Column By: TOM WENNER / RPW – BECHTELSVILLE, PA – Kevin Hirthler scored his first career 602 Crate Sportsman win at Grandview Speedway on Saturday night.
By doing so – it created a Hirthler Brothers sweep on the night.
His brother, Brian, won the Open Sportsman Feature. Kevin ran 7th in the Spec 358 Modified feature. Once done, he hopped into his son Jesse’s Sportsman that had a new 602 Crate installed and cruised to the feature win.
Kevin Hirthler and Dylan Swinehart led the 24 car field down to the green flag. Dylan Swinehart was piloting the Logan Bauman 602 Crate Sportsman and powered into the lead. Kevin Hirthler followed with Jimmy Leiby, Nate Brinker, Joey Vaccaro, Dakota Kohler and Brad Grim in tow.
As the field approached 3 down, Kevin Hirthler was challenging Dylan Swinehart for the lead and they were side by side.
On lap 5 the caution lights are displayed for the 64 of Jon Josko who is spun in turns 3 & 4. Doug Snyder 27 pulled off as well.
Dylan Swinehart remained the leader, Hirthler, Leiby, Brinker, and Grim were the Top 5. Snyder returned to action.
When the green flag was dropped Kevin Hirthler powered into the lead.
At the 10 down mark Hirthler was continuing to lead and starting to open up his space from Swinehart in 2nd. Zach Steffy retired from the event
At the halfway mark Kevin Hirthler was in total control of the race, piloting Jesse’s 602 Crate to commanding lead. Swinehart remained 2nd , Jimmy Leiby 3rd, Brad Grim in the 611 was 3rd, Nate Brinker 4th, Dakota Kohler 5th.
At the 20 down Kevin Hirthler was well into lap traffic and starting to put a hurting on the 602 field. Lap 24 Tyler Peet retired from the event.
Kevin Hirthler easily secured the 602 Crate Sportsman win, Dylan Swinehart brought home the Bauman 14 in 2nd, Jimmy Leiby 3rd, Brad Grim in the Peters 611 4th, Nate Brinker 5th, Dakota Kohler 6th, Joey Vaccaro 7th, Logan Bauman 8th Jordan Henn 9th from 19th starting position, and Dylan Hoch 10th from 16th starting position. Hoch was the 602 Crate Point Leader.
Kevin Hirthler scored the Dan’s Deli halfway award for the crew. Kevin mentioned in victory lane that this will be the only time all year that he runs the 602, It was to help get Jesse some information to help him improve his Sportsman racing in ‘22.
The test and tune session was definitely successful for sure. Kevin noted that Jesse is doing very well keeping the car straight and bringing it home in 1 piece each week.
Hirthler had a strong night running 7th and winning the Crate 602 event and has his eyes on more.