Phipps Nets First Win In Four-Strokes; Manotti's Streak Continues In 125cc
By Barry Angstadt
Newmanstown, PA - Saturday, June 24, was a night of fund raising and great racing at Lanco's Clyde Martin Memorial Speedway, and it was also a night to honor the memory of a die hard race fan whose life was tragically ended at just 19 years of age.
Kim's Kreations, along with T.T.'s Troops, hosted the second annual Pink Out Night at the speedway. The group raises funds to provide care packages for breast cancer patients at Penn State Hershey Medical Center. Kim's Kreations, in conjunction with Daryl Tillman/ Team ReMax of Reading, also sponsored the Fifth Annual Slide at the Clyde for the All Star Slingshots.
Jared Silfee was victorious in the Slide at the Clyde V, while Kyle Spence drove to his third consecutive victory in the Hyper Racing 600 Sprint main. Mike Rutherford recorded another Viper Chassis 270 Sprint triumph, and Tommy Phipps Jr. picked up his first career win in the HammerDown Engines 250cc Four-Stroke feature. Cameron Bellinger won his second Sportsman race of the season, and William Manotti continued his dominance of the 125cc division with his fifth straight victory.
Just as many other speedways did last weekend, the Clyde paid tribute to the memory of Haley Williams-Wetzel, the 19-year old afflicted with Lupus who perished, along with her grandmother, Julia Williams, in a tragic auto accident on Thursday night, June 22. Williams-Wetzel, always upbeat and smiling, made many friends while attending races at several tracks in the region. A helmet drive was conducted at intermission to benefit Haley's family, and Chuck Whary donated his Pink Out 50/50 winnings to the family as well. More than $500 was collected between the helmet drive and Whary's donation.
The amount raised to benefit breast cancer patients - through a Chinese Auction, the 50/50, and sale of merchandise - was still being tallied as this was written, but Kim Glass, Terri Bucks, and T.T.'s Troops want to express their gratitude and appreciation to all who supported their cause on Saturday night.
The Hyper Racing 600 Sprint feature was a good one, as the 24-car field utilized every inch of the ultra-racy oval for the entire 25-lap distance. Chris Oraschin darted from the pole to lead the first nine revolutions before Kyle Spence passed him with a big run down the backstretch. Spence flew to a big lead, but point leader Heath Hehnly made things interesting near the end when he closed the gap on Spence as the leader got hung up in lapped traffic. Hehnly ran out of laps before he could muster a serious challenge, however, and Spence, from Bear, Delaware, racked up his third consecutive 600cc victory at the Clyde. His streak began on Memorial Day weekend in Gary Hunter's No. 7h, while the most recent pair of triumphs have come aboard his family-owned No. 25k.
Hehnly, Jim Radney, Ryan Groff, and Oraschin made up the top five at the finish.
600 heat race wins went to Spence, Bradley Brown, and Corry Roth. Mike Rutherford won the consolation race. There were 30 cars entered for 600cc competition on Saturday.
It turned out to be a very big week for Saylorsburg, Pa. resident Jared Silfee. Last year's Junior Slingshot National Champion moved to the All Star Slingers this season, scoring his first All Star victory at Kutztown's Action Track USA last Wednesday in a special 40-lap main event. He followed it up with his very first All Star National Tour triumph in the Slide at the Clyde V on Saturday.
Silfee started on the pole and made the most of his opportunity, leading every one of the 30-laps and holding back his brother, Austin, on several restarts. Austin Silfee battled Dylan Hoch and Dave Carraghan for much of the event, with Mike Glass, Brett Bieber, and Dakota Kohler dicing for position right behind the three-car tussle for second place.
At the checkered, it was Jared Silfee driving the S&S Speedways No. 55 to his second significant victory of the week, with his brother, in another S&S/ Hamlin Speedway machine, holding off Hoch for runner-up honors. Carraghan and Glass finished fourth and fifth, respectively.
A dual heat race format, typical for National Slingshot Tour events, was used on Saturday and the winners included Carraghan, Joe Toth, Austin Silfee, Bieber, Kohler, and Jared Silfee. There were 23 All Star Slingshots in attendance for the Slide at the Clyde V.
Mike Rutherford, from Lititz, Pa., wheeled the Ken Kaylor No. 5k to his third straight win in the Viper Chassis 270 main event. It was also Rutherford's fifth win of the season (including a wingless triumph on April 1st). Saturday's victory was achieved in somewhat bizarre fashion, though.
