Graby Comes From 22nd To Win 125/4-Stroke Challenge; Logeman Is Sportsman Winner
To sum up his hard fought win in Saturday night’s 600 Sprint main, Jesse Maurer could have modified a quote from WWE superstar Stone Cold Steve Austin.
“And that’s the bottom line, cause Jesse Maurer said so...”
Maurer, from Ephrata, started the race on the top of the progressive banking, but discovered the bottom groove was the way to get by leader Jarid Kunkle as he scored his second win of the season in the Hyper Racing 600’s at Lanco’s Clyde Martin Memorial Speedway. The 30-lapper was part of Night One of the annual Labor Day Shootout, and the winged triumph was worth $1,000 to Maurer.
Joining him in the winner’s circle on Saturday were Mike Rutherford (Viper Chassis 270); Billy Logeman (Sportsman); Austin Graby (125cc/Four-Stroke Challenge); and Ben Maier (Restricted 600 Sprints).
Night Two of the Shootout, presented by Hyper Racing, takes place on Sunday, September 1, when the wings come off of the 600’s, 270’s, and combined 125cc/Four-Strokes. The All Star Slingshots are also part of the menu on Sunday. Warm-ups are scheduled for 3:45 p.m. and the first heat race goes green at 4:30.
Jarid Kunkle started on the pole of Saturday’s Hyper Racing 600 main by virtue of earning the most points in heats and Qualifier races. Maurer started third and battled Zach Light for the runner-up spot in the early stages as Kunkle maintained command of the point. Austin Quick threw a huge slide job, passing two cars in one swoop, to snare third near the halfway point, but then gave up the position to a charging Aaron Bollinger on the 16th trip around the clay.
Maurer and Bollinger caught J. Kunkle as the leader dealt with lapped traffic, and they were soon joined by Quick, Jason Swavely, and Nash Ely to create a six-car scrum for the lead in the midst of a gaggle of lapped cars.
“I ran the top early because it seemed like the bottom wasn’t really that good,” noted Maurer after the race. “But we were all up high so I had to try something in order to get by him (Kunkle). I went back to the bottom and my car was definitely working good down there. It was tricky because some of the lapped cars were running down there, too, but we were able to get past them pretty easily so it all worked out.”
With the leaders easing past the slower cars and having some clear track in front of them, Maurer launched off the bottom of turn four and shoved the nose of his No. 3 in front of Kunkle to lead lap 21. He was able to clear Kunkle’s No. 21j on the next tour, then pulled away over the final circuits to record his first 600 Sprint win in the Labor Day Shootout, and his second triumph of the season in the Clyde’s 600 Sprint division.
Kunkle was disappointed but still satisfied with his runner-up finish. “You always want to win, but we’ve been struggling big-time with this car so it feels really good to run strong and finish second,” said the Kutztown, PA resident.
Bollinger’s three-race win streak ended with his third-place finish, and 15th starter Jason Swavely wound up fourth, with Austin Quick finishing fifth.
With 42 of the 600’s on hand for NIght One of the Shootout, heat race victories went to Brenden Bright, Jim Radney, Rob Pajauis, and Bollinger. Winning the four A-Qualifier races were Nash Ely, Zach Light, Swavely, and J. Kunkle. The two B-Mains were captured by TJ Greve and Damon Paul.
Mike Rutherford started on the pole of the Viper Chassis 270 A-Main, but for a while it appeared that Nick Skias was going to claim his first Labor Day Shootout victory. Skias rolled off fifth on the starting grid and flew into second spot in the first pair of revolutions around the Clyde Martin oval. With Rutherford rolling the top, N. Skias danced around the bottom at both ends of the speedway and they were joined by Pat Bealer to make it a three-car waltz for the top spot.
When they caught the back of the pack and began lapping cars, Skias pinned Rutherford behind a slower machine and bolted into the lead on lap ten. He crossed the start/finish line as the leader just seconds before the yellow flag waved. Nick dashed away on the restart, but two tours later, his race took a dramatic turn as he spun in three and four to necessitate the fourth caution of the event. That untimely incident handed the lead back to Rutherford, who had Bealer breathing down his neck and now a high-flying TJ Greve - who was subbing for Josh Stoyer in the Viper Chassis house car - entered the picture.
With ten to go, Greve motored past Bealer for second, and he brought Jason Swavely with him. While Greve kept Rutherford in his sights, he could not get quite close enough to challenge and he was playing defense as well as he fended off the challenges by Swavely.
Rutherford gassed his No. 5k to the checkered, winning the winged 270 portion of the Shootout for the sixth time. Greve suddenly slowed and came to a stop in turn three on the final lap, allowing Swavely to grab runner-up cash and 15th-starting Andrew Dietrich to steal third-place money. Bealer faded to fourth and Nick Skias rebounded from his spin to finish fifth.
A 32-car field of 270’s competed in three heats, with wins going to Brent Shearer, Bradley Brown, and Patrick Kirn. The three A-Qualifier races were won by Rutherford, Bealer, and N. Skias. Anthony Yerger was victorious in the B-main.
The Sportsman 30-lapper was a dandy, featuring four different leaders and a host of contenders for the victory. As the checkered flag waved, though, the victory went to a driver who didn’t even know he’d be competing on Saturday night until he got a text message at 11:45 that morning.
“I got a text from Mike (Rutherford) around 11:45, asking me if I wanted to drive his Sportsman car tonight,” explained Billy Logeman in victory lane. “So this is really nice because it was totally unexpected when I woke up this morning.” Logeman also won the 270 Sprint main at Trail-Way Speedway on Friday night.
