Newmanstown, PA - It's been so long that Shaun Brandel couldn't even remember how many years had passed since he stood in victory lane at Lanco's Clyde Martin Memorial Speedway.
"It's been two or two-and-a-half, maybe three years since I've won here, so I was really determined to get this one tonight," said the Pottstown resident as he excitedly conducted the interview after his 600cc Micro-Sprint victory on Saturday night.
Nick Skias has certainly not been a stranger to the Clyde's winner's circle this season, and he added a third triumph in the 270cc Class on Saturday. Anthony Yerger was victorious in the Sportsman feature while Kyle Spence won his third straight in the Sports n' Turf 250cc Four-Stroke division. Justin Harrington won for the third time this year in the 125cc main event.
Coming up this Saturday, June 25, is the annual visit of the All Star Slingshots as they compete in a National Tour event, the Slide at the Clyde IV. It's also Kim's Kreations Pink Out Night at Clyde Martin Memorial Speedway. Kim Glass of Kim's Kreations sold special event T-shirts and she's hosting a Chinese Auction at the track on Saturday evening, with all proceeds benefitting the Breast Cancer Research Program at Penn State Hershey Medical Center. Donations of gift baskets and other items will be accepted at the track on Saturday.
A special time schedule will be followed due to the addition of the Slingshots on Saturday. Gates open at 4 p.m. Warm-ups and a dual heat race format for the All Star Slingshots will get underway at 5:00. Warm-ups for the Clyde's five weekly divisions of Micro-Sprints and the remainder of the program will follow at 6:00. The winged 600cc, 270cc, Sportsman, 125cc, and Sports n' Turf 250cc Four-Stroke Micros will compete in qualifying heats, consolations, and 25-lap main events. The Slingshot Slide at the Clyde IV will be the first feature of the night.
In last Saturday's 600cc main, Brandel started on the pole and blasted to a big lead over Cameron Bellinger. The first yellow flag appeared with seven circuits complete and on the restart, Bellinger threw a slide job on Brandel in turns one and two that forced Brandel to jam on the brakes, permitting Bellinger to scoot away with the race lead.
As Brandel tried in vain to reclaim the top spot, all eyes were on the No. 25k of Kyle Spence, who has already notched three wins in the 600cc Class this season. Spence threaded his way from 17th starting position to run fourth as lap 12 was scored. The second caution period occurred with 14 tours in the books and Bellinger chose the outside lane for the double-file restart. Brandel launched off the bottom of turn four to move back in front as the green flew once again. Bellinger threw a big slider in one and two, but Brandel was ready this time. He turned left as Bellinger slid up in front of him, rocketing off the bottom lane of the second turn and back into the lead.
"I held my breath a little on that move," explained Brandel afterward. "I had to try it after the way that first slide job went...so I mashed the throttle as he slid up and prayed that my car would stick coming off the bottom. It did (stick) fortunately, and I was back in front."
Bellinger and Spence battled furiously for the runner-up spot over the final laps as Brandel maintained a steady, if not huge, advantage at the head of the field. As the leader became involved with a pack of lapped traffic on the final lap, Bellinger closed in and made one more giant bonsai dive into turn three. He ended up in the outside guardrail, taking two other cars with him, and Brandel was home free to score his first win in what felt like forever to the driver of the No. 25 Hyper.
Spence wound up second with Bradley Brown, Dan Souder, and point leader Heath Hehnly completing the top five.
Taylor Troxel, Bellinger, and Zach Light won heat races for the 31 car field of 600's. Mike Rutherford claimed the consolation victory.
Wernersville's Nick Skias survived a three-wide skirmish with Nick Sweigart and Billy Logeman to grab the lead on the fifth trip around the clay in the 270cc main event. Logeman moved to the runner-up slot and pressured Skias for several laps but the leader switched his line, preventing Logeman from sweeping around the top of him.
"When the car owner, who hates it when I run the top, tells me to move up and run the high groove, then I do it," laughed Skias in victory lane as he referred to the hand signals he was given by his owner, Randy Schaefer.
