BECHTELSVILLE, PA – After two consecutive rain outs not even persistent early evening showers could keep the Saturday night racing action from being run at Grandview Speedway. Once the rain stopped and following consistent efforts and cooperation from everyone action, sponsored by Liberty Fire Co., New Berlinville, got underway about 40 minutes late.

The Libs (Liberty Fire Co.) Firecracker 40-lap BRC Late Model feature winner was Sean Merkel for his first victory of the season and also his first in the 45 year history of the Firecracker 40 for a $2,000 payday. He dedicated the race win to his wife Lindsay. It was not an easy triumph for Merkel since Chuck Schutz was right on his bumper the final seven laps. The race win, the biggest event of the season for the Late Models also included $100 from T.P. Trailers and a $600 Ingersoll Rand Tool package.

The 30-lap T.P. Trailers NASCAR Whelen Modified feature saw current point leader Craig VonDohren charge into the lead when leader Ron Haring Jr. got too high off turn four on the 19th lap. VonDohren stayed up top since he “knew that’s where he had to run,” and went on to collect his second win of the season by a comfortable margin over two-time feature winner Kevin Hirthler. He also collected $250 from T.P. Trailers, $150 in products from VP Fuels and an Ingersoll Rand Tool Package. VonDohren gave thanks to his main sponsors Pioneer Pole Buildings and K.L. Harring Trucking and especially crew chief Jason Bashore. 35 Modifieds tried for the 28 feature starting spots.

In NASCAR Sportsman racing Paul “The Dude” Kline, shut out of the winner’s circle at the track since June 2013, held off Craig Whitmoyer’s bids the last five laps to chalk up his season first win. Kline also earned bonus bucks from T.P.Trailers and a $600 Ingersoll Rand Tool package.

Coming up on Saturday, July 11, 7:30 p.m. is Ingersoll Rand Night featuring the three divisions of stock car racing including T.P.Trailers NASCAR 358 Modifieds, BRC Late Models and Sportsman. Ingersoll Rand will award a $600 IR Tool package to the feature winners and will have a display of air and cordless tools at the main gate along with a demonstration of a cordless impact tool. WNPV-1440AM Radio will award a pair of tickets to a NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Pocono Raceway to a couple of lucky fans.

Fans are reminded to continue to participate in the Ingersoll Rand Testing Contest. From 11 a.m. each Saturday to 11 p.m. on Sunday fans are invited to text IRToolsGRV to 313131 to chance to win an IR prize pack.

In Modified action, outside pole starter and second generation driver Ron Haring Jr. took the early lead followed by Mark Kratz, Ryan Kunkle, Kyle Borror and Bobby Gunther Walsh.

Ron Seltmann Jr., a feature winner this year, brought out the fourth lap yellow when he stopped in the second turn. The restart was void following a multi-car fourth turn incident. The next try was no better after Kunkle was turned around and this accident blocked the backstretch as several cars were involved. Haring Jr. was still first when action went green again, but now Gunther Walsh was pressuring him.

It didn’t take Haring Jr. long to outdistance himself with Gunther Walsh still second. Behind them a four-car battle for third ensued between Kevin Hirthler, Borror, Von Dohren and Umbenhauer.

Meme DeSantis stopped in the second turn for the final caution on the 15th lap which regrouped the pack. Haring Jr. held his spot on the restart, but now VonDohren, who started 15th, was right on his bumper.

Haring Jr. got a little too high off turn four, VonDohren took advantage of the situation and shot ahead to become the new leader on lap 19.

Within no time VonDohren had a sizeable lead built up leaving Hirthler, Haring Jr., GuntherWalsh and Borror in pursuit.

Most positions but the lead changed and VonDohren pulled into victory lane for his 92nd win followed by Hirthler, Doug Manmiller, who started dead last in 28th; Ryan Watt, the consi winner from 22nd and rookie Umbenhauer, who started 17th. Sixth through tenth were Borror, Haring Jr., Ray Swinehart, Duane Howard and Gunther-Walsh.

Ryan Grim, Haring Jr. and Mike Bailey won the heats. The consolation went to Watt.

Rick Todorow, the 2001 winner of the Firecracker 40, was off and running at the start challenged by Cory Merkel, Lou Egrie Jr., Kory Fleming, who gave several bicycles to lucky children earlier, and Dan Green.

Randy Stoudt, the defending race winner, was a victim of circumstances and hit the homestretch wall for the seventh lap caution. Others were involved, but Stoudt was the only one out of the race. Todorow was till the pacesetter on the restart with C. Merkel and Fleming giving him no room to falter. By the half-way point of the race, the order behind Todorow now consisted of S. Merkel, C. Merkel, Schutz and Fleming.

The lead changed hands on the 22nd lap when Sean Merkel took the front spot.

Fleming, running third, tried to dive underneath Todorow on the 24th lap and spun bringing out the caution. S. Merkel continued to be in control on the restart while Todorow, C. Merkel, Schutz and Wayne Pfeil diced for positions.

With ten laps to go Schutz took over second and quickly reeled S. Merkel in. Schutz lost ground when he went too high off turn one, but he quickly regrouped and was back in pursuit.

