BECHTELSVILLE, PA. – Keith Brightbill of Mooresville, N.C. returned to his hometown area for a visit on Saturday night and drove his brother Brad’s car to victory, over a stellar field of racers, taking top honors in the 52nd annual Firecracker 40 T.P. Truck Equipment Sportsman Championship race at Grandview Speedway.
Jared Umbenhauer of Richland, Pa. had a strong night from start to finish, winning his heat race and then his first 30-lap T.P. Trailer Modified feature of the season. Umbenhauer was able to finally secure the lead from a strong running Dylan Swinehart of Fleetwood, Pa, on lap 22, then race home to his fifth career T.P. Trailer Modified victory.
Both winners received bonus money from T.P. Trailers and Truck Equipment (Modified $300, Sportsman $200) in the race program that was part of the NASCAR Advance Auto Parts Weekly Racing Series.
The T.P. Truck Equipment Sportsman 40-lap Firecracker Championship race was a rough and tumble affair at the beginning. The beginning of the race saw several yellow flags for minor spins and two red flags for multi-car pile-ups caused by cars running in the top five spinning out and collecting fellow competitors.
Throughout all this wild action, Mike Myers of Alburtis, Pa. was the race leader and found himself battling several different drivers to hold on to the top spot including Zane Roth of Slatington, Pa., Kenny Bock of Oley, Pa., Mark Kemmerer of Green Lane, Pa. and Nathan Mohr of Reading, Pa.
As the race approached the half-way mark, the drivers settled down into racing mode and the action was fierce. Myers was under attack from Bock, Brightbill, up from his 22nd starting spot, Kyle Smith of Fleetwood, Pa. up from his 21st starting position, and Cole Stangle from Neshanic Station, NJ who started 24th.
On lap twenty, Bock suffered a breakdown and stopped for a caution. During this break, Smith and Brian Hirthler of Green Lane, Pa. who was running in fifth up from 28th starting spot, pitted with flat tires after getting together in turn two.
On this restart Brightbill was able to grab the lead away from Myers and pull away to a small advantage. Jimmy Leiby of West Milford, NJ was on the move in the second half of the race after starting 27th and made a bold outside three-wide move to grab position number two and begin to chase after Brightbill.
Leiby got close and showed his nose alongside of Brightbill a couple times, before Brightbill changed lanes late in the race to preserve the lead and race on to the popular victory, his first in Grandview T.P. Truck Equipment Sportsman racing. For Keith Brightbill he joins his brother Brad who also won the Firecracker 40 in 2019.
Following Brightbill to the finish were Leiby, Hirthler who made a late race comeback from the flat tire, Stangle, Mohr, Parker Guldin of Fleetwood, Pa., Myers, Cody Manmiller of Philadelphia, Pa., Smith, and Mike Schneck Jr. of Lebanon, Pa.
Qualifying heat race wins for the outstanding 39 cars on hand were won by Wayne Rotenberger of Ringing Hill, Pa., Roth, Myers, and Mohr. The two consolations were won by Smith and Brightbill.
The T.P. Trailer Modified feature was very competitive from the drop of starter Ray Kemp’s green flag. Darrin Schuler of Stroudsburg, pa. led lap one, before Steve Swinehart of Perkiomenville, Pa. took over on lap two, being chased and challenged by Dylan Swinehart, Bobby Gunther-Walsh of Allentown, Pa. and a quick moving Umbenhauer who was into the top five by the third lap after starting tenth.
While this was happening, a great battle was happening for position between Kevin Hirthler of Boyertown, Pa., Doug Manmiller of Shoemakersville, Pa., Jeff Strunk of Boyertown, Pa., and point leader Brett Kressley of Orefield, Pa., who all were challenging each other while advancing through the field.
Just before halfway the only two slowdowns of the race occurred, as a yellow on lap 12 for a spinning Nate Brinker of Macungie, Pa. reset the field, and that was followed on lap 13 by a red flag for a track blocking seven car tangle in turn three.
After this restart the race ran green to the finish with Dylan Swinehart the new leader after securing the lead from Steve Swinehart at the line on lap 13 just before the caution. Dylan Swinehart led with Umbenhauer in pursuit, followed by a great multi-car duel between Manmiller, Kressley, Steve Swinehart, Strunk and Hirthler.
Umbenhauer kept the pressure on Dylan Swinehart and was finally able to slide by into the lead entering turn one on lap 22 and run the remaining laps to his first win of 2022 and fifth career T.P. Trailer Modified victory.
The action never stopped until the checkered dropped, as positions in the top ten were changing right to the finish. Kressley, who finally was able to get to the top lane late in the event, made a late race charge around many cars, and was able to take second place and close in on Umbehauer but ran out of laps before he could catch the leader.
The final run-down saw Umbenhauer the winner followed by Kressley, Strunk, Manmiller, Craig Von Dohren of Oley, Pa. who just got to fifth on the final lap, Duane Howard of Oley, Pa., Steve Swinehart, Gunther-Walsh with his best outing of the season, Tim Buckwalter of Douglasville, Pa., and Brad Grim of Coplay, Pa.