Kyle Spence, bidding for his second win of the night, bolted to the early lead in Gary Miller's Hyper X7 Chassis. The No. 82 was flying, but Anthony Yerger was strong, too, and didn't allow Spence to run away and hide . On lap 14, when Spence got trapped behind a pair of slower cars at the back of the field, Yerger pounced and took the lead on the backstretch. At the same time, Spence slowed and pulled off the track. Just a half-lap later, Yerger attempted to squeeze by a lapped car on the homestretch, but contact with the slower car sent Yerger's No. 5a into the guardrail and that launched him high into the air as he flipped towards turn one.
Yerger's unfortunate incident handed the lead to Rutherford, and he outran Heath Hehnly to the checkered, forcing Hehnly to be satisfied with his second runner-up finish of the night.
Nick Skias narrowly avoided a skirmish in turn four on the final lap to just nip Billy Logeman for third as they crossed the stripe. Curtis R. Miller wound up fifth.
With 30 of the 270cc Sprints on hand, heat race victories fell to Spence, Hehnly, and Tyler Ulrich. Justin Harrington claimed the consolation race win.
Alex Funari led much of the Sportsman 25-lapper, but he couldn't hold off Cameron Bellinger when the point leader throttled by him off turn four with six laps remaining. Bellinger started 11th and charged to his second victory of the season, but he had to hold off 12th starter Jason Swavely as Swavely rocketed to the leader's rear bumper in the final five circuits. The laps clicked off and the checkered flag waved before Swavely could make a serious assault for the lead. At the finish, it was Bellinger, from Middletown, DE, beating Swavely for the win with Austin Graby running a solid race to end up third. Funari slipped back to fourth at the end and Nick Skias crossed the line in fifth.
Mike Miller, Swavely, and Bellinger won Sportsman heat races. Rookie Clinton Hauser received credit for the consolation victory when only six cars showed up to start - and all six would qualify, so the race was checkered before it ever went green.
There were 25 Sportsman in action on Saturday.
Lancaster's Tommy Phipps Jr., at the ripe old age of 12, notched his first Micro-Sprint feature win on Saturday. Phipps wrestled the top spot from Zak Vickers on an early race restart, then maintained control of the HammerDown Engines 250cc Four-Stroke 25-lapper until the end. Vickers had gone from third to first when the race went green, and he held the lead for a brief time before fifth-starting Phipps, who has been impressive in his rookie year, made the winning pass.
Cliff Brian Jr., who already has a win under his belt this season, worked his way by Vickers for second late in the race, then reeled in the leader as the laps dwindled down. Brian was within a car length at the end and felt he needed just a few more laps to alter the outcome of the Four-Stroke feature. The checkered fell before he had a chance to challenge Phipps, however, so Brian went home with a second-place finish.
Vickers settled for third, with Aidan Jones and Mike Coen rounding out the top five.
Coen and Donna Geib won the two heat races contested by the Four-Strokes.
Just when William Manotti appears beatable in a 125cc main event, he finds a way to pull off yet another triumph. On Saturday, it looked like Austin Graby had things well in hand, as he snatched the top spot from Noah Merkey on lap five and ran out to a big lead. A caution period with just a handful of laps remaining permitted Manotti a shot at the leader, but Graby pulled in front on the restart and looked to be in control of the race. A lapped car caused just a second of hesitation on Graby's part, though, and Manotti was quick to shoot low and grab the lead as they blasted down the back chute. The winning pass came with just three tours left to run, and Manotti paced those last three trips around the clay to score his fifth consecutive 125cc feature win.
Graby was a disappointed runner-up, with Brandon Gibble, Kerry Lengle, and Corey Schmuck Jr. completing the top five.
Manotti and Kalani Adams registered 125cc heat race wins.
This Saturday, July 1st, is Star Spangled Havoc at Lanco's Clyde Martin Memorial Speedway. The USAC Eastern Regional Midgets presented by ARDC will compete in qualifying heats and a 30-lap feature. It's the second appearance of the season by the mighty Midgets at the Clyde, and the USAC/ARDC competitors will be trying to end the win streak of Alex Bright, who has taken three straight checkered flags in stand-alone ARDC races at the Newmanstown, Pa. oval.
Joining the Midgets will be the Hyper Racing Wingless 600 Sprints in Firecracker Frenzy and the Viper Chassis Wingless 270 Sprints, who will compete in the Clash at the Clyde.
Gates open at 3:30, with the Wingless 600 and 270 driver's meeting taking place at 5:15 p.m. Warm-ups for the 600's and 270's will begin at 5:30, with group time trials to follow. The 600 and 270 heat races will begin after the group time trials, and USAC/ARDC heat in the motors will happen after those heat races.