Saturday’s Sportsman feature was indeed pretty sporty, with Nate Gibble and Jeremy Eisenhour swapping the top spot over the first few laps. On a restart with five complete, Patrick Kirn went three-wide with Gibble and Eisenhour and grabbed the lead, then held it until Logeman emerged from a terrific five-car scuffle to run second and attack Kirn for the point as the race reached its halfway mark. After a four-lap side-by-side duel, Logeman edged ahead of Kirn to lead the 19th circuit. Anthony Yerger blasted past Kirn for second during the last eight laps, but Logeman had the No. 5r humming to perfection at the end, winning by 1.5-seconds over Yerger. Mike Kreiser slipped past Kirn on the final go-round to finish third, with Kirn and Charles Hellinger completing the top five.
Phil Durham and Clinton Hauser won the Sportsman heat races.
A nice field of 27 entered the combined 125cc/ 250cc Four-Stroke Challenge, and the feature was a good one.
Marty Brian, the year’s big winner and runaway point leader in the Four-Stroke Class, snatched the lead from Barbie Eichorn on the fourth trip around the clay. Marty’s older brother Cliff moved into second, then darted past his sibling to become the leader on lap 11. Everyone in the house began taking notice of a white and yellow No. 4 at this point, as Austin Graby, who started 22nd, powered his way into fourth position on lap 12. He passed Justin Harrington for third on the 13th revolution, then blasted into the runner-up slot one lap later. Graby, from Rexmont, was about to pass Cliff Brian Jr. for the lead when the caution flew with nine tours remaining. On the restart, as they worked to complete lap 22, Graby accelerated past Brian on the backstretch, then checked out over the last eight laps to win handily. Cliff Brian Jr., Justin Harrington, Mike Glass, and Richie Hartman made up the top five at the end of the 30-lap affair.
Marty Brian, Alex Lukacs, and Cliff Brian Jr. won heat races contested by the 125cc/Four-Stroke competitors.
Ben Maier, from Kent Island, MD, passed Hunter McFadden on lap six, then went on to win his first Restricted 600 Sprint feature. McFadden settled for second in the 15-lap main, while Ryan Schultz finished third.
McFadden won the Restricted 600 heat race.
Hyper Racing 600 Sprints, 30 Laps: 1.Jesse Maurer, 2.Jarid Kunkle, 3.Aaron Bollinger, 4.Jason Swavely, 5.Austin Quick, 6.Nash Ely, 7.Alex Bright, 8.Christian Bruno, 9.Heath Hehnly, 10.Chris Gerhart, 11.Will Urkuski, 12.Buddy Schweibinz, 13.Ryan Groff, 14.Damon Paul, 15.TJ Greve, 16.Chris Panczner, 17.Bradley Brown, 18.Rob Pajauis, 19.Justin Grosz, 20.Brenden Bright, 21.Nick Fauci, 22.Zach Light, 23.Ryan Kunkle, 24.Mark Yoder, 25.Charles Hunt, 26.Jesse Snyder.
DNQ: Greg Stevens, Jim Radney, Chris Good, Adrianna Delliponti, Steven Snyder, Mike Rutherford, Nick Groff, Zack Bealer, Tyler Tank, Brian Kramer, Kassidy Michael, Holden Eckman, Joey Amantea, Joe Snyder, Steve Schultz, Alex Funari.
Viper Chassis 270 Sprints, 30 Laps: 1.Mike Rutherford, 2.Jason Swavely, 3.Andrew Dietrich, 4.Pat Bealer, 5.Nick Skias, 6.Kyler Heiney, 7.Dan Lane Jr., 8.Corey Schmuck Jr., 9.Toby Blumenshine, 10.Mike Skias, 11.Anthony Yerger, 12.Jonathan John, 13.Josh Conover, 14.TJ Greve, 15.Zak Vickers, 16.Tom Landwher, 17.Tommy Rinck, 18.Jesse Smith, 19.Brittany Zeller, 20.Austin Graby, 21.Ross Perchak, 22.Brent Shearer, 23.Patrick Kirn, 24.Trent Eberhart, 25.Bradley Brown, 26.Pete Skias.
DNQ: Tyler Tank, Jonah Meck, Dave Labe, Heath Hehnly, Christi Sweigart, Lee Reinhardt.
Sportsman Micro Sprint Feature, 30 Laps: 1.Billy Logeman, 2.Anthony Yerger, 3.Mike Kreiser, 4.Patrick Kirn, 5.Charles Hellinger, 6.Nate Gibble, 7.Jeremy Eisenhour, 8.Keith Holiday, 9.Isaac Graby, 10.Clinton Hauser, 11.Dennis Fenstermacher, 12.Jamie Flickinger, 13.Ronald Ford, 14.Courtney Kupp, 15.Sam Borger, 16.Princess Paige, 17.Steve Smith Sr., 18.Robert Pierce, 19.Phil Durham, 20.Matt Andrews.
125cc/Four-Stroke Challenge, 30 Laps: 1.Austin Graby, 2.Cliff Brian Jr., 3.Justin Harrington, 4.Mike Glass, 5.Richie Hartman, 6.Brandon Gibble, 7.Alex Lukacs, 8.Tyler Martin, 9.RJ Rossi, 10.Steve Simmons, 11.Barbie Eichorn, 12.Riley Simmons, 13.Tommy Phipps Jr., 14.Chase Layser, 15.Dylan Yeingst, 16.Will Watson, 17.Jeremy Eisenhour, 18.Ron Wechter, 19.Zachary Young, 20.Marty Brian, 21.Eddie Nocera, 22.Jimmy Wampole, 23.Ron Young, 24.Kerry Lengle, 25.Nate Gibble. DNS: Holden Eckman, Rod St. John.
Restricted 600 Micro Sprints, 15 Laps: 1.Ben Maier, 2.Hunter McFadden, 3.Ryan Schultz.