller of Shoemakersville, Pa. during the later stages of the race, to score his second win in the 53rd annual Freedom 76 T.P. Trailer Modified Championship Saturday night at Grandview Speedway.
Rolling off the starting grid in sixth position, Godown was able to run the top lane of the speedway and take the lead from Rick Laubach of Quakertown, Pa. coming out of turn four to score lap twelve. Once in the lead, Godown had to fight hard to maintain the top spot while Laubach kept the pressure on him. Once they reached lapped traffic, Manmiller joined the action making for an unbelievable three car battle for the top spot.
By the mid-point of the race Craig Von Dohren of Oley, Pa. and Mike Gular of Boyertown, Pa. were in the hunt for the top spot as well, but Godown repelled all challengers to score his second win the in annual classic, having won the event in 2021.
The win paid $30,061 to win plus an additional bonus from the NASCAR Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series of $1000, a custom winners jacket from Bob Hilbert Sportswear of Boyertown, Pa., $100 Lynn Himes great effort award from T.P. Trailers and Truck Equipment (highest finishing driver not in top ten in track points), plus Godown led laps 12-76 and picked up $2629 in lap money for a total of $33,790 for the win!
The evening began by honoring the 2023 track champions in Victory Lane following warmups, since the final night of points racing was rained out last Saturday night. Brett Kressley of Orefield, Pa. was crowned T.P. Trailer Modified Track Champion, while Logan Watt of Boyertown, Pa. was crowned T.P. Truck Equipment Sportsman Champion. For both drivers it was their first point titles at the speedway.
Veteran Frank Cozze of Wind Gap, Pa. started on the pole and led the 34-car starting field to Starter Ray Kemp’s green flag to start the 53rd annual Freedom 76. Cozze would lead under heavy pressure from Laubach, Brandon Grosso of Belle Meade, N.J. and Billy Pauch Jr. of Frenchtown, N.J.
Laubach would make an outside lane pass of Cozze to grab the lead exiting turn four to score lap seven and take command of the race. Godown, after starting in sixth, was working the top side of the speedway, and would quickly advance to second, eventually catching and passing Laubach with an outside pass exiting turn four to score lap twelve.
Following a lap ten caution, the race would run an exciting stretch of green flag racing with some tremendous action all through the field until the next slowdown on lap 38.
During these competitive laps, Godown would lead, Laubach second, Grosso was in third, followed by a super battle for position between Cozze, Von Dohren, Pauch Jr., Manmiller, and Ryan Watt of Boyertown, Pa.
Godown would hit lapped traffic by lap 20, and Laubach moved back in to challenge to regain the lead, getting under Godown a couple of times in traffic. Eventually Godown would struggle with some lapped cars who were racing two wide in front of him, and Laubach, Von Dohren, Grosso, and Manmiller were suddenly in a five-car tussle for the lead in and out of lapped traffic.
At the same time as this was happening, another great battle for position was happening between Watt, Pauch Jr., Mike Gular of Boyertown, Pa. up from 18th starting spot, Duane Howard of Oley, Pa. up from 20th starting spot, and Brett Kressley who was advancing from 24th starting position.
Manmiller and Von Dohren swapped third position several times before Manmiller would secure the spot on lap 39, and join the race for the lead with Godown and Laubach. From laps 38 until the next caution for a three car mishap on the front straightaway on lap 45, the three leaders staged a tremendous 3-way tussle for the lead.
Godown would change lanes every other lap on each end of the speedway trying to keep Manmiller and Laubach at bay. When Godown would run the bottom, Laubach would challenge the other two on the top lane, and when Godown would run the bottom, Manmiller would slide underneath the both of them almost sneaking by for the top spot. You could practically put a blanket over the three of them, they were so close at times in the fan pleasing battle for the lead. While this was happening Von Dohren and Gular were battling for fourth.
