Newmanstown, PA - Tyler Esh won his third feature race of the season and his good buddy Jason Swavely recorded two feature triumphs on Saturday night at Lanco's Clyde Martin Memorial Speedway.
Esh, from New Providence, Pa., registered his first victory since April 20 in the 600cc main event, while Swavely grabbed checkered flags in the 270cc and Sportsman features. Joining them in victory lane were Chip Geib and Ryan Morris (250cc Four-Stroke), along with Jesse Maurer (125cc). Geib captured a make-up race for the Four-Strokes (it was rained out on June 29). Each of the six features contested by the Mark Millwright & Rigging Micro-Sprints ran a distance of 25-laps in a program that wrapped up by 10:10 p.m.
The 600cc Micros took a break from the hotly contested Mark Millwright & Rigging point chase on Saturday, but that didn't stop the competitors from battling fiercely for every position in their 25-lap headliner.
Brent Ely shot into the top spot from his outside front row starting position. Ely outgunned polesitter Jared Esh as the green waved, while Jared's cousins, brothers Tyler and Travis Esh, raced side by side into turn one from the second row.
Tyler Esh blasted into the runner-up spot on the first trip around the clay, and the stage was set for a classic battle of low groove versus high groove, as Ely had his RTS Chassis/ NAPA of Boyertown No. 17B hooked up on the bottom while Tyler Esh planted his Weaver's Garage/ Bud's Spring Service/ Hyper in his favorite lane at the top of the banking.
Esh had the momentum up high, keeping his No. 35 wound up and rocketing off the corners. But Ely not only kept pace with Esh, he maintained the lead as he danced around the low side at both ends of the speedway.
"I showed him my nose early, when he was running a higher line, and I think it made him drop down to protect the bottom. And that's what I wanted, because I always want to run the top," smiled the winner.
Finally, on the 14th revolution around the banked oval, Esh pushed the nose of his car in front of Ely. For a few laps, Esh would clear Ely's car on the straightaways, but Brent battled back alongside the leader in the corners. Esh eventually gained the advantage and began to separate himself from Ely by a few carlengths.
"I tried the top in the beginning, and my car was okay up there, but it was really good on the bottom," explained Ely afterward. "That's where I was the best, but Tyler was just too strong on the outside. We didn't win, but I'm happy...the two of us put on a good show," he grinned.
Attention then turned to the battle for third between Chris Panzcner and Heath Hehnly. The pair raced side by side on several occasions before Hehnly secured the position for good.
At the finish, Tyler Esh roared under the black-and-white cloth with a margin of almost one-second over Ely. Hehnly settled for third ahead of Panzcner, and Shaun Brandel was fifth.
Two heat races were run for the 19-car field, with Jared Esh and Ely picking up the victories.
While the 600's did not have to worry about points on Saturday, that was not the case for the other four divisions, as the Mark Millwright & Rigging point chases turned hotter than the weather in the 270cc, Sportsman, 250cc Four-Stroke, and 125cc Classes.
Richie Hartman set the pace from his pole position in the 25-lapper for the 270cc Micro-Sprints as tenth-starting Jason Swavely steadily climbed through the field.
With Hartman blazing a trail toward his third victory of the year, Swavely zipped past Billy Logeman to snare third at the halfway mark, then ducked under Nick Sweigart entering turn one on the 16th circuit, grabbing the runner-up position as they throttled onto the backstretch.
Two tours later, as Swavely was bearing down on the race leader, Hartman's Davis Motorsports/ Valley Forge Inc. No. 39 suddenly slowed out of turn two, dropping off the pace and coasting to a stop on the backchute.
"That sucks for Richie," said Swavely after the race. "I want to race people for the win, not have them drop out when they're still in front of me. But we had to be in position to take advantage of that, and I've lost races that way, so I'll take it."
The Douglassville driver made the most of his unexpected gift, pulling away on the restart and romping to his second consecutive 270cc triumph at the Clyde, and his third of the season, winning by more than two-seconds over Logeman.
Impressive runs turned in by two invaders as Kutztown's Jarid Kunkle sliced his way from 12th on the starting grid to third at the checkered, with track regular Bradley Brown sandwiched in between Kunkle and fifth-place Austin Bishop, who took the original green in 11th. Bishop has just a couple of 2013 starts at Clyde Martin, while Kunkle's effort was his first of the year at Lanco in a 270 Micro.
