Saturday, July 26 - If you couple together a beautiful sunny day and sprint car racing on the high banks of Grandview Speedway along with the modifieds what do you get? A packed house of fans. But before we go there let me tell you about our day. I originally had all these great ideas about how Bruce and I were going to power wash the back of our house but then plans do change. Bruce’s brother told us about a high school basketball tournement at a park in the city of Allentown and the power washing was soon forgotten. During the months of November through March Bruce and I are avid fans of our local high school basketball team, the Easton Red Rovers. So it didn’t take much to make me scrap the idea of the house washing to see the Rovers play ball two cities over. After watching several games in the heat of the sunny afternoon we grabbed a salad at Bob Evans and headed 30 minutes down to Grandview Speedway. The 1/3 mile high banked track runs 358 modifieds and limited late models on Saturday night but tonight they dropped the late models and added the URC sprints. We arrived at 6:50 for the 7:30 start and were surprised at the already huge crowd on hand. By race time the crowd was every promoter’s dream. I do believe money was made on this night. Something I think is great because if a promoter is making money he is not thinking about selling the track to become a housing development or shopping center.
Racing is suppose to start at 7:30 but tonight there was too much water on the track and it took longer to run in. It was 8:00 before the first of three sprint heats took the green. But the green did not stay out for long. In turn two on the first lap Denny Garl’s #17 took a horrific flip. Luckily Garl was uninjured. The race was restarted and again the red came out when veteran Kramer Williamson’s #73 tipped over in turn two. Now we were 25 minutes into the first heat and still no laps recorded on the score board. Once again the race was restarted and away we went. It took 25 minutes for the first lap of sprint heat number 1 to get in the books and then in the next hour they ran off three sprint heats, four modifieds heats, a sprint consolation and two modified consolations. Not to mention the modified heats run 12 laps. Not Bad! The modified heats run 12 laps and the high point man starts last. It makes for some good racing when only the top 5 out of 10 make the feature. Intermission started at 9:30 and promptly 1/2 hour later the URC 25 lap sprint feature began. It was a good feature and the track was holding up great. It was competitive and I would have said it was a good race but we all know there is a fine line between a good race and a great race. With three laps to go the line was crossed and it became a great race. Dave Ely, running in third, decided it was time to try something different. First he moved to the high side and while bouncing it off the walls he blew past second place Becca Anderson and on the white flag lap he trailed leader David Gravel by some 4 car lengths into turn one. But coming out of turn four for the checkered he blasted by Gravel to take the checkered first by less then a car length. I do not even think Gravel knew what happened. He came around and was going to pull nto victory lane. The large crowd on hand loved it and Ely received a roaring round of applause. I thought Ely made a great comment in victory lane that I am sure I will use sometime in the future, “You can’t pass a train if you are running on the same track". How true that statement is!!
The 30 lap modified race was underway shortly after 10:30 and lets just say there was a lot of bent sheet metal. At one point there was a 17 car pile-up coming out of turn four and later in the event there was s 7 car pile-up in turn four. From the onset Craig VonDohren had the car to beat. VonDohren started 11th and took the lead on lap 14. There was no one who could do anything with him. When the checkered fell at 11:13 it was VonDohren followed by John Tschudy and Jeff Strunk. With the exception of the late start the show was run off excellently and we left feeling very satisfied with the events we saw and even better so did the rest of the huge crowd.