GILBERTSVILLE, PA November 18, 2000 . . . With the sold out sign on the entrance door, champions and other outstanding performers were honored at the 38th annual Grandview Speedway NASCAR Weekly Racing Series Awards Banquet this past Saturday. Jeff Strunk of Bethel, PA received the lion's share of awards in recognition of his championship, first time, winning efforts with the NASCAR Modified stock cars while Dean Stoudt of East Greenville, PA was honored as the NASCAR Exide ShorTrack Late Model champion for the fourth time.
In addition Strunk was honored as the champion of the rich Motor Truck Equipment Co. Kenworth Cummins NASCAR PA Modified Series which gives the veteran racer $15,000 out of a total point fund of $40,000 for his winning effort. It is the second year in a row that Strunk has won the title.
Tallying four wins and 4246 points Strunk was able to grab his first championship at the Berks County oval. He also earned the car owner championship for Keith Harring and Harring Motorsports. Strunk and his car owner shared in a lucrative point fund from Grandview Speedway and NASCAR. Dean Stoudt earned his fourth championship while also earning a car owner championship for Kurt Krommes. Amazing was the fact that the team was able to win the title without a win but with consistent top five performances. The team had 4515 counters just nosing out second place Kyle Pensinger (Lyons) by 40 points. The championship was not decided until the final night of racing.
Both champions received, in addition to point fund money, championship rings, jackets, huge trophies along with Bicknell Racing gift certificates from J&L Speed Equipment of Bechtelsville, PA. In addition champion Jeff Strunk and a guest will be part of the Champion's Cruise departing from San Juan, Puerto Rico and visiting four other islands in the Caribbean. More than 40 people, including a number of racers, officials, car owners, etc., will be part of the cruise which is put together by Marilyn Saxton and Plaza II Travel. It is the "original" Champion's Cruise.
The trip for the champion and guest is paid for by Bruce and Theresa Rogers and is an expression of their gratitude to the racers for their support of Grandview Speedway. The trip, valued at more than $3,000, has been part of the champion's awards at Grandview for more than a dozen years.
In winning the Motor Truck Equipment Co. Kenworth Cummins NASCAR Modified Championship Series title, including modified events run at Big Diamond Raceway and Grandview Speedway, Strunk earned 8585 points to top Terry Meitzler of Kutztown, PA who had 8480 tallies. Track announcer and public relations director Ernie Saxton, serving as Master of Ceremonies, introduced dignitaries from Kenworth, Cummins, and Motor Truck Equipment Co.
New this year, the NASCAR Exide ShorTrack Late Model racers shared in a contingency award program put together through the efforts of drivers Jeff Teets and Rick Todorow along with car owner Harry Henning.
Gift certificates and awards were presented to outstanding late model performers from Penn Kleen Ex-Its, MMI Components, A-1 Racing Products, Jones Racing Products, Winters Performance, Philadelphia Racing Engines, Automotive Machining Services, Parson's Enterprises, Henning Motorsports, former late model champion Jeff Teets and Salvage Transport Services. Close to twenty different late model drivers shared in the awards estimated to have a value in excess of $6,000.
The Cheers Tavern Most Popular Driver Awards, by vote of the fans, went to modified racer Jon Kellner and late model racer Rick Todorow.
Two former track champions, Mike Erb and Charlie Gilmore, were inducted into the prestigious Grandview Speedway Walk of Fame. Their stars will hang on the main grandstand along with other past outstanding performers.
Special awards in the Modified division included: Rookie of the Year - Keith Brightbill Most Impressive Newcomer - Meme DeSantis Most Improved Driver - Doug Manmiller Sportsmanship Award - Chip Slocum Hard Luck Award - Shawn Reimert Best Appearing Car - Kevin Hartnett Beat Appearing Crew - Terry/Elton Meitzler Team Special awards in the Exide ShorTrack Late Models included: Rookie of the Year- Bobby Wyatt Most Impressive Newcomer - Bryan Follin Most Improved Driver - Kyle Pensinger Sportsmanship Award - John Durling Hard Luck Award - Jeff Teets Best Appearing Car - Ed Trimbur Best Appearing Crew - Lou Egrie/Frank and Doris McCarthy
Media members in attendance received special recognition along with push and tow truck operators.
Emma Schnable received a special award for track hospitality efforts. Keith Harring, Kenworth, Cummins and Rocket Car Wash were honored for their sponsorship support of Grandview Speedway in the form of sponsorship of events, point awards and other promotional efforts. Glenside Auto Body and Stoudt Auto Sales also received special awards.
