Brickerville, PA - Bruce Ginther, Jr. continues to be the surprise of the 600cc Micro-Sprint field, as the Lebanon, Pa. leadfoot captured his second feature win of the season on Saturday night at Lanco's Clyde Martin Memorial Speedway.
Saturday's program was co-sponsored by Seltzer's Smokehouse Meats and the Church of Grace and Truth Fellowship of Elverson, Pa.
The front-row starters in the 600cc main event, Ginther Jr. and polesitter Mike Caropolo, raced side-by-side on lap one before Ginther pulled ahead - for good - off turn four.
With Ginther rocketing away from his pursuers, some terrific action was taking place behind him. Caropolo was fighting off the advances of Kenny Miller for second, and a three-car tussle developed between Shane Lewis, Mike Rutherford, and Heath Hehnly.
Hehnly used the low groove to skate by Rutherford for sixth, then switched to the high line to sweep past Lewis for fifth spot. The driver of Sonny Cooke's Hyper Chassis No. 2 continued his forward progress during the middle stages of the 25-lapper, disposing of Brent Ely and Miller to position himself in third with seven circuits remaining.
A caution period with three to go caused considerable concern for the leader. "I looked up at the scoreboard under yellow," explained Ginther, "and saw that Heath was up to third. I surely didn't want any more yellow flags after that; I knew I had to get this over with as quickly as possible before Heath had time to get to me."
Hehnly darted past Caropolo on the restart, but couldn't get close enough to Ginther to mount a serious challenge.
Ginther took the checkered with a half-second margin over Hehnly, with Caropolo registering his best Lanco finish by claiming third. Miller and A.J. Michael rounded out the top five.
In the headliner for the 270cc Micro-Sprints, Jason Swavely got a great jump on a restart with seven tours complete, snatching the lead from Scott Gingrich. Eleventh-starting Richie Hartman gunned his way into the runner-up slot at the halfway mark, then set sail in pursuit of Swavely, who was looking for his second victory of the year.
Hartman and Swavely engaged in a crowd-pleasing duel for the lead on laps 17 and 18, until Hartman put his nose in front as they charged by the flagstand to complete the 19th trip around the clay. Hartman finally cleared Swavely's car heading into turn one, grabbing a lead that he would not relinquish. Swavely's mount gave up one lap later, handing the second position to Dave Falini.
It was all Hartman, however, in the closing laps as the Shoemakersville, Pa. standout scored his fourth win of '09 at Clyde Martin. Falini, who was just pleased to finally finish a feature without mechanical issues, settled for runner-up money. In a wild, last lap shootout for third, Steve Drevicki seemingly came out of nowhere to grab the spot over Rutherford and Gingrich.
"That may have been exciting to watch, but it's exhausting to be part of," smiled a tired Hartman after the race, as he spoke about the hotly contested battle for the lead with Swavely. "Jason was really good up high, so I had to make my car work on the bottom. I just kept after it, and I was finally able to get him."
Hartman, the defending track champion in both the 270cc and 250cc Four-Stroke classes, followed Peter Michael past race leader Jake Booth on lap ten of the Four-Stroke feature. Two trips later, when Michael got hung up behind a lapped car, Hartman ducked under him to snare the top spot.
The first caution flag of the race occurred with 22 complete, giving Michael, the teen from Lititz, one more opportunity to attack Hartman. On the restart, though, Hartman simply drove away from the field to secure his sixth triumph of the season.
Michael, who owns one victory in the current campaign, raced home in the runner-up position, with Ryan Gabers, Chad Rhoads, and Booth comprising the top five when the checkered flag fell.
"We were kind of resting on our laurels," noted Hartman afterward. "But Peter and some of the others really stepped up and got a lot faster. It forced us to go back to work and make our car faster. It's not easy to win these races...not by any means."
The 125cc nightcap was an entertaining event, as Heath Hehnly slid by Mark Yoder to claim second place on the seventh revolution. Four tours later, Hehnly, who started seventh, inherited the lead when Kyle Henninger's strong run ended prematurely due to mechanical gremlins.
It was evident that Yoder had the faster car, but Hehnly managed to keep his Gorski Racing No. 93 in front for the next ten circuits, although Yoder was all over him, trying high and low in repeated attempts to pass the leader.
With four to go, Yoder mustered enough momentum off the turn four banking to pull alongside Hehnly as they motored down the homestretch. Utilizing the high groove to maintain his momentum, Yoder roared ahead as the duo entered the first turn.
The final laps belonged to Yoder, who won by almost a full second over Hehnly. Dave Grube survived an exciting battle with point leader Bret Habecker to finish third. Scott Gantert completed the top five when it was over.
The 25-lapper for the Sportsman cars saw Jason Swavely propel his No. 7c from seventh to third in the opening two trips on the high banked, eighth-mile oval.
As Swavely was moving forward, Jason Hehnly set the pace with Brett Wanner chasing him for the first seven laps, until Hehnly made slight contact with a slower car and spun.
