July 16 - Newmanstown, Pa. - It was a proud, but nerve-wracking scenario for Ed Hook.
Saturday night's 600cc Micro-Sprint feature at Lanco's Clyde Martin Memorial Speedway evolved into a brotherly duel for the win, with Jered Hook outlasting his brother, Ryan, to claim the first Lanco victory of his career as their nervous father, Ed, watched from the pit area.
Joining Hook in the winner's circle on Hoosier Tire Mid-Atlantic Night at the Clyde were: Nick Skias (270cc); Craig DeSantis (250cc Four-Stroke); Bradley Brown (125cc); and Jason Swavely (Sportsman).
The five feature races were entertaining and competitive, and the same type of action will surely be duplicated this Saturday, July 23, when the cameras of Blue Ridge Cable Channel 11 will be recording the main events. The races will be broadcast the following day, Sunday, July 24; check local listings for air time. All five weekly divisions - the 600cc, 270cc, 125cc, Sportsman, and 250cc Four-Stroke Micro-Sprints will be part of the show that will be recorded at 6 p.m. on Saturday.
The Hook brothers made up the front row of last Saturday's 600cc feature, with Jered on the inside and Ryan on the outside. Jered led every lap, enjoying healthy leads over his sibling that were wiped out by yellow flags on a couple of occasions.
As the laps dwindled, Jered's No. 21H began losing its grip on the high banked oval, while Ryan's car actually got better. Ryan closed in on his brother, diving to the bottom at both ends of the speedway in an effort to snatch the top spot from Jered. But his brother held on, sticking to a higher groove and using his momentum to remain the race leader.
Jered took the checkered flag by a quarter of a second over Ryan, allowing Ed Hook to breathe a sigh of relief before he rushed to victory lane to share the incredibly proud moment with his sons.
"It really got slick out there, and I was making mistakes," shared the winner afterward. "I saw Ryan's nose under me a few times, and I really thought he was going to get me. I'm glad the race ended when it did."
The right-rear tire on Shane Lewis "came in" with about eleven circuits left to run, and Lewis, who was running seventh at the time, started comin' to the front. He passed Heath Hehnly, then Jermain Godshall, to move into the top five. After a spirited battle with Chris Gerhart, Lewis took over the fourth position on lap 21, and ended his charge by wrestling the third spot from Tyler Esh with two to go.
Esh and Gerhart rounded out the top five when the checkered flag waved to end the 25-lap affair.
With 21 of the 600's in the pits on Saturday, Esh and Ryan Hook won the heat races.
In the Hoosier Tire Mid-Atlantic 270cc main event, Jason Swavely outgunned polesitter Zack Fouse, grabbing the early lead as several cars scrambled for position behind him.
After a yellow on the initial start, the race went 18 laps before the caution lights flashed on once again. During those 18 trips around the clay, Heath Hehnly (from eighth) and Nick Skias (from ninth) carved their way toward the front, as Hehnly flashed into the runner-up spot and point leader Skias claimed third on just the third revolution. Two circuits later, Skias raced past Hehnly, then roared by Swavely to take command with seven complete.
Fourteenth starting Jesse Maurer blasted into second on the ninth tour and began his pursuit of the high flying Nick Skias. Three late race cautions allowed Maurer to line up on the leader's rear bumper, but N. Skias simply motored away on each restart.
At the finish, Nick Skias won for the second time in the past four races for the 270cc Micros, with Maurer crossing the stripe in second. Pete Skias, Hehnly, and Fouse completed the top five.
"We discovered a cracked cylinder at Linda's last night," said N. Skias in victory lane. "That led to us putting this motor on the car...it's something new that my dad built, and it really worked tonight."
The victor's dad revealed some additional details about the powerplant. "It's an experimental motor; I tried some new things on that one, and they all worked. I might have build one of those for myself now," laughed P. Skias.
Kevin Garman, Tom Schearer, and N. Skias were victorious in the qualifying heats for the 25 entries in Saturday's 270cc competition. Kerry Lengle won the consolation.
Melvin Bainbridge, who finished 19th, was the recipient of the Kelly Racing Fuels "Gas It Up" Award in the 270cc feature.
