Heath Hehnly and Tommy Phipps Jr. proved they were as hot as the weather on Saturday night, as each throttle-jockey earned his third consecutive triumph at Lanco's Clyde Martin Memorial Speedway.
On Viper Chassis Back To School Night, Hehnly won again (his third straight and fourth overall) in the Hyper Racing 600 Sprints, while Phipps notched his second and third in a row in two features for the 250cc Four-Strokes. Mike Rutherford registered his fourth victory of the season in the Viper Chassis 270 Sprints, and Nate Gibble became a first time winner in the Sportsman Class. Patrick Kirn won the second feature of the night for the Sportsman, and Holden Eckman scored his first win of the season in the 125cc division. Jayson Conover won the U6SA Restricted 600cc race.
A total of 28 backpacks, each filled with school supplies, were given out to lucky youngsters in the audience. The Lanco club thanks all those who donated backpacks and Kim Glass of Kim's Kreations, who supplied the items inside each backpack.
Club officials pushed back Saturday's starting time due to the extremely hot weather, and a lot of racing was accomplished in the (approximately) 3-3/4 hour show. Eight main events were run off along with qualifying events for the six divisions that comprised the Viper Chassis sponsored program.
In the 25-lapper for the Hyper Racing 600's, race leader Mark Yoder had considerable difficulty navigating his way past some slower traffic when he caught the back of the pack. Ryan Groff and Heath Hehnly closed the gap in rapid fashion, bringing Chris Panczner and Mike Rutherford with them. Hehnly, the Manheim hot shoe, slid Groff for the runner-up spot at the halfway point. One circuit later, Hehnly ducked under Yoder in turn one to grab the lead. Once out front, Hehnly opened a fairly comfortable advantage over the battle for second between Groff, Rutherford, Panczner, and Jered Hook.
At the finish, it was Hehnly in for the win, his third straight and fourth of the season. Groff hung on for runner-up money, with point leader Rutherford crossing the stripe in third. Panczner and J. Hook completed the top five.
600cc heat wins went to Shaun Brandel, Groff, and Yoder. Will Urkuski won the consolation race.
The Viper Chassis 270 Sprint feature came down to a three-driver scrum for the win. Mike Skias and the visiting Mason Peters battled all race long, with Skias maintaining the point by running the top side and Peters constantly diving under him in the corners. Mike Rutherford lurked in third, looking for his opportunity to strike. On the 14th trip around the oval, the trio stacked up three-wide for the top spot, with M. Skias again forging ahead as they blasted onto the backstretch. Peters and Rutherford touched wheels, forcing Peters slightly out of shape and giving Rutherford the runner-up slot in a situation that was just good, hard racing. Rutherford, from Lebanon, PA, now set his sights on the leader, fighting with M. Skias for a few laps until he gassed his No. 5k past Skias to snare the lead on the 18th revolution.
Skias and Peters duked it out for second over the remaining laps as Rutherford zipped away to the victory, his first 270 win since May 26. Mike Skias wound up second with Peters turning in a great performance by finishing third. Andrew Dietrich and Bobby Butler were fourth and fifth, respectively.
Dietrich, Rutherford, and Peters were 270 heat race winners. Toby Blumenshine was given credit for the consolation win (only six cars showed up for the consi so, with all six qualifying, the event was checkered on the pace lap).
Lititz, PA chauffeur Nate Gibble recorded his very first Clyde Martin Speedway triumph when he led all 25 tours of the regularly scheduled Sportsman feature. Gibble roared out to a sizable lead, leaving Clinton Hauser, point leader Mike Kreiser, Cameron Bellinger, and Nick Skias to scuffle for positions second through fifth, with last week's winner David Ravel and Patrick Kirn joining in the fun as well.
Gibble romped to victory over Kreiser, with Hauser placing third. Nick Skias, who elected to start last (19th), wound up fourth and Ravel rounded out the top five.
Sportsman heat winners included Bret Cronrath and Cameron Bellinger.