The Midgets will warm-up at 8:00 and their heat races will follow, along with the remainder of the 600 and 270 program.
General admission (for ages 13 and up) is $12.00. Ages 12 and under are free. Pit passes will cost $30.00.
Hyper Racing 600 Sprints, 25 Laps: 1.Kyle Spence, 2.Heath Hehnly, 3.Jim Radney, 4.Ryan Groff, 5.Chris Oraschin, 6.Bradley Brown, 7.Shaun Brandel, 8.Jason Swavely, 9.Jarid Kunkle, 10.Corry Roth, 11.Mike Rutherford, 12.Danny Stratton, 13.Ryan Hook, 14.Austin Quick, 15.Zach Light, 16.Damon Paul, 17.Brent Ely, 18.Will Urkuski, 19.BJ Antonio, 20.Hunter James, 21.Kassidy Michael, 22.Amber Oraschin, 23.Chris Panczner, 24.Nash Ely.
DNQ: Austin Graby, Patrick Ely, Rebecca LaMothe, Don Hess, Kelby Stauffer, Logan Spahr.
Viper Chassis 270 Sprints, 25 Laps: 1.Mike Rutherford, 2.Heath Hehnly, 3.Nick Skias, 4.Billy Logeman, 5.Curtis R. Miller, 6.Brian Sholley, 7.Tyler Ulrich, 8.Toby Blumenshine, 9.Richie Hartman, 10.Dylan Adams, 11.Josh Stoyer, 12.Andrew Dietrich, 13.Tajae Adams, 14.Justin Harrington, 15.Devin Adams, 16.Dallas Schott, 17.Greg Miller, 18.Christi Sweigart, 19.John Ruoss, 20.AJ Gerhart, 21.Dan Lane Jr., 22.Anthony Yerger, 23.Kyle Spence, 24.Mike Miller.
DNQ: Kim Glass, Sami Schenck, Jarrett Imler, Mark Miller, Walt Wampole, Todd Martin.
All Star Slingshots Slide at the Clyde V, 30 Laps: 1.Jared Silfee, 2.Austin Silfee, 3.Dylan Hoch, 4.Dave Carraghan, 5.Mike Glass, 6.Brett Bieber, 7.Dakota Kohler, 8.Kyle Herve, 9.Seth Spayd, 10.Matt Mertz, 11.Kyle Smith, 12.Tyler Peet, 13.Taylor Mills, 14.Chuck Whary, 15.Ronnie Spitler, 16.Jonathan Swift, 17.Amber Oraschin, 18.Scott Gray, 19.Samantha Muller, 20.Justin Mills, 21.Joe Toth, 22.Blaire Schoenly, 23.Alex Yankowski.
Sportsman Micro-Sprints, 25-Laps: 1.Cameron Bellinger, 2.Jason Swavely, 3.Austin Graby, 4.Alex Funari, 5.Nick Skias, 6.Dan Lane Jr., 7.Kane Rogers, 8.Mike Miller, 9.Sami Schenck, 10.Robert Shanaman, 11.Alan Durham, 12.Steve Smith, 13.Clinton Hauser, 14.Charles Hellinger, 15.Patrick Kirn, 16.Sheena Schaefer, 17.Ricky Sechrist, 18.Jason Conover, 19.Samuel Borger, 20.Cody Sechrist, 21.Curtis R. Miller, 22.Brian Kramer, 23.Michael Kreiser, 24.David Schroeder.
DNQ: Dennis Adams.
Hammer Down Engines 250cc Four-Stroke Micro-Sprints, 25-Laps: 1.Tom Phipps Jr., 2.Cliff Brian Jr., 3.Zak Vickers, 4.Aidan Jones, 5.Mike Coen, 6.Eddie Nocera, 7.Donna Geib, 8.Ron Wechter, 9.Riley Simmons, 10.Dylan Yeingst, 11.Ron Zimmerman, 12.Zachary Young.
125cc Micro-Sprints, 25-Laps: 1.William Manotti, 2.Austin Graby, 3.Brandon Gibble, 4.Kerry Lengle, 5.Corey Schmuck Jr., 6.Tyler Hershey, 7.Mike Glass, 8.Noah Merkey, 9.Ryan Swavely, 10.Kalani Adams, 11.Brandon Stuck, 12.Connor Bollinger, 13.Richard Stuck, 14.Kody Hibshman, 15.Nate Gibble, 16.Derek Ecenrode, 17.Holden Eckman. DNS: Jimmy Wampole.