Night Two of the Labor Day Shootout, presented by Hyper Racing, took place in Newmanstown, PA. But the name might as well have been changed, at least for one night, to Slide Job City as plenty of wild and wonderful wingless competition highlighted the program at Lanco's Clyde Martin Memorial Speedway.
It's been a season of "race less, win more" for Brian Carber, and his victories have come in events that offer a lucrative payday to the winner. On Sunday night, Brian "Big Money" Carber nailed down his first Lanco triumph and collected the $1,000 that went with it by winning the Hyper Racing wingless 600 Sprint A-Main at the Shootout.
Mike Rutherford swept the Viper Chassis 270 Sprint mains during the Shootout weekend, copping Saturday's winged feature then following it up with another victory in Sunday's wingless 30-lapper. Cliff Brian Jr. also recorded a two-win weekend, taking Saturday's winged 250cc Four-Stroke A-Main and on Sunday he became the very first driver to win a 125cc/ 250cc Four-Stroke Wingless Challenge race. The All Star Slingshots were also on Sunday's menu, and Jared Silfee charged from 14th on the starting grid to win the Sixth Annual Slide at the Clyde. Silfee becomes the first Slinger to repeat in the Slide at the Clyde; he also won the event in 2017.
If you witnessed the wingless 600 racing at the Clyde on Sunday and were not absolutely thrilled by it...better check your pulse. The wingless warriors, with total entries numbering 52, waged some ferocious battles in the heat races, A-Qualifiers, B-mains, and the 30-lap headliner. When the checkered flag fell to end the A-Main, Brian Carber survived numerous and relentless challenges from Alex Bright, Kyle Spence, Austin Quick, and Damon Paul to not only win his first Labor Day Shootout race, but his first at the Clyde Martin oval.
"I've always struggled at this place for some reason," said Carber afterward. "I don't think I ever even qualified for a feature here. But we put together a real good race tonight, although those double-file restarts made me very nervous, especially with Alex, Kyle, and those other guys right there with me. But it worked out..."
Carber, from Etters, PA, earned the most points in qualifying races, thereby starting his No. 41c on the pole for the main event. Bright, who took the initial green on the outside of row one, immediately went after the leader, throwing a slider on Carber in turns one and two. Carber flew back past Bright on the backstretch and went on to build a comfortable lead as the first half of the 30-lapper went clean and green. Even lapped traffic did not slow him down (much), but the first caution of the race, with 15 complete, gave Bright another shot at unseating Carber from the top spot.
Bright pulled the expected slide job on the restart, but wobbled a bit in turn two, allowing Kyle Spence to get by him for the runner-up position. On a restart with 12 to go, Bright returned the favor, passing Spence to reclaim second place. While the duel for second was taking place, fourth-place Kenny Miller III was scuffling with Austin Quick and Damon Paul. When Spence got crossed up in his battle with Bright, Miller, Quick, and Paul zipped past him, dropping Spence to sixth in the running order. Miller suddenly slowed and pulled off the track while third, with just four laps remaining. Prior to Miller's demise, a couple of restarts proved incredibly interesting as Bright, Miller, Quick, and Paul ganged up on Carber, with each driver trying to run deeper into the corners than everyone else as they executed massive slide jobs on one another. Carber prevailed each time, but positions three through six were changing constantly until Miller secured the spot before succumbing to mechanical issues.
The final laps saw Carber "rip the lip" flawlessly as he beat Bright to the checkered flag by 0.619-seconds. Quick ended his slide-fest with Paul by winning the drag race to the stripe for a third place finish, with Paul and Andrew Layser finishing fourth and fifth, respectively.
The Viper Chassis 270 Sprints did their best to replicate the excitement generated by the 600's, and their wingless 30-lap A-Main did not disappoint the large crowd that turned out for Night Two of the Shootout.
Pole-sitter Bradley Brown and Mike Rutherford produced an entertaining side-by-side tussle for the lead with Brown, as is customary, rolling the top and Rutherford pedaling around the bottom. Brown eventually pulled ahead by a few car lengths. Close behind Rutherford, Toby Blumenshine and Nick Skias fought for third spot until the yellow flew with eight tours in the books. On the restart, Blumenshine and N. Skias challenged Rutherford for runner-up honors before Rutherford accelerated back in front of them and began to harass Brown once again. Rutherford threw a slider on the leader as they rounded the clay for the tenth time, but Brown sped pack past him on the low side as they blasted down the backstretch.
