Mercado & Bellinger Triumph In Sportsman Mains; It's Jones in 4-Strokes & Manotti Wins Twice In 125cc
By Barry Angstadt
Newmanstown, PA - Mother Nature set up a tremendous bargain for race fans who attended Saturday night's event at Lanco's Clyde Martin Memorial Speedway. When rain moved in on August 19, with just nine laps complete in the first feature race of the evening, Lanco officials decided to make up three of the postponed mains on Saturday, August 26, then run the entire regularly scheduled show. That enabled fans to pay $8 general admission (regular adult ticket price) for eight features, plus qualifying! That's just $1.00 per feature, and all the qualifying races were, essentially, free of charge!
The racing action was charged with excitement, too, making it an even better deal for the fans who turned out on a beautiful Saturday night.
Bradley Brown picked up his second win of the season in the postponed main for the Hyper Racing 600 Sprints, while point leader Heath Hehnly flew to victory in the regularly scheduled 600cc feature.
Nick Skias inherited the Viper Chassis 270 triumph after apparent winner Dallas Schott had the victory taken away because of an issue that arose in post race inspection.
Skias also had a win taken away on Saturday night, when his No. 88 did not make it through post race inspection after the regularly scheduled Sportsman feature. Cameron Bellinger was awarded the victory, his fifth of the year in the Sportsman Class. His father-in-law, Angelo Mercado, was victorious in the postponed Sportsman race from August 19.
Aidan Jones captured his second win of the season in the main event for the Hammer Down Engines 250cc Four-Stroke division, and William Manotti swept both the postponed and regularly scheduled features for the 125cc Class.
The postponed feature for the Hyper Racing 600 Sprints was a good one, as Jim Radney bolted into the early lead over Bradley Brown. While Radney and Brown diced for the top spot, Nash Ely, Mike Rutherford, Heath Hehnly, Kyle Spence, and Jarid Kunkle waged a highly entertaining battle for positions three through seven. Brown eventually wrestled the lead away from Radney on lap 19, then pulled away, leaving Radney to duel with Hehnly for the runner-up spot. At the finish, it was Brown, from New Providence, Pa., recording his first win since April 15, with Radney holding off 600cc point leader Hehnly for second place cash. Nash Ely beat Rutherford to the stripe to finish fourth.
The regularly scheduled 600 feature looked like it belonged to Jim Radney. The driver from Lemoyne, Pa. battled pole sitter Brent Ely as the first seven circuits went clean and green. After a short caution period, tenth-starter Heath Hehnly tried to snooker both Ely and Radney on the restart, as Radney ducked under Ely and Hehnly went even lower to dive under both of them, creating a three-wide confrontation for the top spot. Radney came away with the lead and Hehnly drove into the runner-up slot. Radney motored away from Hehnly and the rest of the pack, but disaster struck with 11 to go as two cars tangled in front of the leader in turn four. Radney attempted to turn down the banking and miss them, but his right-rear struck one of the disabled cars. He came to a stop at the exit of turn four and, unfortunately, was knocked out of the race from the damage incurred in the incident. That handed the lead to Hehnly, and the Manheim ace took full advantage of the opportunity, racing to his second victory of the season. Kyle Spence made a late race charge to finish second with B. Ely, Jarid Kunkle, and Ryan Groff completing the top five.
Dallas Schott led all 25 laps of the Viper Chassis 270 main event for what appeared to be his first career triumph at Clyde Martin Memorial Speedway. Nick Skias, who started tenth, moved into the runner-up spot with nine to go, and he had point leader Mike Rutherford in his tire tracks. They were not able to catch Schott, but Skias was later awarded the win after a rules violation was discovered and Schott was disqualified. The victory is the first of the year for Nick Skias in the 270 division as he tries to keep pace with Rutherford, who wound up second, in the point chase. Billy Logeman finished third, Andrew Dietrich was fourth, and Devin Adams ended up fifth.
The first race of the night was the postponed Sportsman feature that was halted by rain with nine laps complete on August 19. When it resumed on Saturday, Middletown, Delaware's Angelo Mercado was the leader, and that is where he stayed for the duration of the 25-lapper. His son-in-law, Cameron Bellinger, chased Mercado to the finish line while Nick Skias placed third. Danny Lane Jr. and Austin Graby rounded out the top five.
In the regularly scheduled feature for the Sportsman Class, rookie Clinton Hauser led the early laps after starting on the pole. Both Nick Skias and point leader Cameron Bellinger (who started tenth) were flying through the field, with Skias dashing into the lead on lap five. Bellinger and Sami Schenck slipped into second and third positions, but they were no match for Skias, who built a comfortable margin as the race progressed. Devin Adams, who bolted a Sportsman engine on his brother Dylan's 270 car - because Dylan left for his freshman year in college on Saturday - passed Schenck for third on the 12th revolution. Skias led everyone to the checkered flag, but a slight rule infraction was discovered in post-race inspection, and that handed the win to Bellinger, his fifth triumph of the season in Sportsman competition. Adams, Schenck, Angleo Mercado, and Dan Lane Jr. made up the rest of the top five in the revised finish.
