Morris Bags 600cc Win; Logeman Takes 270cc Glory at Clyde Martin Memorial Speedway on April 26
Newmanstown, Pa. - The third event of the season at Lanco's Clyde Martin Memorial Speedway produced a trio of new winners, one repeat victor, and the highest car count of the 2014 campaign on a night dedicated to the memory of longtime club member and competitor Rodney Shreiner.
Terrific fields of 30 in the 600cc Micro-Sprint division and 37 in the 270cc Class led to some intense action in qualifying and the main events, with James Morris (600cc) and Billy Logeman (270cc) claiming the victories over the large car counts in their respective classes. The wins were the first Lanco victories of the season for both drivers.
Other winners included Jesse Maurer (125cc and 250cc Four-Stroke) and Curtis R. Miller, who notched his first Sportsman triumph of the year. The 125cc victory was Maurer's second straight in that division.
Morris, from Riegelsville, Pa. had been super-fast in the first two events of the season; he was arguably the most exciting driver to watch in the first pair of 600cc main events at the Clyde. He finished fourth in the opener, then tangled with a lapped car while taking the lead in the second race of the year.
On Saturday night, Morris took the green from the outside of row three, then blazed a trail to the front of the pack. He was up to third as the second circuit was scored, then dashed past Will Urkuski to grab the runner-up spot on lap four.
With five laps showing on the scoreboard, Morris threw a huge slider on race leader Brent Ely in turns one and two. He came away with the top spot as they blasted onto the backstretch, although Ely battled back on the bottom before Morris throttled in front to assume command.
Heath Hehnly made things interesting by catching up to Morris in lapped traffic, and even wheeling alongside the No. 75x on one occasion. But Morris repelled Hehnly's challenge, flying in and out of the traffic and throwing well-timed sliders to maintain control of the race.
Morris went on to win by almost a half-second over Hehnly, the defending and three-time track champion of the Lanco 600's. Mike Rutherford, who started 12th, moved into fourth at the halfway point of the 25-lapper, then slipped past Ely for third and looked to make it a three-car tango for the win as he reeled in the leaders while they negotiated heavy lapped traffic.
Rutherford would finish third behind Morris and Hehnly, with Ely shaking his early season run of horrible luck to finish fourth. Jason Sechrist earned an impressive fifth-place payday.
Heat wins for the 30 cars went to Jason Swavely, Sechrist, and Jared Esh. Rebecca LaMothe won the consolation race.
The strong car counts in this year's 270cc division - both in quantity and quality - have produced some of the best racing that class has seen in some time at the Clyde Martin oval.Saturday night was no different, as the 25-lap feature was highlighted by some eye-popping action from third through tenth positions, as well as an outcome that was in doubt until the checkered flag waved.
Nate Weidman had a solid night, winning his heat race and leading the first five tours of the main event. Billy Logeman, from Reinholds, finally wrestled the top spot from Weidman on the sixth revolution, leaving the Lititz resident to battle with Austin Bishop for the runner-up slot. Behind them, several drivers were buzzing like angry hornets, trading positions constantly and racing two and even three-wide all the way around the smooth clay oval.
As Weidman and Bishop diced for second place, Ronald Helmick, Dan Lane Jr., Bradley Brown, Dave Grube, and Mike Rutherford were swapping spots and weaving from top to bottom, lap after lap, in an entertaining battle royale among the top eight positions.
Bishop worked by Weidman on a restart with nine to go, then began to harrass the leader. The pilot of the Sloan Ford, Orange County Choppers No. 11A caught Logeman by surprise on another restart, darting by the leader as the green reappeared with just eight tours remaining.
It looked as though Bishop was primed to pick up the first Lanco victory of his career, but the race isn't over until the checkered flag waves. Bishop got a bit too high in three and four on the white flag lap, jumping the cushion and handing the lead back to Logeman.
"My eyes couldn't have been any wider when I saw him get high and out of shape," smiled Logeman afterward. "Austin ran a great race; he really surprised me on that restart when he got by me. And it was a shame that he