Strunk Pockets $5,000 In Modified Traffic Jam Thunder On The Hill Finale At Grandview

Story By: BOB MILLER / THUNDER ON THE HILL – BECHTELSVILLE, PA – The 30th Anniversary season of the NAPA Auto Parts Thunder on the Hill Racing Series finished in fine fashion on Saturday night at Grandview Speedway, with a Triple Thunder Thriller of racing action.

Jeff Strunk won the 22nd Annual Modified TRAFFIC JAM in commanding style as Brian Hirthler claimed the Sportsman victory, and Kevin Nagy won the MASS Sprint Car Series 25 lap feature. A super fast racing surface saw track records being established throughout the night. Three of the four ten lap modified heat races inked new track records.

Strunk’s victory in the 22nd Annual Traffic Jam Big-Block vs. Small-Block Modified challenge was his third NAPA Auto Parts Thunder on the Hill Racing Series win of the season.

“We had some great racing tonight,” Strunk said in Grandview Speedway victory lane. “The starting spot helps, and we had a close scare almost getting in an accident – you have to be quick on your toes.”

Strunk started 6th on the twenty-four car field and moved passed Brian Hirthler in lapped traffic on the sixth circuit.

Hirthler chased Strunk for the lead for the first half of the event before Duane Howard moved in the second position. Howard, Grandview’s Modified track champion’s chase for the lead didn’t last long breaking just past the halfway point.

Twentieth-place starter, Mike Gular, charged into the second spot in the closing stages of the event, battling back-and-forth swapping the runner-up spot with Brian Hirthler.

Strunk walked away with the 40-lap win – his 16th Thunder on the Hill win, Gular finished in the second spot, Brian Hirthler finished in third, Richie Pratt Jr. finished in fourth, and Rick Laubach finished in fifth.

Brian Hirthler hopped out of his third-place Modified finishing No. 4* machine and jumped right into his Sportsman car, where he started on the pole of the 25-lap feature event.

Hirthler held off a hard charge from second-place starter Jared Umbenhauer, with duo battling in and out of lapped traffic.

Hirthler dominated to pick up the win, Umbenhauer settled for second-place, Ryan Lilick finished in third, Mike Mammana finished in fourth and Brad Brightbill completed the top five.

Kevin Nagy led flag to flag in the MASS Sprint Car Series feature event, despite a mid-race challenge from second-place starter Eddie Wagner. A single red flag flew just passed the mid-way point, and Nagy checked out on the restart.

Nagy picked up the Mid Atlantic Sprint Car Series win, Tim Tanner rallied from an 11th place starting position to finish second, Eddie Wagner finished in third, Larry McVay finished in fourth, and Jon Haegele finished in the fifth position.

The Halloween Party offered fun for all including a Halloween Parade for the children. Plenty of treats were offered to all and some special prizes.

Plans for the 2020 season of NAPA Auto Parts Thunder on the Hill racing season schedule are currently underway. Fans are encouraged to watch online for season plans.

Modified Results 22nd Annual Traffic JAM
Heat 1 (10 Laps) – 1. Richie Pratt, Jr. 2. Bobby Gunther Walsh 3. Rick Laubach 4. Frank Cozze 5. Ryan Watt
Heat 2 (10 Laps) – 1. Brandon Grosso 2. Ryan Lilick 3. Brett Kressley 4. Richie Hitzler 5. Dylan Swinehart
Heat 3 (10 Laps) – 1. Scott Vangorder 2. Craig VonDohren 3. Duane Howard 4. Ron Kline 5. Jesse Leiby
Heat 4 (10 Laps) – 1. Brian Hirthler 2. Doug Manmiller 3. Jeff Strunk 4. Craig Whitmoyer 5. Mike Gular
Consi (10 Laps) – 1. Jared Umbenhauer 2. Kenny Gilmore
Consi 2 (10 Laps) – 1. Eric Beihn 2. Kevin Hirthler
Feature (40 laps) – 1. Jeff Strunk 2. Mike Gular 3. Brian Hirthler 4. Richie Pratt, Jr. 5. Rick Laubach 6. Kevin Hirthler 7. Ryan Watt 8. Craig VonDohren 9. Doug Manmiller 10. Frank Cozze 11. Brandon Grosso 12. Bobby Gunther Walsh 13. Ryan Lilick 14. Duane Howard 15. Scott Vangorder 16. Jesse Leiby 17. Craig Whitmoyer 18. Richie Hitzler 19. Brett Kressley 20. Dylan Swinehart 21. Eric Biehn 22. Kenny Gilmore 23. Jared Umbenhauer 24. Ron Kline

Heat 1 (8 Laps) – 1. Kevin Hirthler 2. Steve Young 3. Wyatt Harra 4. Scott Kohler 5. Tom Miller 6. Shon Elk
Heat 2 (8 Laps) – 1. Jared Umbenhauer 2 Joey Vaccaro 3. Kenny Bock 4. Brian Hirthler 5. Jimmy Leiby 6. Craig Whitmoyer
Heat 3 (8 Laps) – 1. Ryan Lilick 2. Dakota Kohler 3. Brad Brightbill 4. Mike Mammana 5. Lex Shive 6. Nate Brinker
Consi (8 Laps) – 1. Nico Flammer 2. Corey Edelman 3. Doug Snyder 4. Joel Smith 5. BJ Joly 6. Bruce Thomas
Feature (25 Laps) – 1. Brian Hirthler 2. Jared Umbenhauer 3. Ryan Lilick 4. Mike Mammana 5. Brad Brightbill 6. Lex Shive 7. Craig Whitmoyer 8. Joey Vaccaro 9. Dakota Kohler 10. Jimmy Leiby 11. Scott Kohler 12. Steve Young 13. Wyatt Harrar 14. Tom Miller 15. Corey Edelman 16. BJ Joly 17. Shon Elk 18. Doug Snyder 19. Kevin Hirthler 20. Bryce Thomas 21. Nico Flammer 22. Kenny Bock 23. Joel Smith 24. Nate Brinker

MASS Sprint Car Series
Feature (25 Laps) – 1. Kevin Nagy 2. Tim Tanner Jr. 3. Eddie Wagner 4. Larry McVay 5. Jon Haegele 6. Jeff Geiges 7. Dave Brown 8. CJ Faison 9. Tom Carberry 10. Ricky Dieva 11. Scott Frack 12. Floyd Billington 13. Jon Scarborough 14. Keith Anderson 15. Joe Kay 16. Dan Leaper 17. Johnny Yanek 18. Josh Bricker 19. Marie McVay 20. Dave Bonner