While it's not the way he wants to win races, Bellinger's victory and runner-up finish in the postponed race made it an especially gratifying night, as he, wife Ava, and the entire Mercado-Bellinger family celebrate the birth of Cameron and Ava's first child, Carson Nicholas Bellinger, who was born just about 48 hours prior to Saturday's races at the Clyde.
The Hammer Down Engines 250cc Four-Stroke main saw point leader Mike Coen, who took the initial green in 11th position, dart into the lead on the third trip around the oval. Aidan Jones and Cliff Brian Jr. navigated their way to second and third in the early going, with Brian passing Jones for second as the race approached its halfway point. Brian caught Coen as the leader dealt with some heavy lapped traffic, but just as he was set to make his move for the top spot, the yellow lights flashed on with eight laps remaining. On the restart, Jones, who made some adjustments inside his car under the caution flag, blasted under Brian and Coen, taking the lead as the trio roared into turn one. Jones, a resident of Thornton, Pa., then charged to his second Four-Stroke triumph of the season over Brian, Coen, Zak Vickers, and Lew Kepple.
The postponed feature for the 125cc Class turned into the tenth consecutive victory for Lancaster's William Manotti. Kalani Adams was out front for the first 12 tours until Manotti passed him for the lead as they charged down the backstretch on lap 13. Austin Graby took over the runner-up spot on a restart with ten to go, but Manotti was too strong as he scored another impressive win. Graby settled for second with Corey Schmuck Jr., K. Adams, and Brandon Gibble completing the top five.
It was Manotti again in the regularly scheduled 125cc main, as he drove his Kelly Cadillac/ Randazzo's Italian Restaurant No. 77 to yet another convincing win. He started 11th and passed Tyler Hershey for the lead in turn two on the 11th trip around the clay. Austin Graby finished second to Manotti again, with Mike Glass registering a podium finish as well. Noah Merkey was fourth and Brandon Gibble placed fifth for the second time on Saturday night.
This Saturday and Sunday, September 2nd and 3rd, is the annual Labor Day Shootout at Lanco's Clyde Martin Memorial Speedway. Saturday's program is a "wing thing", as the five weekly divisions compete as they normally do with the wings bolted onto their roll cages. For all divisions with more than 24 entries, the qualifying format will be similar to that of the Chili Bowl, with heats and A-Qualifiers that award passing/finishing points. Alphabet mains will be used as last-chance qualifying races, and all five features will run a distance of 30 laps. If the 600's and/or 270's pull a field of 40 or more cars, the A-Main victor will pocket $1,000!
On Sunday, September 3rd, the 600's and 270's will leave their wings at home. It'll be wild and wingless, with a format just like that of Saturday if there are more than 24 entries in either class. Forty or more entries also means a $1,000 payday for the winner(s). Joining the wingless 600's and wingless 270's on Sunday will be the All Star Slingshots in their third appearance of the season at the Clyde.
Gates open at 2 p.m. on both days of the Shootout. Pill draw ends at 3:30 and a driver's meeting will be held at that time. Warm-ups get underway at 3:45, and the first heat race takes the green at 4:30.
Adult general admission is $10 each day, with a $4.00 discount for Senior Citizens and Students. Youth between the ages of six and 12 are just $2.00, and children under the age of six are free. Pit passes are $30 per person per day. Car entry is $60/car/class. There is no pre-registration required.
There are a limited number of camping spaces available for the Labor Day Shootout weekend; the camping fee is $25 per space for the entire weekend. Advanced reservations are needed in order to camp at the track. Campers will be allowed to move in after 6 p.m. on Thursday, August 31. To reserve a camping spot, please contact Chris Snyder at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Plenty of invaders always make their way to the Clyde for the Labor Day Shootout. It's great racing combined with the party of the year at the Newmanstown oval, so don't miss out...join us and LIVE the excitement that is Lanco and the annual Labor Day Shootout!
Hyper Racing 600 Sprints (postponed from Aug. 19), 25 Laps: 1.Bradley Brown, 2.Jim Radney, 3.Heath Hehnly, 4.Nash Ely, 5.Mike Rutherford, 6.Dan Souder, 7.Jarid Kunkle, 8.Brent Ely, 9.Zach Light, 10.Ryan Groff, 11.Kyle Spence, 12.Chris Panczner, 13.Jered Hook, 14.Jimmy Glenn, 15.Hunter James, 16.Jeff Stelter, 17.Rebecca LaMothe, 18.Ryan Hook, 19.Logan Spahr, 20.Don Hess, 21.Shaun Brandel, 22.John Moore, 23.Will Urkuski, 24.Kassidy Michael.
DNQ: Ben George, Austin Quick, Jon Keller, Mike Sherman, Taylor Troxel.
