Newmanstown, Pa. - September 4, 2011 - The 2011 Labor Day Shootout presented by Shred Racing Products, held at Lanco's Clyde Martin Memorial Speedway on September 3rd and 4th, produced tremendous car counts, excellent competition on a well prepared racing surface, and...the disappointment of losing two of the weekend's A-Mains to rain.
Six classes of Micro-Sprints (with winged and wingless 600cc counted as separate classes) swelled the total number of Shootout entries to 222 cars, with a dual heat race/passing points format used for qualifying in all six divisions. The winged 600cc Micros ran a complete show on Saturday (see results story below), with the other five A-Mains slated for Sunday.
With the threat of rain in the forecast, Sunday's portion of the program was pushed along as quickly as possible, and three of the A-Mains were completed along with two rounds of heat races, a C-Main, and a B-Main for the 52 entries in the wingless 600cc Class.
In the 30-lapper for the 125cc racers, polesitter Kory Merkey paced the early laps with Jesse Maurer in his tire tracks. On the ninth revolution, Merkey had to change his line to maneuver past a slower car in turns one and two. Robbed of his momentum, Merkey opened the door for Maurer, who swiftly took advantage and accelerated past Merkey to grab the top spot.
While Merkey kept Maurer in sight, a terrific battle raged behind the top two cars. Dave Grube fought off a challenge from Phil Durham to run all alone in third, while Durham fell back into a three-car tussle for fourth between himself, Barry Pollard, and Ken Miller.
Yellow flags slowed the pace with eleven laps remaining, then again with eight to go, and Merkey was just waiting for the leader to slip; the slightest mistake by Maurer would cost him the victory. But the Mount Joy, Pa. wheel-twister was not about to provide the opening needed by Merkey; Maurer prevailed to win his second straight 125cc Labor Day Shootout.
Merkey finished as the runner-up, with Grube, Durham, and Pollard completing the top five.
Zoe Ford was the race's Hard Charger, gaining eleven positions during the 30-lap affair. Sonny Sweitzer, a flip victim with just one lap complete in the A-Main, was the winner of the Hard Luck Award. Both the Hard Charger and Hard Luck Awards were sponsored by Shred Racing Products.
A very nice field of 31 cars entered the 125cc portion of the Shootout.
Ken Miller started on the pole of the Sportsman A-Main, then led all the way to claim the victory. For Miller, it was a happy ending to a weekend that began badly, as he crashed hard in Saturday's warm-ups, forcing him to to hop into a different car for the event. And it was very difficult for Miller to "hop" into anything, as the crash into the track's outer guardrail left him black-and-blue, and very sore.
"I'm glad this race was 30 laps and not 35," smiled the winner during his victory lane interview. "Not only was I getting tired, but I am hurting from yesterday, too. I'm not sure that I could have made it another five laps."
The checkered flag did wave after 30 trips around the banked oval, though, and the Birdsboro, Pa. chauffeur got the job done. Miller defeated two of his Sportsman Class teammates, Jason Swavely and Bret Habecker.
"I gave it every thing I had, but Kenny was just too good tonight," noted Swavely.
Mike Rutherford, wheeling Donna Geib's No. 82, finished fourth and Dwayne Mathias was the fifth car to cross the finish line.
Kelby Stauffer was the Shred Racing Products Hard Charger, while Tim Buckwalter earned the Shred Racing Products Hard Luck Award in the Sportsman feature.
The 270cc Four-Stroke Micros ran a non-stop, green to checkered 30-lapper, with Chip Geib winning a close, hotly contested battle with rookie Ryan Morris.
Morris slipped by polesitter Justin Harrington to snatch the lead on lap three and Geib moved into second a few circuits later. As the laps clicked off in a hurry, Geib began his assault on the leader. He was "patiently aggressive", trying the high line and low groove in an attempt to draw even with Morris.
