Column By: TOM WENNER / RPW – BECHTELSVILLE, PA – Brett Kressley put on a driving clinic on Saturday at the Grandview Speedway scoring his 3rd feature win of the year and 20th career visit to victory lane.
Saturday Night the race fans at the Grandview race track were once again treated to an epic feature event. Kressley marched from his 16th starting spot to take the win while 7-time winner Craig Von Dohren drove from 21st to finish 2nd.
The Brett Kressley Racing Team has done their homework over the winter as “The Threat” is checking off all of the boxes this season at the Grandview Speedway in search of his first GV Modified track championship. On Saturday Night the BKR team unloaded a Red Rocket and immediately showed everyone that Brett was ready to compete with fast time in the practice sessions.
In the heat race on lap 2, Brett hit a rut in the track in turn 1 and bicycled the Kressley’s Auto & Truck Sales Bicknell 19k under green. Kressley then calmed himself and drove from last to the front of the pack scoring a popular heat race win with a white flag lap pass of fast running Brett Gilmore.
In the feature Kressley drove from his 16th starting spot to the lead in 15 laps and once out front, he just drove away from the competition. Craig Von Dohren who was the winner of the consolation race and forced to start 21st on the field drove from 21st to 2nd, Von Dohren hit the 2nd spot with 5 to go but had nothing for the Kressley Morgantini Racing Engines powered Bicknell 19k on this night.
Mark Kratz and Bobby Gunther-Walsh led the 28 car TP Trailers NASCAR Modified field to chief starter Ray Kemp’s green flag. Mark Kratz took the early command with Dylan Swinehart, Walsh, Ray Swinehart and Eric Biehn in tow behind him.
With 3 down Kratz was clicking off laps as the leader. Dylan Swinehart was showing speed in the Dennis Bailey owned 81 in 2nd, Bobby Gunther-Walsh 3rd, Eric Biehn, and Brett Gilmore showing the top 5. Kevin Hirthler was running well driving into the top 10 in 7th early and Brett Kressley was blasting the top early as he was already in 10th.
At the 10 down mark Mark Kratz was maintaining control of the pack. Kratz has led several modified events this season and was once again showing great speed out front early. Dylan Swinehart was within striking distance in 2nd, Gunther-Walsh in 3rd, Biehn 4th, Gilmore 5th, Graver Jr. 6th, Hirthler 7th, Umbenhauer 8th, Brett Kressley 9th
On lap 11 the race saw it’s first caution flag as Eric Biehn, Dylan Swinehart, Kevin Graver Jr., and Brad Grim had an accident and were collected in turns 3 & 4. All of the drivers involved in this accident were running in the top 10 when the accident occurred. Grim, Biehn, Dylan and Ray Swinehart went to the pits. Jared Umbenhauer also went to the pits during this caution.
The field was restacked for the restart as Mark Kratz was your leader, Gunther-Walsh 2nd, Brett Gilmore 3rd, Brett Kressley 4th, Kevin Hirther 5th, Doug Manmiller 6th, Duane Howard 7th, Jeff Strunk 8th, Justin Grim 9th, and Brad Arnold 10th.
The Whelen Green LED Lights were turned back on and Mark Kratz sped to the lead once again, while Brett Kressley moved into 2nd and had his sights set on the lead as the field clicked off lap 12. Doug Manmiller was coming forward and checked into 4th following Kressley to the front. Justin Grim retired to the pits on lap 12.
On lap 13 Craig Von Dohren had drive from 21st starting spot to 7th and was coming forward in a hurried pace. As the field drove under starter Ray Kemp’s half way signal Brett Kressley drove by Mark Kratz for the lead. Kratz 2nd, Gilmore 3rd, Manmiller 4th, and Kevin Hirthler 5th.
On Lap 17 the second caution flag of the night was displayed. Carroll Hines III, Cory Merkel, and Brad Grim had spun together in Turn 1. John Willman retired from the event. Brad Grim also retired. Merkel and Hines III rejoined the rear. Brett Kressley was your leader, Kratz, Gilmore, Manmiller, and Craig Von Dohren were lined behind him.
The field went back to racing and Brett Kressley immediately drove off into the lead. Doug Manmiller moved into 2nd and Craig Von Dohren drove into 3rd on lap 18.
All green flag racing laps as the field clicked off 10 to go with Brett Kressley holding down a straightaway lead, Doug Manmiller was in 2nd, Von Dohren 3rd, Duane Howard 4th, and Jeff Strunk 5th. On lap 22 Craig Von Dohren and Doug Manmiller were waging a side by side war for 2nd spot. By lap 24 Von Dohren got by Manmiller and was in 2nd place. Lap 25 Glenn Owens retired the 73GT.
At the 5 to go mark Brett Kressley was on cruise control with a straightaway lead ripping his favorite top lane. Craig Von Dohren was in 2nd, Doug Manmiller 3rd, Duane Howard 4th and Jeff Strunk 5th.
The final 5 laps were uncontested as Brett Kressley easily scored a dominate victory in the Kressley’s Auto & Truck Sales & Northern Valley Erectors 19k Modified. Craig Von Dohren drove from 21st to 2nd after a consolation race win, Doug Manmiller 3rd, Duane Howard 4th, Jeff Strunk 5th, Timmy Buckwalter 6th, Kevin Hirthler 7th, Ryan Grim 8th, Brett Gilmore 9th, Brad Arnold 10th.
The 3rd of the season and 20th career Grandview Speedway modified score for Kressley. Kressley is the current Grandview Speedway modified point leader and added to his lead with a heat race win and feature event victory. Kressley gave credit to the Grandview Speedway track crew for a great surface for the feature in victory lane.
Brett also gave credit to the Brett Kressley Racing team for their efforts in the shop and at the track this season. Brett made mention in victory lane that they are still working on making the car better, On Saturday night that car was certainly a rocket and if there is more to be found this could be a special season for Orefield, PA’s Brett Kressley.