Newmanstown, PA - The five-and-a-half hour drive back to Connecticut was easier to take, and Shane Lewis certainly had plenty of money for gas and snacks after he captured a pair of lucrative 600cc victories on Sunday at Lanco's Clyde Martin Memorial Speedway.
The two-day event - Lanco's annual Labor Day Shootout, presented this year by Mark Millwright & Rigging and Esh Racing Products - was reduced to a one-day marathon because rain washed out Saturday evening's program after eight races had been completed.
Sunday was a good day, albeit a long one, for Lewis. The Honeybrook Hustler, now living and working in Connecticut, recorded the winged and wingless 600cc Micro-Sprint A-Main triumphs.
Joining Lewis as Shootout victors were Mike Rutherford (270cc), Jesse Maurer (125cc), Jason Swavely (Sportsman), and Donna Geib (250cc Four-Stroke).
Per Labor Day Shootout rules, all classes competed in dual heat races, with a passing points format utilized for qualifying.
By earning the most points in winged 600cc qualifying, Lewis started on the pole of the 30-lap A-Main. He jumped into the lead at the outset and never trailed, pacing the talented field for the duration of the event.
Ryan Greth chased Lewis in the early laps before Robbie Kendall, steering one of the Rich Glosser Racing entries for the weekend, slipped past Greth for the runner-up spot. Later in the race, seventh-starting Heath Hehnly and Mike Rutherford, who took the initial green in tenth, moved into third and fourth. But no one could track down Lewis, who rolled to the $1,000 victory by one-quarter of a second over Kendall.
Hehnly, Rutherford, and Chris Gerhart made up the top five at the checkered.
Forty-six winged 600's entered the Shootout, with heat wins going to CJ Tracy, Kendall, Luke Thomas, Tyler Esh, Lewis, Jared Esh, Hehnly, Jack Conover, Tim Iulg, and Greth. Jared Esh also notched the B-Main victory.
The wingless 600cc A-Main, the nightcap to the fun-filled weekend of terrific competition, was chock-full of drama and wheel to wheel action, as Lewis and Alex Bright (in the other RGR entry) engaged in an incredibly exciting duel for the win.
Mike Rutherford led early, but contact with a lapped car (the car broke and slowed suddenly right in front of the leader) resulted in Rutherford flipping Gary Hunter's No. 7h in turn one.
That unfortunate incident handed the top spot to Lewis, with Collegeville's Bright in second. As the race entered its second half and Lewis in the midst of dealing with heavy lapped traffic, Bright saw an opening and executed a slide job...and so began the most entertaining battle of the highly competitive weekend.
Lewis was ready, turning left as Bright drifted up in front of him and driving back under the ARDC pilot to reclaim the lead. That started a pattern in which Bright threw numerous sliders at both ends of the race track for the next several laps, and Lewis thwarted each attack by simply driving down the banking and back in front of the No. 70g as they charged onto the straightaway.
On the final lap, Bright gave it one last shot in three and four...and for a moment, it looked as though this slider might work. But Lewis was up to the task once more, flying off the clay banking and nipping Bright at the stripe by 0.084-seconds. Lewis earned $800 for the wingless triumph, his second non-wing victory of the season at the Clyde (he also took the checkered flag in the Kerry Gilbert Memorial Race on Memorial Day weekend). He has a pair of winged 600cc triumphs, too, in just a partial season of action at the Clyde Martin oval.
Jay Hartman, the 2013 point champ at Kutztown's Action Track USA, finished third while PA 600 Speedweek Champion Tony DiMattia wound up fourth. Lanco graduate and two-time ARDC Midget champ Andy Martin crossed the line in fifth.
With 40 wingless warriors in attendance, Bright, DiMattia, Tim Iulg, Rutherford, Sammy LaMothe, Kyle Lick, Chris Panczner, and Lewis won heat races. Mike Dicely notched the B-Main victory.
The 270cc A-Main began with Jason Swavely, Billy Logeman, and Rutherford in the first three starting positions. Swavely paced the field for 21 laps until Rutherford ducked under him in turns one and two with nine laps remaining. Ninth-starting Jarid Kunkle and 15th starter Austin Bishop sliced their way into the top five and appeared ready to challenge Swavely, Logeman, and Jesse Maurer for top three honors before they faded a bit in the last ten trips around the smooth and ultra-fast oval.
At the finish, it was Rutherford, from Lititz, claiming another 270cc Shootout victory, with Swavely, Maurer, Logeman, and Kunkle rounding out the top five finishers.
A tremendous field of 53 entered the 270cc portion of the event. Swavely (twice), Tyler Reinhardt, Darren Miller, Logeman (twice), Marty Gorr (twice), Rutherford (twice), and Maurer (twice) were victorious in heat race activity. Heath Hehnly captured the C-Main and Dave Grube notched the rain delayed B-Main victory.