With Skias holding a slim margin over Logeman, Kyle Spence battled for third with Mike Rutherford, Sweigart, and Dylan Adams, whose No. 29 came to life on a restart with 11 revolutions complete. Adams, running the extreme low line, passed Rutherford and Sweigart to move into fourth and immediately challenged Spence for third. Bradley Brown soon charged into fourth and began a fight with Adams for the third position.
Skias pulled away slightly over the last few laps to register his third triumph of the season, with Logeman settling for second. Brown prevailed in the battle for third with Adams, who crossed the stripe in fourth. Spence held on for fifth-place cash.
Skias, Tyler Ulrich, and Heath Hehnly won heats for the 270's as 24 entries signed in for action on Saturday.
On June 11, Anthony Yerger felt certain victory slipped through his fingers as his cousin, Curtis R. Miller, passed him for the lead late in the race. One week later, Yerger redeemed himself as he dominated the Sportsman feature and earned the victory. Yerger snatched the lead from Patrick Kirn on lap two and was never headed, although Mike Miller made things interesting on a restart with six to go. Miller went three-wide, ducking under Yerger and Dave Ravel in turns one and two. Yerger gassed his No. 21 off turn two and back into the lead with Miller securing second over Ravel.
Yerger pulled out to a comfortable lead following one last restart with five to go, beating Miller to the checkered by slightly more than one second. Cameron Bellinger started 12th and finished third with Sportsman point leader Tyler Ulrich in fourth and Ravel fading to fifth at the end.
In addition to the winner's purse, Yerger also received an American Racer Tire/ Lias Tire gift certificate for his victory.
With 29 Sportsman Micros on hand, heat race victories went to Toby Blumenshine, Kirn, and Ulrich. The consolation winner was Alex Funari.
Eddie Nocera was bidding for his third triumph of the year in the Sports n' Turf 250cc Four-Stroke main, and for much of the 25-lap feature, it looked as though the 2015 point champ was going to see the checkered flag before everyone else. But Nocera got a little bit loose at the exit of turn two with three to go, and Kyle Spence jumped on his opportunity to accelerate under Nocera's out-of-shape No. 62 and into the lead.
Spence, from Bear, DE, raced to his third consecutive Four-Stroke victory. Nocera, who said he got into some water or oil on the track, recovered to finish second while point leader Kassidy Michael was third. Justin Harrington and Dave Williams, making his Four-Stroke debut, rounded out the top five.
Nocera and Spence won heat races for the 16-car field of Sports n' Turf Four-Strokes.
Lancaster's Justin Harrington passed William Manotti with seven laps remaining to grab the lead and, eventually, his third triumph of the season in the main event for the 125cc racers.
"At the start, I was disgusted," said Harrington afterward. "The car was not good, but something happened about ten laps into it and the car really came around. I couldn't believe it, but I'll take it. Glad I could win for my dad tonight...happy Father's Day, dad," added Harrington as he turned toward his father, Jim.
Manotti, who said his car's transmission began to act up during the second half of the 25-lapper, chased Harrington the checkered. Brandon Gibble finished third while Corey Schmuck Jr. and Devin Adams completed the top five.
Two heat races were contested by the 17-car field of 125cc competitors, with Schmuck Jr. and Manotti scored as the winners.
The Lanco Micro-Midget Racing Club was proud to have its two oldest members in attendance on Saturday. Don Rothfus, 95 years-old, and Toot Fellenbaum, 92, took in the action from the speedway's handicap section high above turn four.
Mike Knappenberger and his Race Chasing for Fans Facebook Page, along with Shred Racing Photos, presented two cash bonuses to drivers who created "the best photo" in Saturday night's racing program. A pair of 270cc throttle-jockeys, Andrew Dietrich and Tommy Kunsman Jr., split the bonus money.
Following this Saturday's Pink Out Night and Slide at the Clyde IV presented by Kim's Kreations, Lanco's Clyde Martin Memorial Speedway will keep the "special event" ball rolling with its July 2nd Star Spangled Havoc II, featuring the ARDC Midgets.
Joining the mighty Midgets on July 2nd will be Firecracker Frenzy for wingless 600cc Micro-Sprints and the Hurst Exteriors Clash at the Clyde for wingless 270cc Micros.
