- Meme DeSantis won the 51st season opener at Grandview Speedway, holding off Duane Howard at the finish.
- The modified feature had two notable incidents. Early in the race Duane Howard and Doug Manmiller made contact on the backstretch. Manmiller would later crash to bring out the only yellow of the race and made his displeasure known to Howard. On the restart, DeSantis and Howard had contact in turn 1 and DeSantis took over the lead.
- DeSantis’ win followed a rough night at Big Diamond where he did not qualify and received the hard luck award.
- Defending Sportsman champion Jared Umbenhauer continues to roll on the Sportsman circuit, this time winning in the Bashore Trucking #5.
- Mike Kellner was the winner of the late model feature, which has been extended to 25 laps this season.
- Next Saturday twin modified features return to Grandview after a long hiatus. Both 35 lap features will pay $3250 to win.
April 6, 2013 Video Highlights
Order the complete night of racing on DVD from the GSP Shop or get it at the track!
358 Modified Feature Highlights
Meme DeSantis Victory Lane Interview
Sportsman Feature Highlights
Late Model Feature Highlights
DESANTIS, M.KELLNER AND UMBENHAUER WIN OPENING NIGHT NASCAR FEATURES AT GRANDVIEW SPEEDWAY
(Track Press Release) BECHTELSVILLE, PA – Dirt track legend Meme DeSantis showed that he is looking to be a serious contender for the lucrative championship at Grandview Speedway winning the opening night 30-lap feature for the NASCAR Whelen All American Series 358 Modifieds Saturday night. Mike Kellner, a consistent winner at the one-third-mile, banked clay track, kicked off his season with a win in the 25 lap Late Model feature while Jared Umbenhauer started defense of his 2012 Sportsman title by leading almost all the laps to win the 25 lap main event for the Sportsman racers.
Don Norris Jr. was quick to set the pace at the drop of the green flag for the 30-lap NASCAR 358 Modified feature with Kyle Weiss close behind. With six laps in the record book Weiss went a little wide as he was challenged and gave second to hard charging Meme DeSantis. At the halfway mark it was a three car battle for the number one spot featuring Norris, DeSantis and now defending Modified champion Duane Howard. At 18 laps Howard, now second, was able to take the top spot by “rubbing” past Norris.
With 22 laps completed Doug Manmiller, who had been running in the top five for much of the race, hit the fourth turn wall hard. Manmiller climbed out of his car pointing his finger at Howard apparently blaming him for an earlier incident that had Manmiller bouncing off the wall going into Turn 3 and, perhaps, damaging his car and leading to the hard crash.
One lap later DeSantis got wide in Turn 2 while taking the top spot from Howard bouncing the defending champion off the wall. Howard was able to maintain control and charge after DeSantis.
The final laps had DeSantis, who calls Temple, PA home, holding on to the lead and holding off a strong late race challenge from Howard (Oley). Norris (Douglassville) was able to grab third followed by nine time track champion Jeff Strunk (Boyertown) making a late race charge. Ryan Grim (Laury’s Station) had a strong effort grabbing fifth in the final standings.
In victory lane DeSantis, coming off a difficult season that actually had rumors floating around during the off season that he would not be racing at Grandview this season, brought quite a reaction from the large fan turnout on a very cold night when he responded to a question from the victory lane announcer. DeSantis indicated that he did not feel bad about the contact with Howard that got him the lead.
The victory earned DeSantis $2750 for his winning efforts with the In-Home Oxygen/Dino’s Wings & Things sponsored #88D. $250 of the winner’s money coming from the TP Trailers of Limerick bonus bucks given to the feature winner provided TP decals are both sides of the car and clearly visible.
A multi-car accident in the first turn shortly after the green flag was displayed eliminated a couple of the top performers in the 25-lap Late Model feature. On the restart after the caution Mike Kellner went to the front and that is where he and his Power Washer/Mary Kay #57 stayed until the checkered flag was displayed.
