BECHTELSVILLE, PA. – The Forrest Rogers Memorial means so much, to so many people in so many different ways, that it is not just another Memorial event.
Since 1971, Grandview Speedway management has been paying tribute to Forrest Rogers, the man who had the dream of building his own racetrack, then with the help of his son Bruce and the rest of the family, made the dream come true in building and operating the one-third-of-a-mile high-banked racetrack on the hill in Bechtelsville, Pa. known to all as Grandview Speedway.
The race event each year means so much first of all to the Rogers Family, who still own and operate Grandview Speedway, now celebrating the track’s 60th season of operation. They are very proud of the fact that the track has remained in the family, with the third and now fourth generations fully involved in the operation of the racetrack.
The drivers who support Grandview each week throughout the season are very grateful that they have an extra distance high-paying race that is run each season to reward them for their loyalty to the speedway, with this year’s event again going for 50-laps and paying a handsome $10,000 to the winner.
The fans are also rewarded with a special event in the heart of the summer season, with extra laps, extra money, extra excitement, and extra competition on the line to cheer on their weekly favorites.
The Forrest Rogers Memorial race also serves as the anniversary celebration each year for the Speedway. It was the second weekend of August in 1963, when Grandview Speedway first opened the gates for the first ever race.
Forrest Rogers himself held his first ever extra distance race in August of 1964, a 40-lap event won by Marty Acker, to celebrate the track’s first birthday.
After the untimely death of Forrest, son Bruce took control of the speedway and after building a race program with a solid foundation, decided in 1971 to create the Memorial race to honor his Father on the same weekend his Father honored the Speedway’s anniversary, thus holding the first ever Forrest Rogers Memorial.
The first race for the Small Block Modifieds (then known as Sportsman) paid a hefty $500 to the winner Eddie Mumford, who came back and won again the very next year. As the track continued to have success, as the years went by, the winner’s share continued to increase to today’s top prize of $10,000.
The list of drivers who have had the honor of winning this prestigious event is very long and varied. During the 1970’s in addition to Mumford twice, Dave Kelly, Charley Gilmore twice, Mike Erb, Mike Geiser twice, and Smokey Warren were winners.
Moving into the 1980’s, the winners were Fred Rahmer four times, Dr. Dan Cox, Jack Follweiller twice, Craig Von Dohren his first, Ray Swinehart his first and Billy Schinkel.
The decade of the 1990’s saw Jeff Strunk win his first, Billy Pauch twice, Tom Mayberry twice, Kerry Kratz, Chip Slocum, Ray Swinehart his second, Terry Meitzler and Rick Shaffer as winners.
Moving into the 2000’s, Jeff Strunk won his second, Craig Von Dohren took three, Meme DeSantis twice, Jon Kellner Sr., Ray Swinehart his third, Jason Hamilton, Ryan Godown and Duane Howard took his first win.
The most recent decade saw a huge domination by the track’s all-time wins leader Craig Von Dohren in this long standing event. Von Dohren took five more Forrest Rogers Memorial wins in 2011, 2015, 2016, 2017, and last year in 2021 to run his total to nine, more than any other driver in the history of this race.
Kevin Hirthler took the 2012 race, Duane Howard ran his total to three with wins in 2013 and 2019, invader Danny Johnson won in 2014, a rare occasion in this race, Ray Swinehart won his fourth race in 2018, and Brett Kressley won his first ever in 2020.
Many times over the years, the driver who can win the Forrest Rogers Memorial either goes on to win the track championship, or takes a win in the season ending Freedom 76.
With so many different angles, you can see why each season the Forrest Rogers Memorial means so much to so many people in so many different ways. This year’s 52nd annual running should be no different, stayed tuned, and don’t miss it.
This Saturday, August 13, will feature the much anticipated 52nd annual Forrest Rogers Memorial for the T.P. Trailer Modifieds who will be racing for 50-laps and $10,000 to win. This race program will also include the T.P. Truck Equipment Sportsman in another NASCAR Advance Auto Parts Weekly Racing Series double-header starting at 7:30 pm.
