BECHTELSVILLE, PA. – Brett Kressley of Orefield, Pa. charged through the field from his fifteenth starting spot to capture his first win of the season in the 30-lap T.P. Trailer NASCAR Modified feature Saturday night at Grandview Speedway.
Kressley was able to catch race leader Ray Swinehart of Perkiomenville, Pa., and make a low groove pass entering turn one on lap fourteen, then hold off all challengers and survive a couple of late race restarts to score his 22nd career NASCAR Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series win at the Speedway.
In the T.P. Truck Equipment NASCAR Sportsman 25-lap main event, it was Hunter Iatalese of Germansville, Pa. running a stout race from start to finish to score his first ever Grandview Speedway victory, becoming the 57th different driver to win a main event in the class since it was started in 2012.
Both feature winners received bonus money (Modified $300, Sportsman $200) from T.P. Trailers and Truck Equipment, the division sponsors at the Speedway, providing they displayed the proper decals on their cars.
The T.P. Trailer Modified main event began with Swinehart taking the lead at the opening green flag to set the pace until Carroll Hine III of Reading, Pa. took over the lead on lap three. A caution flag for a stopping Bob Trapper of Scranton, Pa. on lap three set up a restart that saw Swinehart retake the top spot from Hine III.
With Swinehart out front a good battle quickly developed for second between Hine III, Mike Lisowski of Minersville, Pa., Doug Manmiller of Shoemakersville, Pa. and Kevin Hirthler of Boyertown, Pa.. This fierce battle for position came to an unfortunate end when in the close racing, Hine got out of shape for a brief moment, and with everyone so close all four drivers tangled and brought out another caution on lap six sending them to the back of the field.
With the field moving up four positions, Jesse Leiby of Emmaus, Pa. was now second and was able to motor past Swinehart on the restart and become the new race leader. The next four laps the two drivers raced a super battle side-by-side for the top spot with Swinehart retaking the lead in turn two on lap eleven.
While all of this was going on up front, action was going on behind them as Craig Whitmoyer of Hamburg, Pa., Bobby Trapper Jr. of Scranton, Pa., Eddie Strada of Lake Ariel, Pa., Ryan Watt of Boyertown, Pa., Kressley, Mike Gular of Boyertown, Pa. and Jared Umbenhauer of Richland, Pa. were all battling for positions.
After starting in fifteenth, Kressley reached the top five by lap nine, then moved past Whitmoyer and Leiby into second on lap thirteen. Kressley kept the hammer down chasing leader Swinehart, and grabbed the lead with a low groove move in turn one on lap 14.
At this point the race was green for an extended time and now traffic was a factor, but Kressley was working his way through masterfully. Meanwhile Gular and defending Champion Craig Von Dohren of Oley, Pa. were now moving into the top spots, as they advanced to the top five by lap fourteen, and second and third by lap seventeen.
A caution on lap twenty reset the field, putting Gular, Von Dohren, Umbenhauer, Leiby and Strada right on his bumper, but Kressley took off on the restart with ease. Gular and Von Dohren then had their own great contest for second for most of the rest of the main event, while Strada and Leiby had a side by side duel for position as well.
Behind these two separate duels was more great racing between Whitmoyer, Trapper Jr., Watt, Jeff Strunk of Boyertown, Pa. and Manmiller who was working his way back into contention.
Kressley was fast throughout the feature and ran the final laps to the checkered flag to score his first T.P. Trailer Modified victory of the season. Following Kressley in the highly competitive feature were Gular, Von Dohren, Umbenhauer, Strada, Leiby, Trapper Jr., Whitmoyer, Strunk, and Watt.
Taking victories in the qualifying heat races for the 38 cars on hand were Manmiller, Hirthler, Lisowski and Jimmy Leiby of West Milford, N.J., while the twin consolations were won by Strunk and Dylan Swinehart of Fleetwood, Pa.
The T.P. Truck Equipment Sportsman feature saw Hunter Iataleese quickly move out front on the drop of the green flag, setting a quick pace and reaching lap traffic by lap six. The action behind him was hot and heavy between Kaitlyn Bailey of Alburtis, Pa. Molly Struss, Decker Swinehart of Fleetwood, Pa., Jesse Hirthler of Boyertown, Pa. and Steve Young of Collegeville, Pa.
The caution flag waved on lap eight for Swinehart and Andy Ressler of Boyertown, Pa. who both stopped with mechanical troubles. Following the restart, the race then ran for an extended green, with Iatalese once again building a big lead and everyone else battling hard for positions.
