Newmanstown, PA (April 13) - Chances are, if Mike Rutherford went out for some ice cream on Sunday, he ordered a triple dip of his favorite flavors. That's because Saturday night produced a triple-victory effort by the Lititz, Pa. racer at Lanco's Clyde Martin Memorial Speedway.
Jerry Reed sang "When You're Hot, You're Hot" and Rutherford was absolutely sizzling on RTS Chassis/ First Responders Night at the Clyde. His trifecta of triumphs included the Hyper Racing 600 checkered flag, the Viper Chassis 270's, and the Sportsman Class' 25-lap main event.
Marty Brian claimed his first-ever Lanco Micro Sprint win on Saturday night, beating his older brother, Cliff Brian Jr., to the stripe in the 250cc Four-Stroke feature. And Kyler Heiney returned to his winning ways in the 125cc main.
Rutherford's third and final win of the evening occurred in the 25-lap feature for the Hyper Racing 600 Sprints. He bolted from sixth to third in the first couple trips around the clay as Chris Gerhart set the pace over Bradley Brown. On a restart with eight complete, Brown drifted up the track, forcing Gerhart to lift slightly, and Brown shot into the lead. Rutherford followed the No. 23 past Gerhart, and for the next six tours, an extremely tight and entertaining scuffle took place between Rutherford, Gerhart, Jarid Kunkle, and tenth-starter Heath Hehnly. A caution with 11 to go brought race leader Bradley Brown back to the field and on the restart, he and Rutherford took turns throwing slide jobs at one another. Rutherford slipped up in front of Brown off turn four and led the 15th circuit. As Rutherford began to motor away from his pursuers, Hehnly took third, then muscled his way past Brown for the runner-up slot with three laps remaining. He closed on Rutherford, but not enough to muster a serious bid for the win. At the finish, it was Rutherford by one-second over Hehnly, with Brown settling for third. Aaron Bollinger and Kunkle completed the top five.
Heat race victories went to Hehnly, Kyle Spence, and Brian Kramer.
Rutherford's first win of the evening came in the Viper Chassis 270 feature - the 25-lap affair that led off the string of A-Mains on RTS Chassis/ First Responders Night. Mike Miller was the pole sitter with Rutherford flanking him on the front row, and it was Rutherford's No. 5k blasting off the top of turn two to grab a lead that he would not relinquish for the next 25 revolutions around the supremely prepared oval. Andrew Dietrich, Josh Stoyer, Billy Logeman, and Bradley Brown battled for positions two through five throughout the race as Rutherford cruised out front.
"I am relieved and happy to be standing here," said Rutherford in victory lane when it was all over, "because we've been through about six engines already this year and earlier tonight, in the heat race, the shifter broke. So this really feels good after all of our struggles in the early part of the season."
Dietrich ended up second with Stoyer finishing third. Logeman and Brown rounded out the top five.
Stoyer, Brown, and Dietrich were the 270cc heat race winners.
Rutherford started on the pole of the Sportsman feature and led all the way, although Nick Skias, who opted to start 16th (last) made things fairly interesting at the end.
While Rutherford dashed to a sizable lead in the early going, Skias was slicing his way forward, climbing to the runner-up spot by lap eight. Mike Kreiser (started ninth) was hanging with Skias as they traversed toward the front of the pack. Kreiser was fourth by the time lap ten was scored.
Skias inched closer to Rutherford as the duo negotiated heavy lapped traffic. Just as it appeared Skias may have his opportunity to pounce on the leader, the yellow flag waved with five circuits left to run.
On the restart, Skias gave it one last shot, diving to the inside of Rutherford as the pair entered turn one. But he could not make it stick. "I had to back off or wreck us both," said Skias afterward.
Rutherford went on to win by a half-second over Skias, with Kreiser - in a brand new RTS Chassis - finishing a strong third. David Ravel and Jeremy Eisenhauer wound up fourth and fifth, respectively.
Sportsman heat race triumphs went to Skias and Ravel.
On April 6, in the track's non-point No Wing Spring Fling, Ephrata's Marty Brian led until there was just a half-straightaway to go, when he was passed by his older sibling, Cliff Jr. That left the pint-sized younger brother hungry for redemption, and he got it in a big way on Saturday, April 13. In the first point show of the season, Marty simply put a whippin' on his 250cc Four-Stroke competitors and won his very first Micro Sprint feature at Clyde Martin Memorial Speedway. Marty started second, but flew by Jessica Moore to snare the top spot on the first trip around the oval, and he was never headed after that point. Even a few restarts that had his brother and returning veteran Jim Harrington beside and behind him could not affect the younger of the Brian brothers on this night. Marty just accelerated away from them each time the green reappeared, finally beating his older sibling by nearly 1.5-seconds when the checkered flag waved. Cliff Jr., Harrington, Moore, and Kassidy Michael made up the top five.
