Newmanstown, PA - Lanco's Clyde Martin Memorial Speedway boasts some of the most competitive winged Micro-Sprint racing in the northeast, so it's very impressive when a driver can post consecutive victories in any of the five weekly divisions. On Saturday night, two drivers accomplished the feat as Jarid Kunkle (600cc) and Mike Rutherford (270cc) produced second-straight triumphs in their respective classes.
Joining Kunkle and Rutherford in the winner's circle on Hickory Run Campground Night were Tyler Ulrich (Sportsman), Dave Ravel (Sports n' Turf 250cc Four-Stroke), and William Manotti (125cc).
This Saturday, July 23rd, it's Mongoose Chassis Night as the five weekly divisions get their final tune up before the prestigious, double-points Clyde Martin Memorial Race on July 30. This week, the 600cc, 270cc, Sportsman, 125cc, and Sports n' Turf 250cc Four-Stroke Micros will compete in qualifying heats, consolations, and 25-lap Mongoose Chassis main events.
In last Saturday's 600cc feature, presented by Hickory Run Campground, Kutztown's Jarid Kunkle sprinted from third to first on the opening lap. As Kunkle throttled out to a big lead, four drivers battled fiercely for the runner-up position. Rebecca LaMothe, point leader Heath Hehnly, Chris Panczner, and Brent Ely diced for position as the leader caught the back of the pack and began slicing his way through heavy traffic.
With the race continuing under green, LaMothe did an outstanding job keeping Hehnly behind her while weaving in and out of cars that were now one lap down. Panczner and Ely battled right behind LaMothe and Hehnly as the foursome gained some ground on Kunkle, who was being "cautiously aggressive" with the gaggle of cars in front of him.
Hehnly finally got by LaMothe, with Panczner, Ely, and now 13th starter Kyle Spence also passing the No. 23R as the laps began to dwindle. With one to go, a race-long fuel leak ruined a great run for Ely, who suddenly slowed and stopped on the track when his No. 17 ran dry, bringing out the only yellow flag of the event.
A single file, one-to-go restart saw Kunkle dart away from Hehnly and go on to win his second in a row and third of the year in the 600cc division. Panczner wound up third ahead of Spence and Danny Stratton, who started 15th.
With 29 of the 600cc Micros entering the event, Hehnly, Panczner, and Hunter James won qualifying heats. Kyle Lick was victorious in the consolation race.
In the Hickory Run Campground 270cc main event, Rutherford started tenth, but threaded his way up to third by lap six. He joined a terrific battle for the runner-up spot with Kyle Spence and Richie Hartman. The trio swapped the position on several occasions before Rutherford secured it for good. The driver of Ken Kaylor's No. 5k then quickly tracked down race leader Heath Hehnly, passing Hehnly for the top spot on the 12th circuit.
Once in front, Rutherford charged to his second consecutive triumph and fourth of the season. Spence was a distant second after fighting for the position with Hartman and Mike Miller. At the checkered, it was Rutherford, from Lititz, over Spence, Miller, Nick Skias, and Hartman.
The 25-car field of 270's was split into three heat races, with victories going to Miller, N. Skias, and Brian Sholley. Tyler Ulrich captured the consolation win.
Tyler Ulrich, Denver PA, jumped out to a big lead in the 25-lap feature for the Sportsman class. Sheena Schaefer and Anthony Yerger, both having single victories in 2016, tussled for the runner-up slot.
A long green flag stretch ended with seven to go and erased Ulrich's huge lead. Sportsman point leader Danny Lane Jr., who began the race in 14th, was now among the top four. On the restart, Ulrich once again launched out to a comfortable advantage as Lane slipped past Yerger and went to work on Schaefer for second. Jason Swavely, who went to the rear after being involved in a mishap on the original start, came charging back through the field and into the top five as the race neared its conclusion.
Ulrich cruised to the victory, his first in Sportsman competition, with Schaefer holding off Lane for runner-up honors. Yerger and Swavely completed the top five.
Ulrich, Tyler Reinhardt, and Angelo Mercado won heat races for the 29 Sportsman entries. Jamie Fetterolf won the consolation race.
Dave Ravel, from Reading, passed Ronald Wechter on a restart with ten laps scored to grab the lead in the Sports n' Turf 250cc Four-Stroke feature. Ravel then rumbled away from his competitors, with the previous week's winner, Mike Coen, soon moving into second place. Donna Geib, current point leader Kassidy Michael, and Jarrett Imler waged an entertaining battle for third for several laps before Imler claimed the spot.
