When I was still sitting in the announcer’s chair at Grandview Speedway — I retired back at the end of the 2013 season after 45 years — I had the joy of getting to see and talk with Alex and Matt (Bartorillo) just about every Saturday night. They would bring me diet ice tea and other treats. Such great youngsters.

The Bartorillo family are diehard race fans and took a liking to Joe “Geezer” Fanelli, a NASCAR Late Model racer at Grandview. I think I can be safe in saying that everyone likes “Geezer” as he is just a nice guy. And “Geezer” has figured out that it is a valuable marketing tool to be nice to everyone.

His deal with another Late Model team came to an end at the end of the 2015 season. The search for a new ride started immediately. This columnist even suggested a car owner would not be disappointed if Geezer was hired as his or her driver.

At the Grandview Speedway banquet, near the end of November, Joe chatted with seven time Grandview Speedway NASCAR Late Model champion Chuck Schutz who put him in touch with Lee Miller who had a car for sale. “Geezer” and Steve Bartorillo, dad to Alex and Mike, formed a partnership and will field the KAM Fueled Racing team named after the Bartorillo kids.

With the help of Chuck Schutz and others they will have the car ready to go racing for the 2016 season. They will unveil the new car at the free-to-the-public practice session at Grandview Speedway this Saturday. It starts at noon. Needless to say “Geezer” will be a regular at Grandview Speedway on Saturday nights looking for that first feature win and to move up in the point standings. He finished 8th this past season.

Fanelli has been around the sport for a lot of years. The last two he raced a NASCAR Late Model at Grandview. In 2013 he was in a Sportsman at the Bechtelsville, PA oval, and there were seven seasons of Xcel Chassis 600 Modifieds before that. There have been adventures in other forms of motorsports over the past 25 years.

Joe has a long list of helpers including crew members Al Yusko, Bob Auch and JD Nathan. The team even has pasta makers named Grandma Ann, Grandpa Sam and mascot Barkley. It is a group that is out to have fun as they go racing.

Sponsorship is the lifeblood of auto racing and Fanelli finds them and keeps them happy. This season he has Delaware Valley Aluminum, Keystone Air, Exton Beverage, Weso’s Bar & Restaurant, Art Smith Landscaping, Hosensack Poker Club, a favorite fan stop Cooper Morgan’s Public House located in Bally, R. Hollenshead Auto Sales in Manheim, Sunshine Café in Limerick, and Giorgio’s Pizza in Exton. They are sponsors that have stuck with him because he gives them value for their investment.

Joe has found that being nice to everyone has great rewards. It pays to be nice and spend time with fans because it is quite possible one of those fans will become a sponsor or in this case a car owner.

Everyone involved is excited about the new venture. With all the support from fans and sponsors, this could very well be the best season of “Geezer’s” career. A successful season would prove that nice guys do well.

The season at Grandview officially kicks off on Saturday, April 2nd, 7 p.m. with T.P.Trailers 358 Modifieds, BRC Late Models and Sportsman stocks. The practice this Saturday gets them ready for the start of the championship chase.

* * * If you have not filed your taxes yet this could be for you. TaxAct, the official tax preparation software partner of Stewart-Haas Racing and NASCAR driver Danica Patrick, returned to the track recently for the Auto Club 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in Fontana, California. To celebrate the 2016 debut of the No. 10 TaxAct Chevrolet SS and gear up for the end of tax season, TaxAct has joined forces with SHR to give race fans another opportunity to save money when filing their taxes with the launch of “Premium Finish.”

Staying true to its longstanding tradition of being the best deal in tax, TaxAct is offering race fans the chance to purchase its top-tier online tax preparation and filing solution at a highly discounted price. If Patrick or any member of the SHR team grabs a top-10 finish in select upcoming races, fans can register to file their 2015 federal and state tax returns using the TaxAct Online Premium Bundle for only $10 (originally priced at $49.98). This gives filers access to the federal and state forms needed to complete their return no matter how complex their situation, all in, for $10. In the event none of the SHR drivers finish in the top-10 in those selected races, a $10 discount off federal returns will be extended to honor the savings opportunity.

“We’ve always believed taxpayers should be able to file their own taxes without paying high prices, and this is just another way for us to showcase our commitment to providing an affordable solution,” said JoAnn Kintzel, president, TaxAct.

TaxAct will offer additional opportunities for NASCAR fans to file returns with “Premium Finish” pricing for the races following the Auto Club 400 up to the tax filing deadline on April 18, 2016 (or April 19, 2016 for residents of Massachusetts and Maine). These races include:

STP 500 at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway on Sunday, April 3

Duck Commander 500 at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth on Saturday, April 9

Food City 500 at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway on Sunday, April 17

Fans can lock in their “Premium Finish” price by visiting TaxAct.com/Ten. With TaxAct’s Price Lock Guarantee, filers are guaranteed to pay the price offered at the time they register, no matter when they choose to file.

TaxAct will be the primary sponsor on Patrick’s No. 10 Chevrolet for a total of four races this season and an associate sponsor for all non-primary races.

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