Following the lap 45 caution, things changed somewhat, with Godown and Manmiller breaking into a two-car duel for the top spot, and Laubach and Gular were battling for the next two positions.. Further back Track Champion Kressley was in a tussle for top ten spots with Grosso and Briggs Danner of Allentown, Pa. who was driving a Jason Miller owned race car as a teammate to Manmiller.
From lap 45 to the end, the race would stay green putting leader Godown in more lapped traffic. Godown would at this point of the race have a much easier time with the lapped cars, and slowly worked through the field, eventually putting a little distance between himself and Manmiller.
Manmiller then locked into a battle with Gular for second, running side by side for several laps in traffic by lap 65, with Manmiller repelling all attempts by Gular. Laubach would also be involved in a battle for top five positions with Von Dohren and Howard who traded spots right to the finish.
Manmiller would eventually fight off Gular’s challenge and fight through the lapped traffic. After losing ground on Godown for a period of time, Manmiller would slowly close back in on the leader in the closing laps, but ran out of time to make a serious challenge for the win.
At the wave of the checkered flag, Godown scored the win and the huge payday, which was his 6th career Saturday night NASCAR Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series win at Grandview Speedway, and overall his 9th career win at the track.
Following Godown at the finish were Manmiller, Gular, Laubach, Von Dohren, Howard, Watt, Kressley, Grosso, and Danner.
A massive field of 72 T.P. Trailer Modifieds attempted to qualify for the Freedom 76 through six qualifying heats, with Eddie Strada of Lake Ariel, Pa., Sam Martz Sr. of Somerville, N.J., Duane Howard, Joseph Watson of Milford, De., Ryan Godown, and Billy Pauch Jr. of Frenchtown, N.J. all scoring heat race wins. Two consolations were run, qualifying cars to the Schaeffer Racing Minuteman 20, with Billy Osmun III of Bloomsbury, N.J. and Jared Umbenhauer of Richland, Pa. picking up the wins.
The Schaeffer Racing Minuteman 20 was run following the consolations and qualified the final five starters to the Freedom 76. Bobby Trapper Jr. of Scranton, Pa. made an outside lane pass of Paul Mancini of Mt. Gretna, N.J. on lap eleven, then survived several caution flags to go on and score the victory, and gain a starting spot in the Freedom 76.
Mancini would avoid a lap twelve accident to finish second, John Willman of Birdsboro, Pa. up from seventh position would finish third, Jared Umbenhauer who qualified from the consolation to make the Minuteman would score fourth, and Jimmy Leiby of West Milford, N.J. who also came from the consolation and an 18th place starting spot finished fifth to qualify.
The Low Down and Dirty Radio show sponsored a cash dash for heat race winners and guaranteed starters, which would pay $1371.76. Duane Howard, who was a winner in heat race number three, outran Brett Kressley on the start and scored the 10-lap Cash Dash victory.
Bobby Gunther-Walsh of Allentown, Pa. and his sponsors Res-Q-Natural Supplement, Just Born Candies sponsored the Hard Charger award won by Kressley who advanced 16 positions to pick up an added $661.
Competition Carburetion sponsored a $100 bonus to the driver turning the fastest lap in the feature race, and Rick Laubach picked up the award after turning a lap of 14.927 seconds.
Modified division sponsor T.P. Trailers and Truck Equipment provided a $100 bonus in memory of Lynn Himes, a long-time supporter of Grandview Speedway to the highest finishing driver that was not in the top ten in track points, with that bonus going to winner Ryan Godown.
The Grandview Track Officials sponsored a Hard Luck award presented to a driver of their choice. Kyle Smith just missed qualifying in the Minuteman 20, and will receive a free engine re-sealing (value $225) for next season.
The next racing action at Grandview Speedway will be next Saturday, September 23, and will feature Round 8 with the Outlaw Racing Series Enduro and Outlaw Racing Series Vintage Cars in action along with the Xcel 600 Modifieds starting at 6 pm. Pit gates open at 2 pm., Grandstand gates open at 5 pm. Grandstand admission will be $10, with children ages 12 and under admitted for free. Pit admission is $30.
