**Thanks to Michael Batz for his assistance with this race race report.
Newmanstown, PA - Brittany Brown, from New Providence, Pa., recorded her first 600cc Micro-Sprint victory on Saturday night at Lanco's Clyde Martin Memorial Speedway. And she held off some of the best in the business in order to notch the triumph on Hoosier Tire Mid-Atlantic Night at the speedway.
Lebanon Levi, from the Discovery Channel's reality show Amish Mafia, was also in attendance on Saturday. Levi signed autographs and posed for photos with fans as he watched Richie Hartman (270cc); Kyle Hehnly (125cc); Curtis R. Miller (Sportsman); and Chip Geib (250cc Four-Stroke) claim feature wins along with Brown. All of the winners received gift certificates, good toward the purchase of a custom, two or three-layer racing suit as part of the season long K1 Race Gear Proven Performance Program presented by Nouse Signs & Graphics.
Brittany Brown was out front in the 25-lapper for the 600cc Micros, but she was pressured by Chris Panczner, Mike Rutherford, Heath Hehnly, and Jared Esh during the course of the event. The young lady aboard the Vintage Signs/ Brown Motorsports No. 23 maintained her composure and hung on, despite the intense challenges from her competitors.
Hehnly may have had the fastest car at the end, rocketing around the oval in an extremely high line, and charging toward the front with the No. 23 of Brown firmly in his sights. Time ran out on the Manheim throttle-jockey, however, and Hehnly settled for runner-up honors when the checkered flag waved.
Tyler Esh passed Rutherford for third as they raced for home off turn four. Jared Esh finished fifth.
Heat wins for the 25-car field went to Austin Bishop, Panczner, and Tyler Esh. The consi was won by Rebecca LaMothe.
In 270cc action, Richie Hartman, from Temple, Pa., zipped past Christi Sweigart to take command on the fourth circuit. Hartman soon had to fend off assaults from Rutherford, who actually took the top spot on lap 11. A yellow flag appeared, though, before Rutherford could be scored as the race leader, so Hartman was placed back in front for the restart.
Only two additional caution periods slowed the pace of the 25-lap affair, and Rutherford could not muster another pass to overtake Hartman for the lead. Dave Grube was flying forward, running the high line to grab third in the middle stages of the event.
At the finish, Richie Hartman notched his second triumph of the season, with Rutherford and Grube trailing. Jason Swavely and Christi Sweigart completed the top five when the race ended.
With 27 of the 270's signed in for competition on Saturday, Sweigart, Brian Sholley, and Austin Bishop were victorious in the qualifying heats. Billy Logeman won the consolation race.
Kyle Hehnly, Stevens, Pa., drove to his second victory in the past three main events for the 125cc Micro-Sprints. Hehnly put his No. 19 out front in the early going, then weaved in and out of lapped traffic in superb fashion to maintain his advantage.
Dave Grube blasted from seventh on the starting grid to claim the runner-up position on lap seven. Try as he might, Grube just could not unseat Hehnly from the top spot. Grube drove deep into turns three and four on the final tour, but couldn't quite get close enough to stick a nose in front of Hehnly's mount.
Grube chased K. Hehnly to the finish line, with a great three-car battle for third going to Jesse Maurer over Derek Ecenrode and Richie Hartman. Nick Sweigart, in a car sponsored by C&L Roofing, Siding, and Treated Decks, came from 19th starting spot to finish seventh. C&L Roofing is owned by Lebanon Levi.
Kyle Hehnly and R. Hartman won heat races for the 20 car field of 125cc racers.
The 25-lap Sportsman feature may have been the best race of the night, as Charles Hellinger ran the race of his life but came up two laps short of scoring the upset victory.
With Hellinger setting the pace, Mertztown's Curtis R. Miller navigated his way from the outside of row four to run second. Miller closed in on Hellinger as the laps clicked off, then executed a slide job on the leader in turns three and four to snatch the top spot with two to go. Hellinger attempted to cross over and retaliate, but Miller forged ahead, leading the final half-lap to register his first win of the season.
Hellinger was disappointed and happy at the same time, settling for a career best runner-up finish. Bret Habecker wound up third, ahead of Jason Swavely and Mark Yoder.
Heat races for the 20 Sportsman went to Sheena Logeman and Jamie Fetterolf.
Chip Geib wrestled the lead away from Scott Renninger on a lap seven restart, then ran away for his third triumph of the 2013 campaign in the main event for the 250cc Four-Strokes.
David Ravel again gave the Earl Eveland No. 69k a solid ride, finishing second to Manheim's Geib after starting tenth. Trailing Geib and Ravel at the finish were Ryan Morris, who took advantage of a late race caution to pass Renninger for third on the restart. Renninger and Donna Geib finished fourth and fifth.
Eleven of the Four-Strokes participated in Saturday's program, and heat wins were recorded by Ravel and Donna Geib.
