Submitted by Barry Angstadt
After several near-misses over the past few seasons, Zach Light "lit up" the 600cc Sprint field on Saturday night, finally notching his first feature win at Lanco's Clyde Martin Memorial Speedway.
Joining Light in the winner's circle were Josh Stoyer (270cc); Cameron Bellinger (Sportsman); Mike Coen (250cc Four-Stroke); and William Manotti (125cc).
The Hyper Racing 600 Sprint feature was the final race of the night, and for Lebanon, Pa.'s Zach Light, it was well worth the wait.
Light vaulted from sixth to third in the first three trips around the progressively banked oval as polesitter Jason Sechrist set the pace. The first caution flag waved with four laps in the books, setting the stage for an 18-lap segment of clean and green action, as the second yellow silk would not fly until lap 22 had been scored.
Defending and five-time Lanco 600 point champ Heath Hehnly started 12th and worked his way into the top five by the time the first caution period occurred. Hehnly zipped into third, following Light past Will Urkuski, on the sixth tour. Light and Hehnly then battled fiercely for the runner-up position as Sechrist waltzed away to a big lead.
Lapped traffic slowed the leader's pace, permitting Light and Hehnly to catch up to Sechrist's No. 5. As they navigated the heavy traffic in front of them with five to go, Sechrist's car twitched in turns one and two, turning hard right and forcing him to lift off the throttle. That's all Light needed, and he pinched his Classic Rock, Sycamore Hill RV, Tweek Mods No. 11z under Sechrist's machine, then mashed the accelerator and bolted into the lead. Hehnly also followed Light by Sechrist, who managed to regain control of his mount and continue on in third place.
After the second (and final) caution with three to go, Light maintained control of the top spot, although Hehnly made it interesting on the last circuit, planting his car in the high groove and attempting to make a run at the leader off turn four. Hehnly almost pulled alongside, but Light won the drag race to the checkered by a scant 0.115-seconds.
"It's (that first victory) been so long in coming, I don't even know what to say," exclaimed Light in victory lane. "I looked at the board and saw the number 83 (Hehnly) was behind me, so I knew that I'd have to deal with one of the best in the business. I was definitely glad that the final restart was single file and not double file. Many thanks to my family, crew, and sponsors."
Hehnly wound up second and Sechrist, after a Lanco career-best finish of third, was both disappointed and happy. "I said before the race that I would be happy with a top-three finish. But, after leading so many laps, I really thought I could win this thing. I just caught the rut wrong and it threw the car sideways. But after all the hard luck I've had here, I guess I'll take a third tonight," said Sechrist.
Jarid Kunkle and Shaun Brandel finished fourth and fifth.
Heat race victories went to Kassidy Michael, Light, and Sechrist. William Manotti captured the consolation triumph.
The Viper Chassis winged 270cc Sprints have run three races this season, and Josh Stoyer has been a factor in all three. On April 8, he was a victim of mechanical gremlins while leading. One week later, he was challenging for the top spot when he and the leader got together in turn four, causing Stoyer to spin.
The gorilla jumped off his back on Saturday night, however, as Stoyer authored a strong performance from start to finish, winning his first of the year in the 25-lap main for the 270's.
The Mohnton, Pa. driver started on the outside of the front row, but was penalized two spots for jumping on the initial start. No matter, though, as Stoyer threaded the needle from the outside of row two when the race went green. He went from fourth to first by the time they hit the backstretch and proceeded to lead all 25 revolutions.
Nick Skias weaved his way from 13th on the starting grid to snatch the runner-up spot from Curtis R. Miller on lap 14. He closed the gap on Stoyer over the last third of the race, but could not get close enough to muster a serious challenge.
Billy Logeman, who had to take a detour through the infield inside the fourth turn to avoid a collision with others who were out of shape early in the race, stormed back through the pack with a vengance. Logeman appeared to have the fastest car at the end, but, when he pulled into third with three circuits remaining, both Stoyer and Skias had checked out on the field.
Stoyer flew to the win over Skias, with Logeman settling for third, making it an all-Viper Chassis podium. Mike Rutherford also charged from the rear after a mid-race incident with Heath Hehnly to earn fourth-place money. Richie Hartman finished fifth.
Logeman and Hehnly won heat races for the 20-car field of 270's.
Cameron Bellinger, from Middletown, DE, gave himself a belated birthday gift by winning the Sportsman Micro-Sprint feature on Saturday.
Bellinger, who celebrated a birthday on April 27, roared into second place, passing Nick Skias for the position, with ten to go in the 25-lap main. He then set his sights on race leader Sami Schenck but had to play some defense, too, because 12th-starting Jason Swavely was on his tail.
As Bellinger closed in on Schenck with eight trips remaining, the engine in Schenck's No. 92 gave up, bringing out the yellow flag and handing the lead to Bellinger, who had started the race in 11th.
Bellinger held off Swavely to record the victory, with Skias, Richie Hartman, and Austin Graby completing the top five.
With 27 Sportsman Micros in the pits on Saturday, heat race triumphs fell to Bellinger, Swavely, and Curtis R. Miller. The consolation winner was Sheena Schaefer.
Shamokin's Mike Coen drove to his second feature win of the season in the headliner for the HammerDown Engines 250cc Four-Stroke Class.
Coen ducked inside Eddie Nocera with 11 circuits scored as they navigated turns one and two. Blasting onto the back chute, Coen grabbed the lead and opened the door for Aidan Jones and Cliff Brian Jr. to follow him past Nocera.
Coen cruised to a comfortable victory over Jones, with Kyle Spence finishing third. Nocera and Brian placed fourth and fifth after tussling for fourth throughout the second half of the 25-lap feature.
