Rookie Eisenhauer Nabs 1st Sportsman Triumph; Michael & Heiney Also Victorious
Newmanstown, PA (August 18) - When the season enters its "stretch run" and the summer sun is at its hottest, Mike Rutherford always seems to hit the "GO" button at Lanco's Clyde Martin Memorial Speedway.
That was the case during Saturday's Mongoose Chassis Night at the Newmanstown, PA speedway, when Rutherford visited victory lane not once, but twice, scoring victories in the Hyper Racing 600 and Viper Chassis 270 main events. Both races were exciting events that saw Rutherford mired in heavy lapped traffic while a large pack of hungry racers battled ferociously for positions two through ten behind him. The 600cc main went non-stop (took just over 4-minutes, 37-seconds to complete), while the 25-lapper for the 270's had only two cautions slowing the event.
Rookie Jeremy Eisenhauer registered his first career win at the Clyde, picking up the checkered flag in the Sportsman feature. Kassidy Michael recorded her sixth victory of the season in the 250cc Four-Stroke main, and Kyler Heiney also made it win number six in the 125cc class. In the first ever appearance by the U6SA Restricted 600 Class, Dylan Kontra was victorious in a non-stop, green to checkered 15-lap feature.
Clyde Martin Memorial Speedway ends the month of August this Saturday, the 25th, with another five division spectacle of speed as the Hyper Racing 600's, the Viper Chassis 270's, Sportsman, 250cc Four-Strokes, and 125cc Micro Sprints duke it out in the third-to-last point race of the season. Kenny Groff Trucking of Manheim is sponsoring this week's event. Gates will open at 4:30 on Saturday with warm-ups at 6 p.m. and the first heat race goes green at 7:00. For all the details and info on this and every event at the Clyde, check out www.clydemartinspeedway.com or follow the track at Facebook.com/Clyde Martin Memorial Speedway.
Holden Eckman kicked off the Mongoose Chassis Night main events by darting from the pole to lead the first five circuits of the Hyper Racing 600 Sprint feature. Rutherford, who started fourth, quickly moved into the runner-up spot, then executed a slide job on Eckman in turns three and four to grab the lead on lap six.
As the race continued clean and green, Rutherford caught the back of the pack and began the process of lapping cars. It slowed his pace, but he had built a big enough lead that runner-up Chris Panczner (the previous week's winner) could not run him down. Panczner dueled with Nash Ely for second until Ely had to play some defense near the end of the 25-lap affair because 12th-starting Ryan Greth was hounding him for third. Heath Hehnly was also in the mix, running fifth, and the fast-paced, non-stop feature ended with Rutherford dancing through the heavy lapped traffic to win his second of the season (and first since the April 14 opener) in the 600 Class. Panczner scored his second straight podium finish by placing second, with N. Ely, Greth, and Hehnly rounding out the top five. The winner's time was 4:37.398!
Some of the same players (who ran up front in the 600 feature) were at the forefront of the Viper Chassis 270 main event, too. With Hehnly grabbing the lead at the outset, Rutherford, who rolled off eighth on the starting grid, went to the bottom and charged past a gaggle of cars on the first revolution around the ultra-smooth, lightning-quick oval. Rutherford had his nose in front of Danny Lane Jr., Bradley Brown, Andrew Dietrich, and Kyle Spence to be scored as the runner-up on lap one. He went right after the race leader, passing Hehnly for the top spot on the second trip around the clay.
With Rutherford, the Lititz, PA wheel-twister, pulling away and dealing (once again) with lapped traffic, an incredible battle was being waged behind him for positions three through ten. Lane, Brown, Spence, point leader TJ Greve, Dietrich, Billy Logeman, and Mike Skias were all over one another, constantly swapping positions and trading lanes, lap after thrilling lap. It was "slide job city" and simply intense competition behind the top two, as Rutherford dealt with lapped cars and Hehnly tried to reel him in without success.
With just two yellow flags interrupting the wildly entertaining race, Rutherford managed to survive the onslaught of lapped traffic to win his fourth of the season in 270cc action, with Hehnly driving the Mongoose Chassis No. 25s to a runner-up payday. Brown ended up third ahead of Lane and Greve.
Rutherford's car owner, Ken Kaylor, pointed out that this was the 126th victory (at all tracks at which they've competed) for the Kaylor/Rutherford combo.
Rookie Jeremy Eisenhauer notched a clean sweep on Saturday, winning his heat race and his first Sportsman feature at the Clyde. Eisenhauer passed Sami Schenck for the lead on the second tour of the 25-lap feature, then drove into his own time zone to win by 3.5-seconds over Schenck. Patrick Kirn and Noah Merkey dueled for the third position for several laps before Kirn secured the spot. Kirn and Schenck then tussled for second in the waning laps with Schenck prevailing for runner-up honors over Kirn. Michael Kreiser finished fourth and Kory Merkey came from the rear of the field to pick up fifth-place money. Just a single caution period halted the pace of the Sportsman feature.
