WARREN AND DEAN STOUDT WIN FEATURES, SWINEHART AND SCHUTZ GRAB NASCAR TITLES AT GRANDVIEW SPEEDWAY, FREEDOM 76 NEXT Bechtelsville, PA September 5, 1998 . . . "It has been a few years," was the response from Smokey Warren, while standing in...
WARREN AND DEAN STOUDT WIN FEATURES, SWINEHART AND SCHUTZ GRAB NASCAR TITLES AT GRANDVIEW SPEEDWAY, FREEDOM 76 NEXT
Bechtelsville, PA September 5, 1998 . . . "It has been a few years," was the response from Smokey Warren, while standing in victory lane on Saturday night after winning the Harry's U Pull-It Auto Parts 30-lap NASCAR Modified feature race at Grandview Speedway. Warren was responding to a question from track announcer, Ernie Saxton, asking how long it had been since he had last won at Grandview Speedway? A review of the record books showed that it was more than a few years, it had been more than 10 years since he had last won a modified stock car race at the Berks County oval ( July 16,1988).
Dean Stoudt, winner of the 20-lap NASCAR Late Model feature race, was a regular visitor to victory lane at Grandview Speedway this season. His Saturday victory, unofficially giving him second in the final standings for the second straight year, was his fourth of the season. "We'll be back to win the championship next season," said Stoudt who has been a multi time late model champion at the one-third- mile, banked clay track.
By virtue of running in the NASCAR Modified feature, even though challenger Terry Meitzler finished second, Ray Swinehart was able to win the 1998 NASCAR Winston Racing Series Modified championship at Grandview Speedway. "I knew if I kept him (Meitzler) in my sights I could win the title. I was concerned when we were involved in the first lap accident ( a multi car accident that eliminated several racers ) but even with the sheet metal damage the car ran well. Mike Kelly (car owner) and the crew gave me a great car to run all season," said Swinehart. In addition to the point fund money Swinehart and his wife will go on a nine day-eight night trip to Maui courtesy of Grandview Speedway management. Car owner Kelly, a former driver and champion, said, "This championship means just as much to me as a car owner as it did as a driver. Maybe even more."
And Chuck Schutz did not win the NASCAR Late Model feature but he managed to stay within shouting distance of Dean Stoudt, coming home sixth to Stoudt's first, to win his first late model title. "It was my crew, they worked so hard all season. My sponsors were so supportive. Grandview Speedway always provided us with a good track to run on. That is how we won the championship," said the Pottstown racer in victory lane. Schutz also announced that he would not defend his title choosing to go NASCAR modified racing in 1999 at Grandview.
The 30-lap feature for NASCAR modifieds saw Dennis Fisher take the early lead, miss a multi car accident on the first lap, and set the pace for the first ten laps. On the 11th lap Smokey Warren put the Cheer's Tavern entry in front of the pack after starting fifth. Once in front Warren dominated the action but was kept busy from time-to-time as Terry Meitzler, trying to grab the track title, ran side-by-side with him. Warren held the upper hand for the balance of the feature race with Meitzler able to hold on to second. The Jonestown, PA racer was several car lengths in front of Meitzler at the finish.
Third spot in the 30-lap chase went to Glenn Strunk (Bechtelsville) giving him, unofficially, third in the final point standings. Swinehart (Bechtelsville) got fourth and Jon Kellner ( Lansdale ) finished fifth.
In the late model feature, 20 laps, Roger Decker was in front at the start. Mark "The Baker" Kropp took the top spot before the first lap was complete and was in front until the fifth lap. John Durling, an early season feature winner, went to the front with the Golden Chevrolet entry, on the sixth lap and looked as if he was on his way to a second win on the season. Dean Stoudt came up to put some strong challenges but Durling seemed capable of rebuffing all of Stoudt's efforts. With just one lap to go Durling, later saying he had "brain fade", spun in turn three giving the lead and the victory to Dean Stoudt. It was the fourth win of the season for East Greenville racer. Second spot went to Mark "The Baker" Kropp (Reading), followed by Jeff Teets (Coplay), Lou Egrie (Philadelphia) and Rick Todorow (Quakertown).
