Hodnett Wins Pa Spedweek Show at Grandview

Greg Hodnett. - Rick Rarer / SprintCarNews.com Photo
Greg Hodnett. - Rick Rarer / SprintCarNews.com Photo
Greg Hodnett. – Rick Rarer / SprintCarNews.com Photo

From Bob Miller

Bechtelsville, PA — (July 1, 2014) — It could very well go down as one of best nights of racing in 2014!

The large crowd on hand was thriller with two spectacular feature events Tuesday night at the Grandview Speedway as the Thunder on the Hill Racing Series celebrated their twenty-fifth season. Greg Hodnett won the 35 lap Pennsylvania Sprint Speed Week 410 sprint feature event presented by MACH1 Chassis as Duane Howard rebounded after a wild crash Saturday night to win the Pioneer Pole Buildings Race of Champions 60 lap feature event. Both feature events were spectacular with the feature winners in both events being decided on the final laps. For the one-hundred and twelfth event in Thunder on the Hill Racing, a total purse in excess of $50,000 was paid to the two divisions.

The NAPA Auto Parts Thunder on the Hill Racing welcomed a big turnout of racing fans as the event opened with the CnB Mushrooms 410 sprint time trials. Lucas Wolfe driving the ZEMCO sprint car set fast time, turning the one lap with a time of 12.032. The three 410 sprint qualifying events were won by Brent Marks, Austin Wheatley and Kyle Reinhardt.

The Modified Race of Champions qualifying event winners were Rick Laubach, Stew Friesen, Craig VonDohren and Duane Howard with the consolation victory going to John McClelland.

Both fields were set and the fast moving show was now ready to present the MACH 1 Chassis 35 lap sprint feature.

Greg Hodnett, driving the Mike Heffner sprint car set the early pace followed by Darren Mollenoyux and Lucas Wolfe. By lap seven Wolfe was second and chasing down Hodnett. Alan Krimes and Danny Dietrich were on their way to the front of the pack. On lap fourteen, Wolfe caught Hodnett and staged the first challenge for the lead with Alan Krimes racing in third.

As the halfway point of the race, Hodnett, Wolfe, Danny Dietrich, Krimes and Mollenoyux were the top five. On lap nineteen, Dietrich, using the outside lane, moved into second and he began to chase down the leader. On lap twenty-four, there were three cars racing under a blanket for the lead with Hodnett, Dietrich and Dewease in a battle. Lap after lap Dietrich rode the outside boiler-plate as he challenged Hodnett for the lead.

On lap twenty-four, Lucas Wolfe now joined the battle for the lead with Brent Marks just outside the top five. Hodnett, Dietrich and Wolfe were no in a three way battle for the lead. Dietrich made a challenge for the lead lap after lap then on lap twenty-eight, Lucas Wolfe moved into second. Wolfe now challenged for the lead and with just two laps to go, Hodnett and Wolfe crossed the line side-by-side. Hodnett held off the challenges of Wolfe to score his seventh career Thunder on the Hill victory and collected $5,000.

In the sixty lap PPB Race of Champions feature, pole sitter Stew Friesen led the first lap with Rick Laubach taking the top spot on lap two. The one and only caution flag of the race came out on lap two for Craig VonDohren who had a flat tire. On the restart, Friesen remained the leader with Laubach in the hunt. MeMe DeSantis passed Laubach for second on lap five, but one lap later, Laubach returned to second. Duane Howard, who flipped violently on Saturday night was in the hunt and running third.

On lap fifteen, a three car battle for the lead was unfolding between Friesen, Laubach and Howard. As the leaders approached lapped traffic, Friesen appeared to have an edge, pulling away from the rest of the field. As the field approached the halfway point of the race, Jeff Strunk was now reeling in the leaders, making it a four car race for win. As the field passed on lap thirty-eight, Friesen, Laubach, Howard and Strunk were now surrounded by slower traffic as the four drivers began to duke it out for the lead. Howard moved into second and began his job to reel in the leader.

It was a new race on lap forty as Rick Laubach became the new leader and by lap forty-two, Howard was second with Friesen third and hard charging Jeff Strunk was now running in fourth. With just ten laps to go, the race became more interesting as Laubach, Howard and Strunk were in the chase for the lead. Howard regained the lead on lap fifty-two and by lap fifty-six, Laubach was again back on top.

With three laps to go, Laubach, Howard and Strunk were not only dodging each other but a list of slower cars just ahead of the leaders. On lap fifty-eight, Howard took the lead with Laubach and Strunk side-by-side for second. With the checker flag waiving, Duane Howard took the victory to collect the $5,000 first place prize. Rick Laubach finished second followed by Jeff Strunk, Stewart Friesen and Keith Hoffman.

MACH 1 CHASSIS 410 SPRINT FEATURE FINISH 35 LAPS $5,000 TO WIN- –#27 Greg Hodnett, #1 Lucas Wolfe, #48 Danny Dietrich, #19m Brent Marks, #14 Lance Dewease, #89 Robbie Stillwaggon, #94 Ryan Smith, #87 Alan Krimes, #77au Darren Mollenoyux, #99 Brady Bacon, #44w Austin Wheatley, #747 Danny Sammons, #33 Curt Stroup, #21 Brian Montieth, #38 Scott Wilson, #20 Ryan Taylor, #92 Tyler Ross, #37 JJ Grasso, #5 Justin Barger, #51 Freddie Rahmer, #59 Alex Schantz, #21k Kyle Reinhardt