Newmanstown, PA (July 22) - July 21st produced the year’s sixth rain out at Lanco’s Clyde Martin Memorial Speedway, and the cancellation washed away race teams’ final tune up for this Saturday’s “Grandaddy ofem all”, the annual Clyde Martin Memorial Race presented by Gold Rush Trailer Sales.
Dating back to 1962, the Clyde Martin Memorial is an event steeped in tradition; it’s also a race that rewards them loyalty and dedication of Lanco club members who support the track on a weekly basis. The Clyde Memorial offers double points in the longest main events of the season (35 laps), along with the really cool tradition of the winner’s trophy being handed over from the previous year’s winning drivers to this year’s victors. If a driver can win the Memorial Race three times (in one class), then he or she gets to keep it and a new one is ordered for the next season.
The Clyde Martin Memorial Race is open only to Lanco club members, and drivers must have entered at least half of the current season’s point-paying events in order to be eligible for the big race.
With the 57th running of the Memorial taking place this Saturday, July 28, it’s a guarantee that (at least) a few racers will have their names etched onto the huge winner’s trophies for the very first time. The reason? Drivers who won previous Memorials either do not have enough starts in a respective class this season or they have moved on to other classes. The 125cc and Sportsman classes are examples of this; the eligible competitors for this year’s event have never won the big race in these divisions.
Mike Rutherford is a five-time winner of the Memorial in the Hyper Racing 600 Sprint class (including the past two biggies), while Heath Hehnly, the six-time point champion has yet to win a Clyde Martin Memorial in that division.
Hehnly does have three Memorial Race victories in the Viper Chassis 270 class, while Rutherford has triumphed four times in the 270 Sprint Memorials.
In last year’s edition of the race that means more than any others to many of Lanco’s regulars, Rutherford captured three of the 35-lap mains - 600cc, 270cc, and Sportsman - while Aidan Jones won the 250cc Four-Stroke feature and William Manotti was victorious in the 125cc main.
Gates open at 4:30 on Saturday, with warm-ups scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. The first qualifying heat race goes green at 7:00 as the Hyper Racing 600’s, Viper Chassis 270’s, Sportsman, 125cc, and 250cc Four-Strokes compete for starting spots in the 35-lap main events presented by Gold Rush Trailer Sales.
Saturday’s 270 Sprint winner will also receive an additional trophy and guaranteed starting spot in the upcoming Reading Fair event. That will be a wingless race for the 270’s and it is slated for Tuesday, August 7 at the new Reading Fairgrounds in Bern Township. Representatives from the Reading Fairgrounds Racing Historical Society will be on hand this Saturday at the Clyde Martin Memorial Race to make the trophy presentation to the winner of the 270 Sprint race. They will also have their traveling museum parked at the speedway for fans and competitors alike to tour and visit a plethora of memorabilia from the former Home of Champions, the Reading Fairgrounds half-mile oval that closed in June of 1979.