Qualifying heats for the NASCAR Modifieds went to Jeff Strunk, Kevin Hartnett, Ray Swinehart, Glenn Owens and Dennis Fisher. Consolation race wins were earned by Chip Slocum, Terry Meitzler and Shawn Reimert. The Automotive Machining Services Cash Dash, worth $345, was won by Kevin Hartnett. In late model qualifying events the wins went to Randy Stoudt, Bill Henning and Roger Decker. The consolation race went to John Giesler.
HARRY'S U PULL-IT AUTO PARTS NASCAR WINSTON RACING SERIES 30- LAP MODIFIED STOCK CAR FEATURE:Smokey Warren, Terry Meitzler, Glenn Strunk, Ray Swinehart, Jon Kellner, Doug Pannepacker, Sam Martz, Kerry Kratz, Dennis Fisher, Cliff Quinn, Kevin Hartnett, Ken Lindaberry, Jack Hartnett, Todd Marburger, Chuck Schutz, Glenn Owens, Jeff Strunk, Kenny Gilmore, Dennis Bailey, John Willman (20 top finishers).
HARRY'S U PULL-IT AUTO PARTS NASCAR WINSTON SHORTRACK RACING SERIES 20-LAP LATE MODEL FEATURE RACE: Dean Stoudt, Mark Kropp, Jeff Teets, Lou Egrie, Rick Todorow, Chuck Schutz, Kyle Pensinger, Chuck Sennott, Terry Snyder, Ron Chrisman, John Giesler, Randy Stoudt, Mike Bedell, Bill Henning, Ed Hoffman, Buddy Wharton, Mike Erb, Doug Walton, Rick Huber, Dave Conover (20 top finishers).
The Grand-Daddy of major area modified stock car racing events will be presented at Grandview Speedway on Saturday, September 12. More than $50,000 in prize money is posted with $20,000 going to the winner of the Schaeffer's Family Restaurant Freedom 76 Modified Classic. There will be qualifying heats, consolation events, the Jesse Baro Inc. Cash Dash, the BLC Motorsports Minuteman 20, topped by the Freedom 76 starting 40 cars. Racing will start at 7 p.m. Admission for adults is $20.00, youngsters 6 thru 11 pay $5.00 and under 6 is free.
At 3 p.m. on Saturday, on the speedway grounds, there will be autograph sessions, driver interviews with announcer Ernie Saxton, race car displays, music and more.
Thursday, September 10, 8:30 a.m. will find many of the racers running in the Freedom 76 taking part in the Schaeffer's Family Restaurant Freedom 76 Golf Tournament at the Gilbertsville, PA Golf Club.
Grandview Speedway is located on Passmore Road, just off Route 100, in Bechtelsville, PA, 10 miles north of Pottstown. Telephone (610)754.7688 or visit the web site at www.grandviewspeedway.com.
PIT NOTES: Kay Moore of Limerick, PA won the Champion's Trip to Maui for two by having her raffle ticket drawn from 110 by NASCAR Modified champion Ray Swinehart. She and a quest will travel with the champion on an eight night/nine day trip to Maui, a trip valued at more than $3,200.
Ray Swinehart had secretly made arrangements with Plaza II Travel's Marilyn Saxton, she handles all the Grandview Speedway travel arrangements, to take his wife on the Champion's Trip to Maui even if he did not win the title. Now he has two trips.
Jesse Baro, Inc. of Douglassville, PA, a bulk hauling company covering nine Eastern states, will be the sponsor of the Cash Dash as part of Schaeffer's Family Restaurant Night.
Gates will open for fans to enter the speedway grounds on Saturday, September 12, at 1 p.m.
A Racer's Flea Market is planned for the Grandview Speedway grounds on October 31. For information telephone Joanne at 610.683.3075.