Using a "borrowed" car for a few weeks, Tim Buckwalter and Gary Spotts picked up a few ideas for their tried and true No. 25s, and those ideas paid off on Saturday night, as Buckwalter flew to the 600cc Micro-Sprint victory at Lanco's Clyde Martin Memorial Speedway.
On Viper Chassis Night at the speedway, Pete Skias parked his Viper in the winner's circle after the 25-lapper for the 270cc Micros, while Jesse Maurer picked up his fourth win of the season in the 125cc feature. Jason Swavely made it four in a row in the Sportsman class, and Chip Geib recorded his seventh triumph of 2010 in the main event for the 250cc Four-Stroke Micro-Sprints.
In the 600cc headliner, Buckwalter jumped into the lead from his outside front row starting spot and never looked back as he notched his second win of the year at Clyde Martin. Mark Ludwig dashed into the runner-up position prior to the halfway mark of the 25-lap affair, but Ludwig could never get close enough to offer a serious challenge to Buckwalter.
"Yeah, we have to thank Mike (Dicely) for letting us use his spare car for a few weeks. We ran several wingless shows with it, and a couple of winged races, and we definitely learned some things that we could use on this car. We were just 'off' with our program during the middle of the season, but we're back on track now," said Buckwalter, who resides in Douglassville, Pa.
Heath Hehnly took the green in 12th, then sliced his way into fifth by lap eleven. Hehnly shot past Jered Hook to claim third on the 16th trip around the clay, but Ludwig repelled his challenges over the final nine laps of the event. Ludwig settled for second, finishing 1.279 seconds behind Buckwalter. Hehnly was third, with Jered and Ryan Hook completing the top five.
With only two point-paying events remaining on Lanco's 2010 schedule, the 600cc standings were thrown into a mad scramble on Saturday. Point leader Ken Miller and second-placed Ryan Wilson did not qualify for the feature. Jamie Kostic and Chris Gerhart, third and fourth in the championship standings when they entered the pits on Saturday, vaulted past Miller and Wilson as Kostic finished tenth and Gerhart ended up sixth in the Viper Chassis main event. Tom Kohler and Tyler Esh also made significant point gains, tightening the chase considerably when the title fight resumes on September 11.
Saturday's 600cc heat winners included Jered and Ryan Hook, and Buckwalter. Mark Yoder claimed the consolation as 30 cars took part in the program.
Chuck Skias' Viper Chassis stood proud after the 270cc feature, as they placed first and second and claimed four of the top ten finishing positions. Leading the Viper attack was Pete Skias, as the Wernersville veteran blasted from eighth to fourth in the first three tours of the 25-lap race.
After a wild, three-car tussle for the runner-up spot with Zack Fouse and Devin Harron, Skias secured the position and set his sights on race leader Kerry Lengle, Sr. After catching Lengle and being denied on numerous attempts to snare the top spot, Skias finally wrestled the lead from the Lengle's Lawn Care No. 81 with a slider in turns one and two as the crossed flags were displayed to the field. Despite two late race cautions, Skias held the point and picked up his second victory of the 2010 campaign.
"These (Viper) cars work so good," stated the winner, "I was so hooked tonight. I'll give myself some credit for the motor work, but the cars are really good, too."
Lengle chased Skias to the checkered, with Richie Hartman (in search of a third consecutive 270cc point title) cashing in for third. Harron and Jesse Maurer finished fourth and fifth, respectively.
Heat winners for the 26 cars were Hartman, Fouse, and P. Skias. Nick Skias was victorious in the consolation.
Jesse Maurer, the Mount Joy Outlaw, inherited the lead when his teammate, Ryan Wilson, burned a piston with seven circuits complete in the main event for the 125cc Micros. Maurer went on to record his fourth win of the season and in the process, leap-frogged over Cody Drace and into second place in the point standings.
"I have to thank the crew for making a last-minute jetting change," said Maurer in his victory lane interview. "Tonight, the car felt just like it did last year; it was great."
Lee Reinhardt emerged from a furious four-car battle for second to register the best finish of his still young career at Clyde Martin. Point leader David Ravel was third, with Shane Braxton and Bradley Brown rounding out the top five.
Braxton and Maurer won heat races for the 125cc competitors.
After a nasty flip in his 270cc heat race, Jason Swavely was very sore and in a fair amount of pain. But he managed to put another hurting on the Sportsman Micro-Sprint field, winning his fourth in a row in the 25-lap feature for that class.
"I just tried to run where it was smooth, so it wouldn't hurt so much," noted Swavely, who forced a weak smile after the race.
Starting on the outside of row six, Swavely deftly navigated his way to third by the ninth revolution. On the next lap, he snatched second away from Kelby Stauffer as polesitter Paul May III continued to set the pace.
Swavely ran down the leader, then grabbed the top spot as they rocketed off turn four with nine to go. Three yellow flags in the last six tours did not prevent the Douglassville, Pa. resident from notching his seventh triumph of the season - the cautions only prolonged his painful ride to the winner's circle.
Point leader Ken Miller worked his way past May on the final lap to finish second, with May, Stauffer, and Dave Kemp completing the first five when the race ended.
Donna Geib, Stauffer, and Miller won the qualifying heats for the Sportsman. The consolation fell to Dennis Fenstermacher, as 30 cars took part in the Sportsman portion of the program.
Even though he was collected in a three-car tangle on the initial start, Chip Geib was undaunted in his quest for the 250cc Four-Stroke victory. Geib roared from the back of the pack to run fifth by the time lap five was scored.
With Craig DeSantis leading, Geib stole the runner-up position from Peter Michael at the halfway point - and that's when things really got good.