Alex Bright, "the Phenom", will be out to pick up his second ARDC victory of the year at the Clyde, but his brother Brendan has been the hottest wheel-twister on the ARDC circuit of late, winning two straight (at Williams Grove and Susquehanna). Brett Arndt, Trevor Kobylarz, Danny Stratton, Kyle Spence, Ryan Wilson, and a host of others will be in action as Ryan Greth attempts to duplicate his win in last season's inaugural Star Spangled Havoc event at Clyde Martin Memorial Speedway.
600cc Micro-Sprint Feature, 25 laps: 1.Shaun Brandel, 2.Kyle Spence, 3.Bradley Brown, 4.Dan Souder, 5.Heath Hehnly, 6.Chris Gerhart, 7.Ryan Hook, 8.Zachary Light, 9.Jason Swavely, 10.Taylor Troxel, 11.Mike Rutherford, 12.Tommy Kunsman Jr., 13.Danny Stratton, 14.Mike Dicely, 15.Brent Ely, 16.Kory Merkey, 17.Chris Oraschin, 18.Ryan Groff, 19.Rebecca LaMothe, 20.Cameron Bellinger, 21.Chris Panczner 22.TJ Greve, 23.Patrick Ely. DQ: Austin Bishop.
DNQ: Kassidy Michael, Dylan Binkley, Will Urkuski, Troy Musselman, Amber Oraschin, Jarid Kunkle, Nick Sweigart.
270cc Micro-Sprint Feature, 25 laps: 1.Nick Skias, 2.Billy Logeman, 3.Bradley Brown, 4.Dylan Adams, 5.Kyle Spence, 6.Nick Sweigart, 7.Toby Blumenshine, 8.Mike Rutherford, 9.Mike Miller, 10.Mike Skias, 11.Tommy Kunsman Jr., 12.Brian Sholley, 13.Christi Sweigart, 14.Jarrett Imler, 15.Richie Hartman, 16.Jason Swavely, 17.Dan Lane Jr., 18.Heath Hehnly, 19.Tyler Ulrich, 20.Jas Hehnly, 21.Christopher Steigerwalt, 22.Terry Ellex, 23.Andrew Dietrich.
DNS: Bob Brubaker.
Sportsman Micro-Sprint Feature, 25 laps: 1.Anthony Yerger, 2.Mike Miller, 3.Cameron Bellinger, 4.Tyler Ulrich, 5.Dave Ravel, 6.Danny Stratton, 7.Kerry Lengle, 8.Devin Adams, 9.Ricky Sechrist, 10.Dan Lane Jr., 11.Curtis R. Miller, 12.Austin Graby, 13.Patrick Kirn, 14.Kane Rogers, 15.Robert Shanaman, 16.Jeff Hughes, 17.Nate Gibble, 18.Brian Kramer, 19.Sheena Schaefer, 20.Ken Davis, 21.Alex Funari, 22.Ava Bellinger, 23.Toby Blumenshine, 24.Dustin Adams.
DNQ: Zak Vickers, Katelin Vragovich, Dennis Fenstermacher, Dave Schroeder, Cody Sechrist.
Sports n' Turf 250cc Four-Stroke Micro-Sprint Feature, 25 laps: 1.Kyle Spence, 2.Eddie Nocera, 3.Kassidy Michael, 4.Justin Harrington, 5.Dave Williams, 6.Zak Vickers, 7.Jarrett Imler, 8.Aidan Jones, 9.Dick Huzzard, 10.Ron Zimmerman, 11.Andrew Potts, 12.Ron Wechter, 13.Lewis Kepple Jr., 14.Cliff Brian Jr., 15.Dave Ravel.
DNS: Zachary Young.
125cc Micro-Sprint Feature, 25 laps: 1.Justin Harrington, 2.William Manotti, 3.Brandon Gibble, 4.Corey Schmuck Jr., 5.Devin Adams, 6.Austin Graby, 7.Shane Davis, 8.Gary Ellex, 9.Brandon Stuck, 10.Tajae Adams, 11.Zack Hollinger, 12.Cody Hibshman, 13.Noah Merkey, 14.Jas Hehnly, 15.Walt Wampole, 16.Tyler Hershey, 17.Jimmy Wampole.