Newmanstown, PA - An absolutely incredible 600cc Micro-Sprint main event, an insanely competitive battle for the win in the 270cc feature, and a rim-riding duel for the Sportsman Class victory highlighted an action packed Memorial Day Open Show at Lanco's Clyde Martin Memorial Speedway on Saturday night.
The Bud's Spring & Suspension of Lancaster main events, with the majority of them going right down to the wire, were captured by Austin Quick (600cc), Nick Skias (270cc), Cameron "Wild Man" Bellinger (Sportsman), Kyle Spence (Sports n' Turf 250cc Four-Strokes), and Jesse Maurer (125cc).
The exciting competition certainly left the fans wanting more, but they'll have to wait until June 11 for additional ground-pounding, clay spewing, side by side action that was witnessed on Saturday and is common on the progressively banked oval. The Lanco club takes its first (scheduled) night off this week, June 4, before the "summer stretch" kicks into high gear on June 11.
Quick and Jack Conover started on the front row of the 600cc headliner, with Conover grabbing the lead at the outset of the 30-lapper. The action behind him was intense, as Quick, Kyle Lick, Jarid Kunkle, James Morris, and Chris Gerhart swapped lines and positions, with the slide job being the preferred method of passing. The drivers were racing so hard and so high on the banking that right-rear tires were constantly banging off the outside guardrail.
"Oh yeah, that got my attention a few times," grinned Quick afterward. "I'd bounce the right-rear off the fence and just think, 'okay, there it is...that's how far out I can go,' and stay in the gas."
Driving Gary Hunter's No. 7h Hyper, Quick eased in front of the frantic battling and began his assault on Conover. Throwing slider after slider, Quick repeatedly attempted to steal the top spot from Conover's Sawyer Chassis No. 21. As the race neared its conclusion, it appeared that Conover might have enough speed to hold on and win his first winged race of the season at the Clyde.
His right-rear tire began to fade, however, and Quick was not about to give up in his quest to score his first win with Hunter as his car owner. With a few laps remaining, Quick executed a successful slider and snatched the lead from Conover. He went on to win by nearly one-second over Conover, who held on for the runner-up finish.
The furious battling behind the leaders ended up with Kyle Lick notching a hard earned third place finish, while James Morris and 12th-starting Jason Swavely wound up fourth and fifth.
Quick went home with $750 from the base purse, a $50 bonus put up by the Quality Shoppe of Kutztown, and another $75 from Race Chasing Facebook page/Shred Racing Photos/Ken and Janet (car owners of the No. 2a).
Kenny Miller III was the Hard Charger of the race, going from 20th to 11th and getting a $50 bonus from the Quality Shoppe. Amber Oraschin also picked up an extra $50 for being the highest finishing female in the 600cc main, again courtesy of the Quality Shoppe. Oraschin finished 18th, just in front of Brooklyn Gable and Rebecca LaMothe as the three female starters finished 18th, 19th, and 20th.
A total of 39 entries made up the 600cc field on Saturday.
Nick Skias passed Josh Stoyer for the 270cc lead on the second trip around the clay. Mike Rutherford bolted past Stoyer and into the runner-up spot in the first few circuits, while most eyes were on Danny Lane Jr. as he roared from 16th on the starting grid to run fourth by the halfway point of the 30-lapper.
Tyler Ulrich fended off numerous attacks from Lane as they tussled for third position as Rutherford hounded Skias for the top spot. Skias would get away on the spattering of restarts that occurred, but after a few laps Rutherford got his No. 5k wound back up and closed in on the leader. Ulrich also made things interesting on the restarts, but faded a bit as the laps clicked off and fell back to battle with Lane.
The final six tours produced a terrific fight for the lead, as Rutherford threw repeated slide jobs on Skias at both ends of the speedway. Skias was prepared for the assaults, though, and turned left each time to drive back under Rutherford and regain the lead. He changed his line to try and prevent Rutherford from throwing the sliders, going on to win his second 270cc feature of the year at Clyde Martin Memorial Speedway.
Ulrich finished third with Lane claiming fourth place money as he held off a late race charge from Toby Blumenshine, who wound up fifth.
Cameron Bellinger has endured a career's worth of bad luck over the past three seasons, suffering near-misses, crashes, and mechanical ills in both 270 and 600cc competition. In Saturday night's Memorial Day Open for the Sportsman division, however, he realized a long time goal of his by winning the 30-lap main event in his typical rim-riding style.
Phil Durham got to the lead early and set a blistering pace. He opened a huge lead as 11th starter Bellinger and 10th-starting Danny Lane Jr. sliced their way through the pack. Unfortunately for Durham, his car gave up at the halfway point and he headed for the infield.
That handed the top spot to Curtis R. Miller, but Bellinger quickly executed a slider on him in turns one and two to grab the lead. The final laps saw Lane attempt to shove the nose of his No. 6 under Bellinger, who was not about to alter his groove, which was out against the fence.
Bellinger fought off Lane's attempts and screamed under the checkered flag to win his first Lanco feature. He was driving in relief of his father-in-law, Angelo Mercado, who is battling some health issues that have forced him to vacate his seat for now. Angelo watched his car achieve the victory on Saturday, though, and was as happy in victory lane as if he'd won himself.
Lane, Brandon Heist, Lee Reinhardt, and Ken Miller completed the top five.