With seven laps remaining Wayne Pfeil, who had challenged the leader for most of the race, made a run for the top spot but got sideways in Turn 2 losing a couple of spots.
At the finish Kellner (Lansdale) was able to hold off a fast closing Sean Merkel (Gilbertsville) to get the victory. Pfeil (Mohnton) was able to hold on for a third place finish followed by Jason Miller (New Tripoli) and Bill Henning (Lansdale).
Defending Late Model champion Chuck Schutz had to climb into a borrowed car (Buddy Mertz’ s #00) and start last in the feature race. He managed to come home with a 10th place finish.
Jared Umbenhauer (Richland) showed that he is serious about winning his second straight Sportsman title as he lead all but two of the laps in the driving the Eastern Rigging #5 to victory in the 25 lap Sportsman main event. The win was his second of the weekend having also earned a victory with the Sportsman at Big Diamond Speedway.
Brad Brightbill (Sinking Spring) challenged Umbenhauer for much of the race and even managed to lead for two laps but had to settle for second. Kevin Beach (Minersville) came home third followed by a hard charging Craig Whitmoyer (Hamburg) and Kyle Borror (Peach Bottom).
Both the Late Model and Sportsman feature winners earned $100 bonuses from TP Trailers of Limerick.
Qualifying heat races for the Late Models went to Mike Kellner and Bill Henning. In the Sportsman qualifying heats were earned by Jared Umbenhauer, Brad Brightbill and Kaitie McCardle. Heat races for the NASCAR 358 Modifieds were won by Kyle Weiss, Don Norris Jr., Meme DeSantis and Doug Manmiller. Consolation races for Modifieds were won by Craig VonDohren and Jon Kellner Sr. The Sportsman consolation went to Erik Renninger.
NASCAR WHELEN ALL AMERICAN SERIES 358 MODIFIED FEATURE – 30 LAPS: 1.Meme DeSantis 2. Duane Howard 3. Don Norris Jr. 4. Jeff Strunk 5. Ryan Grim 6. Craig VonDohren 7. Kyle Weiss 8. Jordan Umbenhauer 9. John Willman 10. Frank Cozze 11. Kevin Hirthler 12. Glenn Strunk 13. Mike Gular 14. Todd Smith 15. Addison Meitzler 16. Mike Laise 17. Ron Seltman 18. Tim Buckwalter 19. Jon Kellner Jr. 20. Dan Waisempacher 21. Brian Houseknecht 22. Nate Christman 23. Doug Manmiller 24.Shawn Reimert 25. Ray Swinehart 26. Andy Ressler 27. Terry Meitzler 28. Jon Kellner Sr.
NASCAR LATE MODEL FEATURE – 25 LAPS: 1. Mike Kellner 2. Sean Merkel 3. Wayne Pfeil 4. Jason Miller 5. Bill Henning 6. Doug Walton 7. Lou Egrie Sr. 8.Kory Fleming 9. Dan Green 10. Chuck Schutz 11.John Giesler 12. Dirk Rimrott 13. Kyle Merkel 14. Steve Butler 15. Lee Miller 16.Rick Todorow 17.Danny Snyder 18. Steve Todorow 19. Steve Nederostek 20. Drew Weisser
NASCAR SPORTSMAN FEATURE – 25 LAPS:1.Jared Umbernhauer 2. Brad Brightbill 3. Kevin Beach 4. Craig Whitmoyer 5. Kyle Borror 6.Kenny Gilmore 7. Paul Kline 8.John Kovatch IV 9. Katie McCardle 10. Kirby Sites 11. Dean Bachman 12. Joe Fanelli 13. Brian Hirthler 14.Brandon Whitmoyer 15. Mike Lisowski 16. Steve Young 17. Jamie Undercoffler 18. Erik Renninger 19. Scott Davis Jr. 20. Chuck Miller 21. Jordan Henn 22. Joe Funk 23. Brett Kressley 24. Steve Searock