Craig DeSantis won for the second week in a row, but there's much more than that to the story of the 250cc Four-Stroke feature. This 25-lapper was, arguably, the best race of the night.
Jessica Mohler jumped out on top as the green waved, with DeSantis quickly shooting into second. Jared Esh, the second-year driver who is leading the Four-Stroke point standings, sliced his way from ninth on the starting grid to battle Chip Geib for third in the early stages.
On a lap seven restart, DeSantis slid to the inside of Mohler in one and two. In typical slide job fashion, DeSantis skated up the banking in two, and Mohler turned left and drove back by him. This scene played out several times over the next ten laps, with Jared Esh and Chip Geib waging an equally torrid duel for third.
A caution period with eight to go set up the restart that would change this race in dramatic fashion. As the field went green once again, DeSantis ducked under Mohler and Esh went even lower to make it a three-wide contest for the top spot. DeSantis came away with the lead and Esh found himself in second, while Mohler slipped back to third.
DeSantis went on to collect his second consecutive triumph and fourth of the year, with Esh finishing an impressive second. Geib passed Mohler for third in the latter stages of the race, and Kim Enck finished fifth.
Sixteen of the Four-Strokes signed in on Saturday, and a pair of heat races went to Geib and DeSantis.
The feature for the 125cc racers had more twists and turns and plot changes than the daily soap operas shown on television, and Bradley Brown survived it all to score his third victory of the season.
Derek Miller passed Curtis R. Miller for the lead - and he crossed the line as the leader to complete lap two - just before the yellow appeared. On the restart, Jesse Maurer was on the move, rocketing into the runner-up position with three laps scored.
Maurer and D. Miller raced side by side for a few laps, then Maurer edged in front to lead lap five. With six in the books, Maurer clipped one of the tires that mark the infield in turns one and two and spun.
D. Miller now had to deal with new runner-up Mark Yoder and fast closing Bradley Brown in third. Brown zipped past Yoder for second with eleven laps remaining, and soon Kory Merkey forced Yoder back another spot.
With 21 complete and just four trips remaining, Brown and Merkey surged by D. Miller to run first and second. That's the way they finished, with Brown enjoying another victory and Merkey happily satisfied with second place money.
Dave Grube had to go to the rear after an early race spin, but the Denver, Pa. chauffeur rebounded nicely to finish third. D. Miller wound up fourth and Ryan Wilson, who also had to go to the back after he was involved in the incident with Grube, finished fifth.
Darren Miller, Merkey, and Maurer won heat races for the 23 car field of 125cc Micro-Sprints.
After a dismal performance on July 9, Jason Swavely returned to his winning ways on Saturday in the Sportsman class.
Swavely took the green from the inside of row one and proceeded to lead every lap. It wasn't as easy as it sounds, however, as Swavely had to fight off a late challenge from Tim Buckwalter, who was making a Sportsman start in the Miller Racing No. 7R. While Buckwalter made it interesting in the last few laps, he could not unseat Swavely from the point.
Swavely roared to his fifth Sportsman victory of the year, beating Buckwalter to the finish line by almost three-quarters of a second. Mike Miller, filling in for his nephew Ken, finished third with Bret Habecker coming back after a spin just prior to the halfway mark to finish fourth. Sheena Schaefer was fifth.
Twenty-one of the Sportsman cars took part in the festivities, with heat wins going to Tim Buckwalter and Jason Swavely.
Swavely was the recipient of the Weld Racing Fast Lap of the Feature award. He flew around the racy oval in 11.789 seconds to earn the reward, and he was the only driver in the feature to turn a lap under 12 seconds.
This Saturday, July 23, gates open at 3:30 with warm-ups at 5:00. The first heat race goes green at 6 p.m.
In less than two weeks, on July 30, one of the season's biggest and most prestigious events will take place at Lanco...the annual Clyde Martin Memorial Race. The Clyde Memorial honors not only the late, great flagman for whom the track is named, but also pays tribute to all of the Lanco club members who have moved on to the speedway above.
