Grandview Freedom 76 race notes 2002-09-14

DeSantis rides to rich T.H. Properties Freedom 76 victory. BECHTELSVILLE, PA SEPTEMBER 14, 2002 . . . A two hour rain delay forced Meme DeSantis to wait just a little longer to earn a victory in the T.H.Properties Freedom 76 Modified Classic at...

DeSantis rides to rich T.H. Properties Freedom 76 victory.

BECHTELSVILLE, PA SEPTEMBER 14, 2002 . . . A two hour rain delay forced Meme DeSantis to wait just a little longer to earn a victory in the T.H.Properties Freedom 76 Modified Classic at Grandview Speedway on Saturday night. The win, worth more than $20,000 to the veteran dirt track modified stock car chauffer, was the biggest of his career.

The "Temple Tornado", considered by many to be a favorite to win the classic, wheeled the Norm Hansell owned Berks Packaging/Poppy's Pierogies sponsored #357 to his 12th feature win of the season with seven of those wins coming at Grandview Speedway.

Starting 25th in the 40 car starting field DeSantis worked his way toward the front as Steve Bottcher, Rick Schaffer and Kerry Kratz took turns at leading the 76 lap race. Late in the race DeSantis was able to grab the top spot from Kratz after the two battled, often side-by-side, for several laps.

Once in front DeSantis had his hands full holding off Kratz who kept charging back toward the front spot. However on the 71st circuit of the one-third-mile clay oval Kratz had the engine let go in his Hatfield Quality Meats #87 bringing out the caution and putting him out of the race.

On the restart Terry Meitzler, who had run in the top five much of the night with the Giels Automotive #61, came up to challenge DeSantis. At the finish DeSantis had Meitzler right on his rear bumper as the two came of the fourth turn racing to the checkered flag at the end of the 76 laps of all green flag racing (caution laps were not counted).

The Temple, PA racer gave a great deal of the credit for his win to car owner Norm Hansell who "provided such great racing equipment" and the crew.

Meitzler, a former champion from Kutztown, PA, finished second claiming that he should have made his move earlier and the outcome might have been different. He was disappointed with his second place finish.

Doug Manmiller, who ran with the leaders much of the race, was happy with the third. He was putting pressure on Meitzler for second place at the finish. It was the best Freedom 76 finish for the Sinking Spring racer. Fourth spot went to Oley's Craig VonDohren who had won this same race last year. VonDohren had some early race problems and had to go to the rear of the field with his Mrs T" Pierogies sponsored entry and work his way back to be a contender in the final laps.

Two time track champion Ray Swinehart, Bechtelsville, was able to earn a fifth place finish.

2002 NASCAR Weekly Racing Series Modified track champion Jeff Strunk made a number of visits to the pits after being involved in an early race fracas but was still able to come back and grab an impressive sixth place finish.

Qualifying heat races for the 86 cars that were on hand went to Smokey Warren, Randy Stoudt, Kerry Kratz, Steve Bottcher, Ray Swinehart, Craig Whitmoyer, Shawn Reimert and Ron Seltmann Jr. Consolation race victories were earned by Jon Kellner Jr., Bob Trapper and Randy Bailey.

The $1,000 to win Cheer's Tavern Cash Dash, 10 laps in distance, saw Shawn Reimert hold off a strong challenge from Meme DeSantis to take the victory. Kenny Gilmore was able to earn a spot in the T.H. Properties Freedom 76 by winning the Schaeffer Motorsports Minuteman 20.

Jimmy Horton and Duane Howard were last minute entries in the night's events but were unable to qualify for the main event.

Open competition modified stock car and open competition Late Model stock car racing returns to the Grandview Speedway on Saturdays, September 21 and 28th at 6 p.m. This is an opportunity for the regular competitors to have some fun and test some new ideas and it is an opportunity for visitors, those who do not normally run at Grandview Speedway, to come be back of the racing action. The open competition events always prove to provide some exciting racing action on the one-third-mile, banked clay oval.

For information on the open competition events and other racing at Grandview Speedway telephone 610.754.7688 or visit their website at

Grandview Speedway is located on Passmore Road, just off Route 100, 10 miles north of Pottstown, in Bechtelsville, PA.

SCHAEFFER'S MOTORSPORTS MINUTEMAN 20 (last opportunity to qualify for the Freedom 76, five top finishers went to the 76 lap main event): Kenny Gilmore, Tracy Readinger, Glenn Strunk, Danny Erb and Randy Bailey.

32ND ANNUAL T.H.PROPERTIES FREEDOM 76 MODIFIED CLASSIC ($20,000 TO THE WINNER)..Meme DeSantis, Terry Meitzler, Doug Manmiller, Craig VonDohren, Ray Swinehart, Jeff Strunk, Keith Brightbill, Barry Readinger, Rick Laubach, Jon Kellner, Shawn Reimert, Rick Schaffer, Kenny Gilmore, Randy Stoudt, Tracy Readinger, Danny Erb, Craig Whitmoyer, Jason Andrews, Tom Umbenhauer, Kerry Kratz, Jim Stong, Ryan Beltz, Todd Marburger, Glenn Owens, Glenn Strunk, Warren Kohler, Randy Bailey, Todd Burley, Junior Mikosz, Steve Bottcher, Kevin Hartnett, Kevin Hirthler, Dave Gerhart, Ron Seltmann Jr., Chuck Schutz, Kevin Graver Jr., Tom Mayberry, Donny Erb, Smokey Warren and Ron Solomon Jr.


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Series NASCAR , Stock car