Heath Hehnly drove to his second straight (and third overall) victory of the season in Saturday night's 25-lap main event for the Hyper Racing 600 Sprints at Lanco's Clyde Martin Memorial Speedway.
On Kids Night presented by 600cc Performance, Nick Skias recorded his first Viper Chassis 270 Sprint victory of the year in a race that was made up after being rained out on June 29. In the regularly scheduled 270 main, the "Hartly Hurricane", TJ Greve, picked up the win. David Ravel triumphed in the Sportsman feature, while Tommy Phipps Jr. became the first driver without the last name of Brian to win a 250cc Four-Stroke feature in 2019. And Cliff Brian Jr. registered a pair of victories on Saturday, winning the June 29 rained out feature for 125cc racers, then also topping the regularly scheduled 125cc main.
A large number of young race fans turned out for Kids Night, and they were treated to many activities including: Chalk the Blocks (sponsored by Newzvroom.com and Justin Grosz); Slime-making presented by Kim's Kreations and Kayla Glass; face painting by Reanimated Art Tatoo Studios; the Kramer Racing Penny Scramble sponsored by Hyper Racing; and approximately 75 raffle prizes were given out as part of the Kids Night festivities. In addition, the Honeybrook Quarter-Midgets had a display set up and several Quarter-Midget racers took to the speedway in an exhibition run.
This Saturday, July 20, is Back to School Night at the Clyde. School students will be eligible to win backpacks, stuffed with school supplies, and fans will be treated to a tremendous bargain for their entertainment dollar. NINE big main events are on the menu - at the regular admission price - as the program kicks off with make-up features (rained out on June 29) for the Hyper Racing 600's, Sportsman, and 250cc Four-Strokes. A full slate of qualifying heats, consolations, and 25-lap features will follow for the five weekly divisions, and the Restricted 600 Sprints are also on the card.
Saturday's Hyper Racing 600 feature saw Heath Hehnly, from Manheim, PA, dash from his pole position starting spot to lead all 25 trips around the clay, but it took a couple of timely cautions to prevent serious challenges from Holden Eckman and Mike Rutherford.
Hehnly caught the back of the pack within the first ten circuits, and Eckman was quick to close in as the leader got hung up in traffic. But a yellow flag provided clear track in front of the leaders, and Hehnly jumped out to another comfortable advantage, leaving Eckman to defend his runner-up slot against the advances of Rutherford, Aaron Bollinger, and Chris Panczner.
With Rutherford now in second and the 25-lapper winding down, Hehnly again found himself mired in lapped traffic and Rutherford, a six-time winner in the 600 Sprints this season, ready to pounce. But the yellow flag appeared again, wiping the track clean for the race leader, and Hehnly took off on the restart. He went on to win his second in a row and third of the season by three-quarters of a second over Rutherford, with Bollinger holding off Panczner, who started 18th, for the final spot on the podium. Jesse Maurer wound up fifth.
Wernersville's Nick Skias utilized a great starting spot - the pole - to lead all the way in the postponed feature (from June 29) for the Viper Chassis 270 Sprints. Mike Rutherford, TJ Greve, and Bradley Brown chased Skias while battling one another for the runner-up spot. Rutherford, who would compete in a total of four features during the night and finish second in all of them, pulled up to the leader's tail tank as the top two negotiated heavy lapped traffic in the middle stages of the 25-lap affair. A caution flag with ten to go provided relief for Skias, however, and his No. 3s motored away on the restart. Skias went on to win by a comfortable margin over Rutherford. Brown emerged from an enjoyable slide-fest with Greve to finish third, with Greve and Corey Schmuck Jr. rounding out the top five.
In the regularly scheduled 270cc main, TJ Greve, from Hartly, Delaware, won his second race of the season. Greve scored the win in the wingless season opener back in April, so Saturday's triumph was his first in winged competition at the Clyde in 2019. He flew to a commanding lead in the early going, then encountered quite a bit of traffic as he caught the rear of the field. Bradley Brown and Rutherford took the opportunity to close in, but Greve sliced through the pack and used the lapping of cars to his advantage. He opened a several car-length cushion over Brown, who gave up the runner-up position to Rutherford on a restart with just a few laps remaining.