Cliff Jr. and Marty Brian were Four-Stroke heat winners.
Kyler Heiney, from Strasburg, Pa., stalked early leader Brandon Gibble in the 125cc nightcap. Heiney had a nose in front as they completed lap four, but Gibble, who was celebrating his 30th birthday on Saturday, took it back on the following tour. Heiney pushed his No. 76 by Gibble again to narrowly lead lap seven, then cleared Gibble's No. 29 and sprinted away to a healthy lead. Mike Miller squeezed past Gibble for second on the ninth circuit, but he was no match for the high flying Heiney. At the finish, it was Kyler Heiney opening defense of his 2018 point title in the 125cc class with a decisive victory over Miller, Gibble, Chase Layser, and Kerry Lengle.
Heiney also captured the lone heat race for the 125's.
Coming up this Saturday, April 20, is the Mongoose Chassis Easter Eve Special, featuring the five weekly divisions and the first 2019 visit by the Restricted 600 Class. There will be an Easter Egg Hunt for the kids at intermission, and it all gets underway with gates opening at 4:30 p.m., warm-ups at 6:00, and the first heat scheduled for a green flag at 7:00.
Heats, consolation races, and 25-lap features will be contested for the Hyper Racing 600's, the Viper Chassis 270's, Sportsman, 125cc, and 250cc Four-Stroke competitors. A heat race and feature will be held for the Restricted 600 racers, too.
Come on out and LIVE the excitement that is Lanco!
Hyper Racing 600 Sprints, 25 laps: 1.Mike Rutherford, 2.Heath Hehnly, 3.Bradley Brown, 4.Aaron Bollinger, 5.Jarid Kunkle, 6.Austin Quick, 7.Chris Gerhart, 8.Jesse Maurer, 9.Ryan Greth, 10.Brent Ely, 11.Chris Panczner, 12.Jim Radney, 13.Holden Eckman, 14.Will Urkuski, 15.Ryan Groff, 16.Don Hess, 17.Kassidy Michael, 18.Steve Schultz, 19.Chris Good, 20.Chelsey Moore, 21.Kyle Spence, 22.Brian Kramer. DNS: Zach Light.
Viper Chassis 270 Sprints, 25 laps: 1.Mike Rutherford, 2.Andrew Dietrich, 3.Josh Stoyer, 4.Billy Logeman, 5.Bradley Brown, 6.Toby Blumenshine, 7.Dan Lane Jr., 8.Mike Skias, 9.Nick Skias, 10.Kyle Spence, 11.Adam Minzer, 12.Jarrett Imler, 13.Nate Gibble, 14.Zak Vickers, 15.Trent Eberhart, 16.Jonah Meck, 17.Ben Layser, 18.Mike Miller, 19.Christi Sweigart, 20.Mike Uhrich, 21.Brandon Gibble, 22.Kalani Adams, 23.Corey Schmuck Jr. DNS: Tajae Adams.
Sportsman Micro Sprints, 25 laps: 1.Mike Rutherford, 2.Nick Skias, 3.Mike Kreiser, 4.David Ravel, 5.Jeremy Eisenhauer, 6.Charles Hellinger, 7.Clinton Hauser, 8.Sam Borger, 9.Nate Gibble, 10.Steve Smith, 11.Dennis Fenstermacher, 12.Jamie Flickinger, 13.Brittany Zeller, 14.Noah Merkey, 15.Robert Shanaman, 16.Kody Hibshman.
250cc Four-Stroke Micro Sprints, 25 laps: 1.Marty Brian, 2.Cliff Brian Jr., 3.Jim Harrington, 4.Jessica Moore, 5.Kassidy Michael, 6.Alex Lukacs, 7.Zachary Young, 8.Ron Wechter, 9.Dylan Yeingst, 10.Riley Simmons, 11.Eddie Nocera, 12.Jenna Heagy, 13.Ron Young.
125cc Micro Sprints, 25 laps: 1.Kyler Heiney, 2.Mike Miller, 3.Brandon Gibble, 4.Chase Layser, 5.Kerry Lengle, 6.RJ Rossi, 7.Mike Glass, 8.Tyler Martin, 9.Kenny Bushey, 10.Dalton Eckman, 11.Jimmy Wampole.