Merkel, who used the top of the track and then the bottom “found something,” didn’t let anyone pass him and went on to claim the win chased across by Schutz, Pfeil, Todorow and Devin Frey. Rounding out the top ten were Jason Miller, C. Merkel, Green, Dave Ogin and Kyle Merkel.

C. Merkel, S. Merkel and Egrie Jr. were the heat winners.

Polesitter Mark Kemmerer led the Sportsman feature until the sixth lap restart needed when Joe Funk III, running third, stopped along the homestretch with a blown engine. On the restart Jason Neidlinger charged to the front of the pack.

Kline overtook second on the 10th lap caution needed when Brett Kressley was spun in the second turn and Kenny Gilmore was placed to the rear because of the incident.

One lap later Kline was trailed by Neidlinger, Jordan Henn, Kemmerer and Craig Whitmoyer.

At the half-way point Kline, who along with the others, had to deal with lapped cars that really hampered him, was being chased by Henn, Whitmoyer, Neidlinger and Brian Hirthler.

Kline kept everyone at bay and went on the claim the win with C. Whitmoyer second. Kressley, who went to the rear on the 10th lap and worked his way to front actually crossed the line in third. However because he spun a lap car coming in for the checkered he was placed 16th. Third then went to Henn with Hirthler and Brett Gilmore fourth and fifth. Kenny Gilmore, Neidlinger, Brandon Whitmoyer, Mike Lisowski and Brad Arnold completed the top ten.

Neidlinger, Kemmerer and B. Whitmoyer won the qualifying heats.


T.P. Trailers Modified Finish (30 Laps): 1. Craig Von Dohren, 2. Kevin Hirthler, 3. Doug Manmiller, 4. Ryan Watt, 5. Jared Umbenhauer, 6. Kyle Borror, 7. Ron Haring Jr., 8. Ray Swinehart, 9. Duane Howard, 10. Bobby Gunther-Walsh, 12. Mike Gular, 12. Jeff Strunk, 13. Mike Bailey, 14. Eric Biehn, 15. Mike Kellner, 16. Don Norris Jr., 17. John Willman, 18. Brian Houseknecht, 19. Jarrad Miller, 20. Ryan Kunkle, 21. Tim Buckwalter, 22. Danny Erb, 23. Meme DeSantis, 24. Mark Kratz, 25. Ryan Grim, 26. Nate Christman, 27. Frank Cozze, 28. Ron Seltmann Jr., DNQ: Glenn Owens, Steve Young, Kyle Weiss, Todd Smith, Jamie Speers, Chris Gambler and Glenn Strunk.

Libs BRC Late Model Firecracker Finish (40 Laps): 1. Sean Merkel, 2. Chuck Schutz, 3. Wayne Pfeil, 3. Rick Todorow, 5. Devin Frey, 6. Jason Miller, 7. Cory Merkel, 8. Dan Green, 9. Dave Ogin, 10. Kyle Merkel, 11. Ron Kline, 12. Kory Fleming, 13. Lou Egrie Jr., 14. Joe Fanelli, 15. Steve Gross, 16. Bill Henning, 17. Dirk Rimrott, 18. George Irwin, 19. Shawn Horning, 20. Randy Stoudt. DNS: Drew Weisser and Sean Miller.

NASCAR Sportsman Finish (25 Laps): 1. Paul Kline, 2. Craig Whitmoyer, 3. Jordan Henn, 4. Brian Hirthler, 5. Brett Gilmore, 6. Kenny Gilmore, 7. Jason Neidlinger, 8. Brandon Whitmoyer, 9. Mike Lisowski, 10. Brad Arnold, 11. Ryan Shupp, 12. Kyle Lilick, 13. Paul Effrig, 14. Lex Shive, 15. Pat Conrad, 16. Brett Kressley, 17. Mark Kemmerer, 18. Cory Sechrist, 19. Mike Koffel, 20. Ken Eckert Jr., 21. Joe Funk III, 22. Nathan Mohr, 23. Erik Renninger, 24. Ryan Lilick.

Grandview Speedway, a one-third-mile, banked clay track, is located on Passmore Road just off Route 100 in Bechtelsville, PA, 10 miles north of Pottstown. A full assortment of great concessions and novelty items are available. Free parking on the grounds. Fans are invited to the competition area after the events are completed to meet the racers. For information telephone 610.754.7688 or check in at, [email protected] and along with rainout information).


Saturday, July 11, 7:30 p.m. T.P.Trailers NASCAR 358 Modifieds, BRC Late Models and Sportsman stock cars.

Saturday, July 18, 7:30 p.m. Hatfield Quality Meats Night featuring T.P.Trailers NASCAR 358 Modifieds, BRC Late Models and Sportsman stock cars along with the Blast from the Past Vintage Racers.

Sunday, July 19, 1:00 p.m. Outlaw Enduro Racing

Saturday, July 25, 7:30 p.m. Atlas Paving Night featuring the T.P.Trailers NASCAR 358 Modifieds, BRC Late Models and Sportsman stock cars.