In the 25-lapper that was rained out on June 29, Patrick Kirn notched his first win of the season after it appeared, for a while, that Gibble just might get out the broom and sweep the Sportsman features. Gibble set the pace for the first 15 jaunts around the clay as Kirn dueled with Jeremy Eisenhour for second position. Kirn got by Eisenhour on lap eight, then ran down the leader and stalked his prey for a few circuits before making his move. Kirn ducked under Gibble's No. N8 in turns one and two, then accelerated into the lead as they rumbled onto the back chute.
With Kirn dashing into the distance, a three-car tussle for runner-up honors ensued between Gibble, Clinton Hauser, and Mike Kreiser. With two to go, the cars of Hauser and Gibble became hooked together on the backstretch, finally separating in turn three and resulting in a spin by Gibble. On the restart, Kirn again took off, winning handily over Hauser, who now has three consecutive top-three finishes. Kreiser, who's also been on the podium in the last three Sportsman mains, ended up third ahead of Eisenhour and Robert Shanaman.
Lancaster's Tommy Phipps Jr. had himself a big night on Saturday, winning his 250cc Four-Stroke heat race, the regularly scheduled main, and the make-up feature that was postponed by rain on June 29.
Phipps jumped to the lead at the outset of the regularly scheduled Four-Stroke 25-lapper, holding off the hard charging Brian brothers, Marty and Cliff Jr. The siblings battled one another for second while Phipps danced ahead of them by several car lengths. Cliff Jr. used lapped traffic to pass his younger brother for the runner-up spot, then both Brians ate up the real estate between themselves and the leader as Phipps was slowed by traffic when he caught the rear of the field. A yellow with ten to go gave Phipps clear race track once again, and he made the most of it, pulling away as the brothers Brian resumed their fight for second. Marty returned the favor by utilizing a couple of lapped cars as a "pick" to move back around his older sibling and reclaim second place. He closed on Phipps in a hurry during the final few revolutions, but Tommy held him off to secure his second straight Four-Stroke victory. Marty Brian, Cliff Brian Jr., Zach Young, and Alex Lukacs made up the rest of the top five.
Marty Brian and Phipps were victorious in the pair of Four-Stroke heat races.
In the 25-lap make-up from June 29, Marty Brian shot by pole sitter Jessica Moore as the green waved - and he did it on three occasions - but his moves were negated by caution flags each time. When the race finally got going, it was Tommy Phipps Jr. grabbing the point from Moore on the third trip around the clay, with Marty Brian taking over the runner-up position on lap four. Phipps built a huge lead and never let M. Brian get close enough to challenge. Phipps rambled to his third consecutive Four-Stroke triumph over M. Brian, Riley Simmons, Ron Wechter, and Jessica Moore.
Holden Eckman, Landisville, PA, wired the 125cc field to record his first feature win of the season. Behind Eckman, however, there was a mad scramble for the rest of the top five positions between Brandon Gibble, Cliff Brian Jr., Kerry Lengle, Justin Harrington, and Mike Glass. Harrington, who had not competed at the Clyde for a couple of years, shook off the rust very quickly as he sliced his way through the pack. He worked past C. Brian, then picked off Gibble to take second. Eckman was too far out front by that time, though, and Harrington had to be satisfied with a runner-up effort as he chased Eckman to the checkered. B. Gibble, C. Brian, and RJ Rossi completed the first five finishers.
Eckman also won the lone heat race for the 125cc competitors.
Jayson Conover, from Sewell, NJ, won the feature for the U6SA Restricted 600 Sprints.
This Saturday, July 27, is one of the biggest races of the year for Lanco club members. It's the Clyde Martin Memorial Race presented by Gold Rush Trailer Sales, with 35-lap features for all five of the weekly divisions. Each main event also awards double-points, and the long standing tradition of the large Memorial Race trophy being handed down each season from the previous year's winner to this year's victorious driver. If a driver can win the Memorial Race three times (in one class), then he or she gets to keep the prestigious trophy and a new one is ordered for the following season. The Memorial Race is open to Lanco members only, and club members must have entered (at least) five of this season's point-paying events in order to be eligible.
Gates will open at 4:30 p.m. Warm-ups get underway at 6:00 and the first heat race goes green at 7:00. Additional details and information is available at www.clydemartinspeedway.com and on social media at Facebook.com/Clyde Martin Memorial Speedway. The Twitter handle is @LancoCMMS.
