Story By: JEFFREY AHLUM / GRANDVIEW SPEEDWAY – BECHTELSVILLE, PA – The 61st anniversary season of auto racing action at Grandview Speedway moves into the final weekend of competition for Modified and Sportsman competitors with the running of the 53rd annual Freedom 76, and the races have just gotten more lucrative for the drivers who will be in competition.
Grandview Speedway is a member of the NASCAR Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series, and as a result, drivers who will be competing in this weekend’s T.P. Trailer Modified Freedom 76 and T.P. Truck Equipment Sportsman Freedom 38 will be racing for bonus money courtesy of the NASCAR Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series.
On Saturday, September 16 the winner of the Freedom 76 for T.P. Trailer Modifieds will receive a $1000 bonus from the NASCAR Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series increasing the winner’s take to a cool $31,061, and if the driver competed in all the Saturday NASCAR point races at the track this season, an additional bonus of $1000 will be awarded, making it possible for a driver to win $32,061 in this year’s Freedom 76!
On Friday September 15 the winner of the Freedom 38 for T.P. Truck Equipment Sportsman will receive a $500 bonus from the NASCAR Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series increasing the winner’s share to $2500, and if the driver competed in all the Saturday NASCAR point races at the track this season, an additional $500 bonus will be awarded, making for a possible $3000 to win the Freedom 38!
However, there is more! Larry Yerk of Lisa’s Landscaping has put up an additional $500 to the Freedom 38 feature winner, pushing the winner’s take to a possible $3500 for the Freedom 38!
Last season over sixty drivers competed in the Freedom 76, and this year’s event should see the Grandview regulars battle it out with a whole host of invaders for the big championship prize. For the latest updates, check in with the Grandview Speedway Facebook page.
As has been a tradition for many seasons, lap money will be paid to the drivers leading the laps in the Freedom 76, along with several extra awards to include:
MODIFIED HARD CHARGER – $661 From Bobby Gunther-Walsh and his sponsors – The following sponsors have contributed to the Hard Charger Award – Res Q Natural Supplements, Just Born Candies, makers of Mike & Ike candies, Hot Tamales, and those popular marshmallow Peeps. The driver advancing the most positions in the Freedom 76 from their scheduled starting spot to their finishing position receives the Hard Charger Award.
LYNN HIMES GREAT EFFORT AWARD – $100 Sponsored by T.P. Trailers & Truck Equipment & the Perkins Family (presented to the highest finishing driver NOT in the top 10 in Grandview Modified Points) in memory of Carole Lynn Himes, a long-time familiar face at Grandview Speedway
BOB HILBERT SPORTSWEAR CUSTOM WINNER’S JACKET – To the Freedom 76 & Freedom 38 Feature Winners from Bob Hilbert Sportswear, Boyertown, Pa.
TRACK OFFICIALS MODIFIED HARD LUCK AWARD – $225 Free Engine re-sealing for 2024 season from Grandview track officials (must be within 50-mile radius)
The Freedom 76 weekend begins this Friday, September 15 with the 10th annual Freedom 38 Sportsman Championship race, along with qualifying events, plus practice time for Modified drivers wishing to participate in the Freedom 76.
Friday’s program will be known as Fans for Five Friday as management has rolled back the grandstand admission to just $5, while children ages 9 and under will be free of charge.
On Friday, pit gates open at 3 pm with grandstand gates opening at 5:30 pm. drivers meeting at 5:30 pm. with the pill draw following the drivers meeting. Warmups are at 6:15 pm. and racing at 7:30 pm. Pit admission on Friday is $40, and no license is required. There is no rain date for the Friday event.
Prior to the racing action on Friday will be the weekly Low Down and Dirty Meet and Greet. This week’s drivers include Modified drivers Jeff Strunk and Justin Grim, along with Sportsman drivers Ronnie Solomon and Talan Carter. The Meet and Greet is held in the main gate area starting at 4:45 pm. and is a great time for fans to meet the drivers up close, collect some autographs, take photos, and talk racing one on one. This will be the final Low Down and Dirty Meet and Greet, as Whippy and Da Rev Pastor Don will be retiring after this week’s event!
On Saturday, September 16, the 53rd annual Freedom 76 will be run for the 358 Modifieds. The program will include qualifying heats, consolation races, Low, Down and Dirty cash dash paying $1276 to win, along with the Schaeffer Racing Minuteman 20, leading to the 76-lap championship feature.
Pit gates open at 9 am for inspections, grandstand ticket windows open at 3 pm. pill draw for position is at 4:30 pm. with the drivers meeting at 5 pm. warm-ups are at 6 pm. with racing starting at 7 pm. Fans will be able to enter the Grandstand areas between 9 am. and 12 Noon to reserve seats with blankets.
Adult Grandstand tickets on Saturday will be $40, while students ages 10-15 with ID are $20, with children ages 9 and under admitted for free. Pit admission will be $45, and no license is required. There will be no advanced tickets sold for this event, and the rain date is Saturday, September 23.
For the Freedom 38 & 76, the tire rules for the event are as follows, ANY American Racer tire and compound, but it must be the Grandview Speedway tread pattern. Further rules are available on the speedway website or again, any questions please call Cliff Quinn at 484-357-2587 or Ed Scott at 610-298-2408. Entry forms for the Modified competitors are available on the speedway website under the Freedom 76 tab.
All race teams are reminded that, as has been the case all season, there is no fuel truck on site so plan accordingly. American Racer tires will be available at the racetrack this weekend.
Following a rain out of the final night of points racing last Saturday, the chase for the 2023 track championships has concluded, with Brett Kressley picking up his first ever Grandview T.P. Trailer Modified Track Championship. Kressley scored three wins on the season on his way to the title over Craig Von Dohren who picked up two wins, while Jeff Strunk finished third in points with one win (plus one Thunder on the Hill series win). Rounding out the top five in points were Doug Manmiller with two wins in fourth, and Jared Umbenhauer was fifth in points with one feature race victory.
The final top ten in points for the T.P. Trailer NASCAR Modifieds are 1. Brett Kressley – 4711, 2. Craig Von Dohren – 4589, 3. Jeff Strunk – 4187, 4. Doug Manmiller – 4069, 5. Jared Umbenhauer – 3738, 6. Ryan Watt – 3646, 7. Mike Gular – 3464, 8. Ryan Grim – 3455, 9. Tim Buckwalter – 3387, 10. Eddie Strada – 3131.
The T.P. Truck Equipment Sportsman division saw Logan Watt score his first ever point title at Grandview, scoring his first two career wins on the way to the title over Brian Hirthler, who also picked up two victories. Third in points was Kyle Smith who also had two feature wins, followed by Cody Manmiller who was fourth despite not scoring a win, and finishing fifth in points was Addison Meitzler who picked up one win in the mid-summer Firecracker 40.
The final top ten in T.P. Truck Equipment NASCAR Sportsman points are 1. Logan Watt – 4182, 2. Brian Hirthler – 3933, 3. Kyle Smith – 3748, 4. Cody Manmiller – 3322, 5. Addison Meitzler – 3266, 6. Brett Gilmore – 3223, 7. Jesse Hirthler – 3172, 8. Ryan Graver – 3102, 9. Adrianna Delliponti – 2959, 10. Logan Bauman – 2841.