BECHTELSVILLE, PA After being shut out of victory lane in 2012 Craig VonDohren was able to earn his first NASCAR Modified feature victory since 2011 picking up the win in the first of two 35-lap NASCAR Whelen All American Series 358 Modified features at Grandview Speedway on Saturday night. Doug Manmiller, after finishing second in the first feature, came back to win the second 35-lap NASCAR 358 Modified feature. Both winners picked up $3250 including the $250 bonus bucks from TP Trailers of Limerick, PA.
The 25-lap Late Model feature was won by defending Late Model champion Chuck Schutz while rookie Brett Kressley drove to victory in the 25-lap feature for Sportsman.
Brad Grim set the pace at the start of the first 35-lap feature for the 358 Modifieds but dropped out during a third lap caution. On the restart Tommy Scheetz III took control and looked like a possible feature winner. Craig VonDohren, coming from 13th starting spot, challenged Scheetz at the midway point and the duo put on a crowd pleasing battle for the top spot for several laps. With 26 laps in the record book VonDohren and Scheetz rubbed sheet metal with VonDohren able to gain the lead and go on to victory.
At the checkered flag VonDohren, who calls Boyertown home, had a comfortable margin of victory with his Beartown Recycling No. 1c over Doug Manmiller (Shoemakersville). Third spot went to last week’s feature winner Meme DeSantis (Temple) followed by Scheetz III (Boyertown) and Frank Cozze (Wind Gap).
The second 35-lap for NASCAR 358 Modifieds saw Chris Esposito take command at the start but just two laps later Tommy Scheetz III charged to the front in Turn 2. Doug Manmiller, looking to improve on his second place finish in the first feature, quickly moved into second spot and challenged the leader for first.
At the 10 lap marker Manmiller was able to charge by Scheetz for the lead in Turn 2 with Jordan Umbenhauer now in the chase for the top spot.
With 17 laps in the record book Scheetz and Kevin Hirthler made contact in Turn 2 as they battled for top five spots with Scheetz’s mount being towed to the pits and Hirthler sent to the rear of the field.
Defending NASCAR Modified champion Duane Howard, coming from 13th start spot, challenged Manmiller in the late laps of the race but fell short in his effort to claim his first win of the season. Man miller (Shoemakersville) steered the GMI/Manmiller Electric No.46 to his first win of the season. Second spent went to Howard (Oley). In third was Craig VonDohren (Boyertown) coming from 15th starting spot while Glenn Strunk (Bechtelsville) claimed fourth with a strong effort and Jordon Umbenhauer (Richland) had an impressive fifth place effort.
The second feature for the Modifieds had the top 15 in the first feature given points based on their finish in that event and then handicapped with VonDohren getting the 15th starting spot. Those finishing in 16th through 30th started according to their finishing positions in the first feature.
Going into the Saturday, April 20th, events Duane Howard has just a two point edge over Craig VonDohren in the chase for the lucrative track and NASCAR point funds.
Lee Miller looked as if he would visit victory lane in the 25-lap Late Model feature as he had a commanding lead for the first half of the race. Defending Late Model champion Chuck Schutz challenged Miller with about one third of the race completed and was able to take the top spot with half the laps in the record book. Danny Snyder put some pressure on Schutz in the closing laps but Schutz was not to be denied the victory. Schutz (Pottstown) steered the Pioneer Pole Building/BPG Racing No. 1 to victory with Danny Snyder (Green Lane) finishing second. Third spot was earned by last week’s feature winner Mike Kellner (Lansdale) followed by Lee Miller (New Tripoli) and Wayne Pfeil (Mohnton).
Charging to the front of the 24-car Sportsman feature starting field Ryan Beltz had things pretty much under control. Rookie Brett Kressley ran second for the first ten laps but when a caution created a restart Kressley was able to charge to the front and set the pace for the balance of the 25-lap feature race. At the finish Orefield based Kressley, driving the No. 19K sponsored by the family owned Kressley Auto and Truck Sales business, was able to grab his first win at the Berks County clay oval. Craig Whitmoyer (Hamburg) was closing quickly but had to settle for second followed by point leader Jared Umbenhauer (Richland), Brad Brightbill (Sinking Springs) and early leader Beltz (Harleysville).
Close to 100 cars were seen in action on the very fast clay oval during the 15 racing events presented.
Qualifying heat races in the NASCAR 358 Modified division were won by Brad Grim, Justin Grim, Doug Manmiller and Tommy Scheetz III. The consolation races had wins going to Jordan Umbenhauer and Tim Buckwalter. In the qualifiers for Sportsman racers wins were earned by Jared Umbenhauer, Ken Eckert and Guy Germano while the consolation victory went to Kirby Sites. In the Late Model division Lou Egrie Sr and Kyle Merkel won the qualifying races.
The Hard Charger award for the Modifieds sponsored by Bobby Gunther Walsh and his sponsors went to Frank Cozze in the first feature gaining 15 positions. The second Modified feature had Mike Gular going from 21st to 7th to earn the Hard Charger honors. The Searock Lawn Care Hard Charger award for Sportsman was earned by Jared Umbenhauer as he went from 15th starting spot to third at the finish. Jeff Teets’ Salvage Transport Hard Charger award for Late Model went to Wayne Pfeil as he charged from 16th starting spot to 5th at the finish.
Cargo Trailer Sales of Lansdale had $50 gift certificates for 10th place finishers in each feature while Dan’s Deli has their special hoagies for the leader of each feature at the halfway point.
Things return to normal at Grandview Speedway on Saturday, April 20th, 7 p.m. when a regular show of NASCAR 358 Modifieds, Late Models and Sportsman will be presented. Each division presents a full series of qualifying events topped by a 30-lap feature for the Modifieds and 25 lap features for the Late Models and Sportsman. Adult admission is $15 while youngsters 12 and under are admitted free.
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or telephone 215.752.7797.
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