Brett Kressley won his biggest race of his career this past weekend. He scored the $10,000-to-win Forrest Rogers Memorial at Grandview Speedway in Bechtelsville, Pennsylvania. A stout field was on hand, ready to pounce on any mistake or mishap Kressley encountered.
“Nothing went wrong on race night,” Kressley, 28, of Orefield, Pennsylvania, said. “How many times can a racer say that? Nine out of 10 times there is something to deal with that can cost you a race.”
Early in the 50-lap feature, Kressley, who started seventh, battled Ryan Watt for the lead on the eighth lap. A lap 11 restart gave Kressley the chance to jump ahead of Watt. Kressley took off to lap the 28-car field up to ninth position. Craig Von Dohren finished second, 4.3 seconds back from Kressley.
“It can be stressful lapping cars,” said Kressley. “Luckily, our drivers are respectful of the passing flag. They held their lines and that made my life easier.”
The Kressley family’s involvement in motorsports goes back to Kressley’s grandfather, Willard. Willard operated a tow truck at the races decades ago.
“He didn’t just hook cars, he hooked my dad on racing,” Kressley said. “Then my dad hooked me. When my grandfather couldn’t come to the races, he would call us in the pits every week, asking how we did in heats and where we were starting in the feature.”
Willard passed away on July 21 at age 84. Brett Kressley couldn’t help to think of his grandfather on the biggest night of his career.
“When I got to victory lane, I initially felt excitement,” said Kressley. “Then my emotions changed. I knew why I had a perfect night. I looked skyward with joy. My grandfather was watching over me.”
This year marks the Outside Groove Director of Photography’s 50th year of covering auto racing. Adaskaveg got his start working for track photographer Lloyd Burnham at Connecticut’s Stafford Motor Speedway in 1970. Since then, he’s been a columnist, writer, and photographer, in racing and in mainstream media, for several outlets, including the Journal Inquirer, Boston Herald, Stock Car Racing, and Speedway Illustrated. Among Adaskaveg’s many awards are the 1992 Eastern Motorsport Press Association (EMPA) Ace Lane Photographer of the Year and the 2019 National Motorsports Press Association (NMPA) George Cunningham Writer of the Year.