Danny Johnson, aka “Doctor,” invaded the 1/3-mile high banks of Grandview Speedway in Bechtelsville on Aug. 9 to operate on the hometwon favorites in the 50-lap 44th Annual Forrest Rogers Memorial. The race was presented by Pioneer Pole Buildings, featuring the NASCAR 358 Modifieds, and taped for late-week showing by RCN-TV 4.
A big surprise of the night was Guy Germano being able to end the six-race win streak of point leader Jared Umbenhauer in the 25-lap Sportsman featuring, earning his first win of the season.
And in the 25-lap feature for BRC Late Models, Randy Stoudt came home first for the fifth time this season.
The Dr. also stands for drivers as the New York state native started last in his head and finished third, came from 16th in the 28-car starting grid into second on the 31st lap, and began to battle leader Duane Howard. Johnson gained the top spot on the 37th lap restart with Howard, the defending race winner, trying hard to regain the lead.
Coming in for the checkered flag, Johnson got trapped behind lapped cars, and Howard, coming with a full head of steam, almost passed him for the win. Fate wouldn’t have it that way since Johnson held on for the victory with Howard on his tailpipe in the 50-lap NASCAR Whelen All-American Modified feature.
Johnson received $10,000 in top-prize money.
Mike Laise took the early lead on the initial green, trailed by Mike Kellner, Todd Smith, Don Norris Jr. and Chris Esposito.
The battle behind Johnson and Howard for third through fifth was a heated one between Manmiller, who never won the event; Jeff Strunk, a two-time winner; and Craig VonDohren, who won the race five times. Strunk wound up taking third with Manmiller fourth, and Von Dohren fifth. Next came Kyle Weiss, Mike Laise, Nate Christman, Don Norris Jr. in ninth and Kevin Hartnett in 10th.
Rick Laubach would hit his marks flawlessly and score the victory Aug. 8 at Big Diamond Raceway. He was followed by Kevin Smith, Duane Howard, Meme Desantis and Colt Harris. Harris worked his way up from a 20th-place starting spot to earn his fifth-place finish. Billy Pauch Jr. who entered the night leading the point chase, had a rough night, finding himself involved in an early-race accident. He settled for 15th place.
Pauch’s misfortune helped Laubach and Howard become the top two drivers in the point standings with Pauch falling to third. With only one points-paying race remaining on Aug. 22, just 69 points separate the top three drivers. Wayne Witmer was able to secure his second win of the season in the Sportsman Division.
Don Kreitz Jr. took back the point lad from Greg Hodnett in stayle at Williams Grove Speedway on Aug. 8 by claiming the 25-lap 410 sprint victory, a win that marked the 60th of his career at the historic oval.
In total, Kreitz took home more than $4,100 for the win, including $50 in lap money and a $500 bonus for winning from the fifth row.
Kreitz drove uncontested to his second win of the year at the track over Austin Hogue, Sean Michael, 15th starter Doug Esh and 14th starter Alan Krimes. They were followed by Pat Cannon, Glenndon Forsythe, Lance Dewease, Davey Sammons and Steve Buckwalter.
Kevin Nouse scored his fourth 358 sprint car feature of the season to end the night, boosting his point lead over Adrian Shaffer.
Tim Wagaman won his first-ever race. Although he led every lap, he held off fourth other challengers during the final non-stop 20 laps.
The last five laps were frantic, with 10th-starting Alan Krimes driving under second-place Billy Dietrich and sliding up in front of Wagaman to briefly take the lead in turn four of lap 29. Wagaman drove back under Krimes to retake the lead, exiting the turn, and regained control on the first two turns of lap 30.
Krimes settled for second place with Cory Haas passing Dietrich on lap 31 for third. Adam Wilt finished the top five. They were followed by Jim Siegel, Gerard McIntyre Jr., Robbie Kendall, Kyle Moody and Nathan Berwager.
Lance Dewease was the winner of an electrifying 410 sprint car feature at Port Roayl Speedway on Aug. 9 in a race that saw three different drivers take turns at the lead along with at least six lead changes between Ryan Taylor, Dewease and Doug Esh. The victory was the 97th of Dewease’s career at the track, worth $3,000 that made him the 12th different sprint car winner at the track this year.
Esh had to settle for second with Ryan Taylor third, followed by Rick Lafferty and Nate Snyder. Sixth through 10th went to Mike Wagner, Blane Heimbach, Mike Erdley, Chad Layton and Ryan Smith.
In the late model main, Dylan Yoder set a new 20-lap matrack record as he scored the victory, taking the laurels away from local favorite Patrick Bryner with two laps remaining.
Mark Smith ran his winning streak to three straight on Aug. 9 at Selinsgrove Speedway as he drove past race leader Ryan Kissinger on a lap-20 restart to claim the inauguaral win in the 25-lap Kramer Cup in United Racing Company 360 sprint car action. Other winners were Jim yoder (late models) and Kyle Bachman (pro stocks).