Story By: JEFFREY AHLUM / GRANDVIEW SPEEDWAY – BECHTELSVILLE, PA – Mike Gular won out on a classic side by side duel with fellow Boyertown, Pa. resident Ryan Watt, taking the lead with eight laps remaining, to score the 30-lap T.P. Trailer NASCAR Modified feature win Saturday night at Grandview Speedway.
Watt, Ryan Grim of Laurys Station, Pa. and Gular started their spectacular show for the lead following a lap twelve restart. Eventually Watt and Gular broke off into a two-car tussle for the lead, that would see Watt up high and Gular down low until Gular pulled the winning pass entering turn one on lap 22. Gular would complete his winning move down the back stretch entering turn three, taking a lead he would not surrender, racing on to his third win in the last four racing programs and fourth of the season.
Brad Grim of Coplay, Pa. would also score a thrilling win in the 25-lap T.P. Truck Equipment NASCAR Sportsman feature, making the winning pass of Nathan Horn of Slatedale, Pa. entering turn one on lap 24, following a multi-lap duel, to score his fourth career win and first of the season.
Both winners received bonus money (Modified $300, Sportsman $200) from T.P. Trailers and Truck Equipment of Limerick, Pa., sponsors of the two divisions at Grandview Speedway, in a program run under the NASCAR Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series banner.
The T.P. Trailer NASCAR Modified main event saw Eric Kormann of Carneys Point, N.J. take the early lead, while a battle for second soon developed between Ray Swinehart of Perkiomenville, Pa., Eddie Strada of Lake Ariel, Pa., and Ryan Watt.
Watt was on the move and reached second by lap nine, with Grim eventually reaching third by lap eleven, after a great battle with Swinehart, Strada, Doug Manmiller of Shoemakersville, Pa., and Mike Gular.
Following a caution on lap twelve, Watt passed Kormann down the front straight on the restart to take command, with Grim and Gular following to second and third setting off the classic Grandview battle for the lead.
Watt ran the top lane, Grim on the bottom, and Gular was right behind, practically under a blanket. While this was going on Strada and Manmiller were fighting for fourth position, not far behind the leaders.
This fantastic race up front was slowed by a lap 18 caution, and following the restart, Watt and Gular broke off into the two-car battle royale for the win.
Watt ran the high line and Gular down low applying serious pressure. Watt at times would mix it up and change lanes to keep Gular guessing, to try and maintain the lead. Gular would get a nose in front and lead lap 19, but Watt swept around the top lane again to regain control the following lap.
Eventually Gular threw a serious slider at Watt entering turn one on lap 22, with both drivers sliding up the track. The two ran side-by-side from there down the back straight until Gular had the lead by turns three and four, to take the lead for good and motor on to the victory.
While this entertaining action was going on for the lead, Grim, Strada, and Manmiller were just as exciting battling for third, not far behind the leaders.
In the late stages of the feature, Jared Umbenhauer of Richland, Pa., last week’s winner Jeff Strunk of Boyertown, Pa., point leader Brett Kressley of Orefield, Pa., and Craig Von Dohren of Oley, Pa. were also having their own battle for the remaining top ten positions.
At the finish, it was Gular scoring his tenth career Saturday night NASCAR Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series feature win, followed by Watt, Grim, Strada, Manmiller, Strunk, Umbenhauer, Kressley, Von Dohren, and Kevin Hirthler of Boyertown, Pa. who recovered for a top ten finish after a trip to the rear of the field early in the feature race.
Qualifying heats for the 34 cars on hand were won by Lex Shive of Pennsburg, Pa., Kressley and Umbenhauer with Ryan Beltz of Barto, Pa. winning the consolation.
With the thrilling T.P. Trailer Modified feature in the record books, the T.P. Truck Equipment Sportsman provided just as much action in their 25-lap main event.
Kyle Hartzell of Allentown, Pa. led the opening laps before Kenny Bock of Oley, Pa. made an outside sweep off turn four on lap two to take command.
Nathan Horn quickly moved to second spot and began a four-lap duel with Bock for the lead, eventually taking the top spot with a move off turn four to score lap eight.
Following a lap nine caution, Horn would set the pace and build up a comfortable lead, while Bock and an outside running Brad Grim would battle for second.
Not far behind these drivers was another classic duel between Addison Meitzler of Kempton, Pa., Joey Vaccaro of Reading, Pa., Parker Guldin of Fleetwood, Pa., and Kyle Smith of Fleetwood, Pa. who was on the move from 17th starting spot.
The laps continued to click off with Horn setting the pace by himself, with Grim second and now being challenged by Meitzler who reached third by lap 15.
