Sunday, November 16, 2014
STRUNK, HOWARD, UMBENHAUER AND STOUDT EARN HONORS AT 52ND GRANDVIEW SPEEDWAY AWARDS BANQUET
For the 10th time in his long storied career Jeff Strunk was able to claim the NASCAR Whelen All American Series 358 Modified title while Jared Umbenhauer was honored as a three time NASCAR Sportsman champion while Randy Stoudt, who recently announced his retirement from racing, celebrated his second NASCAR Late Model title.
Pottstown, PA based Jeff Strunk teamed up with car owner, New Yorker Vinnie Salerno, to grab the title and the more than $10,000 in track and NASCAR point money. Strunk was able to claim the title with another season-long consistent performance winning two features and tallying 5332 points. Duane Howard, Oley, PA, took second in the standings with five feature wins and 5165 points. By virtue of his five wins Howard was able to claim the NASCAR Whelen All American Series Pennsylvania State title and earlier had laid claim to the American Racer Cup Modified championship earning his Atlas Paving #66 team a lucrative season ending payoff. Craig VonDohren, Oley, took third in the final standings with three feature wins and 4967 points.
Jared Umbenhauer, who is based in Richland, PA, won his third straight NASCAR Sportsman title with 11 feature victories and 5144 counters driving the Bashore Trucking/Eastern Rigging #5. Orefield, PA’s Brett Kressley kept the point battle close and finished second in the final standings earning four wins and 4899 points. Veteran Kenny Gilmore, Kutztown, PA, managed to come home third in the standings with 4364 points despite not have a feature win.
In the NASCAR Late Model division long time racing talent Randy Stoudt, he calls Pottstown, PA home, was able to pick up his second career championship at the Bechtelsville racing facility topping six time champion Chuck Schutz of Pottstown with the T&W Racing #10. Stoudt earned six feature wins and 5214 points while Schutz had two wins and 4998 counters. Third in the final standings went to Sean Merkel, also of Pottown, with three wins and 4980 points.
It was also announced that T.P. Trailers of Limerick, PA will return as a major sponsor at Grandview Speedway in 2015. In 2014 T.P.Trailers posted bonus bucks totaling $450 each week spread over all three division’s feature winners. Major sponsors from the 2014 season received appreciation awards including T.P. Trailers, Bashore Trucking and Pioneer Pole Buildings.
The top 20 drivers and top 10 owners in each division were presented with beautiful awards for their 2014 season efforts while the top ten drivers and top five car owners earned point fund checks. The champions received beautiful custom rings from the track owners, Bruce and Teresa Rogers and family.
During the evening veteran Modified racing talent Terry Meitzler, a past champion at Grandview, announced his retirement.
Jeff Ahlum, just completing his first year as the track announcer, introduced special guests, officials and others, before getting into the many special awards. Media members in attendance and a number of working officials were presented with tokens of appreciation.
The NASCAR 358 Modified Division special award recipients were:
Mike Kellner, Rookie of the Year
Kyle Borror, Best Newcomer
Nate Christman, Most Improved Driver (going from 15th in the 2013 point standings to 8th in the 2014 points)
Eric Biehn – Best Appearing Car for his No. 87
John Willman – Hard Luck
The NASCAR Late Model special award recipients:
Cory Merkel – Rookie of the Year
Joe Fanelli – Best Newcomer
Lou Egrie – Most Improved Driver ( 16th in 2013 points to 5th in 2014)
Kory Fleming – Best Appearing Car #704
Past champion Jason Miller – Hard Luck
The NASCAR Sportsman special award recipients:
Jim Housworth – Rookie of the Year
Brett Gilmore – Best Newcomer
Jordan Henn – Most Improved Driver (12th in 2013 and 6th in 2014)
Guy Germano – Sportsmanship
Craig Whitmoyer – Best Appearing Car #99
Ronnie Krex – Hard Luck
The top three in the final point standings received plaques courtesy of NASCAR.
The awards presentations were followed by music for dancing.