Buckwalter Scores First Modified Victory
BECHTELSVILLE, Pa. – Tim Buckwalter has won several midget features at Grandview Speedway, but he had never won a 30-lap NASCAR Whelen All-American Series 358 Modified feature until Saturday night.
Point leader Randy Stoudt topped the field in the 25-lap BRC Late Model feature race while Jared Umbenhauer continued his record setting pace winning the 25-lap Sportsman feature race for his ninth win of the season.
Buckwalter teamed up with Jerry and Linda Rogue for the season to drive their No. 22. Several weeks ago after the car was destroyed when Duane Howard landed on top of his car in the homestretch melee, the team took some time off, got a new frame and returned to action. They struggled a while, but had the car in top notch running order on Saturday night and his dream finally came true – he got to victory lane in the division. He thanked all his sponsors for sticking with them and making everything possible. He now has three more wins to go to tie his father Rick in the career win list. The Royersford racer collected a $2900 payday which included $250 from T.P. Trailers and a $150 product award from VP Racing Fuels.
Allentown radio personality Bobby Gunther Walsh led for the first 10 laps before Kyle Weiss spun in the second turn for the first caution. On the restart Buckwalter put the H.G. Associates powered mount at the head of the pack.
Buckwalter quickly built up a comfortable margin by halfway over second through fifth-place runners Gunther Walsh, Jon Kellner, Mike Laise and Jordan Umbenhauer.
Four-time feature winner Doug Manmiller spun in the fourth turn for the second and final caution on the 20th lap to erase Buckwalter’s commanding lead. Buckwalter hung tough and held onto the lead when action resumed, but now Kellner, Umbenhauer, Craig VonDohren and Laise were in pursuit. Trying to get into a top five spot was last week’s feature winner Duane Howard and he did on the 23rd lap.
Kellner and VonDohren battled for second for four laps before VonDohren finally cleared him with one lap to go.
Buckwalter kept all challengers behind him and went on to score a crowd-pleasing triumph. Chasing him across the line were VonDohren, Kellner, Umbenhauer and Howard. Rounding out the top ten were Jeff Strunk, Laise, Nate Christman, Mike Gular, coming from the 21st spot and Frank Cozze. Todd Smith received the Cargo Trailers product gift certificate.
Buckwalter, Laise, Ray Swinehart and Don Norris Jr. were the heat winners. After winning the third heat, Swinehart’s engine erupted and he was finished for the night. Consolation race victories went to Terry Meitzler and Gular. There were 34 Modifieds on hand trying for one of the 28 feature starting spots.
Randy Stoudt, the all-time leading late model feature winner, won his third 25-lap NASCAR BRC feature of the season behind the wheel of the Taylor White and Wanda Brown-owned No. 22 and picked up an additional $100 from T.P. Trailers for his efforts.
Rookie and polesitter Cory Merkel took the early lead at the drop of the green trailed by Lou Egrie Jr., Joe Fanelli, Kory Fleming and bill Henning.