Bishop, Zack Fouse, and Kunkle won heats for the 33-car field of 270's. Brian Sholley notched the consolation victory.
A little bit earlier in the evening, Swavely turned up the heat on Sportsman point leader Bret Habecker by winning his second in a row and fifth feature of the season in the 250cc Air-Cooled Class.
Habecker fell out with mechanical problems and finished 14th, enabling Swavely - who was second in the Mark Millwright & Rigging point standings - to significantly close the gap with his victory.
Swavely needed just two laps to maneuver his way from 11th to fourth before a yellow flag slowed the event. On the restart, Matt Abers took the lead from Tim Ziegler and Swavely darted to second on the same lap.
On the fourth trip around the ultra-quick oval, Swavely used a slingshot move off the banking of turn four, going from the high to the low groove and dashing past Abers to claim the top spot. Swavely then charged into his own area code, opening up a big margin over the three-car tussle for second place.
Curtis R. Miller, who started 18th (last) due to a broken radius rod bolt that caused him to miss his heat race, flew through the pack in the early laps and moved to third on a restart with nine laps complete. Miller then waged a furious battle with Abers and Dave Ravel for the runner-up slot, going three-wide on the 18th tour as they gassed their mounts down the frontstretch. Miller emerged from that clash with the second position, and he held on for runner-up cash, trying without success to chase down the high-flying Swavely.
At the conclusion of the 25-lap affair, Swavely crossed the stripe 1.5-seconds ahead of Miller, with Ravel placing third. Abers and Sheena Logeman completed the top five.
Swavely also picked up the Weld Racing Fast Lap of the Feature Award by recording the quickest lap during the race. His fast time was 11.227-seconds.
Heat winners for the 18 Sportsman were Habecker and Swavely.
The very first race of the night was the postponed feature for the 250cc Four-Strokes that was rained out on June 29.
Chip Geib, Manheim Pa., started ninth and was up to second by the fourth circuit. He squeezed up in front of leader Scott Renninger as they accelerated off turn four on the ninth trip around the clay, then raced away to his fifth victory of the year in the Four-Stroke division.
Geib and Ryan Morris are the only two drivers to win Four-Stroke features this season - a trend that would continue in the regularly scheduled main event.
In the make-up feature, point leader Morris was knocked out early when he could not avoid contact with a disabled Steve Smith, who spun into the guardrail at the exit of turn two. Chip Geib's win tightened the point battle as he and Morris fight for the Mark Millwright & Rigging Four-Stroke Championship.
Geib cruised to the win over Donna Geib (no relation). Renninger scored a well deserved third place finish, with Eddie Nocera and rookie Devin Adams rounding out the top five.
In the regularly scheduled 25-lapper, Morris made up for his misfortune in the first feature by storming to his sixth triumph of the campaign. The Honeybrook wheel-twister started tenth and propelled his Elite Concrete/ Animal Resorts No. 93 to second spot by the time two laps had been scored. He launched past Devin Adams, the diminutive rookie with the heavy right foot, to take the lead on the sixth tour.
The 25-lapper went non-stop from green to checkered, and Morris completed the event in 5:05 (five minutes and five seconds). Chip Geib was a distant runner-up to his rival, but his second-place finish kept him within striking distance in the point chase.
The No. 99 of Devin Adams wound up third, with Nocera and Dave Ravel finishing fourth and fifth, respectively.
Four-Stroke heats went to Donna Geib and Ravel. Eleven cars entered the night's program in the Four-Stroke division.
Seventh-starting Jesse Maurer, from Mount Joy, Pa., quickly weaved a path to the front of the 125cc field, taking the lead from Dylan Adams as the duo raced through turn four on the fourth revolution. Maurer went on to win his second in a row, and fifth of the season in the 125cc Micro-Sprint Class.
His Gorski Racing teammate, Richie Hartman, moved into second on a lap nine restart, then tried in vain to track down the Mount Joy Outlaw.
Maurer flashed across the finish line with a healthy margin over Hartman, with 11th-starting Kory Merkey authoring a third-place effort. Dave Grube, who laid his No. 3D on its side early in the race, charged from the rear to earn fourth-place money, and Derek Ecenrode finished fifth.