Thirty-five lap features for all five weekly classes highlight the Clyde Martin Memorial, which is open only to those Lanco members who have entered at least half of this year's point paying events. A list of the drivers who are eligible to compete in the Clyde Martin Memorial will be published prior to the event.
The huge trophies that go to the winners of the Memorial are cherished by all of the drivers who compete at the Clyde, and those trophies are handed down from winner to winner, on a yearly basis, until one driver has three Clyde Martin Memorial victories (in one class). That trophy is then retired, and a new one is purchased for the next year and the cycle begins again.
It's an event rich in tradition, and this year it will be even more lucrative, as the Memorial purse has been increased. Given the tradition, prestige, trophy, and now increased cash, and it's no wonder Lanco members circle this event on the schedule as soon as the date is released. It's the Clyde Martin Memorial Race - the date is July 30 - and it's one more reason you've gotta come out and LIVE the excitement that is Lanco!
600cc Micro-Sprint Feature, 25 laps: 1.Jered Hook, 2.Ryan Hook, 3,Shane Lewis, 4.Tyler Esh, 5.Chris Gerhart, 6.Jermain Godshall, 7.Heath Hehnly, 8.Shaun Brandel, 9.Robbie Kendall, 10.Brent Ely, 11.Peter Michael, 12.Ryan Greth, 13.Shane Braxton, 14.David Beiler, 15.Brittany Brown, 16.Mark Yoder, 17.Mike Rutherford, 18.Jeff Halligan, 19.Ken Leese, 20.C.J. Tracy. DNS: Danny Wykes.
270cc Micro-Sprint Feature, 25 laps: 1.Nick Skias, 2.Jesse Maurer, 3.Pete Skias, 4.Heath Hehnly, 5.Zack Fouse, 6.Josh Stoyer, 7.Chip Geib, 8.Christi Sweigart, 9.Bret Guzik, 10.Devin Harron, 11.Dave Grube, 12.Tom Shearer, 13.Nathan Weidman, 14.Brett Wanner, 15.Tyler Reinhardt, 16.Charles Hellinger, 17.Kerry Lengle, Sr., 18.Jason Swavely, 19.Melvin Bainbridge, 20.Kevin Garman, 21.Billy Logeman, 22.Terry Ellex.
250cc Four-Stroke Micro-Sprint Feature, 25 laps: 1.Craig DeSantis, 2.Jared Esh, 3.Chip Geib, 4.Jessica Mohler, 5.Kim Enck, 6.Travis Esh, 7.Tim Nocera, 8.Ryan Morris, 9.Lewis Kepple, Jr., 10.Earl Eveland, 11.George Potts Jr., 12.Ronald Wechter, 13.George Potts III, 14.Tyler Armstrong, 15.Justin Harrington, 16.Greg Schmuck.
125cc Micro-Sprint Feature, 25 laps: 1.Bradley Brown, 2.Kory Merkey, 3.Dave Grube, 4.Derek Miller, 5.Ryan Wilson, 6.Mark Yoder, 7.Darren Miller, 8.Brianna Gerhart, 9.Nick Sweigart, 10.Daniel Braun, 11.Derek Ecenrode, 12.Jake Miller, 13.Jonathan Rutter, 14.Zach Hollinger, 15.Mike Zimmerman, 16.Curtis R. Miller, 17.Ashley Kase, 18.Walter Wampole, 19.Jesse Maurer, 20.Kyle Hehnly, 21.Brent Shearer, 22.James Wampole, 23.Shane Braxton.
Sportsman Micro-Sprint Feature, 25 laps: 1.Jason Swavely, 2.Tim Buckwalter, 3.Mike Miller, 4.Bret Habecker, 5.Sheena Schaefer, 6.Brett Wanner, 7.Donna Geib, 8.Matt Abers, 9.Dave Kemp, 10.Wesley Fasnacht, 11.Kelby Stauffer, 12.Dwayne Mathias, 13.Mike Heiser, 14.Sarah Shreiner, 15.Jenna Keppley, 16. Joel Tolley, 17.Rick Fisher, 18.Brad Kemp, 19.Cory Schmuck Jr., 20.Paul Moore, 21.Tim Ziegler.