Kress­ley makes mad rush to win Mods at the Mad­house race

The Kutztown Area Patriot - - SPORTS - By Bob Miller For Dig­i­tal First Me­dia

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

dirt oval.

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.

RICK KEPNER - FOR DIG­I­TAL FIRST ME­DIA

Brett Kress­ley, cen­ter, celebrates with the win­ner’s check at win­ning the Mods at the Mad­house race on Oct. 14 at Grand­view Speed­way.

RICK KEPNER - FOR DIG­I­TAL FIRST ME­DIA

Billy Pauch Jr. (14) and Doug Man­miller (44) duel dur­ing the Mods at the Mad­house Traf­fic Jam feature on Oct. 14 at Grand­view Speed­way.

RICK KEPNER - FOR DIG­I­TAL FIRST ME­DIA

Things get dicey dur­ing a crash in the 305 sprint race on Oct. 14 at Grand­view Speed­way.

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