Representatives from Dorney Park and Wildwater Kingdom will be on hand to promote hiring opportunities for their special event, HAUNT, to be held in the fall at the park. Anyone can be a MONSTER! Everyone is invited to stop by and visit the Dorney Park HAUNT team, they are looking to hire MONSTERS starting at $15 an hour and want YOU to join their team. You can also apply at http://www.dorneypark.com/jobs Keyword HAUNT.
Modified qualifying heat races will be sponsored by Dorney Park and Wildwater Kingdom during this special night of racing for the Forrest Rogers Memorial.
Pit gates will open at 4 pm. with grandstand gates opening at 5:30 pm. warm-ups will be starting at 6:30 pm. Adult grandstand admission is $30, while children ages 6-11 are $10, and children ages 5 and under are admitted free of charge.
Prior to the racing action on Saturday will be the weekly Low Down and Dirty Meet and Greet. This week’s drivers include the Hirthler family of racers with Modified driver Kevin Hirthler and Sportsman drivers Brian and Jesse Hirthler. The Meet and Greet is held in the main gate area starting at 5 pm. and is a great time for fans to meet the drivers up close, collect some autographs, take photos, and talk racing one on one.
Saturday’s program will be the final in a series of race events recorded and produced by ATVN-TV. The races will be broadcast on a tape-delayed basis on the following Tuesday night, with further replays to follow. ATVN airs on channel 4/1004 HD (Lehigh Valley) and channel 8/608 (Delaware County). The air dates and times can be found at astound.com/ATVN.
Action continues to be hot as the weather every Saturday night, and the T.P. Trailer Modified drivers will be out in full force again this week to try and add their name to the winner’s list for 2022 and in the prestigious Forrest Rogers Memorial. Craig Von Dohren is a six-time feature winner and the point leader, Brett Kressley has three feature wins, Jeff Strunk, Jared Umbennhauer and Doug Manmiller all have a feature win this season and will also be looking to add to their totals. Other top point drivers looking for their first win of this season include Duane Howard, Tim Buckwalter, Cory Merkel, Kevin Hirthler, Ryan Grim and nearly three dozen drivers on Saturday night.
The T.P. Truck Equipment Sportsman have been super competitive, sharing the wealth all season long with nine different feature winners in Jordan Henn, Parker Guldin, Lex Shive, Cody Manmiller, Dylan Hoch, Kenny Bock, Keith Brightbill, two-time winner Decker Swinehart, and four-time winner and point leader Brian Hirthler. With the strong competition all year other top point drivers out to score their first win include Dylan Hoch, Kyle Smith, Jimmy Leiby, Mike Schneck Jr., Dakota Kohler, Cole Stangle, and Jesse Hirthler.
Speedway management would like to announce to all race teams that tire sales will resume this week at the racetrack ONLY. The tire truck will be at the track when the pit gate opens at 4 pm. To be certain the tire sales are monitored fairly, we are requiring that all cars must be signed in first for the night’s event, before purchasing, and the driver of each car is required to make the tire purchase.
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.
UPCOMING EVENTS –
Saturday, August 13 – 52nd annual FORREST ROGERS MEMORIAL for T.P. Trailer NASCAR Modifieds 50-laps $10,000 to win, T.P. Truck Equipment NASCAR Sportsman – 7:30 pm
Saturday, August 20 – T.P. Trailer NASCAR Modifieds, T.P. Truck Equipment NASCAR Sportsman (Rain date for Forrest Rogers Memorial) – 7:30 pm.
Saturday, August 27 – T.P. Trailer NASCAR Modifieds, T.P. Truck Equipment NASCAR Sportsman, Outlaw Racing Series Vintage – 7:30 pm.
Friday, September 2 – Outlaw Racing Series Enduro and Outlaw Racing Series Vintage – 7 pm
Saturday, September 3 – T.P. Trailer NASCAR Modifieds, T.P. Truck Equipment NASCAR Sportsman plus Wingless Super Sportsman – 7:30 pm.