Strong field set to compete in Grandview Speedway season opener

Apr. 5—Grandview Speedway will soon wave the green flag on its 62nd season of racing with one of its marquee events.

The one-third mile dirt track located outside Bechtelsville in Washington Township will open the 2024 season with the Bruce Rogers Memorial Money Maker on Saturday at 6 p.m. The winner of the 50-lap modified feature will take home $7,500.

Headlining the field of drivers expected to compete for the win is NASCAR Truck Series driver and dirt track regular Stewart Friesen. The Sprakers, New York driver will be making his first appearance at Grandview since he finished eighth in the Freedom 76 in September 2020.

With 20 career starts and 15 top-10 finishes at the track, Friesen is no stranger to Grandview. He won the Bruce Rogers Memorial in 2018, the Freedom 76 in 2014 and a Race of Champions Dirt Modified Tour event at the track in 2010.

Stewart will square off against the top drivers who compete regularly at Grandview, including Craig Von Dohren, Jeff Strunk, Duane Howard and Brett Kressley in the big block and small block modified combined event. The 602 sportsman division will also be in action.

A 13-time track champion and the winningest driver in Grandview history, Von Dohren won two races last season at the track. The Oley driver finished second in the points standings.

"We got good stuff this year," Von Dohren said at preseason practice last Saturday. "We had good stuff last year, just sometimes things don't go your way. We're all hungry and ready to go."

Von Dohren won 13 races, including eight points races and the Freedom 76, during his dominant championship-winning season in 2022. While getting back to victory lane on a regular basis is important, Von Dohren and his team are focused on consistent finishes in 2024.

"We want to win races, but you got to be consistent for the big picture," Von Dohren said. "I usually don't worry about the points until the end of August."

Brett Kressley enters the new season looking to defend his modified title. The Orefield, Lehigh County driver won three races at Grandview last season to capture his first championship.

"I feel like we had some momentum ending the year strong," Kressley said at preseason practice last Saturday. "We're excited to hopefully hit the ground on the same foot and just keep the momentum going forward."

This year, Kressley is eager to apply lessons learned from his title-winning season and compete for another championship in 2024.

"Don't be too aggressive, just take things as they come," Kressley said. "Be patient, but take chances when you can."