Newmanstown, PA (August 11) - A season's worth of struggle went out the window on Saturday night for Chris Panczner, when the driver from Elverson, PA combined some good speed with some good luck. The result was a resounding victory in the Hyper Racing 600 Sprint feature at Lanco's Clyde Martin Memorial Speedway.
It was Viper Chassis Night at Lanco, and Nick Skias drove his Viper to a fourth triumph of the season in the Sportsman feature. Mike Rutherford notched his first Viper Chassis 270 Sprint victory since May 26, and Tommy Phipps Jr. recorded his second straight win in the 250cc Four-Stroke main. Kyler Heiney was the 125cc winner, his fifth checkered flag of the year in that division.
Panczner bolted to the lead as the green flag waved to start the 25-lap Hyper Racing 600 Sprint main, outgunning pole sitter Kassidy Michael to turn one. Bradley Brown, who owns one 600cc victory this season, went from sixth to third in the first four trips around the lightning-quick oval. Brown took over the runner-up spot from Michael on a restart with four complete.
Defending 600 champion and current point leader Heath Hehnly was 12th when the race began, but sliced his way to fourth by the time lap ten was scored. While Panczner and Brown battled one another as they also danced through lapped traffic, Hehnly zipped into third at the halfway point.
A couple of restarts with seven to go allowed Brown to throw some slide jobs on the race leader, but Panczner was up to the task and he simply cut left and blasted back past Brown to reclaim the lead. Hehnly closed in on the lead duo, but could not get quite close enough to muster a serious challenge.
At the finish, it was Panczner over Brown by 0.347-seconds, with Hehnly taking the checkered in third. Ryan Groff and Jarid Kunkle finished fourth and fifth.
Kyle Spence and Ryan Groff won the 600 Sprint heat races.
Nick Skias darted to the early lead in the 25-lap, Viper Chassis 270 Sprint main, with sixth-starter Mike Rutherford weaving his way to second on lap two. Rutherford hounded Skias for the next ten circuits as the pair waged a battle royale for the lead, with Rutherford inching ahead as the crossed the stripe on lap 12.
Rutherford, the seven-time and defending point champion of the Clyde's 270cc class, then pretty much ran away and hid from the field, leaving Skias all by himself in second. Danny Lane Jr., Andrew Dietrich, 13th-starting Christi Sweigart, and current point leader TJ Greve diced for position behind Skias in an entertaining four-car tussle, with Kyle Spence, Heath Hehnly, Jarid Kunkle, and Billy Logeman fighting for position right behind that group.
Lapped traffic made things a bit interesting for Rutherford near the end of the 25-lapper, but the Lititz, PA wheel-twister had enough of a cushion to secure his third triumph of the season in the Viper Chassis 270 Sprint division. Skias finished second, more than a half-second behind the winner, with Lane holding off Greve for third. Dietrich rounded out the top five.
With 27 of the 270's on hand, heat race victories went to Spence, Bradley Brown, and Skias. Toby Blumenshine won the consolation race.
The Sportsman Micro Sprint feature was a dandy, as Nick Skias came from the back of the pack not once, but twice, to win a barn-burner over Toby Blumenshine.
Skias started 18th and flew to third place by the seventh revolution. He and 12th-starter Jason Swavely were making hay in the early going, and they double-teamed leader Noah Merkey on a restart with seven tours in the books. Headed into turn three, Merkey tapped Skias as he tried to dive back under the No. 88, and Skias spun out. The resulting caution period put Skias to the rear once again, and Merkey went back to the point because no laps were completed since the previous yellow.
Swavely snatch the lead away from Merkey on the next restart, but mechanical gremlins sidelined Swavely's No. 30 with ten circuits scored. Merkey inherited the top spot once more, but Toby Blumenshine was on his tail and a position-swapping duel ensued with Blumenshine grabbing the lead on lap 16. As the battle for the lead raged on, Skias was navigating his way back into the top five, snaring the runner-up spot from Merkey with seven tours remaining.
Skias and Blumenshine then waged war for the top spot, running side by side and trading the lead on several occasions before Skias grabbed it for good with the laps winding down. At the finish, it was Skias, from Wernersville, netting his fourth Sportsman victory of the year, with Blumenshine, who leads the points without a win, settling for runner-up cash. Noah Merkey wound up third ahead of Devin Adams and Kory Merkey.
Blumenshine and Swavely were Sportsman heat winners.
Three drivers battled for the win in the 250cc Four-Stroke feature, as Donna Geib set the pace in the first half of the 25-lap event. Geib slipped past Zachary Young and Dylan Yeingst on the backstretch on the sixth trip around the oval, going from third to first in a single move. The first yellow appeared with ten laps complete, and the top five at the time were Geib, Young, 13th-starting Kassidy Michael, 11th-starter Tommy Phipps Jr., and Marty Brian.
