Date: 9/6/2015 11:24:37 AM


MEDIA CONTACT: Ernie Saxton@215.752.7797-Cell:267.934.7286

EMAIL: Esaxton144@aol.com

Race results written by Vicki Gehris with additions from Ernie Saxton




VonDohren gets 8th Modified title, Schutz tops Late Models for seventh title and Kressley earns first Sportsman championship

45th Annual Freedom 76 Modified Classic on Saturday; Sprints and Sportsman on Friday

BECHTELSVILLE, PA. September 5, 2015. . . Modified rookie Jared Umbenhauer pulled a slide job on Mike Kellner to take the lead on the 15th lap of the T.P. Trailers NASCAR Whelen 30-lap Modified feature on Saturday night at Grandview in the activities sponsored by Marshall Home Services and went on to capture his first career win in the division as the regular NASCAR season came to a close. The former three-time Sportsman point champion worked for the win and he overcame several obstacles. First he had a borrowed engine from another car owner, Dick Biever, since he was having problems with his own; second he had no brakes the last five laps threading through lap traffic, but the biggest accomplishment was keeping Duane Howard behind him for ten laps. “The track was good in the middle since the bottom was too slow for our car,” commented an elated Umbenhauer. “And dealing with lapped traffic. Howard raced me clean when he could have easily moved me out of the way when the car pushed in the corners.”

Cory Merkel won his second 25-lap NASCAR BRC Late Model feature by a comfortable margin over Steve Wilson, who finished second for the second week in a row. Merkel dedicated the win to his sister-in-law Lindsay Merkel, wife of his older racing brother Sean, who is dealing with her second bout with cancer. He said, “It was like she was in the car with him helping.”

Mike Lisowski, who struggled for decent finishes in the Sportsman features the past few weeks, finally had a change of luck to win his third 25-lap NASCAR feature.

All three feature winners received monetary awards from T.P. Trailers and there were VP Racing Fuels product awards for the highest finisher in each feature that met the award requirements.

The biggest winners of the night were the 2015 point champions. Craig Von Dohren won his eighth T.P. Trailers NASCAR Modified title; Chuck Schutz chalked up his seventh BRC Late Model title and Brett Kressley claimed his first Sportsman title. They will be honored at the 53rd banquet on Saturday, November 21 at the Gilbertsville, PA Fire Company.

A multiple fourth turn accident eliminated Doug Manmiller before the first lap of the Modified feature was completed, but after that it was green flag racing until the checkered.

Mike Kellner charged into the early lead ahead of Todd Smith, Kyle Borror, John Willman and Umbenhauer and it didn’t take him long to open daylight.

Umbenhauer took over second on the fourth lap and took chase after Kellner who was setting a torrid pace. Smith, Howard, Borror, Willman and Jeff Strunk were in a five-car battle for third.

By the tenth lap Umbenhauer cut into the comfortable lead Kellner built up and three laps later the pair battled for first.

Kellner held the high groove while Umbenhauer made several bids to dive underneath him as the battle went on.

Umbenhauer pulled a slide job on Kellner, moving in front, and emerged as the new leader at the Dan’s Deli ½-way mark.

Howard cleared Kellner on the 17th lap and set his sights on Umbenhauer while J. Strunk, Willman and Don Norris Jr. jockeyed for positions.

Several times Howard made a run on Umbenhauer trying to use the lapped traffic to his advantage and cash in on the opportunity, but he was unsuccessful.

With five laps to go Umbenhauer’s foot went to the floor when he went for his brakes and he knew his work was cut out with Howard on his bumper giving him no margin for error.

Umbenhauer handled the cards he was dealt and pulled the Bashore-owned No. 5 into victory lane, a place he thought he’d never be, after a hard fought ten laps, in and out of traffic with runner-up Howard. Umbenhauer became the 11th different feature winner of the season with the Modifieds. Finishing third was J. Strunk followed by newly crowned champion VonDohren, who came back strong after going to the rear after the first lap skirmish, and early race leader and one-time feature winner this season Kellner. Willman, Norris Jr., Mike Gular, Danny Erb and Ryan Watt rounded out the top ten.

Howard, Ryan Grim and Willman won the heats. The consi was won by Frank Cozze.

These same drivers plus a host of many other top name competitors are expected to partake in the 45th annual Freedom 76 on Saturday, September 12 with $25,000 plus going to the winner. Racing starts at 7 p.m. On the night prior, Friday, September 11, the 305 Sprints and ROC Sportsman will see action starting at 7:30 p.m.

In Late Model action Steve Gross was the early pacesetter trailed by Bill Henning, the Merkel brothers Cory and Kyle and Wilson.

Schutz, the 2015 point champion, spun in the first turn to bring out the yellow on the third lap. The restart was null as now Schutz stopped in turn four and at the same time Kyle Merkel was in the backstretch wall out of competition and Gross spun. This turn of events put C. Merkel as the new leader with second through fifth comprised of Wilson, Kory Fleming, Wayne Pfeil and Rick Todorow.