Hyper Racing 600 Sprints, 25 Laps: 1.Heath Hehnly, 2.Ryan Groff, 3.Mike Rutherford, 4.Chris Panczner, 5.Jered Hook, 6.Brian Kramer, 7.Brent Ely, 8.Jarid Kunkle, 9.Austin Quick, 10.Jesse Snyder, 11.Mark Yoder, 12.Zach Light, 13.Ryan Hook, 14.Chris Good, 15.Holden Eckman, 16.Jesse Maurer, 17.Shaun Brandel, 18.Aidan Borden, 19.Bradley Brown, 20.Jim Radney, 21.Jason Swavely, 22.Aaron Bollinger, 23.Will Urkuski, 24.Chris Gerhart.
DNQ: Becca LaMothe, Chelsey Moore, Brittany Trogdon, Dale Trogdon, Don Hess.
Viper Chassis 270 Sprints, 25 Laps: 1.Mike Rutherford, 2.Mike Skias, 3.Mason Peters, 4.Andrew Dietrich, 5.Bobby Butler, 6.Josh Stoyer, 7.Bradley Brown, 8.Billy Logeman, 9.Heath Hehnly, 10.Christi Sweigart, 11.Dan Lane Jr., 12.Jarrett Imler, 13.Toby Blumenshine, 14.Patrick Kirn, 15.Corey Schmuck Jr., 16.Zak Vickers, 17.Nate Gibble, 18.Adam Harnish, 19.Anthony Yerger, 20.Nick Skias, 21.Ben Layser, 22.Olivia Thayer, 23.Mike Boyer, 24.Trent Eberhart.
DNQ: Jonah Meck.
Sportsman Feature, 25 Laps: 1.Nate Gibble, 2.Mike Kreiser, 3.Clinton Hauser, 4.Nick Skias, 5.Dave Ravel, 6.Patrick Kirn, 7.Deana Cogdill, 8.Ava Bellinger, 9.Jeremy Eisenhour, 10.Bret Cronrath, 11.Charles Hellinger, 12.Robert Shanaman, 13.Steve Smith Sr., 14.Sam Borger, 15.Dennis Fenstermacher, 16.Anthony Yerger, 17.Jamie Flickinger, 18.Brittany Zeller, 19.Noah Merkey. DQ: Cameron Bellinger.
Sportsman Feature (Postponed on June 29), 25 Laps: 1.Patrick Kirn, 2.Clinton Hauser, 3.Mike Kreiser, 4.Jeremy Eisenhour, 5.Robert Shanaman, 6.Brittany Zeller, 7.Nate Gibble, 8.Dennis Fenstermacher, 9.Charles Hellinger, 10.Sam Borger, 11.Jamie Flickinger, 12.Noah Merkey.
250cc Four-Stroke Feature, 25 Laps: 1.Tommy Phipps Jr., 2.Marty Brian, 3.Cliff Brian Jr., 4.Zach Young, 5.Alex Lukacs, 6.Ron Wechter, 7.Jessica Moore, 8.Riley Simmons, 9.Dylan Yiengst, 10.Ron Young, 11.Eddie Nocera, 12.Jenna Heagy, 13.Jared St. John.
250cc Four-Stroke Feature (Postponed on June 29), 25 Laps: 1.Tommy Phipps Jr., 2.Marty Brian, 3.Riley Simmons, 4.Ron Wechter, 5.Jessica Moore, 6.Jenna Heagy, 7.Zach Young, 8.Ron Young, 9.Alex Lukacs, 10.Eddie Nocera, 11.Dylan Yiengst. DNS: Jim Harrington, Jared St. John.
125cc Feature, 25 Laps: 1.Holden Eckman, 2.Justin Harrington, 3.Brandon Gibble, 4.Cliff Brian Jr., 5.RJ Rossi, 6.Kerry Lengle, 7.Mike Glass, 8.Chase Layser, 9.Tyler Martin.
U6SA Restricted 600 Sprints, 10 Laps: 1.Jayson Conover. DNS: Logan Rumsey.