Newmanstown, Pa. - August 20 - Late race dramatics affected the outcome of two feature races, and lapped traffic very nearly altered the finishing order of a third main event on Saturday night at Lanco's Clyde Martin Memorial Speedway.
Hyper Racing sponsored the evening of Micro-Sprint competition, and it was two drivers in Hyper Chassis who figured into a wild ending of the HTMA 600 Pro Series race. Shane Lewis, Honeybrook, Pa., grabbed the lead on a restart with two to go after he and race-long leader Heath Hehnly made contact as they accelerated in turns three and four and headed for the green.
Nick Skias was closing in on leader Dave Grube in the 25-lapper for the 270cc Micros, but Skias was prepared to settle for runner-up honors. When Grube's No. 3D broke a chain racing off turn four on the final lap, however, Skias blasted by and recorded the unexpected victory.
Ken Miller had to execute a four-wide maneuver to get past a trio of lapped cars, late in the race, to register the win in the feature for the Sportsman Class. A log jam of slower traffic also provided plenty of last lap excitement for three cars involved in a battle for second, with Sheena Schaeffer edging Jason Swavely for the bridesmaid's spot.
Jesse Maurer (125cc) and Chip Geib (270cc Four-Stroke) had somewhat easier paths in winning their respective 25-lap main events.
The Clyde Martin Memorial Speedway swings back into action this Saturday, August 27, with another five division program of Micro-Sprint competition. Qualifying heats, consolations, and 25-lap main events will be contested for the 600cc, 270cc, 125cc, Sportsman, and 270cc Four-Stroke Classes, as the track's point battles hit the home stretch of the 2011 season.
Coming up on Saturday, September 3rd and Sunday, September 4th, is the annual Labor Day Shootout. This year's Shootout is highlighted by racing for all five of the weekly classes, plus a special Wingless 600cc event on Sunday. Details on the Labor Day Shootout are available, along with entry forms, on the speedway's website...www.lancomicrosprint.com.
Saturday's HTMA 600 Pro Series feature was simply terrific, with Hehnly and Lewis, who is the current Pro Series point leader, starting on the front row. They were soon joined by fifth-starting Mike Dicely, whose Hyper Racing No. 44 was hooked up on the bottom, while Hehnly and Lewis ran a higher line around the banked oval.
The three wheel-twisters battled one another for the lead as they navigated heavy lapped traffic during the middle stages of the 30-lapper, until Dicely went a bit too low in turns one and two, clipping two of the large tires that mark the infield boundary. Dicely nearly looped his car, but gathered it back under him and continued, although he lost three positions in the process.
On the final, fateful restart with only two circuits remaining, Lewis got into the back of Hehnly's car, resulting in the No. 2 turning sideways as Lewis, Jimmy Brookens, Mike Rutherford, Chris Gerhart, Robbie Kendall and a few others squeezing by him.
"I hate to win that way, but he (Hehnly) slowed up for some reason," stated Lewis in the winner's circle. "I don't know if he lifted a little to make a shift or what, but he slowed and that's why I got into him."
Lewis flew to the checkered, beating Brookens to the stripe by 1.585 seconds. When Hehnly got out of shape on that restart, Gerhart made a great move up high, passing Dicely and Rutherford to move into third, which is where he finished. Rutherford and Kendall completed the top five.
With 38 of the 600cc teams entering the double-point Pro Series race, a dual heat race format was used for qualifying. Heat winners included Kyle Lick, Jered Hook, Gerhart, Rutherford, A.J. Michael, Brittany Brown, Dicely, and Hehnly. The B-Main went to Brett Schoenly.
Hehnly also led the early laps of the 270cc feature, but mechanical failure knocked him out, handing the top spot to Dave Grube. The Denver, Pa. pilot was fast, bolting out to a big advantage as Nick and Pete Skias fought with Josh Stoyer and Jason Swavely for positions two through five.
Nick Skias worked his way into the runner-up slot and began to track down the race leader. While he closed the gap between himself and Grube, Skias was running out of time and was content to run second until a yellow flag slowed the action with one to go.
Skias still trailed Grube on that final trip around the super fast, ultra smooth oval...then came turn four. Grube's car suddenly slowed and drifted toward the top of the banking as N. Skias darted by him on the inside. Skias charged under the checkered flag to win his third of the year, with Grube limping across the line in second, the victim of a broken drive chain.
Point leader Pete Skias ended up third, with Josh Stoyer fourth and Jason Swavely fifth. The top four cars came out of Chuck Skias' Viper Chassis shop.
A nice field of 30 cars signed in for 270cc competition on Saturday. Mike Dicely, Grube, and Swavely won the heat races, while Tom Schearer scored the consolation victory.
Sheena Schaeffer jumped into the lead of the Sportsman feature from her outside front row starting spot. Ken Miller took the green from the outside of row two, but quickly maneuvered his way into second. He and Schaeffer engaged in a crowd-pleasing tussle for the top spot, trading the lead several times before Miller prevailed and snatched the point (for good) on lap nine.
A long green flag run closed out the 25-lap main for the Sportsman, enabling Miller to build a huge lead, but it also forced him to deal with lapped traffic. That traffic provoked his four-wide exercise late in the race, and Miller held on to what he described as "an ill handling car - very tight the whole race," to register his fifth Sportsman triumph of the season.
