Bellinger, Jones, Eckman, & Delcampo Also Find Victory Lane at the Shootout
By Barry Angstadt
Newmanstown, PA - The remnants of Hurricane Harvey swept through the Keystone State on Saturday, forcing a one-day delay in the annual Labor Day Shootout at Lanco's Clyde Martin Memorial Speedway. Originally scheduled for Saturday and Sunday of Labor Day weekend, a rainy start to the holiday weekend pushed the two-day event back to a Sunday evening/ Monday afternoon format.
Sunday's program was a "wing thing" as the Clyde's five weekly divisions competed as they normally do, with wings bolted to the top of their roll cages. A modified qualifying format was instituted for the winged 600's, 270's, and Sportsman, though, and all five classes ran 30-lap main events.
The Hyper Racing winged 600 Sprints had two of Lanco's best, Heath Hehnly and Mike Rutherford, duel for the lead in the early laps while Tyler Walton motored into third. On a restart with five circuits complete, Hehnly clipped one of the large infield tires in turn four, causing him to spin and collecting three other cars in the process, including Walton, Tim Buckwalter, and Alex Bright. That allowed Rutherford to dash away with the lead while Jarid Kunkle, Tom Fraschetta, Austin Quick, and Kyle Lick fought for the runner-up spot. Rutherford notched the victory, his first winged 600 triumph in the Shootout since 2011, over an impressive Fraschetta, with Lick snatching third from Quick with just three tours remaining. After starting 21st, Ryan Groff climbed to a fifth-place finish. A total of 60 winged 600's signed in for competition on Sunday.
In the Viper Chassis winged 270cc A-Main, Rutherford started on the pole after he amassed more qualifying points than anyone else in the 30-car field. He went on to lead all 30-laps, winning his fourth winged 270 Shootout in the past 11 years, and his first since 2013. Pat Bealer and Josh Stoyer battled for the runner-up position before Bealer had problems with 19 revolutions in the books. Dan Lane Jr. found the high groove to his liking and began to march forward after falling back to mid-pack in the first half of the race. Lane rim-rode his way to third, then challenged Stoyer for second as Rutherford pulled away. At the finish, it was Rutherford, Stoyer, Lane, Andrew Dietrich, and Billy Logeman.
The Sportsman A-Main was very competitive and entertaining, as Nick Skias established himself an early favorite by going from third to first on the opening trip around the oval. Current Sportsman point leader Cameron Bellinger zipped into second place with one lap complete, then took the lead on lap 14 when Skias had to stand on the brakes after a lapped car got sideways in front of him. On a restart with 17 laps scored, Bellinger and N. Skias began a side by side tussle for the top spot. Skias pushed back in front as they completed lap 20. Skias caught a rut in turn three, got completely sideways, and the yellow was thrown for him with just eight circuits remaining. It was then Dan Lane Jr.'s turn to dance with Bellinger for the lead. Lane had a nose in front as lap 26 was scored, but Bellinger got by him and reclaimed the point on the next trip around the clay. Bellinger held on to win for the first time with his newborn son in attendance, with Lane a disappointed second. Toby Blumenshine, Devin Adams, and Angelo Mercado completed the top five. There were 29 Sportsman in action on Sunday.
The Hammer Down Engines 250cc Four-Stroke Micros had a first-time Shootout winner in Aidan Jones. The Thornton, Pa. driver took the lead from Cliff Brian Jr. at the halfway point of the 30-lap feature, then darted to his third triumph of the season and second in a row in the Four-Stroke Class. Mike Coen ended up second with Zak Vickers running the top to register a third-place effort. Eddie Nocera and Tommy Phipps Jr. finished fourth and fifth.
Holden Eckman, the 125cc rookie, recorded his very first Micro-Sprint victory on Sunday - and it came in arguably the biggest race of the season at Clyde Martin Memorial Speedway. Eckman started on the pole and led all the way, but it was far from easy as he spent the final few laps holding off 125cc kingpin William Manotti. The Lancaster wheel-twister tried high and low to get by Eckman, but had to settle for second as his 11 race win steak came to an end. As the checkered flag waved, Eckman narrowly beat Manotti to the stripe with Cliff Brian Jr. finishing third. Mike Glass and Richard Stuck wound up fourth and fifth.
On Monday, September 4, the 600cc and 270cc Sprints left their wings at home, and they were joined on Day Two of the Shootout by the All Star Slingshots.
