He's won numerous 270cc and 125cc features, along with four point titles in the 125cc division. Until Saturday night, however, Jesse Maurer had never captured a Hyper Racing 600 Sprint checkered flag at Lanco's Clyde Martin Memorial Speedway.
Maurer made his car work on the bottom, and the low groove propelled him to victory in the regularly scheduled 600 Sprint main at the Clyde. In the 25-lapper that was postponed from June 29, Aaron Bollinger his strong mid-summer run by beating Maurer to the stripe for his second triumph of the season.
Jason Swavely was the Viper Chassis 270 Sprint winner, while Mike Kreiser added to his point lead by racing to his third Sportsman victory of the year. Tommy Phipps Jr. recorded his fourth win in the past month in the 250cc Four-Stroke class, and Holden Eckman triumphed for the second time this season in the 125cc class.
This Saturday, August 17, is Ice Cream Night at Clyde Martin Memorial Speedway. All of the young race fans in attendance will receive some free ice cream while they watch a five division card of the best winged Micro Sprint racing east of the Mississippi. The Hyper Racing 600's, the Viper Chassis 270's, Sportsman, 250cc Four-Strokes, and 125cc racers will compete in qualifying heats, consolations, and 25-lap features as the chase(s) for the 2019 championships head into the final month of the season. Gates will open at 4:30 on Saturday, with warm-ups beginning at 6 p.m. The first heat race goes green at 7:00.
Jered Hook bolted into the early lead in the regularly scheduled main for the Hyper Racing 600 Sprints on August 10. Nash Ely went from fourth to second on lap two and began to harass Hook for the top spot. Maurer and Ryan Groff joined the fray. Heath Hehnly, who entered the evening's program just 12 points behind standings leader Mike Rutherford, caught the cushion in turn one, just three tours into the 25-lapper, and flipped wildly. Hehnly was uninjured but knocked out of the race.
With Hook and N. Ely fighting for the lead, Maurer went to work in the low lane. "I just wasn't any good up high or in the middle, so I tried the bottom," said Maurer afterward. "I adjusted the car until I got it pretty good down there, and it worked out pretty well."
Maurer relentlessly pounded the inside line, slipping past N. Ely and then, after several laps and countless attempts, finally got by Hook to snare the top spot with seven circuits remaining. The Ephrata driver sped away over the final laps to win handily, but the battle for second went right down to the wire as Aaron Bollinger forged a late race charge of his own. Bollinger went top shelf, stuffing his No. 16a in the smallest of openings between Hook and the outside guardrail on the final revolution. With N. Ely on the inside and Hook up high, Bollinger found enough daylight against the fence to nip Hook for runner-up honors by 0.054-seconds. Hook narrowly beat Nash Ely for third place money, while N. Ely and Groff completed the top five.
The 600 Sprint make-up feature from June 29 was the final race of the night, and it became a story of role-reversal. Birdsboro, PA racer Aaron Bollinger, runner-up in the first feature, blasted the clay in the high groove, zipping from his tenth-starting position to run third by the time lap seven was scored. Jesse Maurer, trying for his second victory of the night, was leading after passing Don Hess for the point on the second trip around the oval.
Bollinger rolled the top to secure second place from Mike Rutherford at the halfway mark, then set his sights on the race leader. With Maurer's No. 3 firmly planted in the low groove and Bollinger rippin' the lip up top, the two young wheel-twisters waged a terrific duel for the win. Bollinger's perseverance finally paid off, as he nudged his car in front of Maurer's off each corner. Bollinger then went to the bottom to take away Maurer's preferred line, and he went on to register his second triumph of the season, following up on his big win in the Clyde Martin Memorial Race on July 27.
Maurer wound up second and Rutherford completed a good, solid points night by finishing third. Jered Hook took the checkered in fourth and Brent Ely was fifth. A massive effort that involved friends and competitors alike saw Hehnly's No. 5 put back together and ready for battle in the make up feature. Hehnly steered it to a sixth-place finish.
Fleetwood, PA's Jason Swavely muscled to the inside of Danny Lane Jr. to grab the lead on a restart with eight circuits complete in the Viper Chassis 270 main event. Nick Skias took up the chase of Swavely and then Rutherford moved into second at the halfway point, but Swavely would not be denied on this night. He drove to his first 270 win of the year at Clyde Martin, dashing under the checkered flag by one-second over Rutherford. Lane settled for third and Andrew Dietrich rambled from 21st on the starting grid to finish fourth. Christi Sweigart survived an almost race-long duel with Trent Eberhart to end up fifth with Eberhart an impressive sixth.
Sportsman point leader Mike Kreiser, from Jonestown, PA, won two races early in the season, then focused on producing top five efforts on a consistent basis to strengthen his lead in the championship standings. On Saturday night, though, a pole position start had him thinking about another visit to victory lane, and he made it happen.