At the finish, it was Ravel notching his second win of the season in Four-Stroke competition by a comfortable margin over Coen. Imler finished third with Michael and Zak Vickers finishing fourth and fifth.
Four-Stroke heat races went to Dave Williams and Imler, as 17 drivers signed in for action on Saturday.
Lancaster's William Manotti gassed his No. 77 by Austin Graby and Matthew Donley to snatch the lead on a restart with three circuits in the books in the 125cc main.
Manotti, who won two straight to begin the season, went on to win his first 125cc feature since April 23. Corey Schmuck Jr. emerged from a three-car battle for second with Graby and Jas Hehnly to register the runner-up finish, with Hehnly settling for third. Graby and point leader Justin Harrington rounded out the top five.
Harrington and Donley won heats for the 22-car field of 125cc racers.
600cc Micro-Sprint Feature, 25 laps: 1.Jarid Kunkle, 2.Heath Hehnly, 3.Chris Panczner, 4.Kyle Spence, 5.Danny Stratton, 6.Rebecca LaMothe, 7.Chris Gerhart, 8.Bradley Brown, 9.Cameron Bellinger, 10.Jason Swavely, 11.Austin Bishop, 12.Ryan Groff, 13.Mike Dicely, 14.Shaun Brandel, 15.Jered Hook, 16.Kyle Lick, 17.Hunter James, 18.Zach Light, 19.Nick Sweigart, 20.Ryan Hook, 21.Jack Conover, 22.Will Urkuski, 23.Brent Ely, 24.Mike Rutherford.
DNQ: Kelby Stauffer, Kassidy Michael, Brian Boyer, Chris Oraschin, Amber Oraschin.
270cc Micro-Sprint Feature, 25 laps: 1.Mike Rutherford, 2.Kyle Spence, 3.Mike Miller, 4.Nick Skias, 5.Richie Hartman, 6.Dan Lane Jr., 7.Mike Skias, 8.Toby Blumenshine, 9.Bradley Brown, 10.Nick Sweigart, 11.Tyler Ulrich, 12.Mike Uhrich, 13.Christi Sweigart, 14.Andrew Dietrich, 15.Brent Shearer, 16.Jonathan Swift, 17.Dustin Fox, 18.Billy Logeman, 19.Mike Coen, 20.Jeff Harnish, 21.Heath Hehnly, 22.Adam Minzer, 23.Scott Fick, 24.Brian Sholley.
DNQ: Daryl Davis.
Sportsman Micro-Sprint Feature, 25 laps: 1.Tyler Ulrich, 2.Sheena Schaefer, 3.Dan Lane Jr., 4.Anthony Yerger, 5.Jason Swavely, 6.Tyler Reinhardt, 7.Dave Ravel, 8.Ava Bellinger, 9.Toby Blumenshine, 10.Jamie Fetterolf, 11.Dylan Hoch, 12.Kerry Lengle, 13.Austin Graby, 14.Dave Schroeder, 15.Alan Durham, 16.Mike Miller, 17.Devin Adams, 18.Michael Kreiser, 19.Curtis R. Miller, 20.Patrick Kirn, 21.Robert Shanaman, 22.Ricky Sechrist, 23.Angelo Mercado, 24.Alex Funari.
DNQ: Kane Rodgers, Dennis Fenstermacher, Cody Sechrist, Brian Kramer, Katelin Vragovich.
Sports n' Turf 250cc Four-Stroke Micro-Sprint Feature, 25 laps: 1.Dave Ravel, 2.Mike Coen, 3.Jarrett Imler, 4.Kassidy Michael, 5.Zak Vickers, 6.Donna Geib, 7.Dave Williams, 8.Ron Wechter, 9.Andrew Potts, 10.Lewis Kepple Jr., 11.Dick Huzzard, 12.Brandon Yoder, 13.Cliff Brian Jr., 14.Ron Zimmerman, 15.Eddie Nocera, 16.Zachary Young. DNS: Aidan Jones.
125cc Micro-Sprint Feature, 25 laps: 1.William Manotti, 2.Corey Schmuck Jr., 3.Jas Hehnly, 4.Austin Graby, 5.Justin Harrington, 6.Mark Yoder, 7.Tajae Adams, 8.Austin Bishop, 9.Brandon Gibble, 10.Matthew Donley, 11.Jason Hehnly, 12.Tyler Hershey, 13.Nate Gibble, 14.Walt Wampole, 15.Shane Davis, 16.Noah Merkey, 17.Zack Hollinger, 18.Brianna Gerhart, 19.Alexis Sheely, 20.Brandon Stuck, 21.Jimmy Wampole. DNS: Jayson Conover.