Newmanstown, PA (May 18) - The music playing over the p.a. system should have been Rhythm n' Blues, because R&B ruled the clay on Armed Forces Night at Lanco's Clyde Martin Memorial Speedway.
Mike Rutherford picked up his second win of 2019 in the Hyper Racing 600 Sprint main, while Bradley Brown found victory lane in the Viper Chassis 270cc feature. Saturday's other victors included Mike Kreiser (second straight triumph in the Sportsman Class); Mike Miller (125cc); Marty Brian (third win of the season in the 250cc Four-Stroke Class); and Logan Rumsey (Restricted 600cc).
The stage is now set for this weekend's Bud's Spring Service Memorial Day Open; a big two-day event featuring the Clyde's five weekly divisions on Saturday, May 25. Sunday's menu boasts a three-division show, with the 600cc and 270cc Sprints joined by the All Star Slingshots. The 600's and 270's will compete with wings, and every position in every race (heats, consolations, and features) will receive a payout. The Slingshots take part in the seventh annual Slide at the Clyde, a National Tour event for the Briggs & Stratton powered racers. Additional details are posted on www.clydemartinspeedway.com; click on "Bud's Spring Service Memorial Day Open" for all the info regarding this huge weekend of action.
Last Saturday, Armed Forces Night began with a Candy/Photo Scramble in the infield grass for all the youngsters in attendance. Later in the evening, when the Hyper Racing 600 Sprint main went green, it was Mike Rutherford scrambling to get to the front of the pack as quickly as he could.
Rutherford, who started fourth, literally pushed Ryan Groff to the lead as they exited turn two on the opening trip around the superbly prepared clay surface. The Lititz, PA driver then sliced off the banking of the fourth turn, shoving his nose ahead of Groff's No. 03 and barely leading lap one. Rutherford, in the Gary Spotts/ Earl Fellin No. 2s, cleared Groff in one and two, then zipped away to a healthy lead, leaving Groff to fight with Heath Hehnly and Ryan Hook for the runner-up position.
The only caution flag of the 25-lapper waved with 12 circuits complete, and it had no effect on the outcome. On the restart, Rutherford bolted away once again, but the competition for second through eighth was extremely entertaining. Groff and Hehnly waged a back-and-forth battle for second, with R. Hook, Aaron Bollinger, Jesse Maurer, Jarid Kunkle, and Bradley Brown jostling furiously with one another right behind the second place tussle.
Rutherford captured his second win of the season (in 600's) by almost two-seconds, with Groff just edging Hehnly at the stripe to notch runner-up pay. Ryan Hook and Bollinger rounded out the top five.
Heat wins went to Hehnly and Kameron Morral.
Bradley Brown, of New Providence, PA, had his No. 19a singing a sweet tune in the Viper Chassis 270 main, leading all the way to score his first win of the 2019 campaign. The action behind him was hot and heavy, though, highlighted by a terrific duel for the runner-up spot between Heath Hehnly and Josh Stoyer. Joining the fun at the front were Mike Rutherford, who started tenth, and 19th-starter Mike Uhrich. The intense battle for positions two through five came to a head with seven tours remaining, when Stoyer attempted to dive under Hehnly as the duo entered turn one. Stoyer's right-front caught Hehnly's left side, throwing Stoyer's mount into a spin and knocking loose the exhaust pipe on Hehnly's car. With nowhere to go, Uhrich made contact with Stoyer's stalled No. 3. The unfortunate incident forced early retirement for the second (Hehnly), third (Stoyer), and fifth-place (Uhrich) cars.
Brown held on over the duration of the 25-lap affair, winning by just about one-second over Rutherford, who fended off a determined Toby Blumenshine for second place honors. Danny Lane ended up fourth and 18th-starter Andrew Dietrich placed fifth.
Josh Stoyer, Heath Hehnly, and Bradley Brown were victorious in 270cc heat races, while Uhrich won the consi.
Jonestown's Mike Kreiser raced hard, raced smart, and had some good luck during the Sportsman feature. Kreiser capitalized when early leader Kane Rogers got hung up behind a lapped car on the 19th revolution. Both Kreiser and David Ravel shot by the No. 88k of Rogers, with Kreiser claiming the top spot. With just two laps to go, Kreiser almost suffered the same fate as Rogers, as he got pinned behind a slower car and Ravel blasted around him to take command. The yellow flag appeared before Ravel could be scored as the leader, though, putting Kreiser back in front for the restart. Kreiser maintained a slight advantage over the final two circuits to record his second consecutive Sportsman triumph. Ravel, 19th-starting Nick Skias, Patrick Kirn, and Rogers completed the top five.
Sportsman heat races were claimed by Nick Skias and Austin Graby.
Mike Miller, from Exeter Township, is a nine-time point champion in the Clyde's 125cc division. But it had been 17 years since Miller wheeled a 125cc Micro Sprint to the winner's circle...until Saturday night.
The veteran racer in the Reading Standard Motorsports No. 3 rolled off fifth when the race began. He methodically weaved his way to thrid by lap two, passed Kyler Heiney for the runner-up position on the fifth tour, then patiently stalked race leader Mike Glass for the next 15 revolutions. When the No. 6 of Glass got tight in lapped traffic, Miller pounced, taking the lead with five to go. At the finish, it was Miller, Glass, Terry Ellex (from 16th), Heiney, and AJ Gerhart making up the top five.
Heat winners were Miller and Gerhart.