The Hyper Racing Wingless 600's executed a fast paced and exciting 30-lap A-Main, with Alex Bright bolting from the pole position to lead and Heath Hehnly sneaking from third to second on the initial start. A caution period with six laps down may have been the turning point of the race, as Bright chose the outside for the double-file restart. Hehnly took advantage, firing off the bottom of turn four to take command. Eleventh-starting Brian Carber raced into third by lap eight and 21st starter Kyle Spence moved to fourth as the race entered its final stages. Bright took a few shots at Hehnly, attempting slide jobs on restarts without success. Carber and Bright then battled for the runner-up slot as Hehnly skated away. Bright and Carber traded second place on a couple of occasions before Bright reclaimed it with nine to go. Bright closed to within three car lengths of the race leader, but couldn't muster a serious challenge as Hehnly notched the wingless victory, backing up his winged 600 Shootout win in 2016. Bright chased him to the checkered with Carber, in the Gable No. 41, ending up third ahead of Spence and 22nd starter Bradley Brown. There were 42 wingless 600's participating in the Shootout on Monday.
The Viper Chassis Wingless 270 A-Main might best be described as "bizarrely entertaining", as the racing was good but it seemed as though every one in the 18-car field, at some point in the 30-lapper, hit either the guardrail or one another. The high groove was the place to run, right up on the narrow cushion built up against the ominous guardrail, and right-rears continually glanced off or tail tanks bounced off the metal surrounding the speedway. Dan Lane Jr. led all the way, but even he suffered a spin in turn four on a restart with ten to go. He never stopped, but his No. 25x became partially air born (he said he was grabbing gears while in mid-air). While his tires were off the ground, one of them went into the cockpit of Mike Rutherford's No. 5k, smacking the driver on his helmet. Rutherford's head went down but he somehow managed to steer his car to the infield, where he was attended to by the EMT's. He climbed from his car and rode on the front of a four-wheeler back to the pits, where he was further examined by the track's medical team.
Since Lane never stopped on the track, he was still the leader when the race went back to green. Nick Skias, who fell out of second place and dropped well back in the pack when he pounded the turn four guardrail on lap 16, rebounded over the final tours to move back into the runner-up position with three to go. Lane picked up a hard earned and well deserved win, giving him three podium finishes for the weekend, with N. Skias finishing second and Richie Hartman taking third place money. Tyler Tank and Pete Skias finished fourth and fifth.
Nick Delcampo, from Blauvelt, NY, nipped at the heels of race leader Seth Spayd from laps nine through eleven in the All Star Slingshots 30-lapper. Delcampo made his move off turn four on the 12th revolution, ducking under Spayd and forging ahead to grab the lead. Delcampo handled lapped traffic masterfully, going on to win in his first Clyde Martin start. Spayd settled for second with Anthony Raisner, Austin Silfee, and Brett Bieber completing the top five.
With the Labor Day Shootout now in the rearview mirror, Lanco's Clyde Martin Memorial Speedway competitors return their focus to the final point races. This Saturday, September 9, serves as the second-to-last event of the campaign, with a couple of postponed features starting the night. The Viper Chassis 270's and Hammer Down Engines Four-Strokes lead off the show with 25-lap features that were rained out on August 19. A complete program of qualifying heats, consolations, and 25-lap main events will follow for the 270's and Four-Strokes, along with the Hyper Racing 600's, the Sportsman, and the 125cc divisions. That's seven features plus qualifying for just an $8 general admission price for adults, with discounts for Senior Citizens and Students.
On Saturday, gates will open at 3:30 and warm-ups begin at 5 p.m. The first make-up feature, for the 270's, will go green at 5:45.
Saturday, September 16, will be Champions Night as the curtain closes on the 2017 season at the Clyde.
Hyper Racing Winged 600 Sprints, 30 Laps: 1.Mike Rutherford, 2.Tom Fraschetta, 3.Kyle Lick, 4.Austin Quick, 5.Ryan Groff, 6.Heath Hehnly, 7.Jarid Kunkle, 8.Bradley Brown, 9.Tyler Walton, 10.Charles Hunt, 11.Kassidy Michael, 12.Nash Ely, 13.Alec Quiggle, 14.Zach Light, 15.Brent Ely, 16.Johnny Smith, 17.Matt Carr, 18.Kenny Miller III, 19.Josh Conover, 20.Jimmy Glenn, 21.Tim Buckwalter, 22.Alex Bright, 23.Bobby Butler, 24.Jim Radney, 25.Will Urkuski, 26.Kyle Spence.
DNQ: Mike Austin, Tyler DeVault, Sam LaMothe, Justin Grosz, Hunter Metzger, Brooklyn Gable, Ben Kysor, Kyle Melvin, Zack Bealer, Tatter Kysor, Nick Groff, Taylor Troxel, Pat Kelly, Tyler Ulrich, Billy Koch, Bruce Ginther Jr., David Farnan Jr., Shaun Brandel, Frank Jarkiewicz, Colby Walton, Jon Keller, Rebecca LaMothe, Ben George, Chris Panczner, Aaron Bollinger, Holden Eckman, Joey Jarowicz, Corey Grenzy, Andrew Layser, Jack Conover, Brian Kramer, Nick Fauci, Pat Ely, TJ Greve.
