Saturday, July 21 - We debated between Susquehanna for Super Sportsman and Grandview for URC sprints. We decided on Grandview for two reasons, the proximity to home and the fact that they were only running two divisions on this Saturday night. We figured it would be over early and we could be home in time to attend first church service instead of second. Well, as the story unfolds below you will see which church service we ended up at.
It was a partly sunny and hot day in the low 90’s and we attended an Easton High School summer basketball tournament game before working our way south to Grandview Speedway. We had plenty of time to kill so we stopped at an antique mall on Route 100 before stopping below the track for dinner at a family restaurant. We still arrived at Grandview early around 5:30 and I ventured into the pit area while Pat secured our seats in the wooden grandstand on the homestretch. At 7:37 the green flag flew on the first of three URC sprint heats and the wrecking promptly began. Three flips (one a Tommy tipover) marred the heat racing along with numerous spins and caused the plenty of down time. In fact it took almost an hour (51 minutes to be exact) to complete the three heat races. The 358 modifieds on the other hand spun their heat races, four in all, off in just 37 minutes. Next up was the sprint consie and not only did they have another flip in this one they also had two cars wreck under caution!! Was it a full moon by any chance?? Two modified consies followed and it was already 9:50.
The Pepsi Challenge was next on the race card which would pit the top 11 in points running one lap challenge races against each other starting with the 11th place man in points, Tommy Sheetz III, picking any of the other 10 to start off the competition. The winner of each round received $100 with the final paying $1500 to win. Sheetz won his first race but challenged Jon Kellner Sr. in round two and fell to the rim riding Kellner. The next four rounds were dominated by Kellner and he pocketed a cool $500 for his efforts. He met his demise when he picked Craig VonDohren for his next foe. VonDohren polished off the next four finally leaving points leader and eight time feature winner in 2012 at Grandview, Duane Howard, as his last opponent. The crowd went wild as VonDohren used the preferred outside groove to romp over Howard as the inside was not working anywhere as good as the outside. A few minutes later VonDohren stood in victory lane $1900 richer as the crowd roared its approval. It was a fun event to watch but now it was almost 10:30 and we had two features still to run. At this point track maintenance was performed for 25 minutes and at this point it was unnecessary as the track would not get any better for the rest of the evening. Unless you cut it up and water it water alone added to the top is not going to do any good.
And indeed as the green waved at 10:51 the dust reappeared and would remain the rest of the evening. As bad as the URC heats were the feature was just the opposite. With only one minor caution the entire 25 lap event was completed in 10 minutes. Passing was minimal with Josh Weller starting first and finishing there. We have never understood the URC handicap system and probably never will. Davey Franek tried to track down the high flying Weller coming from sixth to apply the pressure but it seems his tires wore out and Mark Bitner who started second repassed him for the runnerup spot near the end. Tenth starting Robbie Stillwagon, the current URC point leader, passed the most cars but could not advance any further after arriving in fourth. Kevin Nagy, the third starter, rounded out the top five at 11:01.
The 30 lap 358 modified feature would take the green flag at 11:13 and they didn’t have much of a track to work with. Third starting Jon Kellner Jr. established a huge lead until tangling with a lap car in turn two on lap 16 and spinning out of the lead. It was a tough break for Kellner but a good break for second running Brad Grim. On the restart Grim powered out front and held the lead until lap 18 when eighth starting Don Norris Jr. powered by for the lead. Norris would pull away from his challengers and flashed under the checkered flag at 11:44 for his first win of the year over Grim with 14th starter, Jeff Strunk, claiming third with Chris Esposito turning in a fine performance for fourth and Mike Gular blasting from 13th to take fifth. Kyle Weiss was sixth with Craig VonDohren going to the back after a flat tire on lap 3 to come back to seventh. Meme DeSantis took home eighth with Duane Howard ninth after pitting with a flat tire on lap 2 and Doug Manmiller rallying for tenth.
To us the two division program took much too long to spin off and after chatting with some friends after the finish in the parking lot it was 12:30 before we left the grounds and second church service would be the choice.