Tuesday, July 28, 7:30 p.m. NAPA Thunder on the Hill Series featuring 410 Sprints and T.P.Trailers 358 Modifieds (NASCAR points awarded). Rain date is Thursday, July 30.

Each Saturday night has spectator gates opening at 5:30 p.m. with a Low Down and Dirty Meet & Greet that allows fans to meet drivers and get up close look at race cars.



* denotes feature win (Feature wins listed are only those that are

NASCAR point events.)

1. Craig VonDohren, Oley, PA  #1C 2975**

2. Doug Manmiller, Shoemakersville, PA #00 2747

3. Duane Howard, Oley, PA #66 2599**

4. Jeff Strunk,  Pottstown, PA  #88 2325*

5. Mike Gular, Green Lane, PA #53/2 2271

6. Jared Umbenhauer, Richland, PA  #5 2244

7. Don Norris, Douglassville, PA  #976 2084

8. Danny Erb, Boyertown, PA  #44 2020

9. John Willman, Birdsboro, PA  #74W 2005

10. Tim Buckwalter, Douglassville, PA  #22 1920

11. Frank Cozze, Wind Gap, PA  #357/19 1890

12. Meme DeSantis, Temple, PA  #357 1817

13. Kyle Weiss, Hamburg, PA  #21K 1804*

14. Nate Christman, Fleetwood, PA  #37 1792

15. Kevin Hirthler,  Boyertown, PA  #117 1777**

16. Ray Swinehart, Perkiomenville, PA  #33 1739*

Glenn Strunk, Bechtelsville, PA  #41 1739

18. Jarred Miller, Barto, PA  #917 1659

19. Mike Kellner, Lansdale, PA #A1/57 1463

20. Brian Houseknecht, Bechtelsville, PA  #323 1410

21. Eric Biehn, Bechtelsville, PA  #87 1403

22. Ryan Grim, Laury’s Station, PA #17 1368*

23. Kyle Borror,  Peach Bottom, PA  #B4 1295

24. Ryan Wyatt, Boyertown, PA  #14W 1111

25. Todd Smith, Hatfield, PA  #39 984

26. Ron Seltmann, Lower Pottsgrove,  #R19 965*

27. Mike Laise, Pottstown, PA #15 724

28. Bobby Gunther Walsh, Allentown, PA  #1 680

29. Jamie Speers, New Holland, PA  #762 524

30. Kevin Hartnett,  Barto, PA  #81 522



1. Chuck Schutz, Pottstown, PA  #1 2654**

2. Sean Merkel, Boyertown, PA  #118 2401*

3. Wayne Pfeil, Mohnton, PA  #72 2333**

4. Dan Green, Coatesville, PA  #46 2154

5. Joe Fanelli, Exton, PA #22 2001

6. Rick Todorow, Quakertown, PA #93 1986

7. Dave Ogin, Bechtelsville, PA  #310/8M 1978

8. Kory Fleming, Milford, NJ  #704 1972**

9. Cory Merkel, Gilbertsville, PA  #16 1739

10. Lou Egrie Jr., Willow Grove, PA  #4E 1594

11. Steve Gross, West Chester, PA  #62 1469

12. John Giesler, Aston, PA  #ZT1 1384

13. Bill Henning, Lansdale, PA  #80 1334

14. Randy Stoudt,  Pottstown, PA  #5/10 1135**

15. Steve Wilson, Green Lane, PA #15 989

16. Lou Egrie Sr., Willow Grove, PA  #X4 767*

17. Buddy Mertz, Boyertown, PA  #00 747

18. Kyle Merkel, Boyertown, PA  #00 707

19. Devin Frey,  #F62 638

20. Shawn Horning, Blandon, PA  #8M 595



1. Brett Kressley, Orefield, PA #19K 2482****

2. Kenny Gilmore, Fleetwood, PA  #7 2159**

3. Craig Whitmoyer, Hamburg, PA  #99 2092

4. Jordan Henn, Kutztown, PA  #77H 2027

5. Brian Hirthler, Green Lane, PA  #4* 1918

6. Brad Arnold,  Kenhorst, PA  #830 1868

7. Brett Gilmore, Fleetwood, PA  #00 1823*

8. Mike Lisowski,  Minersville, PA  #15 1799**

9. Jim Housworth, Reigelsville, PA  #72 1783

10. Erik Renninger, Bridgewater, NJ  #51 1601

11. Ken Eckert, Orwigsburg, PA #29 1587

12. Ryan Lilick, Collegeville, PA  #142 1525

13. Jason Neidlinger,  Schuylkill Haven, PA  #88X 1455

14. Jeff Sechrist,  Robesonia, PA  #29G 1344*

15. Ryan Beltz, Barto, PA  #221 1264

16. Joe Funk, Coopersburg, PA  #14J 1171

17 Dean Bachman, Emmaus, PA  #65 1165

18. Kyle Lilick, Collegeville, PA   #104 968

19. Tom Miller, Gilbertsville, PA #77 815

20. Paul Kline, W. Reading, PA #1 692*


-Ernie Saxton Press Release.  Photo Credit: Grandview Speedway Facebook

Merkel Waits Out Rain To Score First Win of 2015 at Grandview