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Press Release
DUANE HOWARD, SEAN MERKEL AND JARED UMBENHAUER ARE REPEAT NASCAR FEATURE WINNERS AT GRANDVIEW SPEEDWAY SATURDAY NIGHT
Sunday, June 01, 2014

 BECHTELSVILLE, PA. June 1, 2014 . . .  It may have taken Duane Howard and the Mike Petruska-owned/Atlas Paving No. 66 NASCAR 358 modified team a few weeks to get things ironed out at Grandview Speedway, but once they did Howard, the five-time point champion, was back in a place he’s grown accustomed to – victory lane. “After starting deep in the pack three weeks ago, the Petruska’s found something and made adjustments. Since then I’ve had a fast hot rod ever since,” commented the current point leader after winning his second straight 30-lap NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Modified feature on Saturday night. Howard said, “The competition is always strong here every week and I was able to deal with the side-by-side racing of the lapped traffic.” He finished by a comfortable margin over second-place finisher Kevin Hirthler who earned his best finish of the season.

Sean Merkel won his third 25-lap NASCAR BRC Late Model feature by a healthy margin over runner-up Randy Stoudt.

The 25-lap NASCAR sportsman feature winner, the race went non-stop, for the fourth time this season was defending point champion and current point leader Jared Umbenhauer.

NASCAR stock car racing returns to Grandview Speedway on Saturday, June 7th with the T.P. Trailers of Limerick sponsored night of action. Featured will be the NASCAR 358 Modifieds, BCR Late Models and Sportsman. Racing action gets the green at 7:30 p

T.P. Trailers, Limerick, cash awards went to Howard, $250 while Merkel and Umbenhauer received $100. The Dan’s Deli ½-leader award winners were Brad Arnold, modified; Merkel, late model and Joe Masiado, sportsman. The Cargo Trailers product certificates were received by Mike Gular, modified; John Giesler, late model and Mike Stringer, sportsman. The top finisher in each division feature that was using VP Racing gasoline earned $150 for modifieds, $100 for late models and $75 for sportsman.

Andy Ressler wasted no time charging into the lead at the start of the modified feature.

Rookie racer Brad Arnold moved into second on the fourth lap to challenge Ressler for the top spot.

Nate Christman clipped the second turn guardrail and continued before he stopped in the fourth turn for the first yellow with ten laps scored. On the restart Arnold outgunned Ressler for the lead. By this time Howard advanced from 15th into third while Chris Esposito and John Willman completed the top five.

Ressler was back in front one lap later when Arnold went high off of turn four.

The lead was short-lived for Ressler when Arnold regained first on lap 13.

First and second on the 14th lap was Ressler and Howard as Arnold began fading.

Howard was the new leader on the 15th lap while Ressler, Esposito, Willman and Hirthler battled for second through fifth.

Within five laps Howard built up a sizeable lead while the four-way battle for second behind him was a highly contested one between Willman, Esposito, Ressler and Hirthler.

Arnold’s fine run ended when he slowed in the third turn forcing a caution on the 22nd lap. Howard held his own when action continued followed by Willman, Hirthler, Esposito and 14th place starter Frank Cozze.

The field regrouped for the final time with five to go when Eric Biehn stopped with a flat tire to bring out the caution. It was still Howard in command, but now Hirthler was second to attempt to overtake him.

Howard never faltered and pulled into the winner’s circle trailed by Hirthler, Cozze, Willman and Doug Manmiller, who came from 22nd after having to run the consi in which he won.

Arnold, Tommy Scheetz III and Ressler won the heats. The consi went to Manmiller.

In late model action Steve butler led for two laps until the 2005 point champion Ron Kline overtook him on the third lap restart needed for a fourth turn multi-car incident created when a car got sideways and everyone scrambled.

The action behind Kline was hot and heavy between Bryon Sipe, Dan Green, Butler and Jason Miller.

Sipe spun in the second turn for the sixth lap yellow with Chuck Schutz and Butler also involved. Kline continued his pace on the restart with Green, Merkel, Schlosberg and Lou Egrie in pursuit.

On the 12th lap Green slowed his pace in the second turn. Cars went in every direction to avoid him, but Lou Egrie rode up over him bringing out the yellow.

Merkel became the new leader on the 13th lap, at first on the restart he tried to duck underneath Kline, but quickly moved to outside to make the pass.

Kline, who was having his best run of the season, spun in the fourth turn for the lap 16 yellow. It was still Merkel ahead when action went green again with defending point champion Jason Miller now in second followed by current point leader Randy Stoudt, Wayne Pfeil, last week’s feature winner and Schlosberg.

Miller relinquished the runner-up spot to Stoudt when mechanical issues sidelined him to the infield.

Stoudt tried to reel Merkel in, but to no avail as Merkel continued his rapid pace.

It was Merkel in front at the checkered trailed by Stoudt, Pfeil, Schlosberg and Bill Henning.

Kline and Pfeil won the heats.

Joe Masiado, running the high lane, was the early race leader in the sportsman feature with Guy Germano making a run for first on the inside.

While Masiado and Germano diced for the lead this allowed 13th place starter Brett Kressley to close in on them to join the mix.

Kressley overtook second on the 12th lap and two laps later he was in front.

Umbenhauer, who started 14th, overtook second on the 15th lap and it wasn’t long before he was on Kressley’s bumper.

Lapped traffic came into the picture by the 17th circuit and the front runners didn’t know which lane to choose.

Umbenhauer used the slower cars to his advantage when Kressley got caught behind one and Umbenhauer shot into first on the 19th lap.

Once Umbenhauer was ahead he never looked back and went on to chalk up another win trailed by Kressley, Craig Whitmoyer, last week’s feature winner, Germano and Kenny Gilmore. Brandon Whitmoyer, Masiado, Ryan Lilick, Joe Funk II and Mike Stringer completed the top ten.

Heats were won by Lilick, Masiado and Whitmoyer.

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