Rutherford mustered another attack on lap 13, and this time his slider worked to perfection as he grabbed the lead for good off turn four. As the second half of the race unfurled, fierce racing behind the leader included Brown, Blumenshine, Cliff Brian Jr. (in a Four-Stroke), Jason Swavely, and N. Skias, along with Danny Lane Jr., Kyle Spence, and Richie Hartman. Blumenshine hassled Brown for second, while Brian was outstanding as he dueled with Swavely for fourth position. Skias, Lane, Spence, and Hartman battled furiously for sixth place.
With the laps dwindling, Brown caught Rutherford when the leader got hung up in some lapped traffic. On the final lap, Rutherford hesitated just a bit, not knowing where the slower car in front of him was going to go, and Brown almost capitalized. Bradley got to Rutherford's left-rear as both drivers worked their way past the lapped car, but then he got a little bit too sideways in the second corner, permitting Rutherford to dash away by a few car lengths.
At the finish, it was Rutherford winning his first wingless 270 Shootout main, with Brown chasing him to the checkered. Blumenshine wound up third with Cliff Brian Jr. holding off Swavely for fourth.
The first-ever 125cc/ 250cc Four-Stroke Wingless Challenge was a terrific success, with great side by side racing and proof-positive that taking off the wings makes the two classes very evenly matched.
Kyler Heiney, in his 125cc No. 76, started outside pole and grabbed the lead at the outset of the 30-lap feature. He led the Four-Stroke machine driven by Kassidy Michael until Cliff Brian Jr. and Tommy Phipps Jr. tag-teamed Michael and took over the second and third positions. Brian and Heiney then engaged in a frenzy of slide jobs, with Heiney darting back in front after each slider attempt by Brian. On a restart with nine circuits scored, Brian finally pushed his No. 99, a Four-Stroke Micro Sprint, to the front. As he and Heiney encountered the back of the pack and began lapping cars, Heiney made contact with the No. 18 driven by Ron Young, turning Young on the front stretch and sending both cars to the rear of the field with 16 tours complete.
Austin Graby went from fourth to second on the ensuing restart, but all eyes were on the No. 76 of Heiney, who was storming through the pack. The seven-time winner in 125cc competition this year climbed back to fifth with six laps remaining. On a restart with six to go, Heiney went three-wide with Graby and Michael in a fight for third, which he won. A final caution period with four revolutions left did not aid his cause, as Phipps was the one to rustle up one last challenge for Brian, but it fell short as Brian capped a terrific weekend in becoming the first winner of the wingless 125cc/ 250cc Four-Stroke Challenge.
Phipps raced home in second, with Heiney's comeback netting a third place payoff. Corey Schmuck Jr. finished fourth and Marty Brian, the winner's younger brother, rumbled from 16th on the start to a fifth place finish.
The All Star Slingshots love to race at the ultra-competitive, uber-quick banked oval that is Clyde Martin Memorial Speedway. Because of rain on Memorial Day weekend, they had to wait until Sunday to compete in the Sixth Annual Slide at the Clyde, a National Tour event for the Slingers. And they made the most of their opportunity when it finally arrived, running a relatively caution-free 30-lapper that was very competitive.
Kyle Herve set the early pace from the pole with Dave Carraghan bolting from third to second on the opening tour. Reese Nowatarski, Brett Bieber, Justin Mills, and Carraghan scuffled for second through fifth as Herve breezed along out front, but the big mover in the first half of the event was last year's winner, Jared Silfee.
Silfee, from Saylorsburg, PA, started 14th after mechanical gremlins in Round One of the heat races stifled his qualifying efforts. But his S&S Speedways/ Hamlin Speedway No. 55 was perking to perfection in the A-Main as Silfee motored up to sixth place on the seventh circuit. Six tours later, he passed Bieber to snare fourth spot, then snatched third from Nowatarski as they charged off turn four to complete lap 17.
In a wheel-rubbing battle with Carraghan as they slice through lapped traffic, Silfee wrestled the runner-up position from the Red Robin No. 3 with eight trips remaining. He ran down race leader Herve, eventually squeezing under the No. 24 in turn one, then gassing into the lead as they exited the second corner on lap 28. Silfee was scored as the leader on the 28th tour, just before the yellow flag appeared for the final time. On the green-white-checkered restart, Silfee pulled away, going on to win over the disappointed Herve by 0.846-seconds.
