Newmanstown, Pa. - One and one-half seasons of frustration and bad luck went out the window on Saturday night at Lanco's Clyde Martin Memorial Speedway, as Brent Ely qualified in his heat race, lined up in a good starting spot for the 600cc Micro-Sprint feature, then took the lead early and held on to it, scoring the second Lanco victory of his racing career.
Ely, of Sassamansville, Pa., was joined in the winner's circle by Mike Rutherford (270cc), Richie Hartman (125cc), Ryan Morris (270cc Four-Stroke), and Jason Swavely (Sportsman), as Hoosier Tire Mid-Atlantic (HTMA) sponsored the night of high speed adventure.
Even though Ely jumped into the lead immediately from his outside front row starting spot, his triumph did not come without some drama. His RTS Chassied No. 17B had a slight fluid leak, and he battled a fuel pump issue throughout the 25-lap HTMA main event.
While Ely set the pace and dealt with his mechanical problems, Mike Dicely was navigating his way to the front - utilizing the low groove while almost everyone else ran the top.
Dicley moved from ninth to fifth on the eighth trip around the banked oval, then climbed two more positions to run third as lap nine was scored.
Shane Lewis was also slicing through the field, keeping pace with Dicely during the first half of the race.
With Ely in control at the head of the pack, Dicely passed Tyler Esh for second as the crossed flags were shown to the field. As Lewis tried to pass Esh, Joe B. Miller muscled his way past Lewis with three to go, then nipped Esh at the stripe to record a third place finish in just his second start at the Clyde.
Ely kept Dicely at bay over the final few circuits, winning by 0.37 seconds. Miller, Esh, and Lewis completed the top five finishers.
600cc heat races went to Dicely, Brittany Brown, James Morris, and Tyler Esh. The twin consolation races were won by Mark Yoder and Danny Wykes. A stellar field of 39 cars signed in for competition on Saturday.
In the Hoosier Tire Mid-Atlantic main event for the 270cc Micro-Sprints, Ryan Morris led the first two laps before Tyler Reinhardt slipped past him to take command. Reinhardt remained in front for the next ten tours until Richie Hartman, the previous week's feature winner, took over on lap 13.
Mike Rutherford, Lititz, Pa., worked his way through heavy traffic to secure the runner-up spot with eight laps left to run. Rutherford executed the winning pass with three to go, pulling a crossover move on Hartman to grab the lead.
At the finish, it was Rutherford registering his third triumph of the season, with Hartman chasing him to the stripe. For the second week in a row, Billy Logeman used the high groove to earn third place money, with Nick Skias and Heath Hehnly rounding out the top five.
A great field of 34 cars entered the event, with heat races going to Reinhardt, Hartman, Hehnly, and Dana LaMothe. Kyle Spence and Justin Harrington won the two consolation races for the 270cc racers.
The story of the 125cc division is titled, "The Kid", as in Richie "The Kid" Hartman, who captured his fifth consecutive feature win in Gary Gorski's No. 29.
Shane Braxton passed Kory Merkey to snare the top spot on lap four. Braxton, bidding for his second victory of the 2012 campaign, appeared to have this one well in hand until lapped traffic bottled him up with about ten laps remaining.
Hartman, who hails from Temple, Pa., had swiped the runner-up slot from his Gorski Racing teammate, Jesse Maurer, on the fifteenth revolution. When Braxton got hung up in the lapped cars, Hartman made his move. As Braxton went one way, Hartman went the other and grabbed the lead with nine to go.
Braxton and Maurer then waged an entertaining battle for second as Ken Miller, who started last in the 23-car field, sliced and diced his way into the fourth position.
Hartman recorded another victory and Braxton held off Maurer for second, with Miller finishing fourth. Chris Gerhart, subbing for his injured sister, Brianna, ended up in fifth when the checkered flag waved.
The "big one" nearly occurred when polesitter Kyle Hehnly clipped a couple of the infield tire markers on the opening lap and spun in front of the entire field. Incredibly, all of the cars stacked up right behind him managed to avoid contact with the No. 19 and even more amazingly, Hehnly grabbed a lower gear, gassed his car and kept on going, losing six positions in the process but kept the race under green flag conditions.
With 23 of the 125cc teams in action on Saturday, Braxton, Miller, and Hartman were victorious in the three heat races.
The big news coming out of Saturday's 270cc Four-Stroke main was once again centered on Chip Geib. But this time, the Manheim driver made news because he didn't win - his five race win streak (in point paying shows) was broken by a young charger who notched his second career Four-Stroke victory on the same weekend he captured his first-ever win in 2011.
Ryan Morris passed Geib - for the lead - on the fifth trip around the clay after Geib paced the field from laps two through four.
Morris, from Honeybrook, Pa., led the rest of the way to become the first driver this season to defeat Geib in a point-paying event. As a rookie in 2011, Morris registered the first Micro-Sprint triumph of his brief career on Father's Day weekend.
Geib finished second on Saturday night, saying the end of his winning streak "was bound to happen sometime."
Craig DeSantis rebounded from an early race, multi-car crash to take the checkered in third, with Eddie Nocera and Donna Geib finishing fourth and fifth, respectively.
The fourteen drivers who entered the Four-Stroke portion of the program competed in a pair of heat races, with victories going to Chip Geib and Morris.
Jason Swavely's third triumph of the season in the Sportsman Class occurred in fairly dominating fashion on Saturday.
Swavely, from Douglassville, roared from tenth to the lead as lap two was scored. Swavely, the defending point champion of the Sportsman Class, then romped to victory by more than 2.5 seconds over two of his Miller Racing teammates, Ken Miller and Bret Habecker.
