Snyder, Grim, Watt vic­to­ri­ous on open­ing night

Northern Berks Patriot Item - - SPORTS - By Ernie Sax­ton For Dig­i­tal First Me­dia

BECHTELSVILLE » A full card of reg­u­lar sea­son NASCAR points pay­ing events Satur­day night at Grand­view Speed­way got the 2018 rac­ing sea­son un­der­way on a very ex­cit­ing note, as Danny Snyder, Brad Grim and Ryan Watt, all, took home Open­ing Night wins at the pop­u­lar high-banked third-mile clay oval in Bechtelsville.

The 25-lap Late Model tri­umph by Snyder was his first vic­tory at the race­way since July 20, 2013 and the tenth win of his ca­reer.

Watt dom­i­nated in the 30-lap NASCAR T.P.Trail­ers 358 Mod­i­fied main event, win­ning his third ca­reer fea­ture race at the track and his first since Septem­ber 3, 2005.

Grim net­ted his third ca­reer vic­tory in the 25-lap Sports­man divi­sion fea­ture and scored his first since July 29, 2017.

Through the luck of the draw, the Green Lane na­tive Snyder started from the pole po­si­tion in the 13-car start­ing field and quickly moved out to a full straight­away ad­van­tage as the race leader by lap 4. A cau­tion a lap later bunched up the field, how­ever, Snyder once again was light­ning quickly with the new green, grab­bing the top spot on the restart and stretch­ing it to a full straight­away ad­van­tage again af­ter nine cir­cuits.

Cau­tion again on lap 17 closed up the field, with Snyder playing the role of the rab­bit again on the restart, with the com­pe­ti­tion chas­ing. Yel­low flags wav­ing again af­ter lap 20 and lap 22 slowed things, but Snyder again just held onto that top spot each time and eas­ily went on to vic­tory by a safe mar­gin over the fourth­place race starter from Shoe­mak­ersville vet­eran Brian Shuey, Green Lane chauf­feur Kyle Merkel, who started from fifth, Read­ing racer Drew Weisser, the sev­enth-place starter, and Pottstown racer Jor­dan Knepp, who took the ini­tial fea­ture green from tenth, at the check­ered, earn­ing an ad­di­tional $100 bonus from TP Trail­ers and Truck Equip­ment out of Lim­er­ick, as the race win­ner.

In the 30-lap NASCAR T.P.Trail­ers 358 Mod­i­fied head­liner, the heads-up start showed Doug Man­miller, from Shoe­mak­ersville, rac­ing out in front with the ini­tial green flag af­ter start­ing from the pole, but all eyes were on Ryan Watt, from Boy­er­town, who started fourth in the 28-car start­ing field and quickly pow­ered his way around the out­side to move up to the run­ner-up po­si­tion af­ter one tour. Watt fought it out with Man­miller wheel-to-wheel and made the pass to be­come the new race leader down the back part of the speed­way and rac­ing into turn three on lap four.

With six com­plete it was Watt, Man­miller and sec­ond-place starter Steve Swine­hart, of Perkiomenville, run­ning as the top three. A cau­tion quickly bunched up the field at that point.

On lap seven, tenth-place starter Duane Howard, from Oley, pow­ered his way into third, fol­lowed by Mike Gu­lar, out of Har­leysville, and Kevin Hirth­ler, of Boy­er­town, who started from sev­enth. Howard started to work his way un­der Man­miller by lap nine and, even­tu­ally, squeezed by on lap 12 to take sec­ond. With 13 cir­cuits in the record books, Watt was now out in front by a full straight­away.

Watt started to get slowed by lapped traf­fic, as Howard be­gan to reel the leader in. With 18 down, Howard was now right on Watt, work­ing through the lapped traf­fic, as Man­miller brought out a cau­tion due to a badly smok­ing mo­tor af­ter 21 rounds were com­pleted.

On the restart Watt pow­ered out in front again over Howard, four­teenth-place starter Frank Cozze, of Wind Gap, and Gu­lar. Af­ter 23 cir­cuits, Watt again pulled out to a safe ad­van­tage. On lap 25, Oley’s Craig Von Dohren climbed into the top five, af­ter start­ing in twenty-first.

Watt eas­ily claimed the first-place pay check, with Howard, Cozze, Gu­lar and Von Dohren in tow.

RICK KEPNER - FOR DIG­I­TAL FIRST ME­DIA

Doug Man­miller (44) and Ryan Watt (14) duel dur­ing ac­tion at Grand­view Speed­way on April 21.

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