Greve charged to the victory, dedicating the win to long-time fan Fred Jackson, who passed away just after the '19 season began. Jackson's widow was in attendance and came to victory lane to celebrate with Greve and his family. Rutherford settled for second once again, with Brown, Dan Lane Jr., and Patrick Kirn making up the top five.
David Ravel, from Reading, PA, maneuvered from seventh to third in the first few revolutions of the Sportsman feature. He slipped past Charles Hellinger for the runner-up spot just past halfway, then roared off the top side of turn four to grab the lead from Mike Kreiser with ten to go. A caution period with six to go did nothing to deter Ravel's drive to victory, as he took the checkered flag by 1.5-seconds over Kreiser to notch his first victory of the year. Clinton Hauser posted a third place effort, and Patrick Kirn held off Jeremy Eisenhour for fourth.
The 250cc Four-Strokes ran the second-to-last feature of the program, but they provided the most thrilling finish of the entire night. Tommy Phipps Jr. started dead last in the 14-car field, but ended the 25-lapper in the winner's circle. And he did it with an exciting, nail-biting jaunt around the top, picking off car after car until he found himself in second place on the 11th tour.
Phipps trailed race leader Mike Rutherford, who was driving Jim Harrington's No. 76 on Saturday. Phipps nipped at the heels of the leader, attempting to pull alongside on several occasions. They took the white flag in side-by-side fashion, then Phipps nosed ahead on the backstretch, smartly using a lapped car as a pick to hold off Rutherford. He maintained a slight advantage off turn four, taking the checkered flag by a scant 0.194-seconds over Rutherford, with talented rookie Alex Lukacs posting a third place finish. Marty Brian, the division's big winner this year, settled for fourth and Zach Young completed the top five.
The evening began with a make-up race for the 125cc competitors. Ephrata's Cliff Brian Jr. passed Mike Glass for the lead with five circuits scored, then rumbled to a 5.5-second triumph over runner-up AJ Gerhart. Two-time winner Kerry Lengle took third place cash, with Kassidy Michael and Holden Eckman rounding out the top five.
Brian also won the regularly scheduled feature for the 125cc racers, but his second win of the night definitely ranked higher on the degree of difficulty scale.
Mike Miller darted past Brandon Gibble to snatch the top spot on lap eight. C. Brian caught the leader as Miller slowed to deal with lapped traffic, but a yellow with seven to go relieved the leaders of that traffic and also produced a race-changing restart. As they took the green at the restart cone and charged through turns three and four, Gibble blasted to the inside of Miller and Brian. The trio raced three-wide out of the fourth corner, with Miller stuck in the middle between Gibble and Brian in a wheel-rubbing scuffle on the homestretch. Miller suddenly slowed and headed for the infield, bringing out the yellow once again and handing the top spot to Brian.
Cliff went on to win his fourth of the year in winged 125cc competition (he runs his Four-Stroke against the 125's), and AJ Gerhart passed Gibble last in the race to finish runner-up to Brian for the second time on Saturday night. Gibble completed the podium with Kerry Lengle and Mike Glass finishing fourth and fifth, respectively.
NINE feature races highlight the July 20 agenda on Back to School Night this Saturday, and then it's the big one for Lanco members on Saturday, July 27. The annual Clyde Martin Memorial Race, featuring 35-lap main events for all five classes, double-points, and the tradition of the big trophies being passed from last year's winners to this year's triumphant drivers, takes place on the 27th and it is presented once again by Gold Rush Trailer Sales.
Coming up on August 3rd is the USAC NOS Energy Drink National Midget Championship Series in Battleground Lanco, Part IV. Joining the mighty midgets that night will be the Hyper Racing 600 Speedweek Series presented by 600cc Performance. Advance General Admission tickets are on sale for the August 3rd event, with advance ticket holders granted entrance to the bleachers one full hour before everyone else, plus access to the pit area prior to hot laps. Details on ordering advance tickets are available on the speedway's website: www.clydemartinspeedway.com.
