Newmanstown, PA (April 20) - Sometimes it's better to be lucky than good. On an Easter Eve Saturday night, Heath Hehnly was both, and the result was a first win of the season in the Hyper Racing 600 Sprint main event at Lanco's Clyde Martin Memorial Speedway.
Joining Hehnly in the winner's circle on Mongoose Chassis Night were: Josh Stoyer (Viper Chassis 270cc); Dan Lane Jr. (Sportsman); AJ Gerhart (125cc); Marty Brian (250cc Four-Stroke); and Dylan Kontra (Restricted 600).
Hehnly, from Manheim, PA, started on the pole of the Hyper Racing 600 feature. Race over, you may think...but you would be very wrong. Hehnly darted out to the early lead, but fifth-place starter Brent Ely was on the move. Ely grabbed second from Zach Light on the eighth circuit, then rapidly reeled in the high flying Hehnly as the leader negotiated lapped traffic. Ely was absolutely terrific in the low groove, launching off the bottom of the corners to close in on the leader while Hehnly chose to roll the top. Ely slipped past Hehnly off turn four to lead lap 15, then quickly began to pull away from the seven-time track champion in the 600cc division. Four tours later, however, the fickle hand of fate rose up against Ely. A lapped car got sideways in front of him in three and four, causing Ely to stab his brake pedal to avoid contact. Hehnly, about five car lengths behind the leader, gobbled up the deficit and swept past Ely to regain command. He deftly handled lapped traffic over the final six revolutions to zip away from his pursuers, and at the checkered, it was Hehnly scoring win number one of the 2019 campaign. Ely finished second with Chris Panczner, Zach Light, and Austin Quick rounding out the top five. Only one caution flag slowed the race, and that came after the first lap had been scored. The final 24 trips around the racy oval went non-stop.
With 27 of the 600's on hand, heat race victories went to Light, Hehnly, and Jesse Snyder. Aaron Bollinger won the consolation race.
Three events have been completed at the Clyde during the month of April, and Josh Stoyer has finished in the top three positions in all of them. On Saturday night, Stoyer captured his first win of the season in the Viper Chassis 270cc Class after finishing runner-up on April 6 and third on April 13.
Stoyer, who hails from Mohnton, PA, started on the pole, but with drivers like Mike Rutherford, Kyle Weiss, and Bradley Brown around and right behind him, this 25-lapper was anything but a walk in the park. Stoyer showed his muscle right from the start, though, gassing his Viper Chassis No. 3 to an early lead over Rutherford as Weiss, Brown, Andrew Dietrich, Billy Logeman, and Mike Uhrich fought for positions three through seven. Six cautions dotted the race, forcing Stoyer to be on his "A-game" for each restart, and he certainly was up to the task as he simply pulled away from the pack each time the green reappeared. Stoyer went on to record the triumph by nearly two-seconds over Rutherford, with Weiss scoring a Lanco-best third. Dietrich and Nick Skias completed the top five.
A total of 26 cars signed in for 270cc competition on Saturday. Dietrich, Weiss, and Brown won heats and the consi fell to Jarrett Imler.
In the Mongoose Chassis Sportsman headliner, it was "same car, different driver, same result" as Dan Lane Jr. steered the Mike Rutherford No. 5r to victory. The prior week, it was Rutherford claiming the win in the same car.
Lane started on the pole and led every lap, but there was some pretty good racing behind him throughout the 25-lap affair. Mike Skias started dead last (17th)., but by the third lap, he was up to fifth. Sixth starter Clinton Hauser methodically worked his way forward, taking over the runner-up spot from Mike Kreiser on the 11th circuit. With Lane firmly in front, Hauser had to hold off Patrick Kirn, Kreiser, and M. Skias for second. That's the way they finished, with Lane crossing the stripe by a whopping three-seconds over Hauser.
Sportsman heat race winners were Lane and Nick Skias, who then turned over his No. 88 to brother Mike. The driver switch forced Mike Skias to start last in the feature.
AJ Gerhart registered his first Clyde Martin triumph in the Mongoose Chassis 125cc main. Gerhart led all the way while his uncle, Mike Glass, battled Cliff Brian Jr. for the runner-up position. Glass finally secured the spot, only to have Brian pass him on a restart with five to go. One lap later, Glass fell out with mechanical issues. At the finish, it was Gerhart cruising to the victory over the 250cc Four-Stroke of Cliff Brian Jr., with Kyler Heiney placing third after flipping in his heat race. Kerry Lengle wound up fourth and Brandon Gibble was fifth.
Brandon Gibble and C. Brian Jr. were 125cc heat winners.
Marty Brian, Ephrata, PA, charged from seventh to second in the first two trips around the clay in the Mongoose Chassis 250cc Four-Stroke feature. He tracked down race leader Riley Simmons, then zipped by the No. 44 to snare the top spot on lap seven. Kassidy Michael and Tommy Phipps Jr. worked their way by Simmons to run second and third, but there was no catching the No. 16, as Marty Brian flew to his second consecutive Four-Stroke win. Michael, Phipps, Simmons, and Eddie Nocera made up the rest of the top five. Just a single yellow flag waved during the 25-lapper, with Brian completing the distance in 7:05.713.
