Column By: TOM WENNER / BECHTELSVILLE, PA – Parker Guldin scored his third career Grandview Speedway Sportsman Feature Win on Saturday after a hard fought battle with Kyle Smith.
Guldin, from Fleetwood, PA last won in Open Sportsman competition on August 24, 2019.
The Sportsman feature event had a similar setup to the Spec 358 Modified run right before it. Kyle Smith from Kutztown, PA had a significant lead wiped out by a late race caution that changed the complexion of the race finish.
Parker Guldin powered around Smith on the 7 to go restart to secure his 3rd career win.
At the drop of the T.P. Truck Equipment Sportsman 25 Lap A Main Nathan Horn took the Kressley’s Auto & Truck Sales #211 into the lead, with Josh Adams and Joey Vaccaro following close behind.
Whelen caution lights were flashing on lap 2 for an accident in turns 3 and 4. Zach Steffy, Chris Esposito, Dakota Kohler were involved. Cole Stangle and Mark Gaugler headed to the pits as well. Stangle, Esposito, Steffy and Kohler returned.
After the field was reset and accident cleaned up, The field was given the green lights once again. As the field roared down the backstretch an extensive accident occurred mid-pack involving several cars that saw Jimmy Leiby roll the 9L over 2 to 3 times.
The track was completely blocked as the field caught the caution flag. The drivers involved in this accident included Leiby 9L, Stofflet 38, Swinehart 83, Kohler 59, Esposito 31, Roth 11, Schneck 2, Steffy 47, Joly 924, and Graver 101.
The Decker Swinehart car was severely damaged in the accident and was laid in the infield until the night was over. Thankfully all drivers were okay, Jimmy Leiby fired his car up and drove to the pits. Returning to the speedway were Steffy, Schneck and Leiby. The Sportsman field was now down 16 cars left.
The field went back to green flag racing as Nathan Horn blasted the #211 back into the lead. The Sportsman rookie was showing well for only his 3rd race to date at Grandview. Adams, Vaccaro, Kyle Smith 77 and Mark Kemmerer F10 were in tow.
With 7 on the lap counter Horn continued to set the pace, Dylan Hoch and Brian Hirthler were making runs through the pack as they were shown in 9 & 10 respectfully.
As the field came to score lap 8, Kyle Smith drove to the lead. Horn dropped to 2nd, Adams 3rd, Parker Guldin was a making a run to the front in 4th, Vaccaro in 5th. Cole Stangle pulled off the speedway.
As the field scored Lap 10 Brian Hirthler continued his move to the front by moving into 6th.
Kyle Smith was out front and pulling away with a sizeable lead. Nathan Horn was 2nd, Adams 3rd, Guldin 4th and Vaccaro now 5th, Hirthler 6th and Cody Manmiller 7th.
Kyle Smith stretched his lead to a straightaway by Lap 12, Horn was 2nd with Guldin, Adams, Manmiller, Vaccaro, Hirthler and Hoch in tow.
On Lap 15 with 10 to go, Smith continued his sizeable lead as Parker Guldin moved into 2nd, Horn was back to 3rd, Adams 4th and Brian Hirthler snuck into 5th.
On Lap 18 the yellow lights were turned on for a slowing Mark Kemmerer. The big lead enjoyed by Kyle Smith’s Chris Manwiller Trucking #77 was gone. The field was set with 7 to go and Guldin was 2nd, Horn 3rd, Hirthler 4th, Manmiller 5th, Adams 6th, Hoch 7th, Vaccaro 8th, James 9th
When the green was turned back on, Parker Guldin made the move of the race and stole the lead from Smith. The Berks County neighbors Guldin from Fleetwood, Smith from Kutztown went after it for the Sportsman victory lane. Hirthler was making his move now as he cleared into 3rd, Horn dropped back to 4th, Hoch was 5th, Jimmy Leiby after rolling the Leiby 9L on lap 2 had driven from the back of the field to 6th, Adams 7th and Manmiller 8th.
At the Grandview Starter Ray Kemp 5 to go hand signal Guldin had snuck away from Smith for the lead, Hirthler was in 3rd, Dylan Hoch had moved into 4th, and Jimmy Leiby 5th.
Parker Guldin was not challenged the last 5 laps and scored the popular T.P. Truck Equipment Sportsman Victory. Kyle Smith was 2nd, Brian Hirthler 3rd, Dylan Hoch 4th, Jimmy Leiby from a flip and wheeling a damaged race car was 5th, Cody Manmiller 6th, Nathan Horn with a rookie career best 7th, Josh Adams 8th, Mike Myers 9th, Joey Vaccaro 10th.