Schaeffer nipped Swavely for the runner-up pay, with Bret Habecker and Mike Miller finishing fourth and fifth.
With 23 Sportsman in the pit area, heat race victories fell to Dave Kemp, Donna Geib, and K. Miller.
Jesse Maurer, Mt. Joy, slipped past his Gorski Racing teammate, Ryan Wilson, to grab the lead just before the caution lights flashed on with seven laps scored in the 125cc main event.
Maurer went to to record his second win of the year, extending his point lead in the process.
Shane Braxton roared into second on a restart at the halfway mark, only to give back the position to a hard charging Kory Merkey with three laps remaining.
Maurer cruised to the victory over Merkey and Braxton, with Ryan Wilson and Bradley Brown rounding out the first five.
Brown and Maurer won heat races for the 22-car field of 125cc racers.
Justin Harrington paced the early laps of the 270cc Four-Stroke feature. Tenth-starting Chip Geib motored into second, then passed Harrington for the top spot on a restart. Geib rolled to his sixth win of the season in Four-Stroke action, crossing the stripe 5.70 seconds ahead of Jessica Mohler. Mohler was ecstatic just to finish, as she's been plagued by engine woes all season long.
Four-Stroke point leader Jared Esh wound up third, with Eddie Nocera and Ryan Morris completing the top five.
Four-Stroke heats were captured by Nocera and Geib. Sixteen teams entered the Four-Stroke portion of Saturday's program.
HTMA 600 Pro Series Feature, 30 laps: 1.Shane Lewis, 2.Jimmy Brookens, 3.Chris Gerhart, 4.Mike Rutherford, 5.Robbie Kendall, 6.Mike Dicely, 7.Brittany Brown, 8.Jered Hook, 9.Heath Hehnly, 10.Peter Michael, 11.Brian Carber, 12.Tom Kohler, 13.Rick Stief, 14.Shaun Brandel, 15.Brett Schoenly, 16.Tyler Esh, 17.Ryan Greth, 18.Brock Bilger, 19.Jermain Godshall, 20.Tyler Ross, 21.Kevin Steele, 22.Kyle Lick, 23.A.J. Michael, 24.Ryan Wilson; 25.Mark Yoder.
DNQ: Jay Hartman, Jeff Halligan, Ryan Hook, John Wilbert IV, Jeff Hartman, Robert Clements, Jon Stewart, Brock Zearfoss, Joe Smith, Tony DiMattia, Zachary Light, David Beiler, Shane Braxton.
270cc Feature, 20 laps: 1.Nick Skias, 2.Dave Grube, 3.Pete Skias, 4.Josh Stoyer, 5.Jason Swavely, 6.Mike Rutherford, 7.Billy Logeman, 8.Mike Dicely, 9.Mike Miller, 10.Zack Fouse, 11.Chip Geib, 12.Devin Harron, 13.Tom Schearer, 14.Brett Wanner, 15.Tyler Reinhardt, 16.Jesse Maurer, 17.Kerry Lengle, 18.Cristi Sweigart, 19.Cody Kreger, 20.Ernie Miles, 21.Kevin Garman, 22.Phil Rupert, 23.Heath Hehnly, 24.Terry Ellex.
Sportsman Micro-Sprint Feature, 20 laps: 1. Ken Miller, 2.Sheena Schaeffer, 3.Jason Swavely, 4.Bret Habecker, 5.Mike Miller, 6.Donna Geib, 7.Matt Abers, 8.Brett Wanner, 9.Jeff Hughes, 10.Wesley Fasnacht, 11.Kelby Stauffer, 12.Dennis Ziegler, 13.Paul May III, 14.Joel Tolley, 15.Rick Fisher, 16.Corey Schmuck Jr., 17.Brad Kemp, 18.Mike Heiser, 19.Jenna Keppley, 20.Dwayne Mathias, 21.Dave Kemp, 22.Brian Becker, 23.Scott Garman.
125cc Feature, 25 laps: 1.Jesse Maurer, 2.Kory Merkey, 3.Shane Braxton, 4.Ryan Wilson, 5.Bradley Brown, 6.Mark Yoder, 7.Ken Miller, 8.Curtis R. Miller, 9.Darren Miller, 10.Sonny Sweitzer, 11.Kyle Hehnly, 12.Nick Sweigart, 13.Derek Miller, 14.Ashley Kase, 15.James Wampole, 16.Walter Wampole, 17.Daniel Braun, 18.Brianna Gerhart, 19.Dave Grube, 20.Samantha Garman, 21.Derek Ecenrode.
270cc Four-Stroke Feature, 25 laps: 1.Chip Geib, 2.Jessica Mohler, 3.Jared Esh, 4.Ed Nocera, 5.Ryan Morris, 6.Justin Harrington, 7.Kim Enck, 8.Travis Esh, 9.Earl Eveland, 10.Greg Schmuck, 11.Lewis Kepple Jr., 12.Tyler Armstrong, 13.Sheila Fetter, 14.Matthew Swift, 15.Ronald Wechter, 16.Craig DeSantis.