By: Mark Hackett/NRN
BECHTELSVILLE, PA- A sunny warm day greeted 90 participants for a 3 division race on Grandview’s 19th and next to last points race of the season.
The modified 30 lap feature turned out to be a battle between John Willman and Duane Howard for the second time this season but this time Willman held off Howard by .18 seconds and got his first Grandview feature win since opening day of the 2010 season. Sportsmen feature not to be outdone was a duel to the final lap with Jimmy Lieby holding off Mike Mammana by 2 tenths of a second giving Lieby his very first Grandview win in his 602 crate motored sportsmen entry. Blast from the Past Modified feature was won by Andy Cassel over Brett Peters while the Vintage feature was won by Rick Decker over Dominique Deglas.
Modified feature was lead to green by Jessie Leiby and Steve Swinehart in the front row. Lieby lead the field until lap 6 when caution came out due to a battle for lead between Lieby, Biehn and Willman which resulted in contact that led to spins by Eric Biehn and Steven Swinehart. On the ensuing restart Willman grabbed the lead while Craig Whitmoyer trailed in second position. By lap 10 Duane Howard moved into 3rd from his 14th starting position. Willman extended his lead but on lap 19 Howard moved into second and Jeff Strunk right behind him into third. For the next 9 laps Howard attempted to pass Willman on the outside but Willman continued to run a middle high/low line that Howard could not get around. On lap 28 Howard switched to passing on the inside line and drew even with Willman but couldn’t complete the pass allowing Willman to hold on for the win and take the checker with a .18 advantage. Willman was followed by 2nd place finisher Duane Howard, Jeff Strunk, Craig Von Dohren and Brett Kressley in 5th place.
Modified heats were won by Ron Kline, Steve Swinehart, Jesse Leiby and Justin Grim. Last chance consolations were won by Clay Butler and Tim Buckwalter.
In victory lane Willman celebrated his first win at Grandview speedway since opening day of the 2010 season and noted that 4 was the charm not 3. In the past three week’s Willman has finished 2nd, 2nd and 3rd but the forth week was the charm to break the 9 year draught from visiting victory lane. John dedicated his win to his Father- In-Law Thomas Vroman who is home with an illness and his wife who is home caring for him.
The Sportsmen feature was lead to green by Tom Miller but it was Steve Young taking the lead on lap 2 just before a spinning car caused a caution for an 8 car tangle and amazing all cars were able to drive away. On lap 7 caution flew again for a flat tire caused by contact and taking the 2nd place car of Tom Miller to the pits and back of the field. On the lap 7 restart Jimmy Leiby went to the led while Mike Mammana moved into 2nd place on lap 9. By lap 22 Leiby’s lead had diminished as lap traffic allowed Mammana to run right up on Leiby’s bumper. On the final turn Mammana went for a high side pass as Leiby washed up but was able to hold on for the win by less than a half a car length.
Rounding out the top 5 behind winner Jimmy Leiby were Mike Mammana, Brad Brightbill, Steve Young, and Jesse Landis.
Leiby mentioned that his crate motor couldn’t find grip until he changed his line after taking the lead on the lap 7 restart. Leiby stated “I have never ran in lap traffic before and made contact with a lapped car and was very fortunate a tire did not go flat on lap 23. On the final turn I was protecting the bottom but heard Mammana go high to the outside and floored it and hoped it was enough”. Back at the trailer Jimmy stated” I would like to thank my mom and dad, sponsors, crew and dedicate this win to the memory of my good friend and fellow racer Joey Falanga.”
In 9 shorts weeks after his first visit to Grandview Jimmy Leiby was able to drive his crate sportsmen entry into victory lane from the 3rd starting position. Leiby has changed mid-season to a Grandview regular from OCFG and travels over 2 hours from New Milford, NJ to compete at Grandview.
Sportsmen heat winners were Steve Young, Jimmy Leiby and Tom Miller. The consolation race was won by Brad Grim.
Grandview 8/31/19 Modified Feature Results
1.) John Willman (start 5th
2.) Duane Howard (start 14th)
3.) Jeff Strunk (start 16th)
4.) Craig Von Dohren (start 12rd)
5.) Brett Kressley (start 13nd)
6.) Kevin Hirthler (start 11th)
7.) Craig Whitmoyer (start 8th)
8.) Kyle Weiss (15)
9.) Doug Manmiller (17)
10.) Ron Kline (7)
11.) Glenn Strunk (6)
12.) Rick Laubach (28)
13.) Tim Buckwalter (22)
14.) Clay Butler (21)
15.) Ryan Lillick (27)
16.) Louden Reimert (25)
17.) Jesse Leiby (1)
18.) Justin Grim (4)
19.) Jared Umbenhaurer (26)
20.) Richie Hitzler (23)
21.) Briggs Danner (9)
22.) Ray Swinehart (18)
23.) Eric Biehn (3)
24.) Frank Cozze (10)
25.) Steve Swinehart (2)
26.) Kenny Gilmore (19)
27.) Alex Yankowski (24)
28.) Mike LIsowski (20)
Bobby Gunther Walsh