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 FREEDOM 76 FEATURE FINISH (76 laps): RYAN GODOWN, Doug Manmiller, Mike Gular, Rick Laubach, Craig Von Dohren, Duane Howard, Ryan Watt, Brett Kressley, Brandon Grosso, Briggs Danner, Billy Pauch Jr., Louden Reimert, Jordan Watson, Eddie Strada, Jeff Strunk, Corey Cormier, Addison Meitzler, Jimmy Leiby, Paul Mancini, Ryan Krachun, Eric Biehn, Frank Cozze, Joseph Watson, Sam Martz Sr., Kevin Hirthler, John Willman, Bobby Trapper Jr., Nate Brinker, Bobby Gunther-Walsh, Craig Whitmoyer, Tim Buckwalter, Ray Swinehart, Jared Umbenhauer, Jesse Leiby
DID NOT QUALIFY: Brian Hirthler, Kevin Graver Jr., Matt Stangle, Mark Kratz, Billy Osmun III, Corey Renninger, Adrianna Delliponti, Sam Martz Jr., Logan Bauman, Matt Yoder, Chris Gambler, Eric Kormann, Darrin Schuler, Mike Lisowski, Mark Malcolm, Aleia Geisler, Ryan Grim, WB James, Ken Eckert Jr., Kyle Smith, Mike Laise, Nathan Mohr, Jesse Hirthler, Dylan Swinehart, Ron Haring Jr., Lex Shive, Anthony Tramontana, Justin Grim, Bobby Trapper Sr., Chris Eposito, Jack Butler, Joe Funk, Bryan Rhoads, Ryan Beltz, Cale Ross, Kyle Weiss, Nick Rochinski, Logan Watt
SCHAEFFER RACING MINUTEMAN 20: (Top 5 to Freedom 76): BOOBY TRAPPER JR., Paul Mancini, John Willman, Jared Umbenhauer, Jimmy Leiby, Kyle Smith, Jesse Hirthler, Eric Kormann, Cale Ross, Logan Watt, Anthony Tramontana, Ken Eckert Jr., Billy Osmun III, Ray Swinehart, Sam Martz Jr., Adrianna Delliponti, Kevin Graver Jr., Jack Butler, Justin Grim, Ron Haring Jr.
HEAT RACE WINNERS: Eddie Strada, Sam Martz Sr., Duane Howard, Joseph Watson, Ryan Godown, Billy Pauch Jr.
CONSOLATION WINNERS: Billy Osmun III, Jared Umbenhauer
NASCAR ADVANCE AUTO PARTS WEEKLY SERIES WINNER BONUS ($1000): Ryan Godown
BOB HILBERT SPORTSWEAR CUSTOM WINNER’S JACKET – Ryan Godown
LOW DOWN & DIRTY CASH DASH – $1371.76 – Duane Howard
BOBBY GUNTHER-WALSH AND SPONSORS (Res Q Natural Supplements, Just Born Candies – Mike and Ike and Hot Tamales, Marshmallow Peeps) HARD CHARGER $661 – Brett Kressley +16
LYNN HIMES GREAT EFFORT AWARD FROM T.P. TRAILERS & TRUCK EQUIPMENT – HIGHEST FINISHER NOT TOP TEN GRANDVIEW POINTS ($100): Ryan Godown
TRACK OFFICIALS HARD LUCK AWARD – $225 – Kyle Smith
COMPETITION CARBURETION FASTEST LAP OF FEATURE CERTIFICATE – $100 – Rick Laubach – 14.927
UPCOMING EVENTS –
Saturday, September 23 – Outlaw Racing Series Enduro, Outlaw Racing Series Vintage, Xcel 600 Modifieds – 6 pm
Friday, October 13 – Outlaw Racing Series Enduro, Outlaw Racing Series Vintage, Linda’s Speedway Chargers – 7 pm.
Saturday, October 14 – Outlaw Racing Series Enduro, Outlaw Racing Series Vintage, Xcel 600 Modifieds – 5 pm.