NASCAR awards were presented to the top three finishers in Late Models and Modifieds. A NASCAR award also went to Dan Sherman as crew chief for Modified Champion Jeff Strunk. True Value Mechanic of the Year Awards went to Kenn Sandman and Stephen Sennott in the Exide ShorTrack Late Models while Thomas Hartnett earned a True Value Mechanic Award. Dean Stoudt also received an Exide ShorTrack New England Region Award for finishing third in the regional standings. Unfortunately, because of the NASCAR Weekly Racing Series Aawrds Banquet being presented in Orlando, Florida the night before and confusion with airline arrangements, a NASCAR representative was unable to attend.
The top ten finishers in NASCAR Modifieds and Late Models received point fund checks and trophies. Tenth through 20th received trophies. The top five car owners in each division earned trophies and money in each division. Sixth through 10th place finishers earned trophies.
The top fifteen finishers in the Motor Truck Equipment Co. Kenworth Cummins PA NASCAR Modified Championship chase shared in a $40,000 point fund ranging from $15,000 for the champion to $500 for 15th.
Attendees at the banquet, held at the Gilbertsville, PA Fire Co. Social Hall, enjoyed a home style roast beef and ham dinner. After the award ceremonies attendees were able to socialize and dance to the music of Emerald Sound.
The banquet officially closed out the 38th consecutive year of professional stock car racing at Grandview Speedway.
The 2001 season will kick off on Saturday, March 31, 12 noon, with the annual free-to-the-public practice session. And on Saturday, April 7, 5 p.m. the chase for the championship will get the green flag with the NASCAR Modifieds, Exide ShorTrack Late Models and Sportsman racers in action.
New for the 2001 season will be a "two seater" Modified, being created by Ray Swinehart/J&L Speed Equipment. The "ride" with one of the top Grandview racers doing the driving will be awarded to two winners each week during the new season. Sponsorship of the ride is available. Telephone Ernie Saxton for details at 215.752.7797.
<pre> TOP TEN IN NASCAR WEEKLY RACING SERIES MODIFIEDS: 1. Jeff Strunk, Bethel, PA............4246 - 4 wins 2. Terry Meitzler, Kutztown, PA.......4110 - 4 wins 3. Kerry Kratz, Bechtelsville, PA.....3823 - 1 win 4. Tom Mayberry, Sellersville, PA.....3766 - 1 win 5. Chip Slocum, Ewing Township, NJ....3522 6. Doug Manmiller, Sinking Spring, PA.3169 7. Jon Kellner, Lansdale, PA..........3130 - 1 win 8. Glenn Strunk, Bechtelsville, PA....2914 9. Rick Schaffer, Woxall, PA..........2909 - 1 win 10.Ray Swinehart, Bechtelsville, PA...2894
TOP TEN IN NASCAR EXIDE SHORTRACK LATE MODELS: 1. Dean Stoudt, East Greenville, PA...4515 2. Kyle Pensinger, Lyons, PA..........4475 - 2 wins 3. Chuck Sennott, Gilbertsville, PA...4262 - 2 wins 4. Lou Egrie, Philadelphia, PA........4225 - 5. Rick Todorow, Quakertown, PA.......3981 - 1 win 6. Sammy Schlosberg, Green Lane, PA...3979 - 3 wins 7. Ed Trimbur, Zionsville, PA.........3978 - 2 wins 8. John Durling, Reading, PA..........3892 - 3 wins 9. Terry Snyder, East Greenville, PA..3482 - 1 win 10.Casey Ebright, Lansdale, PA........3280
MOTOR TRUCK EQUIPMENT CO. KENWORTH CUMMINS PA NASCAR MODIFIED DUAL TRACK CHAMPIONSHIP 1. Jeff Strunk.................8585 2. Terry Meitzler..............8480 3. MeMe DeSantis...............7855 4. Glenn Strunk................7805 Kerry Kratz.................7805 6. Ray Swinehart...............7780 7. Doug Manmiller..............7590 8. Dennis Bailey...............7225 9. Shawn Reimert...............7190 10.Smokey Warren...............6765 11.Barry Readinger.............6580 12.John Willman................6365 13.Tom Umbenhauer..............5760 14.Jeff Sechrist...............5755 15.Bob Trapper.................5095