Swine­hart wins For­rest Rogers Me­mo­rial for 4th time and $10k pay­day

The Community Connection - - SPORTS - By Ernie Sax­ton For Dig­i­tal First Me­dia

BECHTELSVILLE » Ray Swine­hart, now into his 44th con­sec­u­tive sea­son be­hind the wheel, added a cool $10,000 to his bank ac­count, Satur­day evening at Grand­view Speed­way in Bechtelsville af­ter win­ning the 48th an­nual Pi­o­neer Pole Build­ings For­rest Rogers Me­mo­rial 50-lap­per.

Swine­hart, 66, of Perkiomenville, started sixth in the 31-car start­ing field aboard his self-owned Troyer chas­sied R&R Race En­gines pow­ered Mod­i­fied Parts De­pot backed No. 33 358 Mod­i­fied ma­chine, took the lead on Lap 5 and raced off with the pop­u­lar tri­umph.

The win by Swine­hart was his sec­ond fea­ture win this sea­son at the high-banked third-mile dirt oval pro­moted by the Rogers fam­ily, his first since back on July 28. Swine­hart’s tri­umph was the 30th win of his ca­reer at Grand­view and his fourth ca­reer Rogers Me­mo­rial vic­tory. Swine­hart won the event pre­vi­ously in 1988, 1996 and 2005.

“Up un­til about six months ago,” com­mented Swine­hart, “I didn’t think we’d ever win an­other fea­ture here again at this track. Tonight we made it back again.”

With the green, Briggs Dan­ner, 16, of Al­len­town, im­me­di­ately jumped out in front, with 358 Mod­i­fied rookie racer Jor­dan Henn and Bobby Trap­per Sr. in tow. Ten-time 358 Mod­i­fied track cham­pion Jeff Strunk quickly slowed in Turn 2 with a right rear flat to quickly bring out the cau­tion on Lap 2.

When rac­ing re­sumed it was Dan­ner back out in front, with Henn and Swine­hart now trail­ing. On Lap 3, Swine­hart moved around Henn and took the run­ner-up po­si­tion, with a red flag for a six­car tan­gle in Turn 3.

“We have been work­ing on this car since the sea­son started and it has been get­ting bet­ter and bet­ter,” men­tioned Swine­hart. “We are re­ally happy with it, now.”

On Lap 4 it was Dan­ner out in front again over Swine­hart, Henn and long­time vet­eran Meme DeSan­tis, who started sev­enth. The next time around it was Swine­hart out in front, fol­lowed by Dan­ner, with an­other cau­tion ap­pear­ing, due to a six­car tan­gle.

On the restart, Brett “The Threat” Kress­ley and 44-year-old Ryan Godown got to­gether on the front straight­away, with both cars spin­ning into the in­field area. Af­ter Kress­ley and Godown got into a bump­ing and bang­ing dust up, a de­ci­sion was made by track of­fi­cials to send both driv­ers to the pits for the rest of the event.

The new green showed Swine­hart out in front over Dan­ner, DeSan­tis and Henn for Lap 6. With 10 com­pleted it was DeSan­tis ad­vanc­ing into sec­ond-place, with Dan­ner now third, fol­lowed by Doug Man­miller and Jared Um­ben­hauer.

As the laps clicked off, Um­ben­hauer moved into fourth on Lap 16 and claimed third-place af­ter 20-laps were put in the record books. Lap 22 an­other cau­tion ap­peared af­ter a five-car skir­mish in Turn 1.

“My car was re­ally ill-han­dling in the very be­gin­ning be­cause we had a full load of fuel,” an­nounced Swine­hart. “I had to fight my way through that, early on, but the car was real good, tonight.”

Lap 23 it was still Swine­hart out in front, fol­lowed by DeSan­tis and Um­ben­hauer. A lap later, Um­ben­hauer slipped by DeSan­tis, with Man­miller now up to fourth and Dan­ner still run­ning strong in fifth.

With 32 down, Man­miller went by DeSan­tis for third and with 36 com­plete, Swine­hart caught up to some very heavy lapped traf­fic, as Um­ben­hauer be­gan to reel him in.

Swine­hart worked the slower lapped traf­fic per­fectly, as Um­ben­hauer, 26, of Rich­land, made sev­eral at­tempts to get by Swine­hart, how­ever, Swine­hart re­mained out in front.

