Marty Brian Wins 4-Stroke Nail-Biter; Nick Skias & Cliff Brian Jr. Also Victorious On Scout Night
This is not a reference to paper towels, but it might be "Bounty Time" for Mike Rutherford.
Rutherford, from Lebanon, notched his fourth consecutive Hyper Racing 600 Sprint victory on Saturday night at Lanco's Clyde Martin Memorial Speedway. The triumph was his fifth in eight races run by the 600's this season at the Clyde. At some tracks, and in some series, that would be enough to put a bounty on his head...meaning extra dollars to any driver who can beat the "Master of the Micros" in a feature where he is still running at the finish.
Joining Rutherford in Saturday's winners circle on Scout Night at the speedway were Jason Swavely (Viper Chassis 270 Sprints), Nick Skias (Sportsman), Marty Brian (250cc Four-Strokes), and his brother, Cliff Brian Jr., who used his Four-Stroke to beat the 125cc racers in their 25-lap main.
Eagle Scout Jered Hook darted from his pole position to lead the first half of the Hyper Racing 600 Sprint feature. Some absolutely wild action raged behind Hook as the first 17 tours went non-stop. Rutherford, who started fourth, battled furiously with Jarid Kunkle, Ryan Groff, and seventh-starting Nash Ely in an entertaining struggle for the runner-up spot. Rutherford eventually secured the position, then went after Hook, who was dealing with heavy lapped traffic during the long stretch of green flag competition.
"We found the bottom before anyone else did, and that was the key," stated Rutherford afterward.
When Hook's No. 21H got just a bit loose in turn four, Rutherford pounced and snatched the lead on lap 15. Kunkle got by Hook one circuit later, but with 17 revolutions scored, the yellow flew for Brent Ely and Chris Gerhart, who tangled in turn one. Just as the yellow lights flashed on, second place Kunkle caught the right-rear wheel of a car he was trying to lap and flipped wildly at the entrance of turn three.
Rutherford maintained a healthy lead, even through the second (and final) caution period with two to go, winning by 1.263-seconds over Nash Ely. Ely emerged as the runner-up after a hearty duel with J. Hook that went right down to the checkered. Ely nipped Hook for second by the scant margin of 0.021-seconds. Jesse Snyder (started 13th) finished fourth and 11th-starting Kyle Spence, in the car he used to win at the Tulsa Shootout in January, was fifth.
A nice field of 30 cars took part in Saturday's 600 Sprint portion of the program. Kunkle, Groff, and J. Hook won heat races, while Austin Quick snared the consolation victory.
The Viper Chassis 270 Sprint feature was a good one, too, with Jason Swavely, from Fleetwood, PA, picking up his second triumph of the 2019 campaign.
Mike Skias paced the early stages of the 25-lapper until Mike Rutherford zipped past him on the backstretch during the ninth trip around the clay. With eight circuits remaining, Swavely roared around the outside of M. Skias to become the runner-up, and Nick Skias, who started 12th, used a slide job to pass his brother for third with six tours left to run. Just after that lap was scored, the yellow flag waved...and the ensuing restart would decide the outcome of the race.
On the double-file restart, Swavely got the better of Rutherford and grabbed the top spot. Rutherford and Nick Skias then engaged in a battle royal, filled with sliders at both ends of the speedway, as the grappled for second place. Swavely edged away by a few car lengths over the crowd-pleasing fight for second between N. Skias and Rutherford, going on to win his second 270 main in the past three races. N. Skias beat Rutherford to the line to earn runner-up cash, with Danny Lane Jr. and Mike Skias rounding out the top five.
A solid field of 28 entered the 270 event on Saturday, with heat wins falling to Nick Skias, Corey Schmuck Jr., and Heath Hehnly. Bradley Brown was the consolation race winner.
Wernersville, PA resident Nick Skias started 18th in the 19-car Sportsman feature, but he did not reside in the back of the pack for very long. Skias was up to fifth when the first caution occurred with a dozen laps showing on the scoreboard. He moved up to second with ten to go, then used a big run off the top of turn two to wrestle the lead from Charles Hellinger, who led the first 18 trips around the racy oval in his best outing of the season.
Skias rambled away to win by nearly one-second over Hellinger, who was a very popular runner-up. "I got this motor from him," said Hellinger as he pointed to Skias in a post-race interview. "And he's always a big help to me; I would not be standing here if it wasn't for him and everyone else who helps me. So I don't mind losing to Nick."
Patrick Kirn (started seventh) settled for third with Kyler Heiney and Mike Kreiser making up the top five.
Kirn and Skias were Sportsman heat race victors.
Even thought the 2019 season has a long way to go, Saturday's 250cc Four-Stroke feature may go down as the race of the year.
The final circuits of the 25-lap affair became a scuffle for the lead between Jim Harrington, Tommy Phipps Jr., and Marty Brian. Harrington had secured the top spot from rookie Alex Lukacs on the sixth tour, but Phipps was giving him fits as the feature entered its last stage. Phipps would dive under the leader entering turn one, but his momentum carried his No. 38 up the track slightly, allowing Harrington to get back under him as they throttled off the second corner. Brian, already a three-time winner in Four-Stroke competition this season, lurked right behind in third.
