Column By: TOM WENNER / RPW – BECHTELSVILLE, PA – Brett Kressley’s picking up during the 2022 season at Grandview Speedway right where his ’21 season left off.
On Saturday night race fans were treated to one of the best battles you can ever hope for in racing.
The Top winner to date, Craig Von Dohren who has been on a dominate run in ‘22 at the 2 PA Spec 358 Modified tracks and Brett Kressley who is the point leader at Grandview Speedway and has not finished outside the Top 10 all year with a win to his credit.
These 2 guys, Kressley and Von Dohren are the 2 favorites and all eyes are on them every week. Set the stage, Lap 24 caution and Kressley is the leader as he got to the front of pack 1st on this night and was controlling the race. Von Dohren just drove into 2nd in the last lap or so and his car was just coming to him.
A 6 lap dash to the Grandview Speedway victory lane, The Legend Von Dohren vs. The Challenger Kressley. The Grandview Speedway track surface was well prepared with 2 grooves in the bottom and top, Kressley chose his typical top groove on the restart and left the bottom open for Von Dohren.
It was a race fan’s dream ending to the NASCAR T.P. Trailers 30 Lap Modified feature. The green flag dropped and both drivers had a great restart out of turn 4 and as they came into turn 1 Brett Kressley blasted the top and Craig Von Dohren ripped the bottom lane.
They came out of turn two as Kressley sped away on the top from Von Dohren and on this night was not challenged the rest of the way and won the titan match battle.
Mark Kratz and Jordan Henn brought the 28 car NASCAR T.P. Modified to the green flag.
Mark Kratz took command of the race and the lead while Henn was in short distance in the 2nd spot. Ryan Beltz, Dylan Swinehart, Eric Biehn and Brad Grim filled the top 5.
On lap 4th Brett Kressley entered the top 10 from his 15th starting position. The Grandview Speedway track crew had prepared the typical 2 groove racing surface and Kressley was up top coming forward very quickly.
On lap 5 Kratz was still out front and running strong, Henn was 2nd, followed by Beltz, Swinehart, Grim and Hines. Brett Kressley was continuing his march forward and 9th.
The caution lights were turned on for lap 7. Dylan Swinehart was stopped in turn 2. The 81 of Swinehart was running in the top 10 and came to start. He was pushed to the pits. Ray Swinehart went to the pits as well.
Mark Kratz was still controlling the race at the point, and behind was Henn, Beltz, B. Grim, Hines, Biehn, Waisempacher, Kressley and J. Grim. The Grandview Speedway favorites were also coming forward at this point with Hirthler in 12th, Howard in 13th from 20th, Buckwalter in 14th from 17th, and Von Dohren in 15th from 18th.
On the restart Kratz kept the lead from Henn. Brett Kressley continued to pick off cars 1 by 1. Kressley moved into 6th on lap 8, 5th on lap 9 and cracked 4th by lap 10. There was no doubt that the Kressley Auto & Truck Sales Bicknell 19k was running strong up on that top groove. As the lap field clicked the Lap 12 mark, Mark Kratz was controlling the race at the point. Brad Grim had the Stringers 23 in 2nd now, Henn slid to 3rd with Kressley in 4th and Eric Biehn rounding out the top 5. Craig Von Dohren just moved into 10th.
On lap 16 the caution lights were displayed again. Cory Merkel was turned around off turn 2. Cory needed to be towed off as steam was pouring from the Merkel 16 powerplant. Kratz remained the leader, Henn had moved back to 2nd, Brett Kressley was now 3rd, Brad Grim was now 4th and Eric Biehn in 5th.
On the lap 17 restart Kratz was choosing the top lane to fire off, pushing Jordan Henn to the bottom. Brett Kressley was a tiger waiting to pounce in 3rd. On the green flag as the field drives into turn Brad Grim in the Stringer’s Collision 23 Modified while running 4th in turn one. Bobby Gunther-Walsh, John Willman, Jeff Strunk and Ryan Beltz were collected in a mishap.