Wanner was now in command, and soon Swavely was trailing him in second. Lapped traffic proved to be the difference-maker once again, as Wanner chose the wrong lane behind a slower car and Swavely shot by on the low side of the speedway. The winning pass came with seven to go, and Swavely went on to notch his second victory of the year in Sportsman competition.
Wanner, who is both hearing and speech impaired, used sign language after the race to indicate that he'll learn from the experience. The hard charger from Shoemakersville, Pa. had to be satisfied with runner-up honors.
Kenny Miller wound up third, with point leader Steve Drevicki finishing fourth. Donna Geib crossed the stripe in fifth.
The Young Guns 390 Sprint series presented a quick-moving feature, with just a single yellow flag slowing the pace.
Troy Wagaman led all the way, but Steve Sacks, who saw a three-race win streak come to an end, kept things close over the entire 15-lap distance.
When Madison Brensinger and Nathan Prazenica tangled while dueling for third, Alex Spalding took advantage to finish in that spot.
The stage is now set for one of Lanco's biggest events of the season, the annual Clyde Martin Memorial Race. Offering double-points and 35-lap features for all five of the weekly classes, this Saturday's Clyde Memorial is open to club members only. In order to be eligible, Lanco members must have entered at least four point-paying shows during 2009.
The Clyde Martin Memorial is structured to reward loyal club members who have supported the track all season long. The event also pays tribute to those who have passed on, but played a vital role in building the organization throughout its 53-year history.
The tradition and prestige of the Clyde Martin Memorial Race makes it one of the marquee events on the Lanco calendar. The winner's trophies are handed down from year to year, until one driver wins the Clyde Memorial three times (in one class). That's when he/she gets to keep the coveted trophy.
Double-points and the longest features of the season will produce some jaw-dropping action this Saturday...so come on out and LIVE the excitement that is Lanco!
600cc Micro-Sprints: 1.Bruce Ginther Jr. 2.Heath Hehnly 3.Mike Caropolo 4.Kenny Miller 5.A.J. Michael 6.Shane Lewis 7.Mike Rutherford 8.Jamie Kostic 9.Jimmy Glenn 10.Brent Ely 11.Alex Buben 12.Ryan Wilson 13.Rick Stief 14.Shaun Brandel 15.Chris Gerhart 16.Brittany Brown 17.Kerry Gilbert 18.Dave Dimaio 19.Jermain Godshall 20.Bryan Davis 21.Paul Graham 22.Mike Freed 23.Tim Buckwalter 24.Jeff Halligan.
270cc Micro-Sprints: 1.Richie Hartman 2.Dave Falini 3.Steve Drevicki 4.Mike Rutherford 5.Scott Gingrich 6.Billy Logeman 7.Pete Skias 8.Greg Miller 9.Christi Sweigart 10.Cody Drace 11.Jay Batdorf 12.Ryan Shupp 13.Brandon Bucher 14.Nathan Weidman 15.Jason Swavely 16.Heath Hehnly 17.Brian Sholley 18.Zack Fouse 19.Nick Skias 20.Phil Rupert 21.Steve Whary 22.Mike Uhrich 23.Todd Steffy 24.Scott Fick.
125cc Micro-Sprints: 1.Mark Yoder 2.Heath Hehnly 3.Dave Grube 4.Bret Habecker 5.Scott Gantert 6.Bradley Brown 7.Sonny Sweitzer 8.Brianna Gerhart 9.Derek Ecenrode 10.Corey Schmuck Jr. 11.Chrissy Ochs 12.Walt Wampole 13.Kyle Henninger 14.Cody Drace 15.James Wampole.
250cc Four-Stroke Micro-Sprints: 1.Richie Hartman 2.Peter Michael 3.Ryan Gabers 4.Chad Rhoads 5.Jake Booth 6.Jared Gabers 7.Eddie Nocera 8.Jessica Enck 9.Craig DeSantis 10.Kim Enck 11.Chris Lee 12.Jason Johnson 13.Lewis Kepple Jr. 14.Greg Schmuck 15.Michael Booth 16.Phil Johnson 17.Dick Huzzard.
Sportsman Micro-Sprints: 1.Jason Swavely 2.Brett Wanner 3.Kenny Miller 4.Steve Drevicki 5.Donna Geib 6.Billy Logeman 7.Sheena Schaefer 8.Jamie Fetterolf 9.Jeff Hughes 10.Mark Ludwig 11.Wesley Fasnacht 12.Dwayne Mathias 13.Gene Murphy 14.Robert Shanaman 15.Joel Tolley 16.Dennis Fenstermacher 17.Tim Ziegler 18.Jenna Keppley 19.Jason Hehnly 20.David Kemp 21.Dave Schroeder 22.Earl Eveland 23.Dennis Ziegler 24.Paul May III.
Young Guns 390 Sprints: 1.Troy Wagaman 2.Steve Sacks 3.Alex Spalding 4.Madison Brensinger 5.Nathan Prazenica 6.Sean Case.