Ephrata's Marty Brian stomped the field in the 250cc Four-Stroke feature, leading all the way and winning by a half-lap over Jessican Moore. The victory was Marty's third of the season in Four-Stroke competition, making him three-for-five in 2019.
Moore emerged from a three-car battle (with Tommy Phipps Jr. and rookie Alex Lukacs) to secure the second place finish by a slim margin over Phipps, who charged from 11th starting position using the high groove. Lukacs finished a strong fourth and Riley Simmons crossed the stripe in fifth.
Marty Brian and Ron Wechter won the two heat races for the Four-Strokes.
The second appearance of 2019 by the Restricted 600's (and third in the past two years) produced the group's best feature yet, highlighted by an incredibly close three-car scuffle for the win.
Logan Rumsey chased early leader Hunter McFadden for much of the 15-lap distance, with Tyler Henry working the low lane in third. The trio ran under a blanket for most of the race, as McFadden committed to the middle groove in the corners, forcing Rumsey to look for an outside pass while Henry attacked from the bottom. As they headed for the white flag, a lapped car in front of McFadden forced the leader to lift in one and two, and that was the opening needed by Rumsey to rocket around the top and pass McFadden's No. 21. Rumsey led for the first time as the white flag waved, then motored away on the final lap to win by a half-second over a disappointed McFadden. Henry finished a close third, with Jack VanVarick, Jude Siegel, and Faith Turnbaugh completing the finishing order.
Rumsey also won the lone heat race run for the Restricted 600's.
Members of the military, both current and past, were honored with free admission and had a group photo taken on the homestretch at intermission. The Lanco Micro Midget Racing Club, the group that sanctions the events at Clyde Martin Memorial Speedway, offers free admission to all those currently serving in the Armed Forces as well as military veterans, on a weekly basis. A nice mix of Army, Navy, and Air Force posed for photos on the front stretch as they were saluted on Saturday night.
2016 Tiny Ms. Motorsports, Payton Rogers, and her mother Allison were on hand for Armed Forces Night. Payton assisted track photographer Mike Knappenberger with the Race Chasing Awards.
Attention now turns to this weekend's Bud's Spring Service Memorial Day Open, with racing both Saturday, May 25 and Sunday, May 26. Come on out and LIVE the excitement that is Lanco!
Hyper Racing 600 Sprints (25 Laps): 1.Mike Rutherford, 2.Ryan Groff, 3.Heath Hehnly, 4.Ryan Hook, 5.Aaron Bollinger, 6.Jesse Maurer, 7.Jarid Kunkle, 8.Bradley Brown, 9.Jesse Snyder, 10.Kameron Morral, 11.Zach Light, 12.Jered Hook, 13.Jeff Stelter, 14.Chris Good, 15.Don Hess, 16.Chelsey Moore, 17.Ryan Greth, 18.Holden Eckman, 19.Brian Kramer, 20.Will Urkuski. DNS: Kyler Heiney.
Viper Chassis 270 Sprints (25 Laps): 1.Bradley Brown, 2.Mike Rutherford, 3.Toby Blumenshine, 4.Dan Lane Jr., 5.Andrew Dietrich, 6.Corey Schmuck Jr., 7.Christi Sweigart, 8.Nate Gibble, 9.Billy Logeman, 10.Zak Vickers, 11.Trent Eberhart, 12.Olivia Thayer, 13.Isaac Graby, 14.Brian Boyer, 15.Heath Hehnly, 16.Josh Stoyer, 17.Mike Uhrich, 18.Mike Boyer, 19.Josh Ohlinger, 20.Austin Graby, 21.Mike Miller, 22.Mike Skias, 23.Nick Skias, 24.Jarrett Imler.
DNQ: Jonah Meck, Ben Layser, Raymond Ohlinger, Zach Hollinger, Tajae Adams.
Sportsman Feature (25 Laps): 1.Mike Kreiser, 2.David Ravel, 3.Nick Skias, 4.Patrick Kirn, 5.Kane Rogers, 6.Kyler Heiney, 7.Charles Hellinger, 8.Clinton Hauser, 9.Austin Graby, 10.Jeremy Eisenhauer, 11.Noah Merkey, 12.Robert Shanaman, 13.Nate Gibble, 14.Steve Smith, 15.Sam Borger, 16.Jamie Flickinger, 17.Dennis Fenstermacher, 18.Cody Riehl, 19.Brittany Zeller.
125cc Feature (25 Laps): 1.Mike Miller, 2.Mike Glass, 3.Terry Ellex, 4.Kyler Heiney, 5.AJ Gerhart, 6.Brandon Gibble, 7.RJ Rossi, 8.Holden Eckman, 9.Shane Davis, 10.Tyler Martin, 11.Kenny Bushey, 12.Jimmy Wampole, 13.Chase Layser, 14.Barbie Eichorn, 15.Kerry Lengle, 16.Kayla Fetter.
250cc Four-Stroke Feature (25 Laps): 1.Marty Brian, 2.Jessica Moore, 3.Tommy Phipps Jr., 4.Alex Lukacs, 5.Riley Simmons, 6.Ron Wechter, 7.Jenna Heagy, 8.Jared St. John, 9.Eddie Nocera, 10.Dylan Yiengst, 11.Zachary Young, 12.Jim Harrington.
Restricted 600cc Feature (15 Laps): 1.Logan Rumsey, 2.Hunter McFadden, 3.Tyler Henry, 4.Jack VanVarick, 5.Jude Siegel, 6.Faith Turnbaugh.