Column By: TOM WENNER / RPW – BECHTELSVILLE, PA – Brett “The Threat” Kressley pulled a page out of the legendary Fast Freddie Rahmer book and scored his 18th career win on Saturday Night at Grandview Speedway.
Kressley had been dominating the feature after taking the lead at lap 10 and at one point was a full half a track ahead of the field and not looking back. Brett was cruising through lap traffic like a knife slicing through butter, as he lapped up to the 16th place runner when the caution lights were turned on with 3 to go.
This set the stage for an epic ending to the 30 Lap Grandview Speedway feature as Craig Von Dohren was now in 2nd place and looking for his 3rd Grandview Speedway modified win in a row, including a back to back nights after winning at Big Diamond Speedway the night prior.
When the green flag dropped, Von Dohren got the better start and drove off with the lead. Once the tires on the Kressley’s Auto & Trucks Sales 19k got warm, Brett ran him down and CVD and Kressley raced side by side for the Grandview Speedway win.
Kressley made a strong top to bottom move around the Von Dohren Brueche & Sons #30 to steal the victory.
Grandview Speedway is known for producing some of the best short track racing in the country and Saturday night was another example of why the “Hill” is so popular with fans. Brett Kressley, Craig Von Dohren battling for the win.
Doug Manmiller, Timmy Buckwalter and Duane Howard right there in the top 5. Some of the best Spec 358 modified wheel twisters in the country battling for the race win. You could hear the fans cheering over the motors on Saturday night.
At the drop of the green for the T.P. Trailers / NASCAR 30 Lap main event fan favorite Bobby Gunther-Walsh took command of the race. The caution lights quickly came on as the field was unable to get through a lap without issue. Eric Biehn, Mike Laise and Ron Haring Jr. were sitting in turns 3 & 4.
Jeff Strunk and Jesse Leiby exited the speedway for the pits during this caution. Strunk, Leiby, Haring and Biehn returned to action.
The field was reset and a complete restart was in order. Bobby Gunther-Walsh took command a 2nd time on the restart and led until a lap 3 caution flag for Mark Kratz 88. Gunther-Walsh was the leader with Dissinger in the 88 running strongly in 2nd, Graver 7a in 3rd, Timmy Buckwalter 23x was flying to the front, Von Dohren 30 4th and Brett Kressley 19k 5th.
The field goes back to green and on lap 4, Brett Kressley goes to the top of the speedway and moves into 4th as Bobby Gunther-Walsh takes the RES-Q #65 to the lead.
Laps are now clicking off at a fast pace as Dave Dissinger #88 drives by Gunther-Walsh for the lead on lap 7 in his Oak Hill Farms #88 Bicknell. Brett Kressley was in 2nd and coming to the front of the pack, Walsh 3rd, Graver 4th, Von Dohren 5th.
On Lap 10, Kressley took the Northern Valley Erectors 19k to the lead with a strong pass of Dissinger. Von Dohren had now moved in the 3rd, Walsh was in 4th, and Timmy Buckwalter rounded out the top 5. Kevin Hirthler pulled the 117 to the infield on lap 10.
The race was clean and green and Brett Kressley was ripping the top of the speedway a quick pace. With 15 down Kressley had a full straightaway lead and Dissinger remained in 2nd place, Von Dohren was 3rd, Buckwalter 4th, and Doug Manmiller moved to 5th.
As the field clicked off the 20th lap of the race, Kressley was well into lap traffic and cruising around the top lapping cars. Von Dohren had now secured 2nd but needed a caution flag for any shot at Kressley over the final 10 laps of the race. Dissinger was 3rd running a career best in the Oak Hill Farms Bicknell 88. Timmy Buckwalter 23x 4th and Doug Manmiller 44 -5th. Jordan Henn pulled the 77 to the infield.
On lap 24 the caution lights were turned on for Jeff Strunk as he slowed. Craig Whitmoyer and Nate Brinker pulled to the infield. This caution erased the Kressley lead and bunched the field and setting up a 6 lap dash to the checkered. The running order was Kressley, CVD, Dissinger, Buckwalter, Manmiller, Umbenhauer, Howard, Lisowski, Gunther-Walsh, and Ryan Grim who was running the Ron Haring Jr. 85T back up car.
At the drop of the green Craig Von Dohren took command of the race and stole the lead from Kressley. Kressley fell into 2nd a few cars back. Once the tires heated up on the Kressley Auto & Truck Sales 19k, Kressley ran down Von Dohren and the Grandview Speedway 358 Modified began a side by side epic race for the win. On Lap 27 Kressley used a top to bottom lane crossover move to drive by Von Dohren for the lead.
A lap later with Kressley strongly out front in the lead the Von Dohren KL Harring Transportation Bicknell #30 started to fade as it was evident that a tire was going down in the left rear. Craig did an amazing job keeping the #30 moving and at a slow pace.
Brett Kressley cruised over the final 3 laps of the race to score his 18th career Grandview Speedway 358 modified win. Timmy Buckwalter had a great end of the charge to 2nd in the Saxton Motorsports Bicknell 23x, Doug Manmiller in the Miller Bicknell 44 3rd, Duane Howard charged to 4th in the Getz 44 and Dave Dissinger with the Oak Hill Farms 88 was 5th. 6th Mike Lisowski, 7th Jared Umbenhauer, 8th Ryan Grim, 9th Brad Brightbill, 10th Brad Grim.
In victory lane Kressley, who started 14th immediately thanked the Brett Kressley Racing crew for their efforts on getting the 19k fast again. Kressley shared that he felt he was off his game to start the year and mentioned that he was not himself. Tonight proved that Kressley has once again found his groove.
Kressley was not looking for that late race yellow and mentioned that he knew Craig Von Dohren would be tough on that restart. Kressley commented on his move by Von Dohren that may have had some contact “This is Grandview Baby”. Announcer Jeff Ahlum responded, “Yes it is”. It was a classic ending to the night for the Spec 358 Modified A Main.
T.P. TRAILER NASCAR MODIFIED FEATURE FINISH (30 laps): BRETT KRESSLEY, Tim Buckwalter, Doug Manmiller, Duane Howard, Dave Dissinger, Mike Lisowski, Jared Umbenhauer, Ryan Grim, Kevin Graver Jr., Brad Brightbill, Brad Grim, Craig Von Dohren, Justin Grim, Cory Merkel, Jesse Leiby, Ron Haring Jr., Bobby Gunther-Walsh, Steve Swinehart, Jeff Strunk, Craig Whitmoyer, Nate Brinker, Eric Biehn, Jordan Henn, Brett Gilmore, John Willman, Kevin Hirthler, Mark Kratz, Mike Laise