Alpha, NJ racer Bobby Butler climbed through the C-Main to the B, where he qualified by finishing second after starting 22nd. Unfortunately, Butler fell out of the A-Main after completing 25 of the 30 laps. He was credited with a 21st place finish.
Jesse Maurer, the Mount Joy Outlaw, has turned the 125cc Labor Day Shootout into his personal cash cow, and he won another one on Sunday night; this year worth a cool $550.
Maurer passed his Gorski Racing teammate, Richie Hartman, for the lead on the 12th circuit as Hartman got screened by a lapped car, momentarily, in turn two. From that point on it was all Maurer, with Hartman trailing his teammate by a half-second at the finish. Despite missing two races this season, Maurer now has seven feature wins in the Clyde's 125cc division.
Dave Grube crossed the line in third, while Airport Speedway hotshoes Phil Durham and TJ Greve cashing in for fourth and fifth place money.
Heat race triumphs went to Grube, Hartman (twice), Kory Merkey, Maurer, and Durham. The B-Main went to rookie Alexis Sheely. A total of 27 of the 125cc race teams signed in for competition on Sunday.
Douglassville's Jason Swavely scored his eighth Sportsman victory of the year in that division's 30-lap A-Main. Swavely earned the most points in qualifying, thereby earning the right to start on the pole of the 30-lapper. He led all the way, winning by almost two seconds over one of his Miller Racing teammates, Mertztown's Curtis R. Miller.
Curtis tussled with another teammate, his dad's cousin Ken Miller, for most of the race as the duo fought for runner-up honors.
At the finish, it was Swavely over Curtis R. Miller, with Ken Miller, Kerry Lengle, and Bret Habecker trailing in third, fourth, and fifth.
Heat winners for the 23 Sportsman were Swavely (twice), Mike Rice, Shaun Brandel, Habecker, and Curtis R. Miller.
Donna Geib, of Manheim, led all 30 laps of the 250cc Four-Stroke A-Main to win her second race in the past three weeks - and her first Labor Day Shootout main event.
Just a single yellow flag - with two tours in the books - slowed the pace of the Four-Stroke A-Main.
Ryan Shupp, a former Four-Stroke point champ, finished second in Eddie Nocera's No. 62. Third spot went to Kenny Miller III, with Jesse Maurer and Devin Adams completing the top five.
Heat wins for the nine car field went to K. Miller III and Shupp.
Saturday's event, for the winged 600cc, Sportsman, and 250cc Four-Strokes, drew a total of 78 Micro-Sprints while Sunday's program, for the wingless 600's, 270cc, and 125cc micros, had a total of 120 entries. That made the weekend's total an impressive 198 Micro-Sprints taking part in the Shootout.
Two classes of Quarter Midgets were combined for an exhibition race on the Clyde Martin ovalon Sunday afternoon. Taking the 160 and overall victory was Connor Weiss aboard the RTS No. 5 Quarter Midget. He was followed by Grace Roland and Ryan Heckman.
Lukas Basselgia won the 120 division and finished third overall. Shadow Loring and Zachery Steffey finished second and third in the 120 class.
The Mark Millwright & Rigging point chases resume this Saturday, September 7, for all five of the weekly Micro-sprint Classes (600cc, 270cc, 125cc, Sportsman, and 250cc Four-Strokes). With only two events left on the 2013 schedule, the championship battles will see increased intensity among the drivers vying for titles. The closest point battle at the moment is in the 600cc division, where Tyler Esh leads Heath Hehnly by a scant ten points with two races to go. The other four divisions may not be quite that close, but no one has clinched a title yet and one bad outing by a point leader could alter the outcome in any of the five weekly classes.
Results of Lanco's Labor Day Shootout presented by Mark Millwright & Rigging and Esh Racing Products:
Winged 600cc Micro-Sprint A-Main, 30 laps: 1.Shane Lewis, 2.Robbie Kendall, 3.Heath Hehnly, 4.Mike Rutherford, 5.Chris Gerhart, 6.Tyler Esh, 7.Luke Thomas, 8.Tyler DeVault, 9.Alex Bright, 10.Mike Dicely, 11.Ryan Greth, 12.Jack Conover, 13.Sammy LaMothe, 14.Ryan Morris, 15.Mark Yoder, 16.Tim Iulg, 17.Kyle Lick, 18.Nate Prazenica, 19.Tony DiMattia, 20.Nick Walton, 21.Brent Ely, 22.C.J. Tracy, 23.Jared Esh, 24.Will Urkuski, 25.Ryan Hook, 26.Tyler Tank.