After tracking down and catching him in lapped traffic, Manheim's Kassidy Michael slipped past Mike Coen to grab the lead with seven to go in the 250cc Four-Stroke main. Point leader Cliff Brian Jr. swapped second place with Coen on a couple of occasions before Brian finally claimed the spot for good, but Michael was gone at that point, racing to her sixth triumph of the season in Four-Stroke competition. Cliff Brian Jr. held on for the runner-up finish while his younger brother, Marty, rebounded from an early spin to take the checkered in third. Eddie Nocera wound up fourth and Dylan Yiengst finished a career-best fifth..
Strasburg's Kyler Heiney is simply unbeatable right now in 125cc action. On Saturday night, Heiney registered his sixth win of the year and his third consecutive triumph. The win was also his fifth in the past six features contested by the 125cc Class at the Clyde.
Heiney battled with early leader Kerry Lengle for almost 15 revolutions before he was able to wrestle the top spot from Lengle's Mongoose Chassis/ Lengle's Lawn Care No. 81 with just ten tours remaining. Heiney then romped to the victory, winning by almost two-seconds over Lengle, who held off a determined Mike Miller for second. Corey Schmuck Jr. finished fourth and Brian Kramer earned fifth-place cash. There were only two yellow flags displayed during the running of the 25-lap main.
In the first-ever Clyde Martin appearance by the U6SA Restricted 600 Micro Sprints, Dylan Kontra made his move when leader Tanner VanDoren hesitated for an instant behind a lapped car, taking the lead from VanDoren and going on to win the non-stop, 15-lap feature. Tyler Henry finished third and Hunter McFadden, in his very first Restricted 600cc start, ended up fourth. The drivers must be between the ages of 10 and 16 to compete in the U6SA Restricted 600 Class (this is the first year for this class in PA). There is a restrictor plate in the engines of the cars and they utilize a smaller wing than their big brothers. It is designed to be a "starter class" for younger drivers who want to eventually race the 600 Sprints, and the four youngsters who competed on Saturday night did a great job on a fast track at the Clyde.
Hyper Racing 600 Sprint Feature, 25 Laps: 1.Mike Rutherford, 2.Chris Panczner, 3.Nash Ely, 4.Ryan Greth, 5.Heath Hehnly, 6.Holden Eckman, 7.Bradley Brown, 8.Jarid Kunkle, 9.Logan Spahr, 10.Jered Hook, 11.Ryan Hook, 12.Ryan Groff, 13.Zach Light, 14.Austin Quick, 15.Andrew Layser, 16.Brent Ely, 17.Kassidy Michael, 18.Brian Kramer, 19.Shaun Brandel, 20.Aiden Borden, 21.Don Hess, 22.Chelsea Moore, 23.Kyle Spence, 24.Chris Gerhart.
DNQ: Randy Kunkle Jr., Toby Blumenshine.
Viper Chassis 270 Sprint Feature, 25 Laps: 1.Mike Rutherford, 2.Heath Hehnly, 3.Bradley Brown, 4.Dan Lane Jr., 5.TJ Greve, 6.Billy Logeman, 7.Mike Miller, 8.Kyle Spence, 9.Eric Falini, 10.Jarrett Imler, 11.Mike Skias, 12.Matthew Kreider, 13.Toby Blumenshine, 14.Christi Sweigart, 15.Melvin Bainbridge, 16.Corey Schmuck Jr., 17.Andrew Dietrich, 18.David Schroeder, 19.Austin Yingst, 20.Zak Vickers, 21.Ben Layser, 22.Patrick Kirn.
Sportsman Micro Sprint Feature, 25 Laps: 1.Jeremy Eisenhauer, 2.Sami Schenck, 3.Patrick Kirn, 4.Michael Kreiser, 5.Kory Merkey, 6.Toby Blumenshine, 7.Kane Rogers, 8.Clinton Hauser, 9.Noah Merkey, 10.Robert Shanaman, 11.Dennis Fenstermacher, 12.Sam Borger.
250cc Four-Stroke Micro Sprint Feature, 25 Laps: 1.Kassidy Michael, 2.Cliff Brian Jr., 3.Marty Brian, 4.Eddie Nocera, 5.Dylan Yeingst, 6.Jessica Moore, 7.Zachary Young, 8.Ron Wechter, 9.Mike Coen, 10.Dan Lane Jr., 11.Donna Geib, 12.Katelin Vragovich, 13.Riley Simmons, 14.Tommy Phipps Jr., 15.Olivia Pellicotti.
125cc Micro Sprint Feature, 25 Laps: 1.Kyler Heiney, 2.Kerry Lengle, 3.Mike Miller, 4.Corey Schmuck Jr., 5.Brian Kramer, 6.TJ Greve, 7.AJ Gerhart, 8.Terry Ellex, 9.Kenny Bushey, 10.Tyler Martin, 11.Chase Layser, 12.Mike Glass, 13.Holden Eckman. DNS: Kim Glass.
U6SA Restricted 600 Sprint Feature, 15 Laps: 1.Dylan Kontra, 2.Tanner Van Doren, 3.Tyler Henry, 4.Hunter McFadden.
Submitted by Barry Angstadt