Hyper Racing 600 Sprints, 25 Laps: 1.Heath Hehnly, 2.Mike Rutherford, 3.Aaron Bollinger, 4.Chris Panczner, 5.Jesse Maurer, 6.Holden Eckman, 7.Jesse Snyder, 8.Ryan Groff, 9.Jarid Kunkle, 10.Ryan Greth, 11.Jered Hook, 12.Donald Hess, 13.Bradley Brown, 14.Ryan Hook, 15.Brian Kramer, 16.Jeff Stelter, 17.Justin Grosz, 18.Zach Light, 19.Chris Gerhart, 20.Mark Yoder, 21.Jeremy Harshman, 22.Steven Snyder, 23.Troy Pennington, 24.Will Urkuski.
DNQ: Christian Bruno, Fred Heinly, Kassidy Michael, Chelsey Moore.
Viper Chassis 270 Sprints, 25 Laps (Postponed from June 29): 1.Nick Skias, 2.Mike Rutherford, 3.Bradley Brown, 4.TJ Greve, 5.Corey Schmuck Jr., 6.Andrew Dietrich, 7.Patrick Kirn, 8.Mike Skias, 9.Dan Lane Jr., 10.Christi Sweigart, 11.Brian Kramer, 12.Olivia Thayer, 13.Trent Eberhart, 14.Zak Vickers, 15.Kyle Spence, 16.Toby Blumenshine, 17.Nate Gibble, 18.Billy Logeman. DNS: RJ Rossi, Katelyn Vragovich.
Viper Chassis 270 Sprints, 25 Laps: 1.TJ Greve, 2.Mike Rutherford, 3.Bradley Brown, 4.Dan Lane Jr., 5.Patrick Kirn, 6.Andrew Dietrich, 7.Mike Skias, 8.Toby Blumenshine, 9.Corey Schmuck Jr., 10.Jarrett Imler, 11.Anthony Yerger, 12.Adam Harnish, 13.Nate Gibble, 14.Christi Sweigart, 15.Trent Eberhart, 16.Mike Uhrich, 17.Tajae Adams, 18.Pete Skias, 19.Heath Hehnly, 20.Billy Logeman, 21.Kalani Adams, 22.Nick Skias, 23.Mike Miller, 24.Zak Vickers. DNS: Jason Swavely.
DNQ: Connor Sheffield, Josh Ohlinger, Brian Kramer, Raymond Ohliinger, Olivia Thayer, Charles Hellinger, Jonah Meck. (Kalani Adams made feature as 1st alternate).
Sportsman Feature, 25 Laps: 1.David Ravel, 2.Mike Kreiser, 3.Clinton Hauser, 4.Patrick Kirn, 5.Jeremy Eisenhour, 6.Robert Shanaman, 7.Nate Gibble, 8.Sam Borger, 9.Bret Cronrath, 10.Jamie Flickinger, 11.Steve Smith Sr., 12.Dennis Fenstermacher, 13.Charles Hellinger, 14.Noah Merkey, 15.Anthony Yerger.
250cc Four-Stroke Feature, 25 Laps: 1.Tommy Phipps Jr., 2.Mike Rutherford, 3.Alex Lukacs, 4.Marty Brian, 5.Zach Young, 6.Riley Simmons, 7.Eddie Nocera, 8.Dylan Yeingst, 9.Jessica Moore, 10.Jenna Heagy, 11.Ron Wechter, 12.Jared St. John, 13.Janelle Dietz. DQ: Ron Young.
125cc Feature, 25 Laps (Postponed from June 29): 1.Cliff Brian Jr., 2.AJ Gerhart, 3.Kerry Lengle, 4.Kassidy Michael, 5.Holden Eckman, 6.Brandon Gibble, 7.Mike Glass, 8.RJ Rossi, 9.Chase Layser, 10.Tyler Martin, 11.Barbie Eichorn, 12.Shane Davis, 13.Kenny Bushey. DNS: Brent Shearer, TJ Greve.
125cc Feature, 25 Laps: 1.Cliff Brian Jr., 2.AJ Gerhart, 3.Brandon Gibble, 4.Kerry Lengle, 5.Mike Glass, 6.Kassidy Michael, 7.RJ Rossi, 8.Terry Ellex, 9.Holden Eckman, 10.Barbie Eichorn, 11.Chase Layser, 12.Tyler Martin, 13.Kenny Bushey, 14.Mike Miller. DNS: Shane Davis.