Craig Von Dohren Grabs Third Win Of 2022 Season Saturday At Grandview Speedway

Story By: JEFFREY AHLUM / GRANDVIEW SPEEDWAY – BECHTELSVILLE, PA – Craig Von Dohren of Oley, Pa. was able to use some key late race restarts to his advantage to secure the lead from a strong running Brett Gilmore of Kutztown, Pa., then outrun Brett Kressley of Orefield Pa. in the final laps to score his third point race victory of the season in the 30-lap T.P. Trailer NASCAR Modified feature Saturday night at Grandview Speedway.

In the T.P. Truck Equipment NASCAR Sportsman 25-lap feature event, Brian Hirthler of Green Lane, Pa. was scored the leader of the feature on lap 23, when a caution came out with just two laps remaining, interrupting the great battle between himself and then race leader Kyle Smith of Fleetwood, Pa. to score his second victory of the season.

Both winners received bonus money from T.P. Trailers and Truck Equipment ($300-Modified, $200-Sportsman) provided they had the proper decals on their cars. The night’s racing program was part of the NASCAR Advance Auto Parts Weekly Racing Series.

The 602 Crate Sportsman mini-series ran race number two this season, and Kevin Hirthler of Boyertown, Pa. was able to grab the lead on a lap 5 restart from Dylan Swinehart of Fleetwood, Pa. to score the win.

The T.P. Trailer Modified feature began with Brett Gilmore taking command as soon as Starter Ray Kemp displayed the opening green flag. The yellow quickly appeared on lap one as Cory Merkel of Bally, Pa. was spun in turn one of lap one.

Following the restart, Gilmore led followed by Craig Whitmoyer of Hamburg, Pa. and a good battle for position behind them between Kevin Graver Jr. of Lehighton, Pa., Brad Grim of Coplay, Pa. and Doug Manmiller of Shoemakersville, Pa., who had quickly advanced into the top five from his 12th starting position.

A good stretch of green flag action followed, with Gilmore and Whitmoyer pulling away from the rest of the field to nearly a straightaway advantage. While this was happening, a great battle developed for third, as Manmiller was soon joined by Von Dohren who was slicing his way through the field from his 15th starting spot, along with Brett Kressley from 13th starting position.

A caution on lap seventeen for a stopped Brad Grim set the stage for Von Dohren’s late moves. On the restart he was in fourth, but with leader Gilmore picking the top lane for the restart, he was able to sweep around Manmiller into third, and by the next set of turns, slide by Whitmoyer and into second before another caution on lap 20 for a slowing Frank Cozze of Wind Gap, Pa.

On this restart, Gilmore slid high going into turn one, giving Von Dohren all the opportunity he needed to grab the lead. Kressley quickly followed into second and the chase was on. In the final laps, the leaders caught lapped traffic giving Kressley a couple of chances at Von Dohren when he was blocked by two-wide lapped cars, but Von Dohren made the moves he needed to just stay one step ahead of Kressley and score a very close victory in the end.

Von Dohren and Kressley were chased to the finish by Gilmore who had a great night after early season struggles, Manmiller and Duane Howard of Oley, Pa. who rallied for a late race fifth after starting in 26th position. The remainder of the top ten were Whitmoyer, Kevin Hirthler, Steve Swinehart of Perkiomenville, Pa., Graver Jr. and Dan Waisempacher of Springtown, Pa. who also had a solid night.

Qualifying heats for the 39 cars on hand were won by Von Dohren, Gilmore, Kressley and Steve Swinehart. Two consolations were won by Jeff Strunk of Boyertown, Pa. and Mike Lisowski of Minersville, Pa.

Wayne Rotenberger of Ringing Hill, Pa. was the early leader of the T.P. Truck Equipment Sportsman main event. An early mover in this feature was Cole Stangle of Neshanic Station, NJ. as he was quickly charging through the field mostly on the outside lane from his eleventh starting spot.

Stangle was up to third by lap five and moved by Rotenberger with a low groove move off turn four on lap eight to secure the lead. While this was happening, Kyle Smith was also on the move on the high lane advancing toward the front. Smith used the top to get by a three-car battle for position between Mike Stofflet of Mertztown, Pa, Joey Vaccaro of Reading, Pa. and Nathan Mohr of Reading, Pa. to arrive in fourth by lap ten and second a lap later.

The first caution of the race occurred on lap 13. In the five laps before the caution, Hirthler, who was bottled up in traffic early, got untracked and started passing cars in bunches. Hirthler was ninth on lap nine, fifth by lap eleven, and arrived in third just as the caution came out on lap 13.

Stangle held the lead on the restart before another yellow one lap later for Rotenberger, who stopped with mechanical problems. On this next restart, Smith was able to take the lead away from Stangle, and Hirthler quickly moved by Stangle for second one lap later.

The race was then on for the top spot, as Hirthler chased Smith in a real battle for the lead. As they reached lapped traffic, Smith was really being pressured by Hirthler, but was able to make the right moves to just hold onto the lead. As the pair raced down the front straight on lap 23, Hirthler was ahead by a wheel, but got stuck behind lapped cars entering the turn, which would have allowed Smith to retake to top spot, but a yellow for a stopped Adrianna Delliponti of Norristown, Pa. on lap 23 gave Hirthler the lead, as he was scored ahead at the line on the 23rd lap.

Hirthler ran the final two laps to his second win of the season and 14th of his career, followed by Smith, Stangle, Dylan Hoch of Mertztown, Pa. with another late race charge from 21st spot to fourth and Stofflet with his best finish in fifth.

