Column By: TOM WENNER / RPW – BECHTELSVILLE, PA – Brian Hirthler has had a Championship season in ‘22 Sportsman competition at the Grandview Speedway.
On Saturday night, It was a titanic battle between Brian and Kyle Smith. Smith broke while battling Brian for the feature win with 4 laps to go, But what a race that was shaping up to be between Smith and Hirthler.
Brian has carved out an incredible season of Sportsman racing. Six feature wins – Clinching the Championship before the final night of racing. Brian is now tied with Jared Umbenhauer for most the Sportsman wins at the Grandview Speedway and most Sportsman Track Championships at Grandview.
Up Next, The prestigious Grandview Speedway Freedom 38er on Friday, September 16th for Sportsman drivers. Brian has not yet etched out a Freedom 38er victory in his career to date, I am willing to bet that the Green Lane Wm. Penn Four Star Racing #4* will be up front in contention for the Freedom 38er victory next Friday night.
Zach Steffy and Keith Haring led the 24 car TP Truck Equipment Sportsman field to the green flag
As the field headed into Turn 4 on lap 1 there was a massive pileup. The accident included the following drivers: Mike Myers, Keith Haring, Josh Adams, Chris Esposito, Ryan Graver Jr., Jimmy Leiby, Jesse Hirthler, Nathan Horn, Decker Swinehart, Adrianna Delliponte, Dylan Hoch, and Parker Guldin.
Myers, Esposito, Graver, Hoch, Swinehart, Horn, and Hirthler all visited the pits. A complete restart was in order minus the cars involved. Hoch and Horn came back for action. Delliponte, Haring, Guldin, Leiby and Adams continued on.
The 2nd attempt at the green flag was successful as Zach Steffy pulled out front, Michael Burrows, Adriana Delliponte, Dakota Kohler, Kyle Smith, Cody Manmiller, and Brian Hirthler were in tow.
On lap 2 Michael Burrows took over the race lead dropping Zach Steffy to fourth.
On lap 3 the caution lights were displayed for Parker Guldin who was stopped in turn 2. Michael Burrows is shown as the race leader, Adrianna Delliponte was 2nd, Dakota Kohler is 3rd, Kyle Smith 4th and Cody Manmiller 5th.
On the restart for lap 4, Michael Burrows and Adriana Delliponte waged a war for the top spot before the yellow was waving once again. This time Matt Clay, Nathan Horn and Kenny Bock were stopped. Steve Young in the 187 was sent to the rear for the contact.
Another restart and Michael Burrows and Adie Delliponte are battling for the race lead. This time Adie takes control of the race lead. Burrows, Smith, Kohler all follow.
The yellow and red are quickly displayed for a tangle out of turn 2 and the backstretch for Nathan Mohr and a wildly flipping Parker Guldin. Parker is ok and walks to the safety vehicle for a checkup. Mohr is towed off. Guldin’s #11 to double hooked off. Kenny Bock heads to the pits. The race order now is Adriana Delliponte out front as the race leader with Burrows, Kohler, Smith, Brian Hirthler, Steffy, Manmiller, Stangle, Hoch, Landis.
The field is restacked and we are back racing for lap 5. Adie Delliponte and Michael Burrows go at it again for the race lead and this time Burrows is back to the lead. Delliponte, Smith, Kohler, and Hirthler are the Top 5.
At the lap 10 mark, Burrows is now your race leader. Delliponte, Smith, Hirthler and Manmiller make up the Top 5. On lap 11, Kyle Smith, The Fleetwood PA racer moves to second from his 14th starting spot and is looking for back to back victories. Brian Hirthler from 18th to 4th.
On Lap 12 Brian Hirthler goes after Adie Delliponte for 3rd.
Lap 13 Michael Burrows with a short lead over Smith, Hirthler, Delliponte, and Manmiller.
Lap 15, 10 to go – Kyle Smith goes after Michael Burrows for the race lead. Brian Hirthler is right there in 3rd, Throw a blanket over them. Kenny Bock pulls off.
On Lap 17 Kyle Smith takes control of the race from Michael Burrows, Brian Hirthler is stalking the two in 3rd, Adie Delliponte is 4th and Cody Manmiller is 5th.
As we move to lap 18, Brian Hirthler moves past Burrows for second. Smith is the leader, Hirthler is right there in 2nd, Burrows 3rd, Delliponte 4th and Manmiller 5th.
On Lap 19, Brian Hirthler has decided it is go time as he challenges Kyle Smith for the race lead. Smith stays on top.
On Lap 21, Brian Hirthler takes control of the race as the #77 Kyle Smith breaks while running at the point. 4 to go, Hirthler at the point now, Burrows, Delliponte, Manmiller, and Kohler.
Brian Hirthler cruises to the feature win #6 for ’22. Michael Burrows finished 2nd for the 2nd week in a row, Adriana Delliponte 3rd, Cody Manmiller 4th, Dakota Kohler 5th, Dylan Hoch 6th, Jimmy Leiby 7th, Cole Stangle 8th, Jesse Landis 9th, and Josh Adams 10th.