Column By: TOM WENNER / RPW – BECHTELSVILLE, PA – Doug Manmiller scored his 30th career Grandview Speedway Modified victory on Saturday night and he did it in convincing fashion.
Manmiller started in the 14th spot and had to drive by virtually all of the Grandview Speedway titans who had gotten to the front of the pack faster than him. Manmiller had to wrestle the lead away from Timmy Buckwalter, Brett Kressley and a very strong running Jordan Henn to become the 3rd different Modified driver to score a feature victory in 2022.
Eric Biehn and Bobby Gunther Walsh led the NASCAR Advance Auto Parts T.P.Trailers 28 car Spec 358 Modified field to the green flag.
Eric Biehn jumped into the lead at the drop of the green flag, with Bobby Gunther Walsh following, Jordan Henn, Darrin Schuler and Ryan Beltz in tow.
Biehn led the 1st 5 laps of the 30 lap A Main with Jordan Henn moved a strong running 77 into 2nd on lap 5. Timmy Buckwalter and Brett Kressley were on the move early as they both cracked the top 10 by lap 5.
The Whelen cautions were turned on at lap 6 for Ryan Beltz who got turned around on the front straightway and collected Mike Lisowski. Beltz and Lisowski were both running in the top 10. The field was restacked and showed a running order of Eric Biehn as your leader, followed by Henn, Gunther-Walsh, Schuler and Haring Jr.
As the green flag dropped again, Timmy Buckwalter had the Saxton Motorsport Bicknell #23x flying and moved into 5th on lap 7. Brett Kressley was now 8th and moving forwards while Eric Biehn continued to lead the field around the Grandview Clay.
On lap 10 Eric Biehn continued to set the pace for the field, Jordan Henn was coming fast and Timmy Buckwalter was starting to enter the picture, Darrin Schuler in 4th and Ron Haring Jr with a top 5 at the 10 down mark.
As the field scored 12 down, Brett Kressley brought the Kressley Auto & Truck Sales 19k into 4th. Jordan Henn has snuck by Eric Biehn for the lead, while Timmy Buckwalter was maintaining 3rd spot, Kressley was 4th and John Willman in the #291 in 5th.
Doug Manmiller cracked the top 5 at the lap 14 mark as the Jason Miller Racing D&M Truck & Trailer Services 44 was marching to the front. As the field scored the halfway mark on the race Jordan Henn was flying in the Turn 3 Racing Network Bicknell out front, Timmy Buckwalter was now 2nd, Eric Biehn 3rd, Brett Kressley 4th, and Doug Manmiller in 5th.
As the field score lap 18 Timmy Buckwalter had run down Henn and was challenging for the lead at the front of the pack. Brett Kressley moved into 3rd and Doug Manmiller moved into 4th and were now side by side for those spots.
At the lap 20 mark, with 10 to go, Henn remained out front and Doug Manmiller snuck by Kressley for 3rd. Timmy Buckwalter remained 2nd and Brett Kressley dropped back to 4th while Eric Biehn was 5th.
On lap 22 Doug Manmiller drove by Timmy Buckwalter’s 23x for 2nd. Jordan continued to lead, Manmiller was 2nd, Buckwalter and Kressley in 3rd and 4th.
At the lap 25 mark, you could throw a blanket over the Top-5. Henn was the leader but the Top-5 were stalking him and bunched up. Manmiller was challenging for the lead, Buckwalter was waiting for his opening to get by, Kressley was ripping the top and Jeff Strunk had driven from 12th to challenge for the lead.
As the field came to score lap 26, Doug Manmiller snuck by Jordan Henn for the lead. Henn clipped a lapped car in turn one and got turned around and was ultimately hit by Jeff Strunk was the field came by. The yellow lights were quickly displayed and the field slowed their pace. This brought a sad ending to the Jordan Henn run as Henn was running in a strong top 5 contending position.
The field was restacked and Doug Manmiller had the Lee Miller Cars & Trucks #44 at the front of the pack from his 14th starting position. Timmy Buckwalter was riding in 2nd, Brett Kressley 3rd, Jeff Strunk 4th, Eric Biehn 5th, Craig Von Dohren 6th, John Willman 7th, Nate Brinker 8th, Duane Howard 9th, Craig Whitmoyer 10th.
Brad Grim took the Stringer 23 to the pits and Bobby Gunther Walsh retired from the race at this point. The race had run all green with the exception to the 2 cautions for Beltz on lap 6 and now on lap 26. The track conditions were outstanding with racing grooves on top and the bottom. All night the Kenny Rogers and Brad Missimer led track crew continued to work the surface to make it better and better for the racers.
The green lights were turned back on for a 4 lap race to the checkered. Doug Manmiller raced away from the field in clean air and was unchallenged for his 30th career Grandview Speedway victory and 1st of the 2022 campaign. Manmiller entered the night as the 3rd place point man, only 28 points back from lead man Brett Kressley. With CVD scoring a 7th place finish and Kressley 3rd, The point championship standings with definitely tighten up heading into next week.
Manmiller scored the win, Timmy Buckwalter was 2nd, Brett Kressley 3rd, Jeff Strunk 4th, Eric Biehn 5th, John Willman 6th, Craig Von Dohren 7th, Nate Brinker 8th, Duane Howard from 18th starting spot to 9th, and Craig Whitmoyer in 10th.
The “Handler” commented that this win was a long time coming and that Craig and Brett are so fast this year and the class of the field. The Manmiller-Jason Miller Team has been working and working and tonight it finally worked for them. Doug thanked his sponsors, crew and all of the fans for coming out on Saturday night. They were treated to another quality night of Modified racing at the Hill.