BECHTELSVILLE, PA November 30, 2002 . . . For the second time in his career Jeff Strunk was able to earn the NASCAR Weekly Series presented by Dodge Modifed championship at Grandview Speedway. And it was a second title for Lou Egrie in the NASCAR ShorTrack Late Models.
Strunk, a veteran race driver, one of the rare breed that makes his living racing on the local short tracks, tallied up just two main event victories on his way to the title. The Bethel, PA racer wheeled the Keith Harring owned #W9 Cummins/THProperties sponsored entry and was able to rack up 4982 points on his way to the championship. He also was the track champion in 2000.
Egrie, who now makes his home in Willow Grove, PA, drove the Frank and Doris McCarthy owned #X4 entry, sponsored by Philadelphia Racing Engines and Barney's Auto Parts, to two feature victories. The biggest win came in the prestigious Chuck Sennott Memorial event. Egrie, who also won the title in 1997, tallied 4874 points in garnering the championship.
Both Strunk and Egrie have plans to return to the NASCAR sanctioned Grandview Speedway in 2003 to defend their titles. Egrie will return with the same team while Strunk and car owner Keith Harring have dissolved their team and the 2002 champion is presently looking for a competitive ride. Strunk has indicated that if he can not find a suitable ride he would consider putting his own team together to run at Grandview Speedway.
Doug Manmiller, second in the chase of the Modified championship, will return to action at Grandview Speedway as will third through fifth place finishers Craig VonDohren, Meme DeSantis and Kenny Gilmore.
Interesting to note that Gilmore was the only modified racer to be able to qualify for every feature race at Grandview Speedway during the 2002 season. He will be driving Freddy Hamm's #45 Modified during the new season.
Second the Late Model point chase was Chuck Schutz and he will return looking to earn his second title. Schutz's current plans are also to run a limited schedule of modified events. Third through fifth place finishers in the point battle, Randy Stoudt, Jason Miller and Dean Stoudt, all have plans to return to Grandview Speedway for a full season of late model racing.
Former champion John Durling will be running a full schedule of late model events in the Bill Wharton owned #7 Late Model entry. And he is also planning a limited schedule of events in a Rod Breitenstein owned Modified as a teammate to Keith Brightbill.
Meme DeSantis, the Temple, PA Tornado, was the top feature winner in the modifieds with six main events in NASCAR point competition. Randy Stoudt, who did double duty running the modifieds and late models, was able to win seven late model features that counted toward the point championship. Rick Schaffer with his one feature win during the season is back on top as the all time leading modified feature winner with 48 victories. Jon Kellner is still the leading late model feature winner with 57 victories. Kellner is now a regular in the NASCAR Modified division of competition where he has six career wins and was shut out of victory lane in 2002.
Grandview Speedway management has announced that season will get the green flag on Saturday, March 29th, 12 noon, with a free-to-the-public practice session. This annual tradition gives fans an opportunity to see their favorites testing and tuning their new racing equipment.
And on Saturday, April 5, 6 p.m. the chase for the lucrative NASCAR and Grandview Speedway point fund monies will get started with a doubleheader show of NASCAR Modifieds and ShorTrack Late Models. The opener will be sponsored by the Patriot Bank.
The 2003 schedule of events will be released in time for the annual Motorsports 2003 Show at the Fort Washington, PA Expo Center, January 10-12th. More than 40,000 people are expected to attend the show during the three days.
Information on racing at Grandview Speedway, Bechtelsville, PA (just 4 miles from Boyertown and 10 miles from Pottstown) is available at 610.754.7688 or visit their website at www.grandviewspeedway.com.