Bell Wins PA Speedweek Feature at Grandview

Christopher Bell. (Dan McFarland/SprintFun photo)

By Bob Miller
BECHTELSVILLE, PA (July 2, 2019) – Mother Nature offered a reprieve to race fans Tuesday Night at Grandview Speedway, providing just enough clear weather for Norman, Oklahoma’s Christopher Bell to claim the 410 Sprint Car main event, while Boyertown, Pennsylvania’s Jeff Strunk scored the win in the Modified portion of the double-header event. A big crowd turned out for the NAPA Auto Parts Thunder on the Hill event attracting a field of thirty 410 sprint cars and thirty-eight modifieds. The battles were plentiful all night but the biggest story was how the Grandview Speedway track crew fought back after a thunder stormed drenched the speedway surface. The outstanding work by the track crew with help from the modifieds quickly returned the speedway back into race ready conditions after a one hour and fifteen minute rain delay. As the checker flag fell on the modified feature, the rain once again began to fall, but the show in its entirety was presented.

Bell used up every inch of the racetrack on his way to a $10,000 payday as part of Pennsylvania Sprint Car Speedweek. The was Bells first ever Thunder on the Hill Racing Series victory.

“I had a hard time figuring out where the car worked best, I just kept moving around,” Bell explained in post-race victory lane ceremonies. “I almost crashed a couple of times.”

Pole-sitter Lucas Wolfe and Bell raced down to the drop of the green, but action slowed quickly for a six-car tangle that sidelined Pennsylvania Speedweek point leader, Freddie Rahmer.

Bell didn’t bat an eye on the ensuing restart racing around Wolfe and disappearing from the competition – a man on a mission, Bell encountered lapped traffic on the 8th circuit dodging slower cars with his sight set on the winner’s purse.

James McFadden, aboard the Kasey Kahne Racing No. 9 machine, slid passed Wolfe on the 12th lap and it didn’t take long for him to rope in Bell and challenge for the lead. The red flag flew just prior to the halfway when Jessie Attard got upside down in turn three.

Bell had his hands full on the restart with McFadden and Lance Dewease right on his rear bumper.

“I struggled just passed halfway, I used every inch of the race track and tried to block those guys behind me,” Bell explained.

McFadden would make one last-ditch effort for the victory, but ultimately settled for second, Lance Dewease finished in third, Lucas Wolfe in fourth, and past Thunder Cup winner Aaron Reutzel finished in fifth.

Christopher Bell’s sweep included the Quick Time with a lap of 11.617. Heat Races were won by Aaron Reutzel, Lucas Wolfe, Danny Dietrich, and Kyle Reinhardt. Mark Smith scored the win in the B-Main.

Brett Kressley and Mike Gular started on the front row of the NASCAR 358 Modified feature event, with Gular gaining control of the top spot. Gular dominated the first half of the 30-lap event clicking laps off with a strong contingent of Modified drivers behind him.

The top three competitors were door-to-door in the closing portion of the event, with Gular, Kressley, and Strunk all moving to the point in a single lap. Strunk would score the upper hand threading three-wide between Gular and Kressley.

Strunk led the final ten laps of the feature event with Kressley well within striking distance and riding the rear bumper of #126 on the final lap. Kressley rolled home in second, Mike Gular finished in third, Craig VonDohren in fourth, and Duane Howard rounding out the top five. Kressley worked his way to victory lane, but this time to congratulate the great run by Strunk. The thirty lap modified win was worth $3,000.

NASCAR Modified Heat Races were won by Don Norris, Jr., Steve Young, Brett Kressley, and Ryan Watt. Consolations were won by Craig Whitmoyer and Glenn Strunk.

Rain delayed the start of the event with 410 Sprint Car Time Trials finally rolling off at 8:45 PM, the rain fell again at the drop of the checkered flag.

The 30th Anniversary season of the NAPA Auto Parts Thunder on the Hill Racing Series continues on Tuesday, July 30 at Grandview Speedway with the USAC NOS Energy Drink Midget National Championship event dubbed Ken Brenn Midget Masters. NASCAR 358 Modifieds are also on the card.

