BECHTELSVILLE, PA. — Doug “The Handler” Manmiller was on a winning streak back in April at Grandview Speedway when he tallied up three 30-lap NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Modified features being the first repeat winner of the season. Victory had eluded the self-employed electrician since the win streak until Saturday night when he wheeled the Josh Biever-owned GMI No. 46 to victory by a 0.173 margin over runner-up and last week’s feature winner Duane Howard in the event sponsored and televised by RCN-TV 4. In addition to the $2,500 first place money Manmiller also received $250 from T.P. Trailers and a $150 product award bonus from VP Racing Fuels for running their gas. The 25-lap Rislone United Racing Company sprint car feature race was won by eight time club champion Curt Michael.
Stock car racing action returns to Grandview Speedway on Saturday, June 28th with the running of a tripleheader show sponsored by Bashore Trucking/BFP Speciality. Included will be a 40-lap feature for the Sportsman paying $1,500 to win plus racing action for the NASCAR 358 Modifieds and BRC Late Models. Racing starts at 7:30 p.m. Adult admission is $20 while youngsters 6 thru 12 pay $5 and kids under 6 are admitted free.
Manmiller, who calls Shoemakerville, PA home, was happy to be back in the winner’s circle as the “team was struggling the past few weeks, but they just stuck with him fixing the car when he broke it and carrying on.” He made a gutsy move on the eighth lap during his charge from 13th starting spot and if he had to do it over again, “I wouldn’t have done it.”
Ron Seltmann Jr. and Jon Kellner brought out the yellow before the first lap was scored for a backstretch incident.
When action went green again Bobby Gunther-Walsh, who failed to qualify the past two weeks, was the pacesetter trailed by Brian Houseknecht, Chris Gambler, Todd Smith and Andy Ressler.
The caution was out again on lap two when Tim Buckwalter did a 360 in turn two and continued, but until things cleared Jared Umbenhauer, the defending Sportsman point champion and current point leader, running Modifieds since the Sportsman were not part of the doubleheader show, spun. At the same time Gambler was pulled into the infield as it appeared there was a fire in his car. Upon further inspection it was determined there was no fire and officials deemed it only fair that he regain third.
Houseknecht emerged as the new leader on the restart and immediately began to open daylight between himself and the rest of the pack.
The field regrouped on the eighth lap after Ressler, the sixth-place runner, was trying to limp his way into the infield with a left rear flat tire. Chris Esposito left with nowhere to go made contact with him and they spun in turn four. It was still Houseknecht in front, but now Gunther-Walsh, Manmiller, 14th-place starter who made a bold move through the middle down the backstretch to advance; Brad Arnold and Smith completed the top five. On the move from 16th was Howard and by the 11th lap he was fifth.
Manmiller overtook second on the tenth lap and set his sights on Houseknecht, who was having the best night of his career, who had a slight lead built up. The action behind them was hot and heavy for third between Smith, Arnold and Howard. Howard split Smith and Arnold to take over third on the 15th lap.
By the 16th lap Manmiller reeled Houseknecht in and one lap later he was the new leader.
The final yellow was on the 20th lap when Arnold, who was having a solid fifth place run, slowed on the backstretch with mechanical issues. The restart put Manmiller and Howard side-by-side, but Manmiller kept Howard at bay while Houseknecht, Terry Meitzler and Smith jockeyed for positions. Jeff Strunk was trying to get into the top five.
Manmiller never faltered and chalked up his fourth win for his 22nd career win. Chasing him across the line were Howard (coming from 15th), Strunk, finishing third for the third straight week after starting 24th; Houseknecht, for his best run at the track and also recipient of the Dan’s Deli ½-way leader award, and Meitzler, who finally had a change of luck to post his best finish of the season. Ray Swinehart, Kevin Hirthler, Mike Gular, Craig Von Dohren and Buckwalter, who received the Cargo Trailer product certificate completed the top ten.
Nine time track champion Jeff Strunk continues to lead the Modified standings by just a 14 point margin over five time champion Duane Howard.
Qualifying heats for the 35 Modifieds were won by Seltmann Jr., Buckwalter, Hirthler and Arnold. Frank Cozze and Ryan Grim won the consies.
The 25-lap Rislone United Racing Club sprint car feature had Josh Weller as the early leader from his pole position starting spot and by lap six was joined by Troy Betts and Curt Michael as the three battled for first before Weller pulled away.
Lapped traffic came into play by the Dan’s Deli ½-way award mark that Weller received and that allowed Michael to reel Weller in to challenge.
The lead changed on lap 17 when Michael charged into first.
Once Michael was in control he never looked by and went on to claim the win followed by Weller, Betts, Robbie Stillwagon and Dave Franek. Sixth through tenth were Kevin Darling, Jason Clauss, Randy West, Jonathan Swanson and Jimmy Stitzel, Cargo Trailer product certificate recipient.
RCN-TV 4 NASCAR 358 Modified Feature (30 Laps): 1. Doug Manmiller, 2. Duane Howard, 3. Jeff Strunk, 4. Brian Houseknecht, 5. Terry Meitzler, 6. Ray Swinehart, 7. Kevin Hirthler, 8. Mike Gular, 9. Craig Von Dohren, 10. Tim Buckwalter, 11. Todd Smith, 12. Nate Christman, 13. Ryan Grim, 14. Jared Umbenhauer, 15. Kyle Borror, 16. John Willman, 17. Frank Cozze, 18. Jordan Umbenhauer, 19. Tommy Scheetz III, 20. Chris Esposito, 21. Mike Kellner, 22. Bobby Gunther-Walsh, 23. Brad Arnold, 24. Don Norris Jr., 25. Chris Gambler, 26. Jon Kellner, 27. Andy Ressler, 28. Ron Seltmann Jr. DNQ: Meme DeSantis, Mike Laise, Eric Biehn, Justin Grim, Ryan Kunkle, Kyle Follweiler and Brian Hirthler.
-Grandview Speedway Press Release. Photo Credit: Grandview Speedway Facebook