The track cleared and the field was reset. Kratz was 1st, Brett Kressley now 2nd, Henn 3rd, Biehn 4th, Von Dohren 5th, Howard 6th, Waisempacher 7th, Hines 8th. On the restart Brett Kressley made his move for the lead and cleared Mark Kratz. Eric Biehn had a great re-start and moved into 3rd with Von Dohren advancing to 4th, Henn 5th and Duane Howard 6th.
On lap 18, Craig Von Dohren moved into 3rd and Duane Howard into 7th. The legends of GV were coming.
At the lap 20 mark, Kressley had full command of the race with Biehn in 2nd, Von Dohren in 3rd, Kratz in 4th, and Ryan Grim in 5th.
The yellow was displayed on lap 21 for Carroll Hines III who stopped in turn 4. During this caution Brad Grim stopped and was pushed off. Hines was pushed off after running in the top 10. A notable point, Ryan Grim was running in the top 5 with the family owned #17 back a several week absence.
The field was restacked for 9 to go, Kressley your leader, Biehn 2nd, Von Dohren 3rd, Duane Howard 4th, Ryan Grim 5th.
The green is dropped and we are back to racing action with Kressley at the point. At the 7 to go mark Craig Von Dohren and Duane Howard are side by side battling for 3rd and 4th. The yellow lights are turned on stopped this epic battle. Sadly, Mark Kratz’s run on the night is over as the #88k is stopped in turn 4. Kevin Hirthler took the #117 to the pits during this caution.
The field was now reset for the last 7 to go. Brett Kressley is your leader and up to this point was not challenged. Eric Biehn in 2nd, Von Dohren in 3rd, Duane Howard 4th, and Timmy Buckwalter made his way into the top 5 now.
The green is displayed and we are racing as Craig Von Dohren pulls an epic slider on Eric Biehn for 2nd place. A lap is scored before the yellow appears again. Duane Howard in the Getz Motorsports #15g had a flat tire while running 4th. 4 cars were collected in turn 4., Jeff Strunk, Joe Funk, Nate Brinker and Bobby Gunther-Walsh. The Getz Motorsports crew quickly changed the sneaker on the 15g and Duane rejoined the field under caution. Joe Funk, BGW and Nate Brinker rejoined the field. Strunk retired to the pits. This setup and epic ending to the race. A 6 lap dash to the checkered flag with Brett Kressley and Craig Von Dohren in clean air and a clear race track to settle this one.
The field was restacked and set. Kressley chose the top, Von Dohren gets the bottom. Timmy Buckwalter is now 3rd from 17th starting spot, Ryan Grim is 4th, Eric Biehn 5th and Last week’s winner Doug Manmiller is now 6th from starting spot 16th.
The green drops and Kressley and Von Dohren are side by side at the starters stand. As they head into turn Von Dohren sets the #30 on bottom while Kressley is ripping his favorite lane on the top. They come out of turn 2 and Kressley takes command of the race. The next 5 laps are uncontested as Kressley cruises to the popular Grandview Speedway victory.
Craig Von Dohren settles into 2nd. Ryan Grim moves into 3rd and Doug Manmiller moves to 4th as Timmy Buckwalter finishes 5th, Jared Umbenhauer finishes 6th from 21st starting spot, Eric Biehn is 7th, Jordan Henn is 8th, Craig Whitmoyer is 9th and John Willman rebounded from an early mishap for 10th.
In victory lane Brett Kressley noted that the BKR Bicknell 19k has been awesome this season and that the track has been different each week as they chase the needed setup. Brett commented that he had a bad vibration during the race and thought that mud may have packed the right rear.
When he saw CVD on the bottom on that 6 to go restart he was hoping that the race was over soon. Brett thanked the Grandview Speedway track crew for a great job turning the track around with 2 grooves of racing lanes in the feature.
Brett thanked his crew and sponsors Kressley Auto & Truck Sales, Northern Valley Erectors, Morgantini Racing Engines and everybody who helps to keep the 19k on the track.