PA Speedweek
Grandview Speedway
Bechtelsville, PA
Tuesday July 2, 2019

Winged 410 Sprint Cars

1. 39-Christopher Bell, 11.617
2. 9-James McFadden, 11.638
3. 69K-Lance Dewease, 11.645
4. 11-TJ Stutts, 11.661
5. 87R-Aaron Reutzel, 11.665
6. 24-Lucas Wolfe, 11.670
7. 26-Cory Eliason, 11.703
8. 91-Kyle Reinhardt, 11.727
9. 11B-Dale Blaney, 11.728
10. 57-Kyle Larson, 11.755
11. 48-Danny Dietrich, 11.763
12. 24R-Rico Abreu, 11.789
13. 51-Freddie Rahmer, 11.790
14. 5-Dylan Cisney, 11.807
15. 53-Jessie Attard, 11.808
16. 39M-Anthony Macri, 11.815
17. 87-Alan Krimes, 11.837
18. 35-Tyler Reeser, 11.928
19. 20-Ryan Taylor, 11.928
20. 99-Kyle Moody, 11.939
21. 38-Mark Smith, 11.954
22. 33-Jared Esh, 11.972
23. 14-Tony Stewart, 12.034
24. 73B-Brett Michalski, 12.066
25. 37-JJ Grasso, 12.103
26. 75-Chase Dietz, 12.108
27. 88-Brandon Rahmer, 12.166
28. 52AU-Darren Mollenoyux, 12.219
29. 12-Barry Schearer, 12.278
30. 98H-Dave Blaney, NT

Heat Race #1:
1. 87R-Aaron Reutzel
2. 39-Christopher Bell
3. 11B-Dale Blaney
4. 51-Freddie Rahmer
5. 37-JJ Grasso
6. 87-Alan Krimes
7. 38-Mark Smith
8. 12-Barry Schearer

Heat Race #2:
1. 24-Lucas Wolfe
2. 57-Kyle Larson
3. 9-James McFadden
4. 5-Dylan Cisney
5. 33-Jared Esh
6. 75-Chase Dietz
7. 35-Tyler Reeser

Heat Race #3:
1. 48-Danny Dietrich
2. 26-Cory Eliason
3. 69K-Lance Dewease
4. 53-Jessie Attard
5. 88-Brandon Rahmer
6. 14-Tony Stewart
7. 20-Ryan Taylor

Heat Race #4:
1. 91-Kyle Reinhardt
2. 24R-Rico Abreu
3. 39M-Anthony Macri
4. 99-Kyle Moody
5. 11-TJ Stutts
6. 52AU-Darren Mollenoyux
7. 73B-Brett Michalski
DNS. 98H-Dave Blaney

1. 38-Mark Smith
2. 87-Alan Krimes
3. 35-Tyler Reeser
4. 75-Chase Dietz
5. 52AU-Darren Mollenoyux
6. 20-Ryan Taylor
7. 73B-Brett Michalski
8. 12-Barry Schearer
DNS. 14-Tony Stewart
DNS. 98H-Dave Blaney

1. 39-Christopher Bell
2. 9-James McFadden
3. 69K-Lance Dewease
4. 24-Lucas Wolfe
5. 87R-Aaron Reutzel
6. 48-Danny Dietrich
7. 57-Kyle Larson
8. 24R-Rico Abreu
9. 39M-Anthony Macri
10. 26-Cory Eliason
11. 37-JJ Grasso
12. 91-Kyle Reinhardt
13. 87-Alan Krimes
14. 33-Jared Esh
15. 75-Chase Dietz
16. 99-Kyle Moody
17. 35-Tyler Reeser
18. 38-Mark Smith
19. 53-Jessie Attard
20. 11-TJ Stutts
21. 11B-Dale Blaney
22. 51-Freddie Rahmer
23. 5-Dylan Cisney
24. 88-Brandon Rahmer