Kressley makes mad rush to win Mods at the Madhouse race
BECHTELSVILLE » It was a spooky Halloween night, but there weren’t any tricks for Brett Kressley, as the 25-year-old scored his first NAPA Auto Parts Thunder on the Hill Racing Series victory at the ‘Mods at the Madhouse Traffic Jam’ on Saturday night at Grandview Speedway.
“This felt like the longest race of my life,” an elated – and champagne-soaked – Kressley said in Victory Lane. “I had a really strong car tonight, and I can’t thank my crew enough for all their hard work.”
The Orefield driver couldn’t have had a better night, scoring the win in his qualifying heat race and picking the first position in the Modified redraw of top qualifiers. Known as ‘The Threat,’ Kressley took the lead at the outset of the 40-lap feature, and held off the best-of-the-best in Modified competition to score the $5,000 victory.
At the drop of the green flag, Kressley shot away from the 24-car field pulling a full-straightaway lead by the just the third circuit around the one-third-mile
The first yellow flag flew on the seventh lap when Oley, PA’s Duane Howard spun in turn four -- while running in the top-five -after contact with Boyertown’s Ryan Watt. Both cars were sent to the rear of the field.
On the restart, Kressley rolled back into the lead with Danny Erb following closely behind, while Kenny Gilmore and Craig VonDohren challenged for the third position.
Kressley held control at the half-way mark with Erb and Gilmore holding in the top-three positions. The battle for fourth was heating up between 2017 track champion, Craig VonDohren and Freedom 76 winner, Jeff Strunk.
The action came to a stop on lap 26, when Dan Bouc, of Pipersville, flipped his No. 32 Modified in turn 2.
It was all Kressley in the final stretch – but it wasn’t easy for the young racer as a group of veterans were hot on his heels. Danny Erb would finish in the second position, Kenny Gilmore in third aboard the Bailey No. 81, Jeff Strunk finishing in the fourth position and Billy Pauch Jr. finishing in the fifth spot.
Ringoes, N.J.’s Ryan Godown brought the Searock Fabrications No. 26 home in sixth, Ryan Watt rallied back to finish in seventh, Mike Gular in eighth, Billy Pauch in ninth and Jared Umbenhauer rounding out the top-ten finishers.
Initial fourth-place finisher Craig Von Dohren was found light at the scales and was penalized to the 24th position.
2017 Grandview Speedway Sportsman champion, Brian Hirthler picked up the $1,300 win in the Madhouse Sportsman event, starting on the pole and holding off a hard-charging Matt Stangle at the conclusion of the 25-lap main event. Hirthler bookended his 2017 racing season with a win on opening night and a win to conclude the season.
Neshanic, N.J.’s Matt Stangle finished in second, Mark Kemmerer in third, Jim Houseworth finished in fourth, and Brad Brightbill finished in fifth.
Despite a busted radiator, Ryan Stillwaggon of Burlington, NJ scored his first career Grandview Speedway win in the Mid-Atlantic Sprint Car Series. Stillwaggon dominated the 25lap feature event and scored the victory despite slowing drastically in the closing circuits. Tim Tanner Jr. came home in the second position, 2017 MASS Series Champion Eddie Wagner finished in third, Austin Bishop in fourth, and Dave Brown in fifth.
Kressley became the 26th different NAPA Auto Parts Thunder on the Hill Racing Series Modified winner in 68 races. Jeff Strunk holds the most wins with 12.
Brett Kressley, center, celebrates with the winner’s check at winning the Mods at the Madhouse race on Oct. 14 at Grandview Speedway.
Billy Pauch Jr. (14) and Doug Manmiller (44) duel during the Mods at the Madhouse Traffic Jam feature on Oct. 14 at Grandview Speedway.
Things get dicey during a crash in the 305 sprint race on Oct. 14 at Grandview Speedway.