The first appearance of 2019 by the Restricted 600cc Class ended the same way as their first visit did in '18, with Dylan Kontra recording the win. Kontra passed Jack Van Varick on the opening lap to take the lead, and waltzed to victory in the 15-lap main. Tyler Henry moved into the runner-up slot on lap one as well, but he could not catch the swift running Kontra. When the checkered flag fell, it was Kontra notching yet another Clyde Martin victory, with Henry and Logan Rumsey chasing him to the finish line. Van Varick and Hunter McFadden were fourth and fifth, respectively.
Kontra made it a clean sweep by also winning his heat race; the only one run for the Restricted 600's on Saturday.
Precision Hydraulic & Oil contributed extra cash and contingency prizes to the drivers on Saturday night. Hehnly received an extra $150 in his pay envelope as the 600cc winner, while Stoyer collected an extra $100. Chris Panczner was the 600cc Hard Charger and received enough Xtreme Race Oil for a complete oil change, while the 270cc Hard Charger, Trent Eberhart, got two can of Nano Dry Lube.
This Saturday, April 27, is another five division thriller at the Clyde. The Hyper Racing 600's, the Viper Chassis 270's, Sportsman, 250cc Four-Strokes, and the 125cc racers will compete in qualifying heats, consolations, and 25-lap features. Gates open at 4:30 p.m. with warm-ups getting underway at 6:00. The first heat race goes green at 7:00 as the first month of the 2019 season wraps up in grand style.
Come on out and LIVE the excitement that is Lanco!
Hyper Racing 600 Sprints (25 Laps): 1.Heath Hehnly, 2.Brent Ely, 3.Chris Panczner, 4.Zach Light, 5.Austin Quick, 6.Mike Rutherford, 7.Bradley Brown, 8.Jesse Maurer, 9.Ryan Greth, 10.Bobby Butler, 11.Jarid Kunkle, 12.Kassidy Michael, 13.Ryan Groff, 14.Brooklyn Gable, 15.Holden Eckman, 16.Jesse Snyder, 17.Aaron Bollinger, 18.Chris Gerhart, 19.Will Urkuski, 20.Michael Thompson, 21.Jon Keller, 22.Brian Kramer, 23.Kyle Spence, 24.Don Hess.
DNQ: Steve Schultz, Rebecca LaMothe, Chris Good.
Viper Chassis 270 Sprints (25 Laps): 1.Josh Stoyer, 2.Mike Rutherford, 3.Kyle Weiss, 4.Andrew Dietrich, 5.Nick Skias, 6.Toby Blumenshine, 7.Dan Lane Jr., 8.Billy Logeman, 9.Mike Skias, 10.Christi Sweigart, 11.TJ Greve, 12.Tom Landwher, 13.Brandon Gibble, 14.Trent Eberhart, 15.Ben Layser, 16.Zach Berghof, 17.Bradley Brown, 18.Mike Uhrich, 19.Kyle Spence, 20.Jarrett Imler, 21.Zak Vickers, 22.Nate Gibble, 23.Tyler Grau, 24.Corey Schmuck Jr.
DNQ: Dave Labe, Jonah Meck.
Sportsman Feature (25 Laps): 1.Dan Lane Jr., 2.Clinton Hauser, 3.Patrick Kirn, 4.Mike Kreiser, 5.Mke Skias, 6.Robert Shanaman, 7.Nate Gibble, 8.Jeremy Eisenhauer, 9.Sam Borger, 10.Jamie Flickinger, 11.Dennis Fenstermacher, 12.Brittany Zeller, 13.Noah Merkey, 14.Deana Cogdill, 15.Charles Hellinger, 16.Steve Smith, 17.Kody Hibshman.
250cc Four-Stroke Feature (25 Laps): 1.Marty Brian, 2.Kassidy Michael, 3.Tommy Phipps Jr., 4.Riley Simmons, 5.Eddie Nocera, 6.Alex Lukacs, 7.Dylan Yiengst, 8.Zachary Young, 9.Ron Wechter, 10.Jared St. John, 11.Jim Harrington, 12.Jenna Heagy, 13.Ron Young.
125cc Feature (25 Laps): 1.AJ Gerhart, 2.Cliff Brian Jr., 3.Kyler Heiney, 4.Kerry Lengle, 5.Brandon Gibble, 6.Chase Layser, 7.RJ Rossi, 8.Mike Glass, 9.Kenny Bushey, 10.Barbie Eichorn, 11.Jimmy Wampole, 12.Tyler Martin.
Restricted 600cc (15 Laps): 1.Dylan Kontra, 2.Tyler Henry, 3.Logan Rumsey, 4.Jack Van Varick, 5.Hunter McFadden.