This Saturday, June 15, the Mark Millwright & Rigging point chases resume as the 600cc, 270cc, 125cc, Sportsman, and 250cc Four-Strokes scorch the banked oval once again in qualifying heats, consolations, and 25-lap feature races.
Gates open at 3:30; warm-ups begin at 5 p.m. The first heat race goes green at 6:00.
General admission tickets for adults are just $8.00, with discounts for Senior Citizens and Students. Tickets for youth between the ages of six and twelve are priced at just $2.00, and children under the age of six are free. Parking is always free at the Clyde.
Coming up on Saturday, June 22nd, is the second annual Dick Greenawalt Memorial Race. The Greenawalt Memorial pays tribute to the memory of the track's longtime photographer who passed away suddenly in July of 2011.
* Photos taken with Lebanon Levi cost $5 on Saturday, with the proceeds going to the Lanco club and the Conrad Weiser Food Pantry.
* Willie DeSantis, the father of multi-time Lanco champion and feature winner Craig DeSantis, passed away a few weeks ago. The elder DeSantis fielded cars that raced at the Clyde for many years, and he was still devoted to the club and the track in his latter years...long after he stopped owning and working on Micros. In his honor, the chair he sat in for several seasons was in its normal spot on Saturday.
* Great to see Shaun Brandel back in a 600cc Micro on Saturday night. Brandel's been battling some serious health problems, but got the clearance to race from his doctors and quickly shook off the rust to qualify through his heat race. Unfortunately, the feature only lasted six laps for Brandel, as the bolts holding the rear gear broke off, sending him to the pit area with 19 laps still to be run.
*Sportsman victory was Curtis R. Miller's first of the 2013 season; this was especially gratifying since he had to sit out a few weeks earlier in the year due to a concussion suffered during a crash in one of the season's first races.
600cc Micro-Sprint Feature, 25 laps: 1.Brittany Brown, 2.Heath Hehnly, 3.Tyler Esh, 4.Mike Rutherford, 5.Jared Esh, 6.A.J. Michael, 7.Brent Ely, 8.Travis Esh, 9.Chris Gerhart, 10.C.J. Tracy, 11.Joe Kay, 12.Mark Yoder, 13.Ryan Morris, 14.Ryan Hook, 15.Austin Bishop, 16.Mike Coen, 17.Jerry Schott Jr., 18.Jered Hook, 19.Kory Merkey, 20.Chris Panczner, 21.Shaun Brandel, 22.Jack Conover, 23.Mike Freed, 24.Rebecca LaMothe. DNQ: Troy Mussleman.
270cc Micro-Sprint Feature, 25 laps: 1.Richie Hartman, 2.Mike Rutherford, 3.Dave Grube, 4.Jason Swavely, 5.Christi Sweigart, 6.Eric Falini, 7.Heath Hehnly, 8.Jesse Maurer, 9.Kyle Spence, 10.Zach Fouse, 11.Dan Lane Jr., 12.Brad Brown, 13.Billy Logeman, 14.Austin Bishop, 15.Brian Sholley, 16.Mike Binkley, 17.Toby Blumenshine, 18.Kory Shissler, 19.Nick Sweigart, 20.Charles Hellinger, 21.Mike Uhrich, 22.Dan Braun Jr., 23.Nate Weidman, 24.Mike Miller. DNQ: Dean Spangler Jr., Dylan Binkley, Cody Drace.
125cc Micro-Sprint Feature, 25 laps: 1.Kyle Hehnly, 2.Dave Grube, 3.Jesse Maurer, 4.Derek Ecenrode, 5.Richie Hartman, 6.Brent Shearer, 7.Nick Sweigart, 8.Dylan Binkley, 9.Zach Hollinger, 10.Chase Gutshall, 11.Brie Weiler, 12.Alexis Sheely, 13.Hunter James, 14.Walt Wampole, 15.Adam Minzer, 16.Kory Merkey, 17.Dylan Adams, 18.Chip Geib, 19.Jimmy Wampole, 20.Matt Donley.
Sportsman Micro-Sprint Feature, 25 laps: 1.Curtis R. Miller, 2.Charles Hellinger, 3.Bret Habecker, 4.Jason Swavely, 5.Mark Yoder, 6.Jamie Fetterolf, 7.Wesley Fasnacht, 8.Sheena Logeman, 9.Kerry Lengle, 10.Matt Abers, 11.Anthony Yerger, 12.Jas Hehnly, 13.Dave Kemp, 14.Caleb Keller, 15.Tim Ziegler, 16.Jenna Heagy, 17.Brian Becker, 18.Taylor Shissler, 19.Matt Peachey, 20.Bobby Shanaman.
250cc Four-Stroke Micro-Sprint Feature, 25 laps: 1.Chip Geib, 2.David Ravel, 3.Ryan Morris, 4.Scott Renninger, 5.Donna Geib, 6.Ron Good, 7.Kim Minzer, 8.Eddie Nocera, 9.Lewis Kepple Jr., 10.Steve Smith, 11.Devin Adams.