As DeSantis and Geib dueled for the lead on the bottom lanes of the banked oval, Michael seized the opportunity to sweep past both of them with a high groove pass on lap 17. But Geib was on a mission, as he finally disposed of DeSantis, then tracked down the teen from Lititz. With three to go, Geib ducked under Michael to become the leader, and he went on to record his seventh victory of the season in Four-Stroke competition.
"Thanks to my guys," said Geib as he pointed to his crew in victory lane, "for helping to put the Honda back on this car during the week. It performed great tonight. I knew I had to get back to the front quickly," he added, "so that Pete and Craig would not run away and I wouldn't be able to catch them."
Michael, the current Four-Stroke point leader, finished second to maintain his slim advantage over Geib in the championship standings. Jessica Mohler came back from a spin to finish third, with Kim Enck and Dick Huzzard finishing fourth and fifth.
Geib and DeSantis scored heat race victories for the Four-Strokes.
There are no points to worry about this weekend, as Lanco's annual Labor Day Shootout takes center stage at the Clyde Martin Memorial Speedway. Saturday, September 4th, will see gates open at 2 p.m. The pill draw ends as a driver's meeting begins at 4:00. Warm-ups begin at 4:30, and the first qualifying heat goes green at 6 p.m. All classes will compete in dual heats on Saturday.
On Sunday, September 5, the gates open at 3 p.m. Warm-ups will commence at 5:00, with the first B-Main starting at 5:30. Thirty-lap A-Mains will highlight the Labor Day Shootout, as the 250cc Stock Micro-Sprints join the 600cc, 270cc, 125cc, Sportsman, and 250cc Four-Stroke classes.
Kids Fun Day, filled with activities and prizes for youthful racing fans, is scheduled for Saturday afternoon, September 4.
Breakfast will be served at the track on Sunday morning, and Worship at the Races takes place in the main grandstand at 10 a.m. Noted Late Model racer and car builder Jim Bernheisel will be the guest speaker during Worship at the Races. For additional details on the Labor Day extravaganza, log on to www.lancomicrosprint.com.
The Labor Day Shootout is a fun-filled holiday weekend of great racing, mixed with lots of extra-curricular activities at the Clyde. Come on out and LIVE the excitement that is Lanco and the annual Labor Day Shootout!
600cc Micro-Sprint Feature Finish: 1.Tim Buckwalter, 2.Mark Ludwig, 3.Heath Hehnly, 4.Jered Hook, 5.Ryan Hook, 6.Chris Gerhart, 7.Mike Dicely, 8.Kory Merkey, 9.Robbie Kendall, 10.Jamie Kostic, 11.Tyler Esh, 12.Tom Kohler, 13.Pete Skias, 14.Mike Rutherford, 15.Mark Yoder, 16.Shane Lewis, 17.Jermain Godshall, 18.Brittany Brown, 19.Zachary Fisher, 20.Jeff Halligan, 21.Ryan Gabers, 22.Tyler Ross, 23.Shane Braxton, 24.Mike Freed.
270cc Micro-Sprint Feature Finish: 1.Pete Skias, 2.Kerry Lengle Sr., 3.Richie Hartman, 4.Devin Harron, 5.Jesse Maurer, 6.Peter Michael, 7.Nick Skias, 8.Billy Logeman, 9.Zack Fouse, 10.Josh Stoyer, 11.Tyler Reinhardt, 12.Christi Sweigart, 13.Scott Gantert, 14.Greg Miller, 15.Sheena Schaefer, 16.Brandon Bucher, 17.Earl Hoon Jr., 18.Dave Grube, 19.Steve Drevicki, 20.Terry Ellex, 21.Eric Falini, 22.Jay Batdorf, 23.Chip Geib.
125cc Micro-Sprint Feature Finish: 1.Jesse Maurer, 2.Lee Reinhardt, 3.David Ravel, 4.Shane Braxton, 5.Bradley Brown, 6.Nick Skias, 7.Derek Ecenrode, 8.Devin Harron, 9.Kyle Hehnly, 10.Mark Yoder, 11.Curtis R. Miller, 12.Ryan Wilson, 13.Dave Grube, 14.Sonny Sweitzer, 15.Bret Habecker, 16.Cody Drace. DNS: Mike Zimmerman; James Wampole.
Sportsman Micro-Sprint Feature Finish: 1.Jason Swavely, 2.Ken Miller, 3.Paul May III, 4.Kelby Stauffer, 5.Dave Kemp, 6.Brett Wanner, 7.Jeff Hughes, 8.Dwayne Mathias, 9.Wesley Fasnacht, 10.Jason Hehnly, 11.Joel Tolley, 12.Jonathan Swift, 13.Robert Shanaman, 14.Jamie Fetterolf, 15.Dennis Ziegler, 16.Corey Schmuck Jr., 17.Paul Moore, 18.Bret Habecker, 19.Rick Fisher, 20.Tim Ziegler, 21.Jenna Keppley, 22.Brad Kemp, 23.Donna Geib, 24.Dennis Fenstermacher.
250cc Four-Stroke Micro-Sprint Feature Finish: 1.Chip Geib, 2.Peter Michael, 3.Jessica Mohler, 4.Kim Enck, 5.Dick Huzzard, 6.Travis Esh, 7.Jason Johnson, 8.Greg Schmuck, 9.Jared Esh, 10.Craig DeSantis, 11.Lewis Kepple Jr., 12.Sheila Fetter, 13.Steve Brenner, 14.Ronald Wechter, 15.Ed Nocera, 16.George Potts III, 17.Matthew Swift. DNS: Ryan Gabers.