BECHTELSVILLE, PA — Duane Howard lost the T.P. Trailers NASCAR 358 Modified opener feature at Grandview as he had the lapped cars as obstacles that allowed eventual winner Craig VonDohren to reel him in and pass him for the win. In the second outing Howard didn’t want another one to slip by him. He was glad lapped traffic, “obeyed the move over flag, even though he had to work through them in the closing stages.” He could run the Petruska-owned Atlas Paving No. 66 on the top or bottom as the crew, “worked hard this week to provide him with a top notch car.” Howard showed his appreciation when he won the 35-lap Modified feature to claim $3,500 plus in his 69th career win by a comfortable margin over runner-up Mike Gular in the event broadcast by RCN-TV.
Brian Shuey, a three-time Late Model point champion stepped away from racing for several years, but he always had the desire to return if the right opportunity came along. Scott Lee, a former driver himself, contacted the Shoemakersville resident and they decided to team up for the 2016 season.
The opener didn’t farewell for them, but the next attempt was a success as Shuey returned to the winner’s circle for the first time since August 2010 by leading from start to finish holding off Wayne Pfeil’s constant challenges in the 20-lap BRC NASCAR Late Model feature.
Jim Housworth became a fixture at the track three years ago behind the wheel of the Ryan McNichol Sportsman No. 72. He said, “He knew the first one is always the hardest, but he didn’t think it would be this long.” He didn’t have an easy time capturing the victory in the 25-lap Sportsman feature since Brett Gilmore was on his bumper practically the entire race leaving Housworth know he was there.
All three feature winners received additional monetary awards from T.P. Trailers, Limerick ‑ $250, for the Modified and $100 for both the Late Model and Sportsman winners plus the Dan’s Deli ½-way hoagie award.
NASCAR stock car racing action returns to Grandview Speedway on Saturday, April 23rd at 7 p.m. with the T.P.Trailers 358 Modifieds, BRC Late Models and Sportsman all seeing action. An added attraction will be the Blast from the Past Vintage Cars seeing action. Gates open at 5 p.m. Adult admission is $15 with youngsters under 12 being admitted free.
At the initial start of the Modified feature Kenny Gilmore was the early race leader.
The yellow flew on lap two when Rick Laubach hit the third turn wall with heavy impact, but escaped injury despite a heavily damaged race car. The restart was void when Ryan Watt spun with VonDohren, Steve Swinehart and Kyle Borror also involved. Everyone continued under their own power. Gilmore still led the restart with heavy pressure from John Willman.
Willman became the new leader on the fourth circuit with Gilmore, Tim Buckwalter, Brett Kressley and Mike Kellner in tow.
A few cars back Howard was making his run to the front from 14th on the outside lane and by the tenth lap he was challenging Buckwalter for second.
Willman held on to first until the 15th lap when Howard dove underneath him out of two and into the top spot.
With Howard now in control the battle for the remaining spots developed between Willman, Gular and Jeff Strunk.
Positions were constantly changing behind Howard with Gular, Strunk, Willman and Buckwalter the top five with 23 laps in the books and everyone working slower traffic.
Before the checkered unfurled Kellner spun in the second turn erasing Howard’s deficit giving everyone a last opportunity on the single file restart.
Howard kept the Billy The Kid powered mount ahead and went on to score his first win of the season and 69th career win. Trailing were Gular, Strunk, Buckwalter and VonDohren, who came on strong the final lap. Rounding out the top ten were Doug Manmiller, Willman, Kressley, Gilmore and Jared Umbenhauer.
Heats were won by Manmiller, Watt and Umbenhauer. Danny Erb won the consi.
Before the first lap could be completed in the Late Model feature a third and fourth turn tangle brought out the yellow. The next try caused the red to be thrown after defending point champion Chuck Schutz was bounced off the backstretch wall, spun into traffic and was hit hard by Lou Egrie Jr. and Cory Merkel. All drivers escaped injury with Schutz’s car receiving the brunt of the damage and Egrie Jr. was also through for the night. Merkel continued, but eventually dropped out.
Once action got underway polesitter Shuey, who lost power steering in the heat, took the early pace while Bryon Sipe, returning after a year hiatus; Pfeil, Egrie and Ron Kline in pursuit.
Pfeil advanced to second on the third lap, but Sipe didn’t give up easily. Pfeil next wanted to track down Shuey and take the lead away.
By the half-way marker Pfeil was reeling Shuey in as the front runner neared lap traffic.
Despite the fact that Pfeil closed the gap Shuey built up, he couldn’t muster up enough steam to get past him and Shuey went on to capture his season first win and 16th career victory. Finishing second was Pfeil followed by Kline, another driver that returned after being away from the division a few year; Sean Merkel, opening night winner and Egrie. Sixth through tenth were Sipe, Dave Ogin, Devin Frey, Bill Henning and Joe Fanelli.
Pfeil and Egrie won the heats.
Sportsman action saw Housworth pull away quickly followed by Brett Gilmore, Mike Lisowski, Ken Eckert Jr. and Dean Bachman.
The front runners came upon lap traffic by the 11th lap, but they continued to battle intensely.
As the front runners came out of turn four on the 16th lap, a lap car spun in front of them making for some tense moments. Housworth and Gilmore got past, but Lisowski wasn’t as fortunate as he got caught up in it. He could continue, but lost valuable positions since he had to go to the rear of the field. Housworth held onto the lead on the restart, but now Eckert was second.
A fourth turn spin brought out the final caution period on the 17th lap. Housworth held his ground, but now Gilmore was back in second.
Housworth never surrendered the lead in his Lombardo powered mount and went on to score a well-deserved first career victory. Following him across the line were Gilmore, Henn, Eckert Jr. and Bachman. Craig Whitmoyer, opening night winner; Joe Funk III, Kyle Lilick, Ryan Lilick and Mike Koffel completed the top ten.
The four sportsman heat winners were Brad Brightbill, Bachman, Ryan Beltz and R. Lilick. Brad Grim and Paul Houseknecht won the consies.
-Grandview Speedway Press Release
-Photo Credit: Grandview Speedway