Positions were still changing in the top ten between Bock, Vaccaro, Smith, Guldin, along with Logan Watt of Boyertown, Pa., Mike Schneck Jr. of Lebanon, Pa., and Michael Burrows of Annville, Pa. who joined in the action.
With five laps remaining, Grim and Meitzler continued to battle for second, but suddenly began reeling in leader Horn, who had been having a smooth run out front with the lead.
By lap 22 the top three cars were racing for the lead practically under a blanket, in a thrilling battle for the fans, with Horn holding off every challenge Grim could throw at him.
Grim would try high and low moves to get the lead while trying to hold off Meitzler at the same time, with Horn holding on until they took the white flag. Grim was ahead by a wheel at the line and slid by Horn entering turn one to take the lead, only to see a caution wave for a spinning car with one lap to go.
Horn had a shot to regain the lead on the last restart, but Grim held firm in the top spot to score the feature win and become the 12th different driver to win this season in T.P. Truck Equipment Sportsman action.
At the checkered flag it was Brad Grim the winner followed by Horn with his best career run, Meitzler, Smith, Bock, Schneck Jr., Watt, Vaccaro, Brian Hirthler of Green Lane, Pa., and Guldin.
Qualifying heats for the 36 cars on hand were won by Bock, Meitzler, Dylan Swinehart of Fleetwood, Pa., and Vaccaro with Jesse Hirthler of Boyertown, Pa. and Ryan Graver of Lehighton, Pa. winning the consolations.
Grandview Speedway will be presenting another NASCAR Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series program next Saturday featuring the T.P. Trailer NASCAR Modifieds running in the 53rd annual 50-lap Forrest Rogers Memorial paying a cool $10,000 to win, plus the T.P. Truck Equipment NASCAR Sportsman, and a fireworks display sponsored by Spunktown Tavern and Restaurant of Boyertown, Pa. starting at 7:30 pm.
The show on Saturday, August 12 will include qualifying events for both divisions leading into the 50-lap T.P. Trailer Modified championship feature and the 25-lap T.P. Truck Equipment Sportsman feature.
Adult grandstand admission is $30, students 10-15 with ID are $15, while children ages 9 and under are admitted free of charge. Pit admission is $35 for NASCAR members and $45 for non-members.
Pit gates will open at 4 pm. with grandstand gates opening at 5:30 pm. warm-ups starting at 6:15 pm. and the first race of the evening getting the green flag at 7:30 pm.
The Forrest Rogers Memorial paying $10,000 to the winner, has been run each season since 1971 to honor the track’s founder, as well as celebrating Grandview Speedway’s anniversary, on the weekend of the track’s first race in 1963.
The United Racing Club Sprint Cars will be making their annual visit, joining the T.P. Trailer Modifieds and T.P. Truck Equipment Sportsman on Saturday, August 26 starting at 7:30 pm.
T.P. TRAILER NASCAR MODIFIED FEATURE FINISH (30 laps): MIKE GULAR, Ryan Watt, Ryan Grim, Eddie Strada, Doug Manmiller, Jeff Strunk, Jared Umbenhauer, Brett Kressley, Craig Von Dohren, Kevin Hirthler, Mike Lisowski, Eric Kormann, Justin Grim, Jimmy Leiby, Lex Shive, Chris Esposito, Bobby Gunther-Walsh, Bobby Trapper Jr., John Willman, Louden Reimert, Ray Swinehart, Tim Buckwalter, Ryan Beltz, Darrin Schuler, Jesse Leiby, Ron Haring Jr., Joe Funk, Nate Brinker
DID NOT QUALIFY: Eric Biehn, Carroll Hine III, Mark Malcolm, Craig Whitmoyer, Chris Gambler, Mark Kratz
T.P. TRUCK EQUIPMENT NASCAR SPORTSMAN FEATURE FINISH (25 laps): BRAD GRIM, Nathan Horn, Addison Meitzler, Kyle Smith, Kenny Bock, Mike Schneck Jr., Logan Watt, Joey Vaccaro, Brian Hirthler, Parker Guldin, TJ Maybrerry, Michael Burrows, Cody Manmiller, Decker Swinehart, Dylan Swinehart, Logan Bauman, Jesse Hirthler, Ryan Graver, Nathan Mohr, Adrianna Delliponti, Ronnie Solomon, Molly Struss, Steve Young, Kyle Hartzell, Zane Roth, Mark Gaugler, Brett Gilmore
DID NOT QUALIFY: Mark Mohr, Tyler James, Zach Steffey, Brandon Banos, Colton Perry, Nick Faust, Monte Pool, Bastian Miller, Tom Miller Jr.