Young moved to second by lap ten, with Hirthler making third by lap eleven, putting them in a great battle for position. Soon Addison Meitzler of Kempton, Pa. and Kyle Smith of Fleetwood, Pa. joined in the action for the second spot.
In the late stages, Smith battled hard to work past Meitzler, then past Young and was closing on Hirthler when the race came to an end. There was still dicing for positions behind them as well between Cody Manmiller of Philadelphia, Pa., Logan Watt of Boyertown, Pa, and a hard charging Brad Grim of Coplay, Pa. who qualified from the consolation.
Iatalese worked his way through traffic very well and at the checkered flag it was Iatalese scoring his first ever Grandview Speedway win, followed by Jesse Hirthler, Smith, Young, a still advancing Manmiller, Meitzler, Logan Watt, Grim, Brian Hirthler of Green Lane, Pa., and Parker Guldin of Fleetwood, Pa.
Qualifying heats for the 40 cars on hand were won by Iatalese, Kaitlyn Bailey, Decker Swinehart and Ryan Graver of Lehighton, Pa., with the consolations going to Grim and Tyler James of Birdsboro, Pa.
Grandview Speedway will be presenting another NASCAR Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series program next week featuring the T.P. Trailer NASCAR Modifieds and T.P. Truck Equipment NASCAR Sportsman, plus the only visit of the season by the Rapid Tire USAC East Coast Wingless Sprint Cars.
The show on Saturday, May 13 will include qualifying events for all three classes leading into a 30-lap T.P. Trailer Modified feature and 25-lap features for the T.P. Truck Equipment Sportsman and USAC EC Sprints Cars.
Pit gates will open at 4 pm. with grandstand gates opening at 5:30 pm. warm-ups starting at 6:30 pm. and the first race of the evening getting the green flag at 7:30 pm.
Adult grandstand admission is $25, students 10-15 with ID are $15, while children ages 9 and under are admitted free of charge. Pit admission is $35 for NASCAR members and $45 for non-members.
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 October, 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): BRETT KRESSLEY, Mike Gular, Craig Von Dohren, Jared Umbenhauer, Eddie Strada, Jesse Leiby, Bobby Trapper Jr., Craig Whitmoyer, Jeff Strunk, Ryan Watt, Tim Buckwalter, Doug Manmiller, Jimmy Leiby, Dylan Swinehart, Kevin Graver Jr., John Willman, Justin Grim, Eric Biehn, Lex Shive, Mike Lisowski, Ray Swinehart, Chris Esposito, Carroll Hine III, Ryan Grim, Kevin Hirthler, Bob Trapper, Joe Funk, Glenn Owens
DID NOT QUALIFY: Bobby Gunther-Walsh, Chris Gambler, Ron Haring Jr., Mark Levy, Nate Brinker, Ryan Beltz, Darrin Schuler, Mark Malcolm, Kyle Weiss, Mark Kratz
T.P. TRUCK EQUIPMENT NASCAR SPORTSMAN FEATURE FINISH (25 laps): HUNTER IATALESE, Jesse Hirthler, Kyle Smith, Steve Young, Cody Manmiller, Addison Meitzler, Logan Watt, Brad Grim, Brian Hirthler, Parker Guldin, Ronnie Solomon, Michael Burrows, Adrianna Delliponti, Tyler James, Ryan Graver, Logan Bauman, Molly Struss, Dakota Kohler, Mark Gaugler, Nathan Horn, Kaitlyn Bailey, Zane Roth, Andy Ressler, Decker Swinehart, Brett Gilmore, Colton Perry, Kenny Bock, Kyle Hartzell
DID NOT QUALIFY: Nick Faust, Zach Steffey, Tom Miller, Jesse Landis, Mark Mohr, Dallas Breidenbach, Nathan Mohr, Keith Haring, Tom Miller Jr., Nicholas Hamm, BJ Joly, Mike Schneck Jr.,
UPCOMING EVENTS –
Saturday, May 13 – T.P. Trailer NASCAR Modifieds, T.P. Truck Equipment NASCAR Sportsman, USAC East Coast Sprints – 7:30 pm
Saturday, May 20 – T.P. Trailer NASCAR Modifieds, T.P. Truck Equipment NASCAR Sportsman plus Trivia Night – 7:30 pm
Saturday, May 27 – T.P. Trailer NASCAR Modifieds, T.P. Truck Equipment NASCAR Sportsman, Outlaw Racing Series Vintage – 7:30 pm.
Sunday, May 28 – THUNDER ON THE HILL RACING SERIES – ‘Balls to the Wall 50’ – 358 Modifieds*, 602 Sportsman – 7:30 pm.