BECHTELSVILLE, Pa. – Brett Kressley claimed the 30-lap T.P. Trailers 358 Modified feature that launched the NASCAR Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series season at Grandview Speedway on Saturday night.
The win by Kressley was the 14th of his career and his first at the high-banked third-mile dirt oval since Aug. 29 of last season.
Pole sitter John Willman immediately jumped out in front of the 28-car starting field with outside front row starter Ryan Grim, third starter Kevin Hirthler and seventh starter Duane Howard in tow as the early circuits clicked off. By lap five, Grim whistled by Willman to become the new race leader, dropping Willman into second-place.
Howard knifed his way into second-place by lap 12, with the top runners working through lapped traffic, as Kressley powered his way into third-place a lap later, after starting the event from ninth-place.
The top three cars got into heavy lapped traffic by laps 16 and 17, with everyone bunched up running nose-to-tail in heavy lapped traffic down the back chute on lap 18. Grim and Howard went high, as Kressley ducked to the inside racing through turns three and four.
Kressley slipped by Howard in turn three and Grim in turn four and crossed under the starters stand as the new race leader just prior to the caution being waved for Jack Butler, who slowed with a flat tire.
“I kind of sat back there and waited,” revealed Kressley. “They got into lapped traffic and that held them up enough so I could roll off the bottom and complete that lap, coming out on top. I didn’t think there was anything down on the bottom until I rolled down there and found out there was something down there. That move definitely worked out for us tonight. I made the right adjustments tonight and everything worked out well tonight for us.”
Once racing got back underway, Kressley powered out in front over Grim, Howard and Willman, but a caution on lap 23 bunched the field up once again. Kressley once again grabbed the top spot on the restart, with Danny Bouc, who started from 12th, advancing up to fourth-place on lap 24. Another caution on lap 26 again regrouped the field.
With 27 circuits completed it was Kressley out in front over Grim, Bouc, defending 358 Modified track champion Craig Von Dohren, who started from nineteenth, and Howard, with yet another yellow flag on lap 28 tightening things up. Under caution Bouc headed to the pit area with a flat left rear tire, allowing Von Dohren to move up to third for the restart.
Completing lap 29, the 11-time track champion Von Dohren raced into the runner-up spot, but he couldn’t catch the Kressley car. Kressley easily recorded the win earning $2,500, plus a $300 bonus from T.P. Trailers.
Von Dohren, Grim, Howard and Hirthler completed the top five in that order at the checkers.
In the 25-lap T.P Truck Equipment Sportsman main event, two-time and defending Sportsman track champion Brian Hirthler got involved in a fan-pleasing three-car fight for first, covering the final dozen or so circuits.
He raced out in front exiting turn four on the high side to make the winning pass with the white flag waving to earn his ninth career victory, his first since July 11, 2020.
The 38-year-old veteran chauffeur out of Green Lane, Pa., easily captured the triumph once out in front while wheeling his family-funded Four Star Lettering No. 4* open Sportsman powered ride.