Lewis Kepple Jr. and Nocera won heat races for the 13-car field of Four-Strokes.
Lancaster's William Manotti shook off the terrible luck that has plagued him over the first few weeks of the 2017 season, winning his first of the year in the 125cc main event.
Starting on the outside of the front row, Manotti out-gunned polesitter Brandon Gibble to take a lead that he would not relinquish.
Kyler Heiney, the April 8 winner, chased Manotti to the checkered with Corey Schmuck Jr. rebounding from an early race incident to finish third. Kerry Lengle and rookie Holden Eckman rounded out the top five.
Heiney and Manotti were victorious in 125cc heat races, as 20 drivers signed in for competition on Saturday.
This Saturday, May 6, is Kid's Night at Lanco's Clyde Martin Memorial Speedway. Youth (ages 12 and under) will be admitted free, and there will be games, contests, and prizes galore for all the kids in attendance.
The Quarter-Midgets of the DQMRC and Honeybrook Raceway will also be present at the Clyde on Saturday. The cars will be on display all night long, and they will also get some track time during intermission.
At 5 p.m., there will be a "chalk the block party" where kids (12 and under) will be escorted to an area outside the backstretch. They will be given sidewalk chalk and a mission: create a racing-themed drawing on the blocks that make up the retaining wall. The five feature winners from April 29 will then judge the drawings, and the winner gets to wave a green flag to start one of the Kid's Night feature races!
JesusRaceTeam.com will also have a table set up behind the grandstands where young fans can create a racing poster.
Gates open at 4 p.m. Warm-ups get underway at 5:30, and the first heat race goes green at 6:30. The Hyper Racing 600's, Viper Chassis 270's, HammerDown Engines 250cc Four-Strokes, Sportsman, and 125cc Micro-Sprints will compete in qualifying heats, consolations, and 25-lap main events on Saturday.
Adult General Admission is just $8.00, with discounts for Senior Citizens and Students. Since this Saturday is Kid's Night, all youth 12-and-under receive free admission.
It's Kid's Night at the Clyde; what a perfect time to come out and LIVE the excitement that is Lanco!
Hyper Racing 600 Sprints, 25 laps: 1.Zach Light, 2.Heath Hehnly, 3.Jason Sechrist, 4.Jarid Kunkle, 5.Shaun Brandel, 6.Bradley Brown, 7.Kyle Spence, 8.Mike Rutherford, 9.Ryan Groff, 10.Nash Ely, 11.Will Urkuski, 12.Brent Ely, 13.Bruce Ginther Jr. 14.Logan Spahr, 15.Hunter James, 16.William Manotti, 17.Bret Cronrath, 18.Amber Oraschin,
19.Rebecca LaMothe, 20.Donald Hess, 21.Chris Oraschin, 22.Jason Swavely, 23.Jim Radney, 24.Kassidy Michael.
DNQ: Austin Graby, Corry Roth, Brianne Cronrath-Wittmer, Chris Panczner.
Viper Chassis 270 Sprint Feature, 25 laps: 1.Josh Stoyer, 2.Nick Skias, 3.Billy Logeman, 4.Mike Rutherford, 5.Richie Hartman, 6.Toby Blumenshine, 7.Curtis R. Miller, 8.Anthony Yerger, 9.Dylan Adams, 10.Devin Adams, 11.Brian Sholley, 12.Andrew Dietrich, 13.AJ Gerhart, 14.Christi Sweigart, 15.Jarrett Imler, 16.Dallas Schott, 17.Adam Harnish, 18.Dan Lane Jr., 19.Heath Hehnly, 20.Kyle Spence.
Sportsman Micro-Sprint Feature, 25 laps: 1.Cameron Bellinger, 2.Jason Swavely, 3.Nick Skias, 4.Richie Hartman, 5.Austin Graby, 6.Dan Lane Jr., 7.Anthony Yerger, 8.Robert Shanaman, 9.Sheena Schaefer, 10.Brian Kramer, 11.Mike Kreiser, 12.Alan Durham, 13.Charles Hellinger, 14.Dave Schroeder, 15.Kane Rogers, 16.Steve Smith, 17.Bobby Johnson, 18.Dennis Fenstermacher, 19.Sami Schenck, 20.Curtis R. Miller, 21.Billy Logeman, 22.Mike Rutherford, 23.Ricky Sechrist, 24.Andrew Dietrich.
DNQ: Cody Sechrist, Clinton Hauser, Dylan Yeingst.
HammerDown Engines 250cc Four-Stroke Micro-Sprint Feature, 25 laps: 1.Mike Coen, 2.Aidan Jones, 3.Kyle Spence, 4.Eddie Nocera, 5.Cliff Brian Jr., 6.Tom Phipps, 7.Ron Zimmerman, 8.Zachary Young, 9.David Ravel, 10.Lewis Kepple Jr., 11.Ron Wechter, 12.Riley Simmons, 13.Zak Vickers.
125cc Micro-Sprint Feature, 25 laps: 1.William Manotti, 2.Kyler Heiney, 3.Corey Schmuck Jr., 4.Kerry Lengle, 5.Holden Eckman, 6.Tyler Hershey, 7.Matthew Kreider, 8.Brandon Gibble, 9.Nate Gibble, 10.Richard Stuck, 11.Shane Davis, 12.Kalani Adams, 13.Brandon Stuck, 14.Ryan Swavely, 15.Matthew Donley, 16.Jimmy Wampole, 17.Austin Graby, 18.Noah Merkey, 19.Walt Wampole. DNS: Thomas Kelley.