With 19 of the 125cc racers on hand, Maurer and Grube were victorious in the two heat races run for the group.
All of the feature winners received gift certificates, in addition to the first place payout, as part of the K1 Race Gear Proven Performance Program presented by Nouse Signs & Graphics.
Blue Ridge Cable Channel 11 will record the main events this Saturday, July 20, as the Mark Millwright & Rigging point battles continue in a final tune-up before the double-point Clyde Martin Memorial Race on July 27. This week's program will be sponsored by Mongoose Chassis.
IMPORTANT NOTE: beginning this Saturday, July 20, the starting time will move back one hour. Gates will open at 4:30 and warm-ups begin at 6 p.m. The first heat race will take the green at 7:00.
The change in the time schedule will be in effect until (at least) August 17.
Mark Millwright & Rigging Micro-Sprint Results:
600cc Micro-Sprint Feature, 25 laps: 1.Tyler Esh, 2.Brent Ely, 3.Heath Hehnly, 4.Chris Panzcner, 5.Shaun Brandel, 6.Mike Rutherford, 7.Jared Esh, 8.Dave Carlberg, 9.Travis Esh, 10.Brittany Brown, 11.Mike Coen, 12.Paul Graham, 13.Bruce Ginther Jr., 14.Ryan Morris, 15.Mark Yoder, 16.Taylor Troxel, 17.Troy Musselman, 18.Nate Prazenica, 19.Kelby Stauffer.
270cc Micro-Sprint Feature, 25 laps: 1.Jason Swavely, 2.Billy Logeman, 3.Jarid Kunkle, 4.Bradley Brown, 5.Austin Bishop, 6.Jesse Maurer, 7.Nick Sweigart, 8.Mike Rutherford, 9.Dave Grube, 10.Brian Sholley, 11.Barry Shearer, 12.Christi Sweigart, 13.Heath Hehnly, 14.Kyle Spence, 15.Dan Lane Jr., 16.Shaun Brandel, 17.Cody Drace, 18.Nate Weidman, 19.Danny Braun Jr., 20.Michael Binkley, 21.Gregg Walter, 22.Richie Hartman, 23.Zack Fouse, 24.Kory Shissler.
Sportsman Micro-Sprint Feature, 25 laps: 1.Jason Swavely, 2.Curtis R. Miller, 3.Dave Ravel, 4.Matt Abers, 5.Sheena Logeman, 6.Mark Yoder, 7.Anthony Yerger, 8.Charles Hellinger, 9.Wesley Fasnacht, 10.Jenna Heagy, 11.Brian Becker, 12.Dave Kemp, 13.Tim Ziegler, 14.Bret Habecker, 15.Matt Peachey, 16.Bobby Shanaman, 17.Kerry Lengle, 18.Jas Hehnly.
125cc Micro-Sprint Feature, 25 laps: 1.Jesse Maurer, 2.Richie Hartman, 3.Kory Merkey, 4.Dave Grube, 5.Derek Ecenrode, 6.Dylan Adams, 7.Kenny Murray, 8.Brent Shearer, 9.Chase Gutshall, 10.Zack Hollinger, 11.Brie Weiler, 12.Jimmy Wampole, 13.Nick Sweigart, 14.Alexis Sheely, 15.Kyle Hehnly, 16.Chip Geib, 17.Dylan Binkley, 18.Matthew Donley.
250cc Four-Stroke Micro-Sprint Feature, 25 laps: 1.Ryan Morris, 2.Chip Geib, 3.Devin Adams, 4.Eddie Nocera, 5.Dave Ravel, 6.Donna Geib, 7.Scott Renninger, 8.Kim Minzer, 9.Lewis Kepple Jr., 10.Steve Smith Sr., 11.Sheila Fetter.
250cc Four-Stroke Feature (postponed on June 29), 25 laps: 1.Chip Geib, 2.Donna Geib, 3.Scott Renninger, 4.Eddie Nocera, 5.Devin Adams, 6.Lewis Kepple Jr., 7.Sheila Fetter, 8.Kim Minzer, 9.Steve Smith Sr., 10.Ryan Morris. DNS: Kenny Miller III.