Umbenhauer snaps slump; No. 50 for Schutz
BECHTELSVILLE » Jared Umbenhauer has had to overcome several obstacles throughout the season at Grandview Speedway while trying to collect his first win of the year. Saturday night, Umbenhauer finally got the monkey off his back when he parked the Kevin Brown-owned No. 19 in victory lane in the 30-lap T.P. Trailers & Truck Equipment NASCAR 358 Modified feature.
“It felt so good to win,” commented the Richland Rocket. “The crew and family stuck by me after the horrendous third turn fire in the early part of the season and Mike Harvey then left me drive his car until we rebuilt.” He also thanked his crew chief Jason Hernley for setting up the car which was really fast that allowed him to keep hitting his marks the last five laps.
The win set Umbenhauer to be a favorite when the Modifieds compete in the Pioneer Pole Buildings Forrest Rogers Memorial 50-lapper, paying $10,000 to win next Saturday.
Chuck Schutz finally had a change of fate as he was able to chalk up his second 25-lap NACAR Late Model feature win to hit the Big 5-0 in career wins.
Jim Housworth rejoined the Sportsman ranks after missing several weeks and the hard work paid off. Shut out of the win column since April 16, 2016, he was determined to hold off runner-up Craig Whitmoyer’s challenges to post his first win of the current campaign.
All feature winners received a monetary award from T.P. Trailers, product awards from V.P. Racing Fuel providing they met the necessary requirements which also included the Dan’s Deli ½-way hoagie award. There have been 25 feature winners so far this season spread over the three divisions of racing that regularly compete at the Bechtelsville clay oval.
Andy Cassel was the victor in the 15-lap Blast From the Past Vintage car feature that was in memory of fellow racer Dave Smith who lost his life last year in a work-related incident.
Modified action had sophomore racer Briggs Danner sporting a new car and number, take the early lead trailed by rookies Brian Hirthler and Jordan Henn allowing with Dan Waisempacher and Justin Grim.
Henn’s bad luck continued as while running third he suffered mechanical problems that brought him to a stop in turn one for the first caution with nine laps completed. On the restart Brian Hirthler, who switched over to the Modified ranks from Sportsman in the beginning of July, charged into the lead followed by Umbenhauer, Danner, Ryan Grim and Duane Howard.
Heading out of the fourth turn on the 13th lap, B. Hirthler went a little too high and Umbenhauer scooted underneath him to become the new leader.
Once Umbenhauer was in front he began distancing himself from the others and in a matter of time he encountered lap traffic.
Battling for positions behind Umbenhauer were Howard and Jeff Strunk, who started 12th and 13th respectively, B. Hirthler and Ryan Grim.
The field regrouped putting the competition right on Umbenhauer’s bumper when Bobby Trapper Jr. was spun in the third turn. Umbenhauer wasted no time punching the accelerator when action resumed since he knew Howard, Strunk, B. Hirthler and R. Grim were in pursuit.
Strunk took over second with four laps remaining to attempt to pass Umbenhauer for the lead.
No one was able to overtake Umbenhauer after he held off all challenges to win the feature ending his winless drought since the last time he stood in the winner’s circle was June 24, 2017.Chasing Umbenhauer across were Strunk, Howard, Frank Cozze and Ryan Grim.
Jared Umbenhauer celebrates in victory lane after his Modified win at Grandview Speedway on Aug. 25.