With the white flag waving, Geib crossed the stripe ahead of Morris by just a few inches. Geib's No. 15 squeezed up in front of Morris in turns one and two, and the Manheim resident held on over the final three-quarters of a lap to win by almost half-a-second. Morris actually made one final dive under Geib in three and four, but he had to lift to avoid contact with Geib's machine, allowing Geib to motor to the finish line uncontested.
Morris settled for a well deserved runner-up effort, with Harrington, Ryan Shupp, and Kim Enck rounding out the top five.
Geib was the Shred Racing Products Hard Charger, while Ronald Wechter was the recipient of the Shred Racing Products Hard Luck Award.
The wingless 600cc B-Main reached its halfway point when the rain commenced. That race was declared complete, and Lanco officials waited and hoped that the precipitation would subside quickly and permit the event to continue. Instead, the rain intensified, and officials threw in the towel after looking (again) at the forecast, which called for heavy showers during the night and an even better chance for rain on Labor Day Monday.
It was decided to distribute the payout for the 270cc and wingless 600cc A-Mains among the drivers who qualified for those 30-lappers. The non-qualifiers in the B-Mains (for the 270's and 600's) were also paid.
Many of the drivers who qualified for both the 270cc and wingless 600cc A-Mains were not Lanco regulars, making it unfeasible to try and reschedule the two features for those classes.
The point battles resume this Saturday, September 10, as the Clyde Martin racing season enters its final two weeks. The 2011 curtain-closer is set for September 17.
This Saturday, the five weekly classes take part in qualifying heats, consolations, and 25-lap features. The 600cc, 270cc, 125cc, Sportsman, and 270cc Four-Stroke Micro-Sprints will be in competition, with warm-ups at 5 p.m. The first heat race goes green at 6:00.
Gates open at 3:30 on Saturday. Adult General Admission is just $8.00, with discounts for Senior Citizens and Students. Youth between the ages of six and twelve are admitted for only $2.00, and children under six are free. And parking is always free at the Clyde!
Sunday, September 4, 2011:
125cc Micro-Sprint Feature, 30 laps: 1.Jesse Maurer, 2.Kory Merkey, 3.Dave Grube, 4.Phil Durham, 5.Barry Pollard, 6.Ken Miller, 7.P.J. Williams, 8.Bradley Brown, 9.Darren Miller, 10.Ryan Wilson, 11.Mark Yoder, 12.Derek Ecenrode, 13.Zoe Ford, 14.Curtis R. Miller, 15.Brianna Gerhart, 16.Erin DeLong, 17.Tyler Tank, 18.Shane Braxton, 19.Angelo Bianco, 20.Jason Hehnly, 21.Derek Miller, 22.Joshua Conover, 23.Sonny Sweitzer, 24.Kyle Spence.
Sportsman Micro-Sprint Feature, 30 laps: 1.Ken Miller, 2.Jason Swavely, 3.Bret Habecker, 4.Mike Rutherford, 5.Dwayne Mathias, 6.Matt Abers, 7.Sheena Shaeffer, 8.Dave Kemp, 9.Brett Wanner, 10.Kelby Stauffer, 11.Dennis Ziegler, 12.Paul May III, 13.Rick Fisher, 14.Joel Tolley, 15.Dean Spangler Jr., 16.Dave Schroeder, 17.Corey Schmuck Jr., 18.Jenna Keppley, 19.Nick Skias, 20.Dean Spangler Sr., 21.Mike Heiser, 22.Tim Buckwalter.
270cc Four-Stroke Micro-Sprint Feature, 30 laps: 1.Chip Geib, 2.Ryan Morris, 3.Justin Harrington, 4.Ryan Shupp, 5.Kim Enck, 6.Travis Esh, 7.Matthew Swift, 8.Earl Eveland, 9.Ronald Wechter. DNS: Jessica Mohler; Craig DeSantis.
NOTE: The 30-lap A-Mains for the 270cc Two-Stroke and Wingless 600cc Classes were rained out. The total purse was distributed among the drivers who qualified for the respective A-Mains, and non-qualifiers in the B-Mains were also paid.