Viper Chassis Winged 270 Sprints, 30 Laps: 1.Mike Rutherford, 2.Josh Stoyer, 3.Dan Lane Jr., 4.Andrew Dietrich, 5.Billy Logeman, 6.Devin Adams, 7.TJ Greve, 8.Toby Blumenshine, 9.Mike Skias, 10.Brian Marriott, 11.Austin Bishop, 12.Brian Sholley, 13.Christi Sweigart, 14.Logan Diehl, 15.Pat Bealer, 16.Nick Skias, 17.Kyle Spence, 18.Jacob Hendershot, 19.Tyler Ulrich, 20.Dallas Schott, 21.Dana LaMothe, 22.William Manotti, 23.Lauren Huffman, 24.Richie Hartman.
DNQ: Austin Graby, Matt Kreider, Adam Harnish, Jenna Heagy, Mark Miller, Kaleb Hughes.
Sportsman A-Main, 30-Laps: 1.Cameron Bellinger, 2.Dan Lane Jr., 3.Toby Blumenshine, 4.Devin Adams, 5.Angelo Mercado, 6.Nick Skias, 7.Pete Skias, 8.Todd Martin, 9.Dallas Schott, 10.Kane Rogers, 11.Brian Kramer, 12.Clinton Hauser, 13.Charles Hellinger, 14.Ed Tyers, 15.Steve Smith, 16.Austin Graby, 17.Patrick Kirn, 18.Louie Kirn, 19.Alan Durham, 20.Ricky Sechrist, 21.Josh Stoyer, 22.Matt Andrews, 23.Tyler Tank, 24.David Schroeder.
DNQ: Brandon Heist, Dennis Adams, Sam Borger, Jeff Schell, Alex Funari.
Hammer Down Engines 250cc Four-Stroke A-Main, 30 Laps: 1.Aidan Jones, 2.Mike Coen, 3.Zak Vickers, 4.Eddie Nocera, 5.Tommy Phipps Jr., 6.Ron Wechter, 7.Cliff Brian Jr., 8.Zachary Young, 9.Riley Simmons, 10.Devin Gundrum, 11.Kyle Spence, 12.Dylan Yeingst. DNS: Ron Zimmerman.
125cc A-Main, 30 Laps: 1.Holden Eckman, 2.William Manotti, 3.Cliff Brian Jr., 4.Mike Glass, 5.Richard Stuck, 6.Shane Davis, 7.Nick Sweigart, 8.Noah Merkey, 9.Austin Graby, 10.Kyler Heiney, 11.Justin Harrington, 12.Brandon Stuck, 13.Kody Hibshman, 14.Corey Schmuck Jr., 15.Nate Gibble, 16.Aiden Svanda, 17.Jimmy Wampole.
Hyper Racing Wingless 600 Sprints, 30 Laps: 1.Heath Hehnly, 2.Alex Bright, 3.Brian Carber, 4.Kyle Spence, 5.Bradley Brown, 6.Joey Jarowicz, 7.Tim Buckwalter, 8.Brandon Heist, 9.Kyle Lick, 10.Ryan Groff, 11.Jack Conover, 12.Patrick Kelly, 13.Rusty Crone, 14.Andrew Layser, 15.Kyle Melvin, 16.Bruck Ginther Jr., 17.Jimmy Glenn, 18.Eric Whitby, 19.Josh Conover, 20.Nash Ely, 21.Jason Swavely, 22.Charles Hunt, 23.Brett Altemose, 24.James Morris, 25.Tatter Kysor, 26.Mike Rutherford.
DNQ: Chad Sandt, Tyler Tank, Mike Linderman, BJ Antonio, Frank Jarkiewicz, Greg Stevens, Kassidy Michael, Jim Radney, Rebecca LaMothe, Tyler Ulrich, Holden Eckman, Mike Austin, Bobby Butler, Macy Litchauer, DonHess, Pat Ely.
Viper Chassis Wingless 270 Sprints, 30 Laps: 1.Dan Lane Jr., 2.Nick Skias, 3.Richie Hartman, 4.Tyler Tank, 5.Pete Skias, 6.Matt Andrews, 7.Toby Blumenshine, 8.Ricky Sechrist, 9.Kyle Spence, 10.Matthew Hoffman, 11.Brian Kramer, 12.Mike Rutherford, 13.Tyler Ulrich, 14.Adam Minzer, 15.William Manotti, 16.Alex Funari, 17.Dallas Schott, 18.Noah Merkey.
All Star Slingshots, 30 Laps: 1.Nick Delcampo, 2.Seth Spayd, 3.Anthony Raisner, 4.Austin Silfee, 5.Brett Bieber, 6.Tanner VanDoren, 7.Dylan Hoch, 8.Jerry Schott, 9.Blaire Schoenly, 10.Jared Silfee, 11.Matt Miller, 12.Nicho Flammer, 13.Taylor Mills, 14.Reese Nowatarski, 15.Mike Glass, 16.Austin Stufflet, 17.Haley Thunberg, 18.Dakota Kohler, 19.Chuck Whary.