Kreiser held off a strong bid by Patrick Kirn to notch his third triumph of the year. Even though Kirn closed in on the leader in lapped traffic, the slew of lapped cars actually helped Kreiser as he weaved through them with relative ease while Kirn was held up a bit by the traffic.
Kreiser flew under the checkered to win by a few car lengths over Kirn, with Clinton Hauser rounding out the podium. Dave Grube, the former Lanco 125cc standout who is now a 305 Sprint Car driver, returned to the Clyde and finished fourth in Jeremy Eisenhour's car. Nate Gibble filled out the top five.
Tommy Phipps Jr. charged from fourth to first on the opening tour of the 250cc Four-Stroke feature. Even when six-time winner Marty Brian motored into the runner-up slot, Phipps remained firmly in command of the 25-lap main. The Phipps & Son Auto and Truck Repair No. 38 had its three-race win streak ended by M. Brian in the Clyde Martin Memorial Race, but started a new streak on Saturday as Phipps won his fourth of the season over M. Brian, Alex Lukacs, Justin Harrington, and Riley Simmons.
Holden Eckman led all the way to win his second feature in the last three races for the 125cc competitors. Marty Brian, Justin Harrington, and Mike Glass diced for positions two through four before Glass claimed the spot and began to hound Eckman for the lead. Eckman held him off, going on to win by just more than a half-second over Glass, with Harrington racing home third. Terry Ellex finished fourth and M. Brian wound up fifth.
Hyper Racing 600 Sprints, 25 Laps: 1.Jesse Maurer, 2.Aaron Bollinger, 3.Jered Hook, 4.Nash Ely, 5.Ryan Groff, 6.Brent Ely, 7.Buddy Schweibinz, 8.Jesse Snyder, 9.Chris Gerhart, 10.Mike Rutherford, 11.Bradley Brown, 12.Christian Bruno, 13.Chris Panczner, 14.Holden Eckman, 15.Brian Kramer, 16.Michael Thompson, 17.Will Urkuski, 18.Don Hess, 19.Ryan Hook, 20.Chelsey Moore, 21.Kameron Morral, 22.Heath Hehnly.
Hyper Racing 600 Sprints (Postponed on June 29), 25 Laps: 1.Aaron Bollinger, 2.Jesse Maurer, 3.Mike Rutherford, 4.Jered Hook, 5.Brent Ely, 6.Heath Hehnly, 7.Ryan Groff, 8.Chris Gerhart, 9.Chris Panczner, 10.Will Urkuski, 11.Brian Kramer, 12.Holden Eckman, 13.Don Hess, 14.Chelsey Moore, 15.Bradley Brown.
Viper Chassis 270 Sprints, 25 Laps: 1.Jason Swavely, 2.Mike Rutherford, 3.Dan Lane Jr., 4.Andrew Dietrich, 5.Christi Sweigart, 6.Trent Eberhart, 7.Mike Uhrich, 8.Mike Skias, 9.Bradley Brown, 10.Toby Blumenshine, 11.Billy Logeman, 12.Zak Vickers, 13.Jesse Smith, 14.Isaac Graby, 15.Jonah Meck, 16.Nick Skias, 17.Jarrett Imler, 18.Heath Hehnly, 19.TJ Greve, 20.Mike Miller, 21.Patrick Kirn, 22.Nate Gibble, 23.Kyle Weiss, 24.Corey Schmuck Jr.
DNQ: RJ Rossi, Olivia Thayer, Katelyn Vragovich, Adam Harnish, Anthony Yerger, Dave Labe.
Sportsman Feature, 25 Laps: 1.Mike Kreiser, 2.Patrick Kirn, 3.Clinton Hauser, 4.Dave Grube, 5.Nate Gibble, 6.Robert Shanaman, 7.Sam Borger, 8.Noah Merkey, 9.Ryan Heckman, 10.Courtney Kupp, 11.Dennis Fenstermacher, 12.Jamie Flickinger, 13.Charles Hellinger, 14.Steve Smith Sr. DNS: Brittany Zeller.
250cc Four-Stroke Feature, 25 Laps: 1.Tommy Phipps Jr., 2.Marty Brian, 3.Alex Lukacs, 4.Justin Harrington, 5.Riley Simmons, 6.Dylan Yeingst, 7.Zachary Young, 8.Jessica Moore, 9.Ron Wechter, 10.Ron Young, 11.Jenna Heagy, 12.Eddie Nocera, 13.Jared St. John, 14.Cliff Brian Jr.
125cc Feature, 25 Laps: 1.Holden Eckman, 2.Mike Glass, 3.Justin Harrington, 4.Terry Ellex, 5.Marty Brian, 6.Kerry Lengle, 7.Richie Hartman, 8.Chase Layser, 9.Mike Miller, 10.RJ Rossi, 11.Kayla Fetter, 12.Cliff Brian Jr., 13.Tyler Martin, 14.Shane Davis, 15.Andrew Hackart, 16.AJ Gerhart, 17.Brandon Gibble, 18.Corey Schmuck, 19.Jimmy Wampole.