I never re­al­ized that the mid­dle to the bot­tom was full of rub­ber and I wasn’t down there in that right away,” noted Swine­hart. “I changed my line and got things go­ing pretty good af­ter that.”

The top five was now Swine­hart, Um­ben­hauer, Man­miller, DeSan­tis and John Will­man with nine cir­cuits re­main­ing.

With two to go, ten-time 358 Mod­i­fied track cham­pion Craig Von Dohren, 55, of Oley, who used a pro­vi­sional to start from 30th in a back-up car, moved into fifth­place, get­ting by Will­man. On the fi­nal trip around, Von Dohren got by DeSan­tis to claim fourth-place at the check­ered.

Swine­hart crossed the line as the happy race win­ner over Um­ben­hauer, who started 15th, Man­miller, who started 11th, Von Dohren and DeSan­tis, who earned his best fin­ish of the sea­son with a fifth-place run.

“At this point in my rac­ing ca­reer,” re­vealed Swine­hart. “This right here is about as good as it can get.”

Heat win­ners for 40 358 Mod­i­fied cars on the night were DeSan­tis, Swine­hart, Joe Fanelli and Henn. Con­so­la­tions were won by Rick Laubach and Brian “BK Speed” Krum­mel.

In the 25-lap Sports­man main event, Steve Young, who started from the pole, was the early race leader over Der­rick Smith and Andy Clem­mer. Cau­tions af­ter 3-laps and again af­ter 4-laps bunched up the field, with Young still out in front over Smith and Clem­mer.

On Lap 5, Young was still show­ing the Ray Swine­hart (33) and Bobby Trap­per (69) race dur­ing the For­rest Rogers Me­mo­rial at Grand­view on Sept. 1.

way over Smith, with Craig Whit­moyer, 43, of Ham­burg, PA sud­denly blast­ing his way into third, as Mike Mam­mana and Dy­lan Swine­hart trailed. On Lap 8, Whit­moyer mo­tored by Smith to move into sec­ond­place and on Lap 10 Whit­moyer drove it un­der­neath Young ex­it­ing Turn 4 to be­come the new race leader.

With 10-laps re­main­ing, Whit­moyer was a full straight­away in front, with Young, Smith and Mam­mana trail­ing.

With the white flag wav­ing, Mam­mana went by Smith to ad­vance to third, as Mike Lisowski, who started 21st in the 25-car start­ing field, took fifth.

Cross­ing un­der the check­ered it was Whit­moyer earn­ing his first win this sea­son, be­com­ing the 11th dif­fer­ent win­ner in the divi­sion this sea­son. The tri­umph for Whit­moyer was the 10th of his ca­reer and his first at the track since July 8, 2017. Whit­moyer re­ceived in ad­di­tion to first place money a $75 prod­uct award from VP Rac­ing Fu­els and $100 from T.P. Trail­ers.

Young held on to fin­ish run­ner-up, fol­lowed by Mam­mana, Smith and Lisowski.

With 24 Sports­man cars on hand the heat race win­ners were Mam­mana, Young and Whit­moyer. No con­so­la­tion race was needed.

“We made some changes to the car and we had a fast hot rod,” of­fered Whit­moyer. “We have been run­ning the 604 down here all year and we made the right changes. We’ve been tweak­ing it all year and I’ve got a great crew. Those guys do all the work on this thing. I just show up and drive and all the credit goes to them. With this com­bi­na­tion the car was just glued to the bot­tom tonight and we were a rocket.”

In the 25-lap Late Model fea­ture event, out­side front row starter Kyle Merkel jumped out in front with the green over Drew Weisser and cur­rent point leader Danny Sny­der. For­mer divi­sion cham­pion Lou Egrie moved into third on Lap 2, drop­ping Sny­der to fourth.

The laps clicked off, with Merkel pulling out to a safe ad­van­tage as the race leader.

By Lap 11, 9-time divi­sion cham­pion Chuck Schutz, of Pottstown, moved into fifth place, af­ter start­ing in ninth. Three cir­cuits later, Schutz ad­vanced into fourth­place and with five tours re­main­ing, Merkel sud­denly slowed down the back part of the speed­way due to mo­tor is­sues, bring­ing out the first cau­tion of the race.

On the restart, Weisser was out in front, with Schutz pow­er­ing into sec­ond-place. With 22 com­plete, Schutz climbed to the top, be­com­ing the new race leader. Cau­tions af­ter 23laps and again af­ter 24-laps bunched up the field.