Completing the top ten were Jimmy Leiby of West Milford, NJ who started 24th, Ryan Graver of Lehighton, Pa., last week’s winner Lex Shive of Pennsburg, Pa., Vaccaro and Logan Bauman of Boyertown, Pa.

Qualifying heat races for the 33 cars on hand were won by Rotenberger, John Leiby of West Milford, NJ and Stofflet. The consolation was won by Mike Myers of Alburtis, Pa.

The 602 Sportsman feature saw Kevin Hirthler start on the pole after winning the first heat race, however Dylan Swinehart was able to jump out front and lead the first five circuits. Hirthler was able to take the lead on a lap five restart and never look back.

For a short time following the restart, Hirthler, Swinehart, Jimmy Leiby, Brad Grim, Nate Brinker of Macungie, Pa. and Dakota Kohler of Kutztown, Pa., all battled for the top positions. Slowly as the race stayed green, Hirthler pulled away leaving the battling for positions behind him. Soon Vaccaro, Bauman, Jordan Henn of Kutztown, Pa., Cody Manmiller of Philadelphia, Pa., and Hoch joined the action for the top ten spots.

Hirthler reached lapped traffic by lap sixteen, but never slowed down, and raced on to the win followed by Swinehart, Jimmy Leiby, Brad Grim and Brinker. Completing the top ten were Kohler, Vaccaro, Bauman, Henn and Hoch.

Qualifying heats for the 35 cars entered were won by Kevin Hirthler, Swinehart and Brinker, with the consolation going to Henn.

Racing returns tonight, Sunday, May 29 at Grandview Speedway with the first NAPA Auto Parts Thunder on the Hill racing program featuring the 358 Modifieds in a Tri-Track series special event, the Balls to the Wall 50. The 50-lap event pays $5000 to win, but there is a bonus payout and invert at laps 30 and 40 which should make for some wild action. The All-Pro SpeedSTR’s are also on the card which starts at 7:30 pm. with pit gates opening at 2:30 pm and grandstand gates at 5 pm. Adult grandstand admission is $30, kids ages 6 to 11 are $10, while ages 5 and under are free. Pit admission is $40, and a license is not required.

Next weekend the T.P. Trailer NASCAR Modifieds and T.P. Truck Equipment NASCAR Sportsman will be competing in a two-division program on Saturday, June 4 starting at 7:30 pm. The program will include qualifying events for both divisions leading to the 30-lap T.P. Trailer Modified feature and the 25-lap T.P. Truck Equipment Sportsman main event. Pit gates will open at 4 pm. with grandstand gates opening at 5:30 pm. and warm-ups starting at 6:30 pm. Adult grandstand admission is $18, while children under age 12 are admitted free of charge.

The following Saturday, June 11 will feature the return of the 602 Sportsman mini-series for race number three, joining the T.P. Trailer Modifieds and T.P. Truck Equipment Sportsman for another triple-header program. It will be DEKA Batteries recruiting night, and they will be sponsoring the Modified qualifying heat races starting at 7:30 pm.

T.P. TRAILER NASCAR MODIFIED FEATURE FINISH (30 laps): CRAIG VON DOHREN, Brett Kressley, Brett Gilmore, Doug Manmiller, Duane Howard, Craig Whitmoyer, Kevin Hirthler, Steve Swinehart, Kevin Graver Jr., Dan Waisempacher, Kyle Lilick, Jeff Strunk, Brad Arnold, Tim Buckwalter, Jesse Leiby, Dave Dissinger, Justin Grim, Mike Lisowski, Cory Merkel, Carol Hine III, Frank Cozze, Mike Gular, Brad Grim, Dylan Swinehart, Darrin Schuler, Bobby Trapper Jr., Ray Swinehart, Ron Haring Jr., DID NOT START: Jared Umbenhauer

DID NOT QUALIFY: John Willman, Nate Brinker, Brad Brightbill, Jordan Henn, Mike Laise, Tanner Van Doren, Eric Biehn, Mark Kratz, Bobby Gunther-Walsh, Joe Funk

T.P. TRUCK EQUIPMENT NASCAR SPORTSMAN FEATURE FINISH (25 laps): BRIAN HIRTHLER, Kyle Smith, Cole Stangle, Dylan Hoch, Mike Stofflet, Jimmy Leiby, Ryan Graver, Lex Shive, Joey Vaccaro, Logan Bauman, Mike Schneck Jr., Cody Manmiller, Jesse Hirthler, Dakota Kohler, Nathan Mohr, Josh Adams, Decker Swinehart, Zach Steffy, Parker Guldin, Colton Perry, John Leiby, Adrianna Delliponte, Anthony Raisner, Wayne Rotenberger, Jesse Landis, Mike Myers

DID NOT QUALIFY: Kyle Hartzell, Tyler James, Matt Clay, Mike Faust Jr., Zane Roth, Mark Gaugler, Nathan Horn

602 CRATE SPORTSMAN FEATURE FINISH (25 laps): KEVIN HIRTHLER, Dylan Swinehart, Jimmy Leiby, Brad Grim, Nate Brinker, Dakota Kohler, Joey Vaccaro, Logan Bauman, Jordan Henn, Dylan Hoch, Keith Brightbill, Cody Manmiller, Steve Young, Tyler James, Ryan Graver, Jon Josko, Anthony Raisner, Michael Burrows, Doug Snyder, Beau Drobot, Zane Roth, Tyler Peet, Zach Steffy, Jesse Landis

DID NOT QUALIFY: Nathan Horn, Decker Swinehart, Mark Mohr, Brian Hirthler, Shon Elk, Talan Carter, Parker Guldin, Jesse Hirthler, Wayne Rotenberger, Josh Adams, John Leiby

 
 
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