It was long before Geib was dealing with Michael and Phipps as the trio diced for the lead for the next ten circuits before Phipps threaded the needle, diving between the cars of Michael and Geib to wrestle away the top spot with five to go. The teen from Lancaster, PA then checked out, winning his second consecutive Four-Stroke main with Geib chasing him to the checkered for the second race in a row. Michael had to be satisfied with third and Marty Brian finished fourth ahead of his older brother (and the point leader) Cliff Brian Jr.
The Brian brothers were victorious in Four-Stroke heat races.
Kyler Heiney, from Strasburg, PA, registered his fourth win in the past five features contested by the 125cc Micro Sprints. Heiney dashed under early leader Kerry Lengle on lap eight when Lengle's No. 81 washed up the turn four banking and opened the door for Heiney to grab the lead.
Mike Glass passed Lengle for second with ten to go, but Heiney was long gone by that time. Heiney won by nearly four-seconds over Glass, with Lengle hanging on for third over Jas Hehnly and AJ Gerhart.
This Saturday, August 18, is Mongoose Chassis Night at the speedway. The five weekly divisions will battle in qualifying heats, consolations, and 25-lap feature races. The Restricted 600 Sprint Class, making its northeastern debut this year, will join the Hyper Racing 600's, the Viper Chassis 270's, Sportsman, 125cc, and 250cc Four-Strokes.
Gates open at 4:30 p.m. with warm-ups beginning at 6:00. The first heat race will go green at 7:00. Adult general admission tickets are just $8.00, with discounts 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.
It's Mongoose Chassis Night, so come on out and LIVE the excitement that is Lanco!
Hyper Racing 600 Sprints, 25 Laps: 1.Chris Panczner, 2.Bradley Brown, 3.Heath Hehnly, 4.Ryan Groff, 5.Jarid Kunkle, 6.Kyle Spence, 7.Kassidy Michael, 8.Nash Ely, 9.Brent Ely, 10.Zach Light, 11.Ryan Hook, 12.Mike Rutherford, 13.Jered Hook, 14.Holden Eckman, 15.Shaun Brandel, 16.BJ Antonio, 17.Bobby Butler, 18.Don Hess, 19.TJ Greve. DNS: Taylor Troxel, Greg Stevens.
Viper Chassis 270 Sprints, 25 Laps: 1.Mike Rutherford, 2.Nick Skias, 3.Dan Lane Jr., 4.TJ Greve, 5.Andrew Dietrich, 6.Christi Sweigart, 7.Heath Hehnly, 8.Kyle Spence, 9.Jarid Kunkle, 10.Billy Logeman, 11.Toby Blumenshine, 12.Mike Skias, 13.Tajae Adams, 14.Devin Adams, 15.Jarrett Imler, 16.Mike Uhrich, 17.Corey Schmuck Jr., 18.Matthew Kreider, 19.Zak Vickers, 20.Dylan Adams, 21.Steve Smith, 22.Bradley Brown, 23.Austin Yingst, 24.Dave Schroeder.
DNQ: Eric Falini, Ben Layser, Josh Stoyer.
Sportsman Micro Sprint Feature, 25 Laps: 1.Nick Skias, 2.Toby Blumenshine, 3.Noah Merkey, 4.Devin Adams, 5.Kory Merkey, 6.Clinton Hauser, 7.Sam Borger, 8.Kane Rogers, 9.Robert Shanaman, 10.Brittany Zeller, 11.Anthony Yerger, 12.Ricky Sechrist, 13.Jason Swavely, 14.Kody Hibshman, 15.Alan Durham, 16.Michael Kreiser, 17.Jeremy Eisenhauer, 18.Sami Schenck. DQ: Darren Schott.
250cc Four-Stroke Micro Sprint Feature, 25 Laps: 1.Tommy Phipps Jr., 2.Donna Geib, 3.Kassidy Michael, 4.Marty Brian, 5.Cliff Brian Jr., 6.Jessica Moore, 7.Mike Coen, 8.Eddie Nocera, 9.Dylan Yeingst, 10.Riley Simmons, 11.Katelin Vragovich, 12.Zachary Young, 13.Ron Zimmerman, 14.Olivia Pellicotti. DNS: Ron Wechter.
125cc Micro Sprint Feature, 25 Laps: 1.Kyler Heiney, 2.Mike Glass, 3.Kerry Lengle, 4.Jas Hehnly, 5.AJ Gerhart, 6.Corey Schmuck Jr., 7.Kalani Adams, 8.Zack Hollinger, 9.Chase Layser, 10.Dalton Eckman, 11.RJ Rossi, 12.Tyler Martin, 13.Shane Davis.