Schutz eas­ily won his sec­ond con­sec­u­tive main event and his third of the sea­son, in­creas­ing his ca­reer win to­tal Chuck Schutz cel­e­brates af­ter his Late Model win at Grand­view on Sept. 1.

to 51 over­all. Schutz in ad­di­tion took home a $100 VP Rac­ing Fu­els prod­uct award and $100 from T.P. Trail­ers.

Weisser fin­ished a solid sec­ond in front of Sny­der, Wayne Pfeil and Steve Wil­son at the check­ered.

“I had to wait un­til the track dried out so it would free my car up there and tonight it worked out pretty good,” said Schutz. “The car was vi­brat­ing again at the end, but I’m not sure why that is. I was work­ing the bot­tom and glad that the cau­tion came out. It evened up the play­ing field there a lit­tle.”

Ex­cit­ing rac­ing ac­tion re­turns to Grand­view Speed­way on Satur­day, Septem­ber 8th, with the run­ning of WNPV1440 Ra­dio Cham­pion’s Night. The T.P.Trail­ers NASCAR 358 Mod­i­fieds, Sports­man and Late Mod­els will all be bat­tling to de­cide who will win the lu­cra­tive NASCAR/track cham­pi­onships. Rac­ing starts at 7:30 p.m.

Fans are re­minded that ad­vance tick­ets for the 48th An­nual Free­dom 76 set for Satur­day, Septem­ber 15 will be on sale. The race pays $25,000 to win and is ex­pected to at­tract many of the top tal­ents in the sport. Ad­vance tick­ets are priced at $35 while tick­ets pur­chased on race day will be $40.

In ad­di­tion the Free­dom 38 takes place on Fri­day night, 7 p.m. fea­tur­ing the Sports­man, MASS Sprints and prac­tice ses­sions for the Mod­i­fieds plan­ning to race the next night.

PI­O­NEER POLE BUILD­INGS NASCAR T.P.TRAIL­ERS 358 Mod­i­fied Fea­ture (50 laps) - 1) Ray Swine­hart, 2) Jared Um­ben­hauer, 3) Doug Man­miller, 4) Craig Von Dohren, 5) Meme DeSan­tis, 6) John Will­man, 7) Mike Gu­lar, 8) Briggs Dan­ner, 9) Kevin Hirth­ler, 10) Rick Laubach, 11) Brian Krum­mel, 12) Brian Hirth­ler, 13) Kenny Gil­more, 14) Jor­dan Henn, 15) Danny Erb, 16) Clay But­ler, 17) Joe Fanelli, 18) Bobby Trap­per Jr., 19) Brett Gil­more, 20) Jeff Strunk, 21) Ryan Grim, 22) Chris Es­pos­ito, 23) Mark Kratz, 24) Bobby Trap­per Sr., 25) Brett Kress­ley, 26) Ryan Godown, 27) Duane Howard, 28) Kyle Weiss, 29) Colt Har­ris, 30) Steve Swine­hart, 31) Frank Cozze. Late Mod­els (25 laps) – 1) Chuck Schutz, 2) Drew Weisser, 3) Danny Sny­der, 4) Wayne Pfeil, 5) Steve Wil­son, 6) Lou Egrie, 7) Pa­trick Robin­son, 8) Cory Merkel, 9) Kyle Merkel, 10) Stephen Todorow, DNS Scott McMichael, Terry Sny­der. Sports­man (25 laps) - 1) Craig Whit­moyer, 2) Steve Young, 3) Mike Mam­mana, 4) Der­rick Smith, 5) Mike Lisowski, 6) Dy­lan Swine­hart, 7) Brad Grim, 8) Kyle Lil­ick, 9) Kurt Bet­tler, 10) Louden Reimert, 11) Kenny Eck­ert Jr., 12) Mark Kem­merer, 13) Mike Kell­ner, 14) Andy Clem­mer, 15) Jesse Lan­dis, 16) Ryan Beltz, 17) Lex Shive, 18) Brad Arnold 19) Kenny Bock, 20) Ni­cho Flam­mer, 21) Blaike Bracelin, 22) Nathan Mohr, 23) Sean Weiss, 24) Brad Bright­bill.


Ray Swine­hart gets a hug from wife Lori af­ter win­ning the For­rest Rogers Me­mo­rial at Grand­view on Sept. 1.



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