Hyper Racing 600 Sprints (Aug. 26 feature), 25 Laps: 1.Heath Hehnly, 2.Kyle Spence, 3.Brent Ely, 4.Jarid Kunkle, 5.Ryan Groff, 6.Bradley Brown, 7.Zach Light, 8.Josh Conover, 9.Jered Hook, 10.Nash Ely, 11.Ryan Hook, 12.Jimmy Glenn, 13.TJ Greve, 14.Brooklyn Gable, 15.Will Urkuski, 16.Logan Spahr, 17.Kassidy Michael, 18.Justin Grosz, 19.Mike Austin, 20.Dan Souder, 21.Jim Radney, 22.Bret Cronrath, 23.Chris Panczner, 24.Rebecca LaMothe.
DNQ: Patrick Ely, Don Hess, Frank Jarkiewicz, Hunter James, Ben George, Shaun Brandel, Mike Rutherford, Andrew Layser, John Moore, Jeff Stelter.
Viper Chassis 270 Sprints, 25 Laps: 1.Nick Skias, 2.Mike Rutherford, 3.Billy Logeman, 4.Andrew Dietrich, 5.Devin Adams, 6.Kyle Spence, 7.Dan Lane Jr., 8.Brian Sholley, 9.Toby Blumenshine, 10.Matthew Kreider, 11.Jarrett Imler, 12.Adam Minzer, 13.TJ Greve, 14.Corey Schmuck Jr., 15.Christi Sweigart, 16.Austin Graby, 17.Justin Harrington, 18.Sami Schenck, 19.Heath Hehnly, 20.Josh Stoyer. DNS: Melvin Bainbridge. DQ: Dallas Schott.
Sportsman Feature (postponed from Aug. 19), 25 Laps: 1.Angelo Mercado, 2.Cameron Bellinger, 3.Nick Skias, 4.Dan Lane Jr., 5.Austin Graby, 6.Toby Blumenshine, 7.Robert Shanaman, 8.Sheena Schaefer, 9.Kane Rogers, 10.Michael Kreiser, 11.Clinton Hauser, 12.Todd Martin, 13.Patrick Kirn, 14.Louie Kirn, 15.Alan Durham, 16.Ricky Sechrist, 17.Sam Borger, 18.Cody Sechrist, 19.Charles Hellinger, 20.Brian Kramer, 21.Steve Smith, 22.Curtis R. Miller, 23.Alex Funari, 24.Dave Schroeder.
Sportsman Feature (Aug. 26), 25 Laps: 1.Cameron Bellinger, 2.Devin Adams, 3.Sami Schenck, 4.Angelo Mercado, 5.Dan Lane Jr., 6.Sheena Schaefer, 7.Toby Blumenshine, 8.Kane Rogers, 9.Todd Martin, 10.Robert Shanaman, 11.Michael Kreiser, 12.Charles Hellinger, 13.Brian Kramer, 14.Ricky Sechrist, 15.Patrick Kirn, 16.Alan Durham, 17.Louie Kirn, 18.Clinton Hauser, 19.Dave Schroeder, 20.Andrew Dietrich, 21.Dennis Adams, 22.Cody Sechrist, 23.Austin Graby. DQ: Nick Skias. DNQ: Dennis Adams.
Hammer Down Engines 250cc Four-Stroke Feature, 25 Laps: 1.Aidan Jones, 2.Cliff Brian Jr., 3.Mike Coen, 4.Zak Vickers, 5.Lewis Kepple Jr., 6.Tom Phipps Jr., 7.Eddie Nocera, 8.Riley Simmons, 9.Ron Wechter, 10.Dylan Yeingst, 11.Sam Barge, 12.Zachary Young.
125cc Feature (postponed from Aug. 19), 25 Laps: 1.William Manotti, 2.Austin Graby, 3.Corey Schmuck Jr., 4.Kalani Adams, 5.Brandon Gibble, 6.Kerry Lengle, 7.Holden Eckman, 8.Kody Hibshman, 9.Richard Stuck, 10.Tyler Hershey, 11.Nate Gibble, 12.Jimmy Wampole, 13.Shane Davis, 14.Ryan Swavely, 15.Matthew Donley, 16.Brandon Stuck, 17.Randall Kreider.
125cc Feature (Aug. 26), 25 Laps: 1.William Manotti, 2.Austin Graby, 3.Mike Glass, 4.Noah Merkey, 5.Brandon Gibble 6.Kerry Lengle, 7.Corey Schmuck Jr., 8.Holden Eckman, 9.Kalani Adams, 10.Nate Gibble, 11.Richard Stuck, 12.Tyler Hershey, 13.Kody Hibshman, 14.Jimmy Wampole, 15.Randall Kreider, 16.Brandon Stuck, 17.Melvin Bainbridge, 18.Shane Davis. DNS: Matthew Donley. DQ: Ryan Swavely.
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