Jesse Maurer, the Mount Joy Outlaw, is a four-time point champion in Lanco's 125cc division. No longer a regular competitor in the class, Maurer shows up for the Memorial Day and Labor Day Open Shows and usually wins. Saturday night was no exception, as Maurer drove Gary Gorski's No. 21 by Tajae Adams and Justin Harrington to snare the top spot as lap one was scored. He went on to lead all the way, holding off a fast-closing William Manotti to record the victory.
Manotti, Zack Hollinger, Harrington, and Adams finished second through fifth.
With Donna Geib sidelined by two broken ribs, Kyle Spence hopped into the seat of her No. 82 for Saturday night's event and steered it to victory in the 30-lap main for the Sport n' Turf 250cc Four-Stroke Micros. In victory lane, Spence dedicated the triumph to Geib, who is on the mend from the early season racing incident.
Spence passed Kassidy Michael for the lead on the ninth revolution, then pulled away to win easily over Michael, Jarrett Imler, Jim Skias, and Dick Huzzard.
No racing this Saturday, June 4, but the Clyde swings back into action on Saturday, June 11 with a five division card of the best winged Micro-Sprint racing on the east coast. The 600cc, 270cc, Sportsman, 125cc, and Sports n' Turf 250cc Four-Strokes will compete in qualifying heats, consolations, and 25-lap features. Gates open at 4:30, warm-ups begin at 6 p.m., and the first heat race goes green at 7:00. Note the later starting time that will be utilized in June, July, and August.
Come join us and LIVE the excitement that is Lanco!
600cc Micro-Sprint Feature, 30 laps: 1.Austin Quick, 2.Jack Conover, 3.Kyle Lick, 4.James Morris, 5.Jason Swavely, 6.Ryan Groff, 7.Chris Gerhart, 8.Kyle Spence, 9.Jarid Kunkle, 10.Shaun Brandel, 11.Kenny Miller III, 12.Brent Ely, 13.Heath Hehnly, 14.Jon Keller, 15.Sammy LaMothe, 16.Matt Carr, 17.Mike Rutherford, 18.Amber Oraschin, 19.Brooklyn Gable, 20.Rebecca LaMothe, 21.Charles Hunt, 22.Greg Stevens, 23.Nick Sweigart, 24.Zach Light.
DNQ: Steve Whary, Bret Cronrath, Dan Jones, Austin Bishop, Cameron Bellinger, Bradley Brown, Mark Landwher, Kelby Stauffer, Chris Oraschin, Kassidy Michael, Josh Conover, Jesse Maurer, Jeff Boyer, TJ Greve, Patrick Ely.
270cc Micro-Sprint Feature, 30 laps: 1.Nick Skias, 2.Mike Rutherford, 3.Tyler Ulrich, 4.Dan Lane Jr., 5.Toby Blumenshine, 6.Josh Stoyer, 7.Billy Logeman, 8.Kyle Spence, 9.Andrew Dietrich, 10.Kyle Weiss, 11.Curtis R. Miller, 12.Greg Miller, 13.Brian Sholley, 14.Christi Sweigart, 15.Nick Sweigart, 16.Dave Williams, 17.Richie Hartman, 18.Ken Miller, 19.Bradley Brown, 20.Kenny Miller III, 21.Tyler Reinhardt, 22.Nick Walton, 23.Jesse Maurer, 24.Dustin Fox.
DNQ: Ronald Helmick, Daryl Davis, Liz Helmick, Christopher Steigerwalt, Jason Swavely.
Sportsman Micro-Sprint Feature, 30 laps: 1.Cameron Bellinger, 2.Dan Lane Jr., 3.Brandon Heist, 4.Lee Reinhardt, 5.Ken Miller, 6.Toby Blumenshine, 7.Alex Swift, 8.Nick Skias, 9.Tyler Ulrich, 10.Sami Schenck, 11.Curtis R. Miller, 12.Ava Bellinger, 13.Kane Rogers, 14.Darren Schott, 15.Austin Graby, 16.Charles Hellinger, 17.Patrick Kirn, 18.Alan Durham, 19.Sheena Schaefer, 20.Robert Shanaman, 21.Anthony Yerger, 22.Phil Durham, 23.Tyler Reinhardt, 24.Ricky Sechrist.
DNQ: Nate Weidman, Ken Davis, Steve Smith, Cheyenne Robicheaux, Nate Gibble, Kerry Lengle, Dustin Adams, Alex Funari, Brian Kramer.
Sports n' Turf 250cc Four-Stroke Micro-Sprint Feature, 30 laps: 1.Kyle Spence, 2.Kassidy Michael, 3.Jarrett Imler, 4.Jim Skias, 5.Dick Huzzard, 6.Scott Renninger, 7.Ron Wechter, 8.Mike Coen, 9.Andrew Potts, 10.Cliff Brian Jr., 11.Eddie Nocera, 12.Zachary Young, 13.Ron Zimmerman, 14.Justin Harrington.
125cc Micro-Sprint Feature, 30 laps: 1.Jesse Maurer, 2.William Manotti, 3.Zack Hollinger, 4.Justin Harrington, 5.Tajae Adams, 6.Austin Graby, 7.Chase Gutshall, 8.Corey Schmuck Jr., 9.Brandon Gibble, 10.Kyler Heiney, 11.Shane Davis, 12.Jimmy Wampole, 13.Holden Eckman, 14.Matthew Donley, 15.Tyler Hershey, 16.Walt Wampole, 17.Mark Yoder, 18.Brandon Stuck.