SWINEHART AND SCHUTZ ARE 1998 CHAMPIONS AT GRANDVIEW SPEEDWAY Bechtelsville, PA September 13, 1998 . . . For the second time in his long career Ray Swinehart, a self employed body shop and speed equipment business operator in Bechtelsville, PA...
SWINEHART AND SCHUTZ ARE 1998 CHAMPIONS AT GRANDVIEW SPEEDWAY
Bechtelsville, PA September 13, 1998 . . . For the second time in his long career Ray Swinehart, a self employed body shop and speed equipment business operator in Bechtelsville, PA has won the NASCAR Winston Racing Series Modified stock car driving title at Grandview Speedway. Chuck Schutz of Pottstown, PA has won his first NASCAR Winston ShorTrack Late Model championship.
Swinehart tallied 5,077 points and earned two feature victories in the NASCAR modified season which ran from April through the early part of September at the Berks County oval. One of Swinehart's feature wins included a "dead heat tie" with Randy Bailey that many fans consider the most outstanding stock car feature race of the season.
The chase for the title at the one-third-mile clay oval went down to the final point of the season (September 5) with Terry Meitzler (Kutztown) still with a chance to win the title. In fact Meitzler finished two spots in front of Swinehart in the final feature. Swinehart had enough of a cushion in the standings to win the title by 103 points. Third spot went to Kerry Kratz ( Bechtelsville) who came on strong in the late part of the season to earn 4,684 points. Glenn Strunk (Boyertown) gained fourth in the standings with 4662 points followed by Kevin Hartnett (Perkasie) with 4,215. Hartnett was the only driver in the top five unable to crack victory lane and relied on consistent finishes to gain a top five finish.
There were 15 different feature winners during the modified stock car season with Rick Schaffer (Woxall) and Chip Slocum (Ewing Township, NJ) each getting three feature wins to top the win category.
Swinehart was also able to add $5,000 to his bank account by winning the Dual Track NASCAR Modified Challenge Series championship. The series included modified stock car racing events run at both Big Diamond Raceway (Minersville) and Grandview Speedway. Swinehart earned 10,025 points. Second spot went to Glenn Strunk (Bechtelsville), 9450 points. Dennis Bailey (Kutztown) got third with 9,235 points followed by Shawn Reimert (Oley) and Kevin Hartnett (Perkasie) who tied for fourth with 9,140 counters.
With just one win to his credit and a long string of consistent top five finishes Chuck Schutz was able to grab the NASCAR Winston ShorTrack Late Model Series title, his first. The Pottstown based racer tallied 4,998 points on his way to the championship. Schutz has announced that he will run a full season of NASCAR modified racing in 1999 after having run both divisions in 1998.
Second spot in the late model standings was earned for multi time champion Dean Stoudt (East Greenville), 4934 points. Third spot went to Randy Stoudt (Pottstown) 4.955 tallies followed by 1997 champion Lou Egrie (Philadelphia) 4141 points, and Jeff Teets (Coplay) 4,138 points. Dean Stoudt and Jeff Teets were tops in the feature win department with four wins each.
There were 10 different late model feature winners in 1998.
The champions and other top point chasers and special award winners will be honored at the annual awards dinner- dance at the Gilbertsville Fire Co. Banquet Hall on Saturday, November 21.
The champions will share in a lucrative share of NASCAR point fund and track point fund money. Grandview Speedway is one of the few, perhaps the only, short track operations offering the competitors two separate point funds in each division.
In addition Ray Swinehart, and his wife Laurie, will be the guests of Grandview Speedway owners, Bruce and Theresa Rogers, on the champion's trip to Maui. A nine day, eight night trip valued at more than $3,200 will be enjoyed by 52 people including the Swineharts. Interesting to note is the fact that Swinehart had planned to take his wife on the trip, a suprise vacation, even if they had not won the championship.
Grandview Speedway will close out their 1998 season with two more dates of racing. Open competition 358 modifieds, late models and PA sportsman will be featured at 5 p.m. on Saturday, September 19 and 26th. The season finale on September 26 with be Family Night with youngsters under 12 admitted free.
Fans wishing to purchase a copy of the Grandview Speedway Freedom 76/Yearbook may send $7.50 to Ernie Saxton Communications, Inc., 1448 Hollywood Avenue, Langhorne, PA 19047-7417. The book is 60 pages thick and includes some color photography, a load of black and white photographs, stories on the champions, season recaps and a history of Grandview Speedway along with statistics and point standings on the 1998 season.
NASCAR WINSTON RACING SERIES MODIFIED FINAL STANDINGS 1. Ray Swinehart, Bechtelsville, 5077 points, two wins 2. Terry Meitzler, Kutztown, 4,974 points, two wins 3. Kerry Kratz, Bechtelsville, 4,684 points, one win 4. Glenn Strunk, Bechtelsville, 4,662, one win 5. Kevin Hartnett, Perkasie, 4,215, no wins 6. Jon Kellner, Lansdale, 4,156, no wins 7. Rick Schaffer, Woxall, 4,135, three wins 8. Kenny Gilmore, Fleetwood, 3,765, no wins 9. Donny Erb, Douglassville, 3,743, no wins 10.Chip Slocum, Ewing Township, NJ, 3,676, three wins
NASCAR WINSTON SHORTRACK LATE MODEL FINAL STANDINGS 1. Chuck Schutz, Pottstown, 4,998, one win 2. Dean Stoudt, East Greenville, 4,934, four wins 3. Randy Stoudt, Pottstown, 4,855, three wins 4. Lou Egrie, Philadelphia, 4,141, no wins 5. Jeff Teets, Coplay, 4,139, four wins 6. John Giesler, Aston, 4,109, one win 7. Rick Todorow, Quakertown, 4,034, one win 8. John Durling, Reading, 3,981, one win 9. Doug Walton, Royersford, 3,956, no wins 10.Terry Snyder, Green Lane, 3,950, one win
NASCAR DUAL TRACK MODIFIED CHALLENGE SERIES (Includes Grandview and Big Diamond Raceway) 1. Ray Swinehart, 10,025 2. Glenn Strunk, 9,450 3. Dennis Bailey, Kutztown, 9,235 4. Shawn Reimert, Oley Kevin Hartnett, Perkasie -- 9,140 (tie) 6. Randy Bailey, Kutztown, 9,000 7. Smokey Warren, Jonestown, 8,505 8. Tom Mayberry, Sellersville, 8,300 9. Mike Bailey, Kutztown, 7575 10.Dennis Fisher, Pottstown, 7,370 11.John Willman, Zionsville, 7,315 12.Mark Stofflet, Pottstown, 5,450 13.Jason Smythe, Oley, 5,135 14.Terry Reimert, Oley, 4,995 15.Floyd Bobst, Weissport, 3,750
These drivers reached the requirements to qualify for the Dual Track point fund money posted by Big Diamond and Grandview Speedway track management. Each driver had to run a set amount of races at each track in order to be eligible for the point fund money to be paid out later in the year.