The trio took the white flag, and the same scenario developed in one and two; Phipps dive-bombed Harrington entering the corner, drifted up a bit, and Harrington dashed back to his inside. This time, however, Brian gassed his No. 16 around both of them, slipping past Phipps and pulling even with Harrington as they exited turn two and accelerated down the back chute. They remained even through three and four, and, in a Stroker Ace/ Days of Thunder wheel-rubbing drag race to the finish line, Marty Brian nosed out Harrington by inches (0.065-seconds) to record his fourth win of the 2019 campaign. Phipps chased them to the stripe, with Lukacs and Eddie Nocera finishing fourth and fifth.
Harrington and Lukacs won the Four-Stroke heat races.
It was a Four-Stroke that also captured the 125cc feature on Saturday. Ephrata's Cliff Brian Jr. inherited the top spot when AJ Gerhart, who appeared to be a lock for his second victory of the year, fell out with mechanical issues during a caution period with 14 complete. Cliff Brian Jr. went on to win handily over the 125cc Micro of Kerry Lengle. Mike Miller wound up third ahead of Kyler Heiney and Mike Glass.
A pair of Four-Strokes were victorious in the 125cc heats, as C. Brian Jr. and Kassidy Michael registered the wins.
Eleven bicycles were raffled off on Saturday night, with all of the two-wheelers donated by various race teams. The Lanco club wishes to thank Alex Lukacs and AJAX Racing, the Young Family Racing Team, RTB Racing, Hauser Racing, Borger Racing, Zeller Racing, and Miller/Eisenhour Racing for donating the bikes and making eleven young race fans very happy.
This Saturday, dads will receive a 50% discount on their general admission tickets as Clyde Martin Memorial Speedway salutes Fathers Day. The June 15 event will feature the five weekly divisions (Hyper Racing 600 Sprints, Viper Chassis 270 Sprints, Sportsman, 250cc Four-Strokes, and 125cc) along with the season's third visit by the Restricted 600 Sprints.
Gates open at 4:30, warm-ups begin at 6 p.m., and the first heat race goes green at 7:00. Adult general admission is just $8.00, but dads will only pay half of that price in honor of Fathers Day! There are also discounts for Senior Citizens and Students, while youths between the ages of six and 12 pay just $2.00. Children under the age of six are free, and parking is always free at the Clyde!
Remarkable racing this past Saturday and a great deal for dads means you've just gotta come out and LIVE the excitement that is Lanco on June 15!
Hyper Racing 600 Sprints (25 Laps): 1.Mike Rutherford, 2.Nash Ely, 3.Jerek Hook, 4.Jesse Snyder, 5.Kyle Spence, 6.Austin Quick, 7.Aaron Bollinger, 8.Ryan Groff, 9.Bradley Brown, 10.Brian Kramer, 11.James Morris, 12.Ryan Greth, 13.Chris Panczner, 14.Brent Ely, 15.Jesse Maurer, 16.Chris Gerhart, 17.Heath Hehnly, 18.Shaun Brandel, 19.Brooklyn Gable, 20.Zach Light, 21.Kassidy Michael, 22.Will Urkuski, 23.Kyler Heiney, 24.Jarid Kunkle.
DNQ: Don Hess, Holden Eckman, Mark Yoder, Ryan Hook, Greg Stevens, Chelsey Moore.
Viper Chassis 270 Feature (25 Laps): 1.Jason Swavely, 2.Nick Skias, 3.Mike Rutherford, 4.Dan Lane Jr., 5.Mike Skias, 6.TJ Greve, 7.Corey Schmuck Jr., 8.Billy Logeman, 9.Bradley Brown, 10.Toby Blumenshine, 11.Patrick Kirn, 12.Andrew Dietrich, 13.Denny Rinehimer, 14.Christi Sweigart, 15.Zak Vickers, 16.Austin Graby, 17.Mike Uhrich, 18.Trent Eberhart, 19.Anthony Yerger, 20.Josh Stoyer, 21.Heath Hehnly, 22.Kyle Spence, 23.Nate Gibble, 24.Mike Miller.
DNQ: Olivia Thayer, Josh Ohlinger, Jonah Meck, Brian Boyer.
Sportsman Feature (25 Laps): 1.Nick Skias, 2.Charles Hellinger, 3.Patrick Kirn, 4.Kyler Heiney, 5.Mike Kreiser, 6.Clinton Hauser, 7.Robert Shanaman, 8.David Ravel, 9.Isaac Graby, 10.Jamie Flickinger, 11.Steve Smith Sr., 12.Sam Borger, 13.Ryan Heckman, 14.Brittany Zeller, 15.Noah Merkey, 16.Jeremy Eisenhour, 17.Cody Riehl. DNS: Dennis Fenstermacher. DQ: Nate Gibble.
250cc Four-Stroke Feature (25 Laps): 1.Marty Brian, 2.Jim Harrington, 3.Tommy Phipps Jr., 4.Alex Lukacs, 5.Eddie Nocera, 6.Jessica Moore, 7.Jenna Heagy, 8.Ron Young, 9.Ron Wechter, 10.Dylan Yiengst, 11.TJ Greve, 12.Riley Simmons. DNS: Zachary Young.
125cc Feature (25 Laps): 1.Cliff Brian Jr., 2.Kerry Lengle, 3.Mike Miller, 4.Kyler Heiney, 5.Mike Glass, 6.Holden Eckman, 7.Kenny Bushey, 8.Barbie Eichorn, 9.Chase Layser, 10.Kassidy Michael, 11.Brandon Gibble, 12.Tyler Martin, 13.RJ Rossi, 14.Matt Kreider, 15.AJ Gerhart, 16.Jimmy Wampole. DNS: Terry Ellex.