Drivers who qualified for the 270cc Two-Stroke A-Main (listed according to qualifying points earned in dual heat races on Saturday and top six from B-Main):
Mike Rutherford, Zack Fouse, Richie Hartman, Dave Grube, Marty Gorr, Ryan Smith, Shane Lewis, Nate Weidman, Billy Logeman, Tom Schearer, Brayden Winters, Jason Swavely, Mike Dicely, Ross Perchak, Josh Stoyer, Jared Esh, Jesse Maurer, Chip Geib, Devin Harron, Kevin Garman, Pete Skias, Christi Sweigart, Nick Walton, Matt McAnally, Lee Reinhardt, Jarid Kunkle.
Drivers who qualified for the Wingless 600cc A-Main (listed according to qualifying points earned in dual heat races on Sunday and top six from B-Main):
Ryan Smith, Ryan Greth, Shane Lewis, Mike Rutherford, Kyle Lick, Jeff Hartman, A.J. Michael, Chris Rupp, Jim Radney, Robbie Kendall, Rick Perone, Mark Yoder, Jack Conover, Tim Buckwalter, Mike Dicely, Chris Panczner, Shaun Brandel, Phil Durham, Luke Thomas, Jeff Halligan, Tom Kohler, Brent Ely, Dean Seemans, Tyler Esh, Bobby Butler, Brittany Brown.
September 3 Results:
Winged 600 Feature, 30 laps: 1.Mike Rutherford, 2. Peter Michael, 3.Shane Lewis, 4.Tyler Ross, 5.Ben Murphy, 6.Jimmy Brookens, 7.Timmie Barrick, 8.Jeff Halligan, 9.Brian Carber, 10.Tom Kohler, 11.Kameron Morral, 12.Robbie Kendall, 13.Tim Dietz, 14.Danny Wykes, 15.Shaun Brandel, 16.Brock Zearfos, 17.Tyler Walker, 18.Tyler Esh, 19.Chris Gerhart, 20.Chris Panczner, 21.Phil Durham, 22. Ryan Greth, 23. Travis Scott, 24. Chad Clark, 25.Heath Hehnly, 26. Mike Dicely.
** Saturday's results story appears below...
Newmanstown, Pa. - September 3 - A total of 170 Micro-Sprint teams jammed into the pit area of Lanco's Clyde Martin Memorial Speedway on Saturday for Day One of the Labor Day Shootout presented by Shred Racing Products.
The five classes in competition on Saturday were the winged 600's; the 270's; the 125cc Micros; the Sportsman; and the 270cc Four-Strokes. Qualifying heats were conducted for all five classes, along with a complete show of winged 600cc action.
After 30 heat races (dual heats/passing points format used for all classes), two C-Mains, a B-Main, and a consi, it was time for the 30-lap A-Main for the winged 600cc Micros.
Mike Rutherford, driving Gary & Rose Hunter's CarStar no. 7h, started from the pole by virtue of earning more qualifying points than anyone else in the 600 field. And Rutherford, from Lititz, Pa., made the most of his opportunity, driving to a convincing win over a talent-laden cast of 600cc jockeys.
Peter Michael chased Rutherford for the entire 30-lap distance, but could not get quite close enough to mount a serious bid for the lead.
Shane Lewis started 10th, and slowly but steadily worked his way forward.
Lewis charged into the top five with an outside move on Ben Murphy on lap 19. The Honeybrook Hustler continued his march to the front, passing Jimmy Brookens for fourth with ten to go, then blasting by Tyler Ross for third on a lap 24 restart.
That's the way they finished, with Rutherford winning by almost 1.3 seconds over P. Michael. Lewis wound up third with a chain that was loosening up on him over the final frantic laps.
The victory was Rutherford's second straight winged 600cc triumph in the Labor Day Shootout.
Shaun Brandel was the Shred Racing Products Hard Charger in the winged 600cc main event.
**Car count for the Labor Day Shootout:
Winged 600cc = 58/ 270cc = 47/ 125cc = 31/ Sportsman = 23/ 270cc Four-Strokes = 11/ Wingless 600cc = 52.
The grand total was 222 Micro-Sprints!