RPW Column: Grandview Speedway’s 60th Season Opens With Stellar Practice Saturday

Column By: TOM WENNER / RPW – BECHTELSVILLE, PA – Grandview Speedway started its 60th season of operation Saturday and the track was truly blessed with a packed pit area of eager racers looking for that valuable track time.

As fans and drivers entered the track for the first time in 2022 they were treated to some special off-season improvements that will no doubt make the 60th season of racing a special year.

While the published LED lighting was not in use today, you can certainly see that the track will be lit up very well come next Saturday’s Bruce Rogers Memorial.

Grandview also made some improvements to the tracks safety lighting. The LED Whelen Safety Lighting has now be relocated 100% to the inside of the track. All of the old traffic signals & safety lights are gone and the new Whelen Safety Lighting will now show Green-Yellow-Red in LED format from the inside of the speedway. This improvement will be well received by all competitors who race at the Hill in 2022.

Another improvement made over the winter was that all electrical and power lines that ran over the track have been removed. The electrical lines and conduit are now underground and have improved sight lines all around the speedway.

The weather today was a mixed bag that saw every season in a 4 hour period. At times we saw Sun, Wind, Rain delayed activities for an hour and we even saw some snowflakes. The Grandview Speedway track crew deserves a high five as the track was in outstanding shape for the day long practice session.

It was smooth and racey early in the day and once the rain started the officials quickly had the drivers seal it over. After the quick rain shower, A short run-in session brought it back and drivers were treated with plenty of track time for the balance of the day.

84 drivers signed in to take laps on the speedway on Saturday. Grandview Speedway Flagman, Ray Kemp dropped the first green flag around Noon. 40 – 602/Open Sportsman drivers and 30 – Spec 358 Modified drivers were in the pits.

We saw a combination of USAC East Coast Sprints, Late Models, Excel 600 Mods, MASS 305 Sprints, Speedstrs, Vintage Modifieds and 4 Cylinders all making laps on the speedway.

Some of the driver in attendance on Saturday in the 358 Spec Modified division: Timmy Buckwalter, Loudon Reimert, Duane Howard, Kevin Hirthler, Brian Hirthler, Justin Grim, Brad Grim, Ray Swinehart, Ron Kline, Jesse Leiby, Doug Manmiller, Nate Brinker, Jared Umbenhauer, Mike Lisowski, Caroll Hines, Mike Laise, Dylan Swinehart, Mark Van Horst, Ryan Grim, Brett Gilmore, Cory Merkel, Ryan Beltz, John Willman, BJ Joly, Bobby G. Walsh, Danny Snyder and more.

USAC East Coast Sprint Cars taking laps were Christian Bruno, Dylan Hoch with 2 cars and Stan Ploski III.

Some of the fast timers in the practice sessions were: Bryan Rhodes 922, Decker Swinehart 83, Duane Howard 15g, Mike Lisowski 15, Ron Kline 3, Kenny Bock 6, Timmy Buckwalter 23, Mark Kemmerer F10, Mike Schneck 2, Dakota Kohler 59, Brian Hirther 4*, and Jimmy Leiby 9L. Duane Howard being the fastest Spec 358 Modified driver at 14.324. Decker Swinehart was the fastest Sportsman driver at 15.382.

The pit area was jam packed with crews working on cars all day. Some faces seen in the crowd – Slingshot By Tobias Champ Dave Carraghan, USAC East Coast driver Briggs Danner, and Modified Ace Alex Yankowski.

Louden Reimert was practicing 2 358 Spec Modified cars on Saturday. 1 Sail Panel Modified car is destined for New Egypt Speedway Saturday duty. The other 358 Mod is slated for Big Diamond Speedway weekly duty. Loudon has a strong ’22 planned with weekly Action Track USA racing in the Speedstr and a 600 Wingless Micro Sprint. The young Oley driver has a schedule hitting 100 races in ’22.

We had several ladies taking laps at Grandview today. Kaitlyn Bailey graduating from quarter midget competition was taking practice laps in her Sportsman Bicknell #10. Adrianna Delliponte6 was behind the wheel of the Gilmore Sportsman #7 and was clicking off some quick laps in practice. Adrianna had a great season in ’21 steering the Hirthler 117 backup Sportsman car. Lastly, Later in the day Danica Getz was taking laps in the Duane Howard 15g 358 Modified during practice.

Dylan Hoch had 2 USAC East Coast Sprinters on hand to shake down. Hoch is chasing the USAC East Coast Tour this season behind the wheel of a Thomas Racing 360 Wingless Sprint Car. The team had a #7 and #35 on hand. Hoch still has his Grandview Speedway Sportsman Car and will make trips to Grandview when his schedule allows.

All of the focus now turns to the VP Racing Fuels Bruce Rogers Memorial Money Maker on Saturday, April 2, 2022

This Bruce Rogers Memorial event is open to both Big and Small Block Modified competitors. To celebrate the track’s 60th season of racing, the race will now be run over the distance of 60-laps, paying the winner a cool $10,060 to win. Not only will the winner be rewarded handsomely, but the race will pay $1060 just to qualify and take the green flag in the main event. The feature race winner will also become a guaranteed starter for the September 17 Freedom 76.

The feature event will qualify 24 cars to start. There will be no provisional or guaranteed starters added of any kind. Heat races will be lined up by a straight draw, consolation qualifiers will follow to set the field for the 60-lap championship feature.

This event is a non-point race, no pit license is required. There is no entry fee, however drivers are encouraged to pre-enter by calling or texting 484.256.4375, providing driver’s name, contact information and phone number.

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