Qualifying heats for the 36 cars on hand were won by Umbenhauer, Gunther-Walsh, Dylan Swinehart and Manmiller, while the consolations were won by Joe Funk of Coopersburg, Pa and Mike Lisowski of Minersville, Pa.
The T.P. Trailer NASCAR Modifieds and T.P. Truck Equipment NASCAR Sportsman will be joined by the United Racing Club Sprint Cars in a three-division program next Saturday, July 16 starting at 7:30 pm. The program will include qualifying events for all three classes leading to the 30-lap T.P. Trailer Modified feature, the 25-lap T.P. Truck Equipment Sportsman main, and the 25-lap URC Sprint car feature race.
Pit gates will open at 4 pm. with grandstand gates opening at 5:30 pm. warm-ups will be starting at 6:15 pm. Adult grandstand admission is $25, while children ages 6-11 are $10, and children ages 5 and under are admitted free of charge.
The night of racing will be known as Do It in the Dirt Night featuring Bob Hilbert Sportswear as the race night sponsor celebrating the very first tee shirt that Bob Hilbert made and sold at the speedway he first sold tee shirts at, Grandview Speedway.
Come out and celebrate with Bob and Anne and the Bob Hilbert Sportswear Team, they would love to see all of you wear your oldest or most favorite Bob Hilbert Tee shirt!
The Bob Hilbert Sportswear Team will be there with fan giveaways that evening along with selling the brand new 50th anniversary edition of the Do It in the Dirt tee shirt.
They are rolling back the prices and selling this limited edition tee for JUST $5.00 EACH!
Since the 1960’s, Grandview Speedway has been presenting exciting wheel to wheel NASCAR stock car racing every Saturday Night starting in April and running through September, plus special events. Grandview Speedway is located at 43 Passmore Road, Bechtelsville, Pa. 19505, just off Route 100, ten miles north of Pottstown, Pa.
Information is always available at http://www.grandviewspeedway.com or on Facebook, or by telephone at 610.754.7688.
T.P. TRAILER NASCAR MODIFIED FEATURE FINISH (30 laps): JARED UMBENHAUER, Brett Kressley, Jeff Strunk, Doug Manmiller, Craig Von Dohren, Duane Howard, Steve Swinehart, Bobby Gunther-Walsh, Tim Buckwalter, Brad Grim, Kevin Graver Jr., Michael Storms, Brad Arnold, Jesse Leiby, Cory Merkel, Darrin Schuler, Dylan Swinehart, Mike Lisowski, Mark Kratz, Kevin Hirthler, Brad Brightbill, Ryan Grim, Justin Grim, John Willman, Joe Funk, Nate Brinker, Ray Swinehart, Bobby Trapper Jr.
DID NOT QUALIFY: Brett Gilmore, Ryan Beltz, Ron Haring Jr., Kyle Lilick, Dan Waisempacher, Craig Whitmoyer, Eric Biehn, Chris Gambler
T.P. TRUCK EQUIPMENT NASCAR SPORTSMAN FIRECRACKER 40 FEATURE FINISH (40 laps): KEITH BRIGHTBILL, Jimmy Leiby, Brian Hirthler, Cole Stangle, Nathan Mohr, Parker Guldin, Mike Myers, Cody Manmiller, Kyle Smith, Mike Schneck Jr., Chris Esposito, Hunter Iatalese, Lex Shive, Jesse Landis, Mark Gaugler, Dylan Hoch, Ryan Graver, Dakota Kohler, Kenny Bock, Nathan Horn, Colton Perry, Mark Kemmerer, Zane Roth, Josh Adams, Joey Vaccaro, Logan Bauman, Wayne Rotenberger, Tyler James, DNS – Mike Stofflet
DID NOT QUALIFY: BJ Joly, Jon Josko, Jesse Hirthler, Mark Mohr, Kyle Hartzell, Adrianna Delliponte, Matt Clay, Steve Young, Decker Swinehart, Blake Reber
UPCOMING EVENTS –
Saturday, July 16 – T.P. Trailer NASCAR Modifieds, T.P. Truck Equipment NASCAR Sportsman plus URC 360 Sprint Cars – 7:30 pm.
Saturday, July 23 – T.P. Trailer NASCAR Modifieds, T.P. Truck Equipment NASCAR Sportsman plus Outlaw Racing Series Vintage – 7:30 pm.
Saturday, July 30 – T.P. Trailer NASCAR Modifieds, T.P. Truck Equipment NASCAR Sportsman – 7:30 pm.
Tuesday, August 2 – NAPA Auto Parts THUNDER on the HILL RACING SERIES – Triple Roaring 20’s – Big Block/Small Block Modified 3/20-lap features plus 602 Sportsman – 7:30 pm.
Friday, August 5 – Outlaw Racing Series Enduro and Outlaw Racing Series Vintage – 7 pm