Within a matter of laps C. Merkel built up a comfortable lead, but that didn’t deter the others as they continued to chase him down.

C. Merkel and the rest of the top five had to handle lap cars by the 14th lap and C. Merkel’s lead began to dwindle.

Dan Green hit the first turn infield tire and with the nose piece of his car bent under, he spun in the fourth turn for the final caution on the 17th circuit.

 C. Merkel maintained his lead when action resumed while Wilson, Fleming, Pfeil and Sean Merkel tried to change their status.

The lead never changed and C. Merkel was victorious for his third career win. Chasing him across the line were Wilson, Fleming, Pfeil and S. Merkel. Sixth through tenth were Rick Todorow, who may have competed in his last race; Schutz, Dan Ogin, last week’s feature winner; Gross and Henning.

Heats were won by C. Merkel and Wilson.

Lex Shive led the Sportsman feature for one lap before rookie Ryan Shupp charged into the lead on the second lap caution needed for a spin.

While Shupp showed the way Brandon Whitmoyer, Shive, Steve Young and Ryan Beltz diced for second through fifth.

A two-car fourth turn tangle brought out the yellow with five laps completed. The red was thrown on the restart after Erik Renninger took a violent end over end flip going into the third turn. He was alert and responsive when he was transported to Lehigh Valley Medical Center. When the race resumed Shupp was still in command being pursued by B. Whitmoyer, Lisowski, Beltz and Jim Housworth.

Lisowski took over second on the 12th lap to pressure Shupp.

The lead changed hands on the 13th lap restart needed first when Jesse Landis spun and then Brett Gilmore spun in the third turn and Young spun along the homestretch as now Lisowski was ahead.

It was only a matter of laps that Lisowski outdistanced himself, but now he was being chased by Shupp, Beltz, Paul Kline and the new champion Brett Kressley.

Lisowski never surrendered and went on to claim his fifth career win. Things certainly changed behind him as the checkered unfurled as Kline was second Brett Kressley, third as Shupp got shuffled to fourth and Beltz fifth. Completing the top ten were B. Whitmoyer, Brad Brightbill, Craig Whitmoyer, Housworth and Brian Kressley.

Heats were won by Brett Kressley, Shupp and Brightbill. John McGovern won the consi.


T.P. Trailers Marshall Home Services NASCAR Modified Feature (30 Laps): 1. Jared Umbenhauer, 2. Duane Howard, 3. Jeff Strunk, 4. Craig Von Dohren, 5. Mike Kellner, 6. John Willman, 7. Don Norris Jr., 8. Mike Gular, 9. Danny Erb, 10. Ryan Watt, 11. Kevin Hirthler, 12. Kyle Borror, 13. Frank Cozze, 14. Tim Buckwalter, 15. Glenn Strunk, 16. Meme DeSantis, 17. Brian Houseknecht, 18. Jarrad Miller, 19. Todd Smith, 20. Nate Christman, 21. Ron Seltmann Jr., 22. Eric Biehn, 21. Brian Hirthler, 24. Addison Meitzler, 25. Ray Swinehart, 26. Glenn Owens, 27. Ryan Grim, 28. Doug Manmiller. DNQ: Ron Haring Jr., Bobby Gunther-Walsh, Tommy Scheetz III, Mark Kratz, Tad Cox and Jamie Speers.

Marshall Home Services BRC NASCAR Late Model Feature (25 Laps): 1. Cory Merkel, 2. Steve Wilson, 3. Kory Fleming, 4. Wayne Pfeil, 5. Sean Merkel, 6. Rick Todorow, 7. Chuck Schutz, 8. Dave Ogin, 9. Steve Gross, 10. Bill Henning, 11. Dirk Rimrott, 12. Dan Green, 13. George Irwin, 14. Kyle Merkel, 15. Shawn Horning. DNS: Joe Fanelli, Buddy Mertz and Lou Egrie Jr.

Marshall Home Services NASCAR Sportsman Feature: 1. Mike Lisowski, 2. Paul Kline, 3. Brett Kressley, 4. Ryan Shupp, 5. Ryan Beltz, 6. Brandon Whitmoyer, 7. Brad Brightbill, 8. Craig Whitmoyer, 9. Jim Housworth, 10. Brian Kressley, 11. Ryan Lilick, 12. Brad Arnold, 13. Jordan Henn, 14. Brett Gilmore, 15. John McGovern, 16. Steve Young, 17. Paul Effrig, 18. Jesse Landis, 19. Ken Eckert Jr., 20. Jason Neidlinger, 21. Mike Koffel, 22. Lex Shive, 23. Erik Renninger, 24. Kyle Lilick. DNQ: Josh Adams, Larry Hoagland and Kevin Kuser.



