Column By: TOM WENNER / RPW – BECHTELSVILLE, PA – The Racing Gods were trying to send a message to the track and competitors in the pit area on Saturday night when a transformer at the pit entrance failed and started throwing sparks on the buildings below prior to racing action at 445p.
The failure knocked out power to the pit area, pit concessions and parts of the track before racing activities started and all the while teams and crew members were arriving and signing in for the nights activities.
The electrical failure even drew the Bechtelsville Fire Company to the track for the safety of everyone involved. In typical Grandview Speedway fashion “The Show Must Go On”, as the GV staff responded to keep the show on as scheduled.
A Met-Ed Electrical Bucket Truck was onsite in magical timing to make the necessary repairs so Championship Night at the Speedway could run off as scheduled.
Ron Haring Jr. has had an up and down season at the Grandview Speedway in ’22. His father, Ron “Fishbone” Haring passed away during the race season and Jr. has just had run the up and down cycle of struggles at the track week to week. Ron “Fishbone” Haring raced all over the northeast in every kind of racecar possible before setting in and making Grandview Speedway his home track.
Haring Sr. scored 4 career wins and was always one of the friendliest and popular guys in the pits. His Son, Keith followed in his footsteps starting in Late Models and graduating up Modifieds while scoring 2 Modified wins himself. Ron Jr. was the next to come along and share the love of racing competition as he raced both on Asphalt at Mahoning Valley Speedway and dirt at Big Diamond and Grandview Speedway.
The ’22 season was struggle for the young Haring Jr. and after his father passed away earlier in the season, Keith Haring decided to purchase a new ’22 Bicknell Chassis from Hoffman Speed Supplies equipped with Dig Race Shocks tuned by Ron Seltman’s new Fast Four Racing Shocks. The new packaged was an immediate hit for the Haring Race Team. Ron Haring Jr. was SUPER fast out of the box and immediately in contention for the win.
Haring Jr. was leading a race a month ago and literally walking away from the field when a mistake in lap traffic cost him the win. Each week, The Alburtis Auto #85 Bicknell was flying on the track and you knew it was only time that Haring Jr. would break through and score a win. Ron Haring Jr. waited until the final night of the regular season and he pressed all of the right buttons and mashed the gas to score his 1st career win.
Craig Von Dohren mathematically only needed to started the feature to clinch his record setting 13th career Grandview Speedway Modified Track Championship. Von Dohren drove to solid 2nd place finish in his heat race and set himself to clinch that championship. Brett Kressley #2 man in points, had a tougher night in his chase.
Kressley drove to a solid 3rd place finish in his heat race, but suffered mechanical failure in the Kressley’s Auto & Truck Sales Bicknell #19k and was forced to switch over to a backup car for the feature and take a provisional to start 29th on the field. Kressley would finish 17th while Craig Von Dohren finished 8th and secured that 13th career championship.
Ron Haring Jr. and Brett Gilmore led the 29 car TP Trailers field to the green flag.
Ron Haring Jr. took control of the race from start with Eric Biehn, Brett Gilmore, Craig Whitmoyer, and Kyle Lilick following.
At the 5 down mark of the Championship race it was Haring’s Alburtis Auto #85 out front. Biehn, Whitmoyer, Trapper Jr., and Brett Gilmore were the Top 5.
On Lap 6, Meme DeSantis retired from the event.
By lap 8 Haring was blasting away from the field and entering lap traffic. Timmy Buckwalter and Doug Manmiller were on the move early and near cracking the Top 10.
As lap 10 is recorded and all racing is under green flag conditions, Haring Jr. remains your race leader and is cruising through lap traffic.
On lap 14 Dylan Swinehart and Nate Brinker retire from the event.
Lap 18 and it is all clean and green so far as Ron Haring Jr. is setting a blistering pace out front. Eric Biehn, Craig Whitmoyer, Bobby Trapper Jr., and Brett Gilmore are the Top 5.
Lap 20 is scored and 10 to go, Haring Jr. remains the man of the hour out front with Biehn, Whitmoyer, Trapper Jr. and Gilmore all chasing him.
Lap 25 and 5 to go, still all green flag racing with Haring Jr. out front and nobody within a zip code of the Alburtis Auto #85 Bicknell.
On lap 26, the caution lights are flashing for the first time of the night as Joe Funk is slow with a flat right rear tire on the Funk 14F. Jesse Leiby retires the #456 to the infield.
The field is restacked for a 4 lap dash to the checkered flag with Ron Haring Jr. the main at the point. Craig Whitmoyer 2nd, Eric Biehn 3rd, Bobby Trapper Jr. 4th, Brett Gilmore 5th, Timmy Buckwalter 6th, Jared Umbenhauer 7th, Justin Grim 8th, Doug Manmiller 9th, and Jeff Strunk 10th.
The green is dropped for lap 27 as Ron Haring Jr. and Craig Whitmoyer go wheel to wheel for the race lead. Haring Jr. wrestles the lead away from Whitmoyer. Trapper Jr moves to 3rd, Biehn 4th, Timmy Buckwalter moves to 5th.
On Lap 28 the Yellow and then Red are displayed for accidents in 2 turns. In Turn Dan Waisempacher is turned around and stopped. In Turn 3 the track is blocked as Justin Grim, Ryan Grim, Kevin Graver Jr. are collected. A slowing car without power in the pack caused the accident and some heavy damage to the cars of Justin Grim and Ryan Grim. Both Justin, Ryan and Ryan Graver Jr. were towed off.
The field is now restacked for a 2 lap dash to the checkered flag. Ron Haring Jr. fought off the challenges of Craig Whitmoyer on the last restart, can he do it again with 2 to go. Craig Whitmoyer is second, Bobby Trapper Jr. is third, Timmy Buckwalter is fourth, Eric Biehn is fifth, Brett Gilmore is sixth, Jared Umbenhauer is seventh, Jeff Strunk is eighth, Doug Manmiller is ninth, Craig Von Dohren is tenth.
The field goes back to green on lap 29 and Craig Whitmoyer comes after Haring Jr. once again. Haring Jr. is up to the task and holds command of the race lead.
Ron Haring Jr. holds off the field to score his first career Grandview Speedway Modified Victory on championship night. Craig Whitmoyer would settle for 2nd, Bobby Trapper Jr. 3rd, Timmy Buckwalter 4th, Jared Umbenhauer 5th, Jeff Strunk 6th, Eric Biehn 7th, Craig Von Dohren 8th, Brett Gilmore 9th, Doug Manmiller 10th.
It was an emotional victory lane for Haring Jr. Fighting back the emotions, Ron thanked Hoffman Brothers Speed and his brother Keith for buying the chassis to make it happen. Haring mentioned that he was hoping “Fishbone” would show him the way to victory lane on the night. It was one of the most emotional victory lane ceremonies of the year. Haring also scored the Dan’s Deli Halfway Leader Bonus.