DNQ: Phil Durham, Frank Jarkiewicz, Travis Esh, Mike Coen, Ernie Miles, Bryan Radcliff, Steven Bracall, Rebecca LaMothe, Barry Pollard, James Morris, Chris Panczner, Steve Kemery, Zach Light, PJ Williams.
Wingless 600cc Micro-Sprint A-Main, 30 laps: 1.Shane Lewis, 2.Alex Bright, 3.Jay Hartman, 4.Tony DiMattia, 5.Andy Martin, 6.Ryan Morris, 7.Sammy LaMothe, 8.James Morris, 9.Robbie Kendall, 10.Chris Gerhart, 11.Chris Panczner, 12.Luke Thomas, 13.Mike Dicely, 14.Tim Iulg, 15.CJ Tracy, 16.Brent Ely, 17.Shaun Brandel, 18.Tyler Tank, 19.Tyler DeVault, 20.Steven Bracall, 21.Will Urkuski, 22.Mike Rutherford, 23.Kyle Lick, 24.Robbie Hocker, 25.Molly Chambers, 26.Steve Kemery.
DNQ: Rich Mellor, Bill Unglert, Ryan Greth, Tim Howell, Nathan Prazenica, Nick Walton, Frank Jarkiewicz, Greg Stevens, Gary Dennis, Bradley Brown, Ernie Miles, PJ Williams, Barry Pollard.
270cc Micro-Sprint A-Main, 30 laps: 1.Mike Rutherford, 2.Jason Swavely, 3.Jesse maurer, 4.Billy Logeman, 5.Jarid Kunkle, 6.Eric Falini, 7.Bradley Brown, 8.Austin Bishop, 9.Richie Hartman, 10.Kyle Spence, 11.Marty Gorr, 12.Nate Weidman, 13.Brian Marriott, 14.Keith Holiday, 15.Darren Miller, 16.Josh Stoyer, 17.Tyler Reinhardt, 18.Ronald Helmick, 19.Dave Grube, 20.Zack Fouse, 21.Bobby Butler, 22.Dan Lane Jr., 23.Toby Blumenshine, 24.Alex Swift, 25.Greg Walter, 26.Barry Shearer.
DNQ: Mike Rice, Sammy LaMothe, Charles Hellinger, Mike Binkley, Joe Dopke, Dave Williams, Christi Sweigart, Kyle Weiss, Damon Bomgardner, Kory Shissler, Nick Sweigart, Kevin Kopp, Robbie Watson, Heath Hehnly, Luke Fogg, Jon Keller, Chad Myers, Brian Sholley, Ken Andreas, Josh Conover, Adam Minzer, Derek Miller, Anthony Yerger, Dean Spangler Jr., Shaun Brandel, Robert Simmerman, Ricky Sechrist Jr.
125cc Micro-Sprint A-Main, 30 laps: 1.Jesse Maurer, 2.Richie Hartman, 3.Dave Grube, 4.Phil Durham, 5.TJ Greve, 6.Derek Ecenrode, 7.Nate Weidman, 8.Rich Mellor, 9.Kyle Hehnly, 10.Dylan Adams, 11.Brent Shearer, 12.Barry Pollard, 13.Brianna Gerhart, 14.Devin Adams, 15.Dana Watkins, 16.Zack Hollinger, 17.Alexis Sheely, 18.Brittany Whitesall, 19.Brie Weiler, 20.Matthew Donley, 21.Nick Sweigart, 22.Kory Merkey, 23.Sal Tossona, 24.Chase Gutshall, 25.Wayne Scott, 26.Walt Wampole. DNQ: Jimmy Wampole.
Sportsman Micro-Sprint A-Main, 30 laps: 1.Jason Swavely, 2.Curtis R. Miller, 3.Ken Miller, 4.Kerry Lengle, 5.Bret Habecker, 6.Shaun Brandel, 7.Anthony Yerger, 8.Billy Logeman, 9.Sheena Logeman, 10.Dave Kemp, 11.Corey Schmuck Jr., 12.Wesley Fasnacht, 13.Keith Holiday, 14.Matt Abers, 15.Dean Spangler, 16.Nate Weidman, 17.Tim Ziegler, 18.Jenna Heagy, 19.Mike Rice, 20.Bobby Shanaman, 21.Caleb Keller, 22.Jason Hehnly, 23.Charles Hellinger.
250cc Four-Stroke Micro-Sprint A-Main, 30 laps: 1.Donna Geib, 2.Ryan Shupp, 3.Kenny Miller III, 4.Jesse Maurer, 5.Devin Adams, 6.Lewis Kepple Jr., 7.Kim Minzer, 8.Ronald Good, 9.Steve Smith Sr.
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