Carraghan settled for third with Bieber finishing fourth and Nowatarski rounding out the top five.
"Man, I am so blessed to be running this car and having Randy (car owner Randy Smith) and my dad and everyone else who supports me," gushed Silfee in victory lane. "Love running here, wish we could race here more often."
"Tough to swallow this one," offered Herve, who finished runner-up. "After leading 28 laps, or almost 28 laps, then losing it...but it was a fun race. This track is awesome; you can really race here. It was a lot of fun, so I guess I will take second and be happy with it..."
Hyper Racing Wingless 600 Sprints, 30 laps: 1.Brian Carber, 2.Alex Bright, 3.Austin Quick, 4.Damon Paul, 5.Andrew Layser, 6.James Morris, 7.Kyle Spence, 8.Bradley Brown, 9.Heath Hehnly, 10.Ryan Groff, 11.Michael Fauci, 12.Brandon Heist, 13.Jarid Kunkle, 14.Shaun Brandel, 15.Nash Ely, 16.Kenny Miller III, 17.Charles Hunt, 18.Sam LaMothe, 19.Michael Thompson, 20.Mike Meyers, 21.Jesse Maurer, 22.Tyler Tank, 23.Aaron Bollinger, 24.Ryan Greth, 25.Kyle Lick, 26.Jim Radney.
DNQ: Joe Nemeth, Billy Koch, Kassidy Michael, Ben Earnst, TJ Greve, Dana LaMothe, Josh Conover, Nick Groff, Tommy Scott Jr., Bobby Butler, Jimmy Glenn, Christian Bruno, Don Hess, Brian Kramer, Tatter Kysor, Eddie Strada, Jack Conover, Mike Linderman, BJ Antonio, Zach Bealer, Holden Eckman, Hunter Metzger, Toby Blumenshine, Joey Amantea, Matthew Swift, Rebecca LaMothe.
Viper Chassis Wingless 270 Sprints, 30 laps: 1.Mike Rutherford, 2.Bradley Brown, 3.Toby Blumenshine, 4.Cliff Brian Jr., 5.Jason Swavely, 6.Nick Skias, 7.Dan Lane Jr., 8.Kyle Spence, 9.Richie Hartman, 10.Alex Funari, 11.Adam Harnish, 12.Tajae Adams, 13.Corey Schmuck Jr., 14.Jenna Schostkewitz, 15.Patrick Kirn, 16.Josh Stoyer, 17.Clinton Hauser, 18.Austin Yingst, 19.Morgan Rochelle, 20.Anthony Yerger, 21.Devin Adams, 22.Ronald Helmick, 23.Austin Graby, 24.Jeremy Eisenhauer, 25.Adam Minzer, 26.Mike Kalman.
DNQ: John West, Matt Hoffman, Trent Eberhart, Jarrett Imler, Dallas Sanders, Dylan Barlip, Brandon Heist, Jonathan John, Matt Andrews, Kaleb Hughes, Chris Heagy, Tyler Tank, Kody Hibshman.
125cc/ 4-Stroke Wingless Challenge, 30 laps: 1.Cliff Brian Jr., 2.Tommy Phipps Jr., 3.Kyler Heiney, 4.Corey Schmuck Jr., 5.Marty Brian, 6.Austin Graby, 7.Kassidy Michael, 8.Holden Eckman, 9.Jessica Moore, 10.Chase Layser, 11.Ron Wechter, 12.Mike Glass, 13.Ron Young, 14.Brian Kramer, 15.Mike Coen, 16.Kalani Adams, 17.Jas Hehnly, 18.Jimmy Wampole, 19.Zachary Young, 20.Tyler Martin. DNS: Dylan Yeingst.
Slingshots Slide at the Clyde VI, 30 laps: 1.Jared Silfee, 2.Kyle Herve, 3.Dave Carraghan, 4.Brett Bieber, 5.Reese Nowatarski, 6.Jonathan Swift, 7.CJ Fritz, 8.Justin Thompson, 9.Taylor Mills, 10.Austin Daniels, 11.Justin Mills, 12.Blaire Schoenly, 13.Tanner VanDoren, 14.Joey Vaccaro, 15.Chuck Whary, 16.Scott Slade, 17.Haley Thunberg, 18.Carter Weiant, 19.Austin Silfee. DNS: Zach Steffey.