RPW Column: It Was Twice As Nice For Mike Gular At BAPS Saturday; Wins PA Tri-Track Series Final Showdown

Column By: TOM WENNER / RPW – YORK HAVEN, PA – Mike Gular is starting to take a liking to the BAPS Motor Speedway in November.

For the second year in a row Gular has walked off with the big money being offered for the season ending Spec 358 Modifieds.

This season, the event carried the final point race for the PA Tri-Track Series that doubles up the importance for those racing in the 3 track Spec 358 Modified points series.

BAPS Motor Speedway, Grandview Speedway and Big Diamond Speedway each carried 2 events to form a solid series with a nice end of the year payout. Mike swept the nights racing action in the Morrison powered Conestoga Valley Custom Kitchens Bicknell #2a while scoring the heat race win and 30 lap #3K to win PA Tri-Track Series Win.

Twenty-seven (27) PA Tri-Track Spec 358 Modifieds were pitside for the BAPS Motor Speedway event. The field was laden with talent with winner Gular, Grandview Speedway Champion Craig Von Dohren, Jeff Strunk in the Keystone Racing 126, Tri-Track Series Point Leader Louden Reimert, Delaware International Speedway Champion Jordan Watson, Modified Legend Frank Cozze, Open Wheel Sprint Car Star Briggs Danner wheeling the backup Manmiller 44D, Veteran Wade Hendrickson, Rick Laubach and More.

Timed Hot Laps were used to set the starting fields for the 3 PA Tri-Track Modified Heat Races. Joe Toth in the Danny’s Pizza Pizzaz #51, Craig Von Dohren and Mike Gular set fast time for each heat race. An invert of 4 was used to set the heat race starting field. Jordan Watson, Mike Gular and Wade Hendrickson won the 3 Modified heat races. Craig Von Dohren suffered a mechanical failure and did not start his heat race after posting quick time, forcing him to start 23rd in the 30 lap A Main.

Kevin Beach and Wade Hendrickson led the 24 car field to the green flag.

Wade Hendrickson behind the wheel of the famed Michael Bros. #51M took the lead, with Beach, Gular, Doug Manmiller, Jeff Strunk, and Rick Laubach in chase. Doug Manmiller moved into 3rd on lap 1 while Jeff Strunk followed to 4th.

As the field scored lap 3 Mike Gular moved his Bicknell 2a into 2nd. Wade Hendrickson’s K &A Excavating #51m was pacing the field out front.

With 4 laps scored Gular wanted to get out front quickly and was now at the bumper of the Hendrickson 51m. Hendrickson, Gular, Manmiller, Beach, Strunk, Butler, Laubach were all in chase mode.

Wade Hendrickson and Mike Gular were putting on an epic battle at the front of the field. Hendrickson was blocking and holding down the front while Gular looked for a way by the Hendrickson 51m. By lap 8, Doug Manmiller was now at the bumper of Hendrickson and Gular. Manmiller was hungry for a win in his Jason Miller owned Lee Miller Cars and Trucks #44.

At lap 10 the first caution flag was displayed for Jesse Leiby who was stopped in turns 1 & 2. The field was finally reset for the restart as Wade Hendrickson controlled the point, Gular, Manmiller, Beach, Butler, Strunk, Watson, Laubach, Cozze and Louden Reimert.

On the restart 2 cars slowed with trouble. Jordan Watson who was moving to the front in the Danny’s Pizza Pizzaz #51 as a team car with Joe Toth, suffered a right rear flat tire and Rick Wegner Jr. slowed. Watson was able to rejoin the field.

The field was back to green with Hendrickson back out front again. Mike Gular was at his bumper and continuing to look for a lane to get by. Doug Manmiller was 3rd within striking distance as the field cleared the 20 to go mark. Jeff Strunk used the restart to move back to 4th, Louden Reimert was making moves as well as he moved to 6th.

At the 12 down mark of the race Mike Gular finally found the daylight to sneak by the Michael Bros. 51m of Wade Hendrickson. Manmiller, Strunk, Reimert, Butler, and Cozze were the running order now.

As the field scored the crossed flags point of the race Mike Gular was racing off to some clearance from the field. Doug Manmiller was able to get around Hendrickson for 2nd as Wade fell to 3rd. Strunk, Reimert, Butler, Laubach and Cozze were in chase.

Craig Von Dohren had to start last (23) on the field and at the 10 to go mark of the race cracked the Top 10. CVD had one fast race car. Gular continued to set the pace out front with Manmiller 2nd, Strunk now in 3rd, Reimert to 4th, Hendrickson back to 5th, Butler 6th, Laubach 7th, Cozze 8th, Beach 9th, and Craig Von Dohren 10th from 23rd.

As the field reached started Galen Kolar’s 5 to go mark Mike Gular was approaching lap traffic. Doug Manmiller and Jeff Strunk were starting to eat up Gular’s advantage, while Louden Reimert was also closing in on 2nd and 3rd.

As the field approached the 4 to go, Louden Reimert and Jeff Strunk were side by side for positions 3 & 4. Louden Reimert cleared Jeff Strunk for 3rd at the 3 to go mark.

At the 2 to go lap with lap traffic in site, Gular is your leader with Manmiller a car length back, while Louden Reimert closes in. Strunk, Hendrickson, Butler, Laubach, Cozze, Von Dohren, Toth, and Beach are the rest of the running order.

As the white flag is waving Mike Gular hits heavy lapped traffic and Doug Manmiller is at his back bumper with Reimert 2 car lengths back.

Mike Gular is able to score the $3000 BAPS Motor Speedway PA Tri-Track Series Finale victory while Doug Manmiller literally pushes Gular across the line in 2nd. Louden Reimert comes home 3rd with a strong drive at the end of the race to secure his First PA Spec 358 Tri-Track Series Point Championship, Jeff Strunk 4th, Wade Hendrickson 5th, Jack Butler 6th, Rick Laubach 7th, Frank Cozze 8th, Craig Von Dohren 9th from 23rd, and Joe Toth 10th.

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