Kreiser Scores 1st Career Sportsman Win; Lengle & C. Brian Also Victorious
Newmanstown, PA (April 27) - Some amazing, frenetic racing action highlighted the night of competition on Saturday at Lanco's Clyde Martin Memorial Speedway. When the final checkered flag waved, three drivers had scored their first wins of the 2019 season, while a pair of wheel-twisters recorded second triumphs in the year's first four events.
Kutztown's Jarid Kunkle (finally) established control of the Hyper Racing 600 feature with six circuits remaining, then held on to win his first Clyde Martin main of the season. In the Viper Chassis 270 main, Mike Rutherford registered his second victory of the campaign. Mike Kreiser triumphed in the Sportsman 25-lapper, scoring his very first feature win at the Clyde. Kerry Lengle took advantage of another competitor's horrific luck to win the 125cc feature, and Cliff Brian Jr. captured his second win of 2019 in the 250cc Four-Stroke feature.
The month of May kicks off this Saturday at the Newmanstown oval, with the five weekly divisions back in action. This year's awesome competition will continue with qualifying heats, consolations, and 25-lap feature races for the Hyper Racing 600's, the Viper Chassis 270's, the Sportsman, 125cc, and 250cc Four-Stroke Micro Sprints on the May 4 menu. Gates open at 4:30; warm-ups begin at 6 p.m., and the first heat race goes green at 7:00.
The 600cc feature on April 27 was, in a word, incredible! Aaron Bollinger bolted to the early lead as Jesse Snyder blasted from fourth to second on the opening revolution. A yellow flag waved with one lap completed, but the caution lights would not reappear until 18 tours were completed. The 17 laps between yellows provided sensational racing, as Snyder, Mike Rutherford, eighth-starting Jarid Kunkle, Ryan Greth, and the previous week's winner, Heath Hehnly, all fighting for positions two through six. Snyder, Rutherford, and Kunkle raced three-wide at times, trading lines and positions on a continuous basis. Right behind them, Greth and Hehnly waged a side by side battle all the way around the race track.
Kunkle prevailed in the second place donnybrook, snaring the runner-up spot with seven to go. He then threw a big slider on race leader Bollinger in turn four to snatch the lead as lap 19 was scored. The final six laps featured three-wide dancing by Hehnly, Rutherford, and Greth as they jostled for third before Hehnly grabbed the position. He managed to wrestle second away from Bollinger on a restart with three to go. Brent Ely, who started 19th after winning the consi, threaded his way into the top five by lap 22, then nipped Rutherford for fourth as they crossed under the checkered flag.
At the finish, it was Kunkle over Hehnly with Bollinger settling for third. Ely and Rutherford completed the top five with Greth falling to sixth at the end.
"Ron Shaffer (car owner) brought the car to our place early this morning," said Kunkle afterward. "We'd been struggling, so we went to work and went all over this thing...we worked all day and I think we got it straightened out. We had it dialed in tonight, that's for sure."
With 26 of the 600's in attendance on Saturday, heat race victories went to Ryan Hook, Bollinger, and Hehnly. Brent Ely won the consolation race.
Bradley Brown darted from the pole to lead the first lap of the Viper Chassis 270 main. On a restart with one circuit in the books, fifth-starter Mike Rutherford shot by Josh Stoyer for second, then slipped past Brown to become the leader as lap two was scored. That effectively settled the outcome regarding the winner of the 25-lap affair as Rutherford, from Lititz, Pa. simply dashed away from his pursuers. Behind him, however, the activity was intense as Brown, Jason Swavely, Stoyer, and Nick Skias fought tooth-and-nail for the rest of the top five positions.
As the laps clicked off, Brown and Swavely engaged in a highly entertaining lane and position swapping tussle for the runner-up slot. The Clyde became "Slide Job City", with the two chargers executing slider after slider at both ends of the ultra-fast clay oval. They never touched, but the duel was ferocious, as the pair traded second place a couple of times each lap! Stoyer and Nick Skias were scuffling for fourth position right behind the fight for runner-up honors. Brown eventually prevailed, throwing the final slide job and successfully holding off Swavely for second place money behind Rutherford. Stoyer edged N. Skias by inches for fourth as they crossed the stripe, with Billy Logeman finishing sixth.
There were 25 of the 270's on hand, with Stoyer, Dan Lane Jr., and Brown copping heat race wins. Jarrett Imler won the consi.
Even though he wasn't feeling well, Mike Kreiser knew he couldn't waste the opportunity of starting on the pole of the Sportsman feature. Kreiser may have led all the way in winning his very first Clyde Martin main event, but it was far from easy because Nick Skias, who started 17th, moved into the runner-up spot on lap 12 and made Kreiser's life difficult during the second half of the race.
Lapped traffic didn't help, either, as Kreiser got hung up behind slower cars on a few occasions, allowing Skias to draw closer to him. On the final circuit, Kreiser's No. 77 got loose as he attempted to duck under a lapped car, and Skias pulled even in turns three and four. Kreiser managed to win the drag race to the checkered flag by just 0.092-seconds to secure his initial Lanco win and solidify his early season hold on the Sportsman point lead.
Nick Skias wound up an oh-so-close second, with high school senior Kane Rogers finishing third. Anthony Yerger and Kyler Heiney placed fourth and fifth, respectively.
Sportsman heats went to Yerger and Rogers.