Ken Miller, as he did in the 125cc headliner, started last in the 25-lapper for the Sportsman. The Birdsboro driver was up to fifth when the yellow flag appeared with five laps complete. Two laps after the restart, Miller was third. He raced into the runner-up slot on lap 14, but could not catch the high flying Swavely.
Habecker passed Mark Ludwig for third spot with ten laps remaining, and he chased Swavely and Miller to the finish line in that position.
Ludwig ended the race in fourth, with Wesley Fasnacht finishing fifth. Matt Abers drove from 17th on the starting grid to place sixth.
Habecker and Sheena Logeman won heat races for the 20 Sportsman cars who helped to fill the pit area on Saturday.
The Dick Greenawalt Memorial Race will take place this Saturday, June 23rd. Lanco's long time track photographer passed away very suddenly on July 5, 2011, and this week's event will pay tribute to his many years of service to the club and to the speedway. Greenawalt's wife Carol, his son Lee, and Lee's wife Margaret will be present as the club honors their husband and father with a racing program dedicated to his memory.
The Dick Greenawalt Memorial Race will consist of qualifying heats, consolations, and 25-lap features for the 600cc, 270cc, 125cc, Sportsman, and 270cc Four-Stroke Micro-Sprints.
Gates open at 3:30, with warm-ups at 5 p.m.
Adult General Admission is just $8.00, with discounts for Senior Citizens and Students. Tickets for youth between the ages of six and twelve are just $2.00, and children under the age of six are admitted free. And parking is always free at the Clyde!
In less than two weeks, the colossal, two day event known as Micromania will take place at the Clyde Martin Memorial Speedway. Saturday, June 30 and Sunday, July 1, will spotlight the 600cc racers in the Prelude to the Mania (on Saturday) and Micromania itself on Sunday. With at least 60 entries and the full program being completed on Saturday, Micromania will pay $10,000 to win on Sunday, July 1st.
The 270cc Clash at the Clyde is also on the weekend menu for June 30 and July 1, with the Flash before the Clash taking place on Saturday, June 30. The Clash will pay $1,000 to win provided there are at least 40 entries.
All of the details regarding this huge weekend of clay tossing, side by side action can be found at www.lancomicrosprint.com. Entry forms for both the Micromania and Clash at the Clyde events are posted on the Lanco site as well as MicroRacing.com.
600cc Feature, 25 laps: 1.Brent Ely, 2.Mike Dicely, 3.Joe B. Miller, 4.Tyler Esh, 5.Shane Lewis, 6.Mike Rutherford, 7.Ryan Greth, 8.Heath Hehnly, 9.Jeff Halligan, 10.Tim Buckwalter, 11.Peter Michael, 12.Shaun Brandel, 13.Jeff Hartman, 14.Tom Kohler, 15.Chris Tracy, 16.James Morris, 17.Kevin Steele, 18.Danny Wykes, 19.Bruce Ginther Jr., 20.Chris Gerhart, 21.Brittany Brown, 22.Mark Yoder, 23.Kameron Morral, 24.A.J. Michael.
270cc Feature, 25 laps: 1.Mike Rutherford, 2.Richie Hartman, 3.Billy Logeman, 4.Nick Skias, 5.Heath Hehnly, 6.Jesse Maurer, 7.Tyler Reinhardt, 8.Chip Geib, 9.Jason Swavely, 10.Christi Sweigart, 11.Brian Sholley, 12.Charles Hellinger, 13.Pete Skias, 14.Justin Harrington, 15.Nate Weidman, 16.Ryan Morris, 17.Toby Blumenshine, 18.Jordan Stites, 19.Kylie Winkler, 20.Dave Grube, 21.Jeff Hartman, 22.Dana LaMothe, 23.Kyle Spence, 24.Mike Uhrich.
125cc Feature, 25 laps: 1.Richie Hartman, 2.Shane Braxton, 3.Jesse Maurer, 4.Ken Miller, 5.Chris Gerhart, 6.Darren Miller, 7.Derek Ecenrode, 8.Felisha Kirlin, 9.Kyle Hehnly, 10.Dave Grube, 11.Nick Sweigart, 12.Dylan Adams, 13.Zach Hollinger, 14.Jimmy Wampole, 15.Trevor Shirk, 16.Walt Wampole, 17.Danny Braun, 18.Kory Merkey, 19.Brie Weiler, 20.Bradley Brown, 21.Scott Gantert, 22.Austin Emerson, 23.Jake Smith.
270cc Four-Stroke Feature, 25 laps: 1.Ryan Morris, 2.Chip Geib, 3.Craig DeSantis, 4.Eddie Nocera, 5.Donna Geib, 6.Kim Enck, 7.Steve Smith Sr., 8.Kenny Miller III, 9.Earl Eveland, 10.Kory Shissler, 11.Mike Jenks, 12.Ron Good, 13.Sheila Fetter, 14.Lewis Kepple Jr.
Sportsman Feature, 25 laps: 1.Jason Swavely, 2.Ken Miller, 3.Bret Habecker, 4.Mark Ludwig, 5.Wesley Fasnacht, 6.Matt Abers, 7.David Kemp, 8.Dean Spangler Jr., 9.Tim Ziegler, 10.Dennis Fenstermacher, 11.Jenna Heagy, 12.Kerry Lengle, 13.Curtis R. Miller, 14.Vince Malcom Jr., 15.Derek Eckman, 16.Corey Schmuck Jr., 17.Sheena Logeman, 18.Bobby Shanaman, 19.Mike Heiser, 20.Brian Becker.