* denotes feature win (Feature wins listed are only those that are 

NASCAR point events.)

1. Craig VonDohren, Oley, PA  #1C 5294****

2. Duane Howard, Oley, PA #66 4982****

3. Jeff Strunk, Pottstown, PA  #88 4763**

4. Doug Manmiller, Shoemakersville, PA #00 4409

5. Danny Erb, Boyertown, PA  #44 4215*

6. Mike Gular, Green Lane, PA #53/2 3941

7. Jared Umbenhauer, Richland, PA  #5/11 3804*

8. Don Norris, Douglassville, PA  #976 3770

9. Frank Cozze, Wind Gap, PA  #357/19 3672

10. Tim Buckwalter, Douglassville, PA  #22 3643

11. Kevin Hirthler,  Boyertown, PA  #117 3493***

12. John Willman, Birdsboro, PA  #74W 3470

13. Ray Swinehart, Perkiomenville, PA  #33 3335*

14. Glenn Strunk, Bechtelsville, PA  #41 3209

15. Meme DeSantis, Temple, PA  #357 2940

16. Nate Christman, Oley, PA  #37 2916

17. Kyle Borror,  Peach Bottom, PA  #B4 2868

18. Ryan Grim, Laury’s Station, PA #17 2639*

19. Kyle Weiss, Hamburg, PA  #21K 2620*

20. Mike Kellner, Lansdale, PA #A1/57 2566*

21. Eric Biehn, Bechtelsville, PA  #87 2533

22. Brian Houseknecht, Bechtelsville, PA  #323 2448

23. Jarred Miller, Barto, PA  #917 2087

24. Todd Smith, Hatfield, PA  #39 1974

25. Ryan Wyatt, Boyertown, PA  #14W 1658

26. Ron Seltmann, Lower Pottsgrove,  #R19 1564*

27. Bobby Gunther Walsh, Allentown, PA  #1 1488

28. Mike Laise, Pottstown, PA #15 1485

29. Mike Bailey, Kutztown, PA  #81 1403

30. Ryan Kunkle, Fleetwood, PA  #77K 1052



1. Chuck Schutz, Pottstown, PA  #1 4427****

2. Wayne Pfeil, Mohnton, PA  #72 4116**

3. Sean Merkel, Boyertown, PA  #118 4114*

4. Dave Ogin, Bechtelsville, PA  #31/8M 3896**

5. Kory Fleming, Milford, NJ  #704 3840**

6. Dan Green, Coatesville, PA  #46 3741

7. Rick Todorow, Quakertown, PA #93 3606

8. Joe Fanelli, Exton, PA #22 3341

9. Cory Merkel, Gilbertsville, PA  #16 3338**

10. Lou Egrie Jr., Willow Grove, PA  #4E 3232*

11. Bill Henning, Lansdale, PA  #80 2643

12. Steve Gross, West Chester, PA  #62 2612

13. Steve Wilson, Green Lane, PA #15 2392

14. Randy Stoudt,  Pottstown, PA  #5/10 2280****

15. Kyle Merkel, Boyertown, PA  #00 2268

16. John Giesler, Aston, PA  #ZT1 1384

17. Shawn Horning, Blandon, PA  #8M 1370

18. Dirk Rimrott, Phoenixville, PA  #92 1176

19. Devin Frey, Myerstown, PA  #F62 1136

20. George Irwin,  #2D 887



1. Brett Kressley, Orefield, PA #19K 4023****

2. Craig Whitmoyer, Hamburg, PA  #99 3698

3. Jordan Henn, Kutztown, PA  #77H 3596

4. Brett Gilmore, Fleetwood, PA  #00 3414*

5. Kenny Gilmore, Fleetwood, PA  #7 3350**

6. Ryan Lilick, Collegeville, PA  #142 3276***

7. Brad Arnold,  Kenhorst, PA  #830 3247*

8. Mike Lisowski,  Minersville, PA  #15 3190***

9. Brian Hirthler, Green Lane, PA  #4* 3142

10. Jim Housworth, Reigelsville, PA  #72 3105

11. Erik Renninger, Bridgewater, NJ  #51 2648

12. Ryan Beltz, Barto, PA  #221 2542

13. Jason Neidlinger,  Schuylkill Haven, PA  #88X 2275

14. Brandon Whitmoyer, Hamburg, PA  #25 2156

15. Kyle Lilick, Collegeville, PA   #104 1971

16. Paul Kline, Reading, PA  #1 1963**

17. Joe Funk, Coopersburg, PA  #14J 1854

18. Ken Eckert, Orwigsburg, PA #29 1825

19. Ryan Shupp, #15R 1693

20. Dean Bachman, Emmaus, PA  #65 1599

Also Feature Winners:  Mark Kemmerer (1), Sean Weiss (1), Brad Brightbill (1), Jeff Sechrist

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