BECHTELSVILLE, Pa. — Brett Kressley went home $10,000 richer by being the first to reach the checkered flag in the 50th anniversary edition of the Forrest Rogers Memorial at Grandview Speedway.
The race honors the man who founded the track in 1963.
Standing in victory lane after winning the T.P. Trailers Modified NASCAR Advanced Auto Parts event, an emotional Kressley “who commented he used his head,” dedicated the win to his grandfather Willard to whom he was very close and had passed away a few weeks ago. He thanked everyone that helped put the Kressley Auto/Truck Sales No. 19k in the winner’s circle for his first triumph of the current campaign and earn the biggest win of his career.
Kyle Lilick also collected his season first win in the T.P. Truck Equipment NASCAR Sportsman 25-lap feature for his fifth career win at the track.
At the drop of the green by starter Ray Kemp in the Modified main event, second place starter Kenny Gilmore shot past polesitter Carroll Hine III to take the early lead.
Dicing for positions behind Gilmore were Hine III, Brad Grim, Colt Harris and Ryan Watt.
The first yellow was out on the third lap when some of the front runners were shuffling positions making contact and through it Rick Laubach found himself in the homestretch wall. Laubach was not happy with the turn of events and left the driver that he felt initiated the incident know it since he was out of competition for the night. Ryan Grim was also a victim and out of the race. Gilmore held his own on the restart, but now Watt was in the runner-up position with Kressley right behind pressuring.
Watt became the new leader on the eighth lap and two laps later Kressley was second putting his bids in for first.
Mike Gular, already a feature winner this year, slowed in the second turn with a flat tire and rejoined the action after a quick pit stop. At the same time defending point champion and 2019 race winner Duane Howard was sent pit side with a broken shock tower. He returned, but was sent back in since it was not fixed to specifications since a driver cannot run with any front end suspension issues. When action resumed Kressley outgunned Watt to take control and show the way for the others.
By the 17th circuit lapped cars were causing the top five that were comprised of Kressley, Watt, Craig Von Dohren, Jeff Strunk and Doug Manmiller to use heads ups driving so as not to make contact with any of them as it got tricky at times.
Von Dohren cleared Watt on the 24th lap and set sail after Kressley with Watt, Strunk and Manmiller in tow.
The top five remained consistent as the race progressed, but they were all after Kressley, who was up to lapping some of the top ten cars.
It appeared Kressley got the monkey off his back and pulled into the winner’s circle for his 13th career win which he proved to be a lucky one, trailed by Von Dohren, Strunk, Watt, Manmiller, Jared Umbenhauer, Kyle Weiss and Craig Whitmoyer, the last car on the lead lap; Louden Reimert and Kenny Gilmore, who were both a lap down.