The 125cc feature produced a heart-breaking ending for young Chase Layser. Last season's 125cc Rookie of the Year paced the field for 24-1/4 laps before mechanical gremlins infected his No. 7L. In a race that was interrupted by just two yellow flags, the second caution period occurred with only one lap remaining. Layser had dominated the race and even runner-up (at the time) Kerry Lengle figured the final lap would be anti-climactic; that Layser would easily hold on for his first career win at Clyde Martin Memorial Speedway. But it was not to be...
On the restart, Layser separated himself from Lengle before suddenly slowing at the exit of turn two. He pounded his steering wheel in frustration as Lengle, from Myerstown, zipped past to inherit the lead and, a half-lap later, the victory. Kyle Heiney was a surprised runner-up, with Holden Eckman racing home in third. Brandon Gibble and Tyler Martin completed the top five.
Layser and AJ Gerhart won the two heat races run by the 125cc Micros.
Cliff Brian Jr. started on the pole of the 250cc Four-Stroke main, but the initial start saw Tommy Phipps Jr. out-run Brian into turn one. Phipps' lead was short-lived, though, as the yellow lights blinked on before lap one could be completed - and that negated his pass of Brian.
Cliff was ready on the next attempt to start the race, and he went on to lead all 25-laps. Phipps held off Marty Brian for second place, as Marty's older brother ended his sibling's two-race win streak. Cliff's victory kept another streak in tact, however, as the Brian brothers have combined to win all four of the season's Four-Stroke races (with two wins for each of them).
Jessica Moore made an impressive pass of Jim Harrington to finish fourth, as she narrowly held off strong running rookie Alex Lukacs at the finish line. Harrington wound up sixth.
Marty Brian and Phipps won the Four-Stroke heats.
This Saturday, May 4, is another five division thriller. Adult general admission is just $8.00, with discounts for Senior Citizens and Students. Youth between the ages of six and 21 are admitted for just $2.00, and children under the age of six are free.
Saturday, May 11, treat mom to a night at the races as the Mother's Day Special will offer a 50% discount in general admission to all moms who attend. Coming up on May 18 is Veterans/ Armed Forces Night at the speedway, featuring the second appearance of the season by the Restricted 600cc class. They will join the five weekly divisions for a night of high speed adventure on the progressively banked oval.
Come on out and LIVE the excitement that is Lanco!
Hyper Racing 600 Sprints (25 Laps): 1.Jarid Kunkle, 2.Heath Hehnly, 3.Aaron Bollinger, 4.Brent Ely, 5.Mike Rutherford, 6.Ryan Greth, 7.Chris Gerhart, 8.Bradley Brown, 9.Ryan Groff, 10.Holden Eckman, 11.Kyle Spence, 12.Ryan Hook, 13.Will Urkuski, 14.Austin Quick, 15.Chris Panczner, 16.Jesse Maurer, 17.Brian Kramer, 18.Jesse Snyder, 19.Don Hess, 20.Jeff Stelter, 21.Chelsey Moore, 22.Zach Light, 23.Jason Swavely, 24.Jered Hook. DNQ: Chris Good; TJ Greve.
Viper Chassis 270 Sprints (25 Laps): 1.Mike Rutherford, 2.Bradley Brown, 3.Jason Swavely, 4.Josh Stoyer, 5.Nick Skias, 6.Billy Logeman, 7.Kyle Spence, 8.Mike Skias, 9.Tajae Adams, 10.Andrew Dietrich, 11.Toby Blumenshine, 12.Christi Sweigart, 13.Jarrett Imler, 14.Trent Eberhart, 15.Nate Gibble, 16.Chad Riddle, 17.Jonah Meck, 18.Mason Peters, 19.Ben Layser, 20.Heath Hehnly, 21.Dan Lane Jr., 22.Anthony Yerger, 23.Corey Schmuck Jr. DNS: Josh Olinger. DNQ: Brandon Gibble.
Sportsman Feature (25 Laps): 1.Mike Kreiser, 2.Nick Skias, 3.Kane Rogers, 4.Anthony Yerger, 5.Kyler Heiney, 6.Jeremy Eisenhauer, 7.Patrick Kirn, 8.Charles Hellinger, 9.Clinton Hauser, 10.Noah Merkey, 11.Robert Shanaman, 12.Nate Gibble, 13.Steve Smith, 14.Sam Borger, 15.Dennis Fenstermacher, 16.Brittany Zeller, 17.Jamie Flickinger. DNS: Cody Riehl.
125cc Feature (25 Laps): 1.Kerry Lengle, 2.Kyler Heiney, 3.Holden Eckman, 4.Brandon Gibble, 5.Tyler Martin, 6.Chase Layser, 7.AJ Gerhart, 8.Mike Glass, 9.Barbie Eichorn, 10.RJ Rossi, 11.Shane Davis, 12.Jimmy Wampole.
250cc Four-Stroke Feature (25 Laps): 1.Cliff Brian Jr., 2.Tommy Phipps Jr., 3.Marty Brian, 4.Jessica Moore, 5.Alex Lukacs, 6.Jim Harrington, 7.Riley Simmons, 8.Eddie Nocera, 9.Zachary Young, 10.Jared St. John, 11.Ron Wechter, 12.Jenna Heagy, 13.Dylan Yiengst, 14.Ron Young.