Graby Wins Again In 125/4-Stroke Challenge; Carraghan Is Slingshot Winner
Simply put, it was an instant classic; a finish that will undoubtedly be viewed thousands of times as the streaming highlight video is played over and over, again and again...
Kyle Spence threw a monster slide job in turns three and four - on the final lap - then barely held off Alex Bright to win Sunday night’s Hyper Racing Wingless 600 Sprint main as part of Lanco’s Labor Day Shootout at Clyde Martin Memorial Speedway.
Mike Rutherford made it a clean sweep of the Shootout’s Viper Chassis 270cc A-Mains, capping his weekend with a victory in the wingless 270 headliner after winning the winged feature on Saturday night. And Austin Graby duplicated Rutherford’s feat by capturing the wingless 125cc/250cc Four-Stroke Challenge after also winning the winged version on Saturday. Sunday’s All Star Slingshot feature went to Dave Carraghan from Emmaus, PA.
Kyle Spence took the green in Sunday’s wingless 600 main from the outside of row three, quickly threading his way forward as pole sitter Jarid Kunkle diced with Christian Bruno for the lead. A couple of early restarts aided Spence on his way to the front, and he found himself in the runner-up position with just six revolutions in the books. Just as he did in a 600 Speedweek triumph on August 3rd, Spence tip-toed around the bottom as he challenged Kunkle for the top spot. Spence wrestled the lead from Kunkle on lap 14 and one circuit later Alex Bright, who had fallen back several positions on the initial start, weaved his way back to second place.
The epic battle for the $1,000 victory was now fully engaged, as Bright began throwing slide job after slide job on race leader Spence. It was an absolute slide-fest from laps 22 through 26, when it appeared that Spence may have cost himself the win as he skated up the banking in turn two and Bright shot under him to grab the point. Bright got away from Spence by several car lengths but a yellow flag, just after they completed the 26th trip around the clay, put the Bear, DE driver back on Bright’s tail tank. On the restart, Bright motored away again and, as they took the white flag, it certainly seemed as though Spence had too much ground to make up in order to challenge Bright for the win. But Spence was not about to give up; as they charged down the backstretch and entered turn three, he blasted to the bottom lane and executed a giant slider. Drifting up in front of Bright, the rear tires on Spence’s No. 59 somehow found the grip they needed to launch him off turn four. Bright came digging off the bottom of the corner, and the drag race to the finish line went to Spence by the narrowest of margins...the difference at the stripe was 0.068-seconds, or about 24” as they took the checkered.
“I knew it was coming, but he didn’t show me his nose in one and two,” said Bright afterward. “So I was definitely expecting it in three and four, and he pulled it off. I would have done the exact same thing. Congratulations to Kyle; that was one heckuva move.”
Spence simply said, “I had to give it a shot. I wasn’t sure if I was too far back or not, but I knew I had to try it. The slider worked to put me in front of him, and then I found just enough moisture up there to get the bite I needed to get off the corner. It sure was exciting from my seat,” he grinned.
Brenden Bright, driving as a Rodota Trucking & Excavating teammate to his brother, finished a strong third with Mike Rutherford making a late race charge to garner the fourth spot. Aaron Bollinger was fifth.
The five heat race victories went to J. Kunkle, Spence, Jason Swavely, Ryan Groff, and Brian Carber. The A-Qualifiers were won by Rutherford, A. Bright, B. Bright, and Christian Bruno. Triple B-Mains went to Swavely, Joey Amantea, and Brian Kramer as 45 wingless 600’s entered the Shootout.
The 270 Sprints ran wingless as well on Sunday, and their 30-lap main began with a classic duel as Mike Rutherford waltzed around the bottom and Jason Swavely ripped the lip on the high side. They ran side by side for the first four revolutions, taking turns as the leader when each lap was scored. The first caution of the race allowed Brent Shearer to join the fun at the head of the pack. Shearer battled Swavely for second until Swavely’s car gave up and stopped in turn four with six complete. Now Nick Skias entered the fray, duking it out with Shearer for the runner-up position as Rutherford sailed away. From lap eight through 17, N. Skias was rim-riding around the top while Shearer took a lower line in an entertaining tussle for second place. Skias had his nose in front of Shearer each time they crossed the scoring loop but Shearer would not go away until his car suddenly slowed and came to a halt in turn two.
The biggest story of the race was about to unfold, as 23rd starter Brandon Heist, who flipped in his heat race, missed the A-Qualifier because they were still putting the car back together, then finished third in the B-Main to barely make it to the big dance, came charging into the top five. Heist snared fourth place with seven to go, then took over third when Heath Hehnly dropped out with five laps remaining. While Rutherford cruised out front, Heist assaulted Nick Skias for the runner-up slot. Skias was fighting a severe vibration from a right-rear wheel that was packed with clay, but he gamely held on as Heist attacked from the low groove. At the finish, it was Rutherford, from Lebanon, cashing in for the victory and Heist edged out Skias for second by 0.13-seconds. Randy West, who started 12th, wound up fourth and Bradley Brown settled for fifth.
Andrew Dietrich, Rutherford, and Shearer won heat races for the wingless 270’s. Nick Skias, West, and Rutherford won the A-Qualifiers and Corey Anderson took the B-Main victory.
Rexmont’s Austin Graby battled with one of his Glass Racing teammates, Richie Hartman, in a duel for the top spot in the wingless 125cc/250cc Four-Stroke Challenge Feature. They swapped the point numerous times between laps 17 and 23 before Graby secured the lead for good. Brent Shearer had to hold off a high flying Marty Brian in a scuffle for third in the waning laps and at the finish, it was Graby winning for the second night in a row. Hartman finished second and Shearer held off Marty Brian for third. Kassidy Michael completed the top five at the conclusion of the 30-lap affair.
Michael and Graby won heat races for the 21-car field.
Dave Carraghan bolted to the lead from his outside, front row starting spot as the 30-lapped for the All Star Slingshots went green. One of his Hoch Motorsports teammates, Dylan Hoch, rocketed from 11th on the starting grid to run third in the first few tours on the progressively banked oval. Cody Kline, the 2009 National Slingshot Champion, followed Hoch through the pack, grabbing the fourth position on lap six. On a restart with nine circuits recorded, Hoch passed Mason Pittenger for second and just one trip later, Kline zipped past Pittenger for third.
With Carraghan holding serve out front, the second half of the race was highlighted by the drive of Josh Patterson, who started 12th. Patterson’s No. 7a came to life as the laps clicked off, steadily picking off one car at a time as he maneuvered his way toward the front of the field. Patterson got by Tyler Hoch for fourth as the race entered its final stage, then challenge Kline for third. At the finish, it was Carraghan scoring his second Clyde Martin win over D. Hoch, Kline, Patterson, and T. Hoch.
Slingshot heat wins went to Carraghan and Kline.
Racing returns to the Clyde this Saturday, September 7, as the second-to-last point race takes place. The five weekly winged divisions - the Hyper Racing 600’s, the Viper Chassis 270’s, Sportsman, 125cc, and 250cc Four-Strokes - will battle in heats, consolations, and 25-lap features. There will be giveaways during the evening, courtesy of local Coca-Cola distributors.
Gates open at 4:30 on Saturday, with warm-ups at 6 p.m. The first heat race goes green at 7:00.
Come on out and LIVE the excitement that is Lanco!
Hyper Racing Wingless 600 Sprints, 30 Laps: 1.Kyle Spence, 2.Alex Bright, 3.Brenden Bright, 4.Mike Rutherford, 5.Aaron Bollinger, 6.Christian Bruno, 7.Austin Quick, 8.Jesse Maurer, 9.Nash Ely, 10.Damon Paul, 11.Billy Koch, 12.Heath Hehnly, 13.Buddy Schweibinz, 14.Nick Fauci, 15.Shaun Brandel, 16.Jarid Kunkle, 17.Ryan Groff, 18.Jeremy Harshman, 19.Jason Swavely, 20.Richie Hartman, 21.Dylan Martin, 22.Jim Radney, 23.Holden Eckman, 24.Joey Amantea, 25.Brian Kramer, 26.Steven Snyder.
DNQ: Mark Landwher, Colin White, Greg Stevens, Shawn Rooney, Kassidy Michael, Chris Good, Alex Funari, Tyler Tank, Cody West, Charles Hunt, Bradley Brown, Mike Thompson, Adrianna Delliponti, Brian Carber, Nick Groff, Tyler Lindsay, Dan Lane Jr., Fred Heinly, Eddie Mort.
Viper Chassis Wingless 270 Sprints, 30 Laps: 1.Mike Rutherford, 2.Brandon Heist, 3.Nick Skias, 4.Randy West, 5.Bradley Brown, 6.Toby Blumenshine, 7.Dan Lane Jr., 8.Corey Schmuck Jr., 9.Anthony Yerger, 10.Josh Conover, 11.Aidan Svanda, 12.Jeremy Eisenhour, 13.Adam Harnish, 14.Gary Bozowski, 15.Jonathan John, 16.Corey Anderson, 17.Tommy Rinck, 18.Heath Hehnly, 19.Brent Shearer, 20.Andrew Dietrich, 21.Ronald Ford, 22.Zak Vickers, 23.Jason Swavely, 24.Jarrett Imler.
DNQ: Matt Andrews, Alan Durham, Princess Paige, Trent Eberhart.
Wingless 125cc/Four-Stroke Challenge, 30 Laps: 1.Austin Graby, 2.Richie Hartman, 3.Brent Shearer, 4.Marty Brian, 5.Kassidy Michael, 6.Tyler Martin, 7.Chase Layser, 8.Ron Wechter, 9.Ron Young, 10.Dominic Foster, 11.Kim Minzer, 12.Holden Eckman, 13.Steve Simmons, 14.Dan Massey, 15.Mike Glass, 16.Jas Hehnly, 17.Corey Schmuck Jr., 18.Dylan Yeingst, 19.Cliff Brian Jr., 20.Zachary Young. DNS: Jason Hehnly.
All Star Slingshot Feature, 30 Laps: 1.Dave Carraghan, 2.Dylan Hoch, 3.Cody Kline, 4.Josh Patterson, 5.Tyler Hoch, 6.Zach Steffey, 7.Mason Pittenger, 8.Brett Spitler, 9.Jordan Moyer, 10.Dakota Kohler, 11.Austin Daniels, 12.Amber Oraschin, 13.Chuck Whary, 14.Justin Thompson, 15.Mike Glass, 16.Tomas Mowery.