GROSSO AND STRADA CLAIM SPORTSMAN AND SPRINT VICTORIES AT GRANDVIEW SPEEDWAY IN FRIDAY NIGHT RACING ACTION
BECHTELSVILLE, PA SEPTEMBER 10, 2016 . . . Rising young racing talent Brandon Grosso hung on for an exciting Sportsman victory, Friday night at Grandview Speedway, while Eddie Strada blew the doors off the competition to take home the dominating win in the TSRS 305 Sprint Car main event, as part of the third annual Night Before the Freedom 76’er events at the high-banked third-mile dirt track in Bechtelsville, PA. For both it was their first career victory at the track.
With his win Friday night, Grosso now has 16 victories in 2016 at five different tracks, as he enjoys a tremendous campaign.
With the displaying of the green in the annual Sportsman 38’er, pole sitter B.J. Joly vaulted out immediately into the lead over Mike Koffel. On Lap 2, Brad Arnold, who started third, moved into second spot and Grosso, who picked fifth to start in the prerace draw, was fourth. After three circuits it was Joly in front of Arnold and Grosso as the top three.
Exiting Turn 4 on the high outside on Lap 5 it was Arnold going around Joly to become the new race leader. Two tours later Grosso advanced into the runner-up role.
A caution on Lap 12 regrouped the field after Todd Huffman spun in Turn 4 all alone.
Green again and it was Grosso surging ahead off Turn 2 running on the high outside, dropping Arnold to second, with Grandview 2016 Sportsman track Champion Jordan Henn, who started in twelfth, now up to third. Craig Whitmoyer of Hamburg, PA was running a solid fourth. Another yellow after 15-laps for a spinning Brad Roberts slowed things.
“I had to chase down that 830 car (Arnold) for a while to get out in front,” explained Grosso, 16, of Montgomery, N.J. “The track was great, though. You could run up on top or low down on the bottom and it produced great racing all-around tonight.”
The Lap 16 restart showed Grosso again out in front over Henn of Kutztown, PA and Whitmoyer, with Arnold now falling back into fourth-place. By Lap 21, Grosso started to stretch out his advantage, as he got into lapped traffic. The lapped traffic actually allowed Henn to start to close in again by Lap 30.
With two to go, Grosso was caught up in heavy traffic, with Henn and Whitmoyer right on his tailpipe.
The final go-round had a thrilling three-car battle to the checkered, with Whitmoyer ducking underneath Henn to steal second. Whitmoyer actually inched in front of Grosso at one point, but Grosso won the race to the flagstand over Whitmoyer, Henn, Arnold and Jim Housworth.
“I didn’t know which way to go those final 5-laps,” revealed Grosso, a third generation racer. “The lapped cars seemed to be all over there at the end and it made us really have to work hard to win this one tonight. I got stuck, there, for a while behind the lapped cars and it sure made it exciting at the end.”
Grosso took home $1,500 for his triumph and earned the Dan’s Deli Halfway Hoagie award as the race leader at the crossed flags.
Heat winners included Grosso, Roberts, Mike Lisowski and Huffman. The consolation races were won by Ryan Lilick and Brian Papiez.
The 25-lap TSRS 305 Sprint Cars feature showed Joe Kay jumping out in front from the pole over Scott Frack and Bryant Davis. A red on Lap 3 stopped the event after Chris Allen rolled it over in Turn 4.
With the restart it was Kay again on top over Frack and Scott Lutz, with Davis now fourth. On Lap 5 Davis advanced into third. By Lap 8 Davis was on the move taking second spot and on Lap 10 Davis roared by Kay to become the new race leader.
Strada started from eighth spot and was also advancing into third-place with 10 circuits in the books. Lap 11 saw Strada, a third generation racer, climb to second, as he slipped by Kay and on Lap 12 it was Strada using the high outside lane to race around Davis and become the new leader, as the yellow was waved for Davis spinning out all alone in Turn 4.
“I saw I had a shot going for the lead, there, and the car just stuck on the top,” explained Strada, 19, of Lake Ariel, PA. “First I thought that 15 car (Davis) was going to slide up and pull a slide job on me, but I hit the gas and the car just got away. Later, once I came around under yellow, I saw he was up near the wall and he had just spun out.”
With the new green Strada was off to the races, as he quickly advanced to a full straight-away lead by Lap 16. Three tours later Strada was a full straight-away plus out in front and by Lap 22 he had a full half-lap advantage over the competition. Strada easily won his first career TSRS 305 Sprint Car main over Lutz, Mike Haggenbottom, Tim Tanner Jr. and Tommy Carberry.
Heat races were won by Allen, Haggenbottom and Strada. No consolation was needed.
“Once I got out in front I thought I’d just hit the gas and run the hell out of it,” commented Strada. “I had a shot at racing another race tonight and winning a championship, but I thought coming to run at Grandview Speedway and winning here would mean a lot more.”
TSRS 305 Sprint Car (25-laps) feature 1)Eddie Strada 2) Scott Lutz 3) Mike Haggenbottom 4) Tim Tanner Jr. 5) Tommy Carberry 6) Joe Kay 7) Scott Frack 8) Jon Haegele 9) Rick Stief 10) Jeff Geiges 11) John Barnett 12) Kyle Purks 13) Dave Graber 14) Bryant Davis 15) Tim Smolenyak 16) Sam Lieberman 17) Stephani Carberry 18) Chris Allen 19) Greg Debroski 20) Keith Anderson 21) Logan Diehl 22) Dave Bonner
Sportsman feature (38-laps) 1)Brandon Grosso 2) Craig Whitmoyer 3) Jordan Henn 4) Brad Arnold 5) Jim Housworth 6) Mike Lisowski 7) Jordan Umbenhauer 8) Brett Gilmore 9) Brian Hirthler 10) Brian Papiez 11) Ryan Lilick 12) Dylan Swinehart 13) Ken Eckert Jr. 14) Ryan Beltz 15) Mike Koffel 16) Kyle Lilick 17) Joe Funk 18) Brad Roberts 19) Andrew Kreis 20) Nate Mohr 21) BJ Joly 22) Ryan Schupp 23) Todd Huffman 24) Ray Woodall Jr. 25) Brandon Whitmoyer 26) Shawn Light