BECHTELSVILLE, PA. – In a wild final five lap battle to the finish, Eric Biehn of Barto, Pa. was able to secure that elusive first career T.P. Trailer NASCAR Modified feature win Saturday night at Grandview Speedway.
Biehn secured the top spot-on lap 14 of the 30-lap T.P. Trailer Modified feature after a nearly twelve lap battle with race leader Chris Gambler of Orefield, Pa. Following that, he then withstood a flurry of challenges in the final five laps from Ryan Grim of Laurys Station, Pa., Jeff Strunk of Boyertown, Pa., and Brett Kressley of Orefield, Pa., who circled the track practically under a blanket, to score the memorable first career Grandview Speedway victory.
If that wasn’t enough excitement, Ryan Graver of Lehighton, Pa. duplicated the Biehn accomplishment, as he scored his first career T.P. Truck Equipment 25-lap NASCAR Sportsman feature win in the nightcap, after he came out on top of a late race battle with leader Logan Bauman of Bechtelsville, Pa. to pull off the last lap victory.
Both winners received bonus money (Modified $300, Sportsman $200) from T.P. Trailers and Truck Equipment of Limerick, Pa., sponsors of the two divisions at Grandview Speedway.
The T.P. Trailer Modified feature was a highly competitive affair from the drop of Starter Ray Kemp’s green until the checkered, with only two quick cautions to slow the action, in a race which saw a lot of drivers who started deep in the 30-car starting field make their way to the top ten by the end of the race.
Following a spin on the start causing a caution and complete restart, the feature did not stop again until a lap 17 caution for a flat tire for Doug Manmiller of Shoemakersville, Pa., who had started 16th and was quickly up to seventh when the flat tire happened, sending him pit side and then rejoining at the rear of the field.
During this long stretch of green flag action, Gambler led the race with Biehn right behind and at times alongside, applying pressure, trying to grab the lead.
Meanwhile, Carroll Hine III of Reading, Pa., Mark Malcolm of Wyomissing, Pa., and Darrin Schuler of Stroudsburg, Pa. all were dicing for top five spots followed by another group of drivers including Bobby Gunther-Walsh of Allentown, Pa., Ryan Grim, Manmiller, Bobby Trapper Jr. of Scranton, Pa., and Kevin Hirthler of Boyertown, Pa. who were swapping positions looking for top ten spots.
The restart following the Manmiller flat was the last stoppage of the feature and proved to be a game changer for a lot of drivers. Following the restart green, the field flew into turn one with cars leaning and bouncing off each other, drivers going three wide and one row went four across.
It was at this time that 19th starting Jeff Strunk, and 22nd place starting Brett Kressley gained many spots to put themselves into the picture up front and in contention for a possible win. Strunk and Kressley went from eighth and ninth on lap 17, to fourth and fifth by lap 20, and third and fourth by lap 23, following a short battle with Trapper Jr., Schuler, and Hine III.
Ryan Grim had also advanced forward following the restart, steadily gaining positions until he reached second, then took flight after Biehn. By lap 25 Biehn caught the back end of the field and lapped traffic, and that is all the other three needed to quickly reel in the leader and the four-car tussle for the lead was on until the checkered.
Biehn stayed in the high groove which made it possible for him to sweep around the slower cars and use them to block off any pass attempts. At the same time Grim was looking to the bottom to pass Biehn, and trying to hold back the serious challenges of Jeff Strunk and a rim-riding Kressley which he did until the checkered flag waved.
The final five laps were frantic, but Biehn held on through the excitement to score that memorable first ever Grandview Speedway T.P. Trailer Modified win followed by Ryan Grim, Strunk, Kressley, a late charging Jared Umbenhauer of Richland, Pa., Craig Von Dohren of Oley, Pa, who advanced from 23rd starting spot, Hine III, Kevin Hirthler, Eddie Strada of Lake Ariel, Pa. who started 30th and last, and Manmiller who rebounded nicely from his 17th lap pitstop.
Qualifying heats races for the 33 cars on hand were won by Gambler, Biehn and Schuler with Kressley winning the consolation.
The 25-lap T.P. Truck Equipment Sportsman feature also got off to a great start with an extended period of green flag action at the beginning, which saw Keith Haring of Allentown, Pa. and Zach Steffey of Sinking Spring, Pa. grab the top two spots and pull away in the first twelve laps.
While the top two were setting the pace, there was a serious battle going on for third spot between Molly Struss of Emmaus, Pa., Logan Bauman, Ryan Graver, Mark Mohr of Northampton, Pa., and Decker Swinehart of Fleetwood, Pa. That group eventually broke down to just Struss, Graver and Bauman battling for third when the first caution flew on lap twelve for a stopped Addison Meitzler of Kempton, Pa. to reset the field.
On the restart Bauman, who was fourth at the time, swept to the top lane in the next two laps and motored around Graver, Steffey and Haring to take the lead on lap fourteen. Graver soon followed and moved into second by lap fifteen.
Bauman looked strong out front followed by Graver, Haring and a now fast closing Logan Watt of Boyertown, Pa., who had started 19th after winning the consolation and was now up to fourth and looking to grab a possible second feature win in a row.
Following these four top runners was another strong group dicing for top ten spots including Steffey, Struss, Brett Gilmore of Kutztown, Pa. who made his way forward after tangling with another driver and sliding though part of the infield, after which he ended up near the back of the pack, TJ Mayberry of Sellersville, Pa., Parker Guldin of Fleetwood, Pa., and Kyle Smith also of Fleetwood, Pa. who was moving forward after starting back in 23rd spot.
The great action was slowed on lap 22 for an unfortunate spin by Struss, which set up some late trace dramatics. Bauman led Graver, Watt, Haring and Steffey to the green, with Graver staying close to Bauman in the late stages.
After taking the white flag, Graver threw a huge slide attempt at Bauman entering turn one which did not work, and the two made contact, causing them to slow momentarily and bunched up the field.
Graver quickly recovered and grabbed the lead off turn two and raced home to his first career Grandview Speedway victory, making it three weeks in a row for the T.P. Truck Equipment Sportsman division to have a first-time career winner.
In the wild scramble that followed the turn one exchange, positions changed in the top ten. At the finish it was Graver, Watt, Gilmore after his remarkable comeback, Haring, and Steffey who both authored great personal runs, Guldin, a disappointed Bauman who limped across the finish with a wounded race car, Mayberry, Smith, and Brian Hirthler of Green Lane, Pa. who also recovered from an off-track infield run mid-race to make the top ten.
Qualifying heat races for the 32 cars on hand were won by Steffey, Ronnie Solomon of Hatfield, Pa., and Bauman, while Watt won the consolation.
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 Outlaw Racing Series Vintage cars.
The show on Saturday, May 27 will include qualifying events leading into a 30-lap T.P. Trailer Modified feature and a 25-lap feature for the T.P. Truck Equipment Sportsman, while the Vintage cars will run a feature event only.
Pit gates will open at 4 pm. with grandstand gates opening at 5:30 pm. warm-ups starting at 6:15 pm. and the first race of the evening getting the green flag at 7:30 pm.
Adult grandstand admission is $20, students 10-15 with ID are $10, while children ages 9 and under are admitted free of charge. Pit admission is $35 for NASCAR members and $45 for non-members.
This will be followed by the first Thunder on the Hill Racing Series event of the season on Sunday, May 28. This holiday program features the 358 Modifieds in a special 50-lap feature race titled the ‘Balls to the Wall 50’.
The winner of the 50-lap feature will grab a $5000 payoff, and the leader at laps 20 and 35 will pocket $1500, when the race is stopped and the top four inverted. So, it becomes a race of strategy to chase the bonus or go for the win. Should the same driver lead laps 20, 35 and then grab the final checker to win, Pioneer Pole Buildings will post a $4000 extra bonus, allowing the 50-lap feature winner to grab a possible total of $12,000 for the victory!
The 602 crate Sportsman will also join the show which starts at 7:30 pm. on May 28, making for a big holiday weekend of racing action.
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): ERIC BIEHN, Ryan Grim, Jeff Strunk, Brett Kressley, Jared Umbenhauer, Craig Von Dohren, Carroll Hine III, Kevin Hirthler, Eddie Strada, Doug Manmiller, Bobby Trapper Jr., Ryan Watt, Tim Buckwalter, Darrin Schuler, Bobby Gunther-Walsh, Kevin Graver Jr., Jesse Leiby, Craig Whitmoyer, John Willman, Joe Funk, Eric Kormann, Ron Haring Jr., Jimmy Leiby, Chris Gambler, Mark Malcolm, Justin Grim, Mike Lisowski, Ryan Beltz, Ray Swinehart, Bobby Trapper Sr.
DID NOT QUALIFY: Dylan Swinehart, Chris Esposito, Mark Kratz
T.P. TRUCK EQUIPMENT NASCAR SPORTSMAN FEATURE FINISH (25 laps): RYAN GRAVER, Logan Watt, Brett Gilmore, Keith Haring, Zach Steffey, Parker Guldin, Logan Bauman, TJ Mayberry, Kyle Smith, Brian Hirthler, Decker Swinehart, Mark Kemmerer, Cody Manmiller, Adrianna Delliponti, Jesse Hirthler, Mark Mohr, Dakota Kohler, Nathan Mohr, Molly Struss, Jesse Landis, Nathan Horn, Zane Roth, Steve Young, Addison Meitzler, DNS – Ronnie Solomon
DID NOT QUALIFY: Hunter Iatalese, Mike Schneck Jr., Andy Ressler, Mark Gaugler, BJ Joly, Kyle Hartzell, Kenny Bock
UPCOMING EVENTS –
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.
Saturday, June 3 – A.D. MOYER LUMBER NIGHT – T.P. Trailer NASCAR Modifieds, T.P. Truck Equipment NASCAR Sportsman, Wingless Super Sportsman – 7:30 pm
Fri. June 9 – Outlaw Racing Series Enduro, Outlaw Racing Series Vintage, Xcel 600 Modifieds – 7 pm
Sat. June 10 – T.P. Trailer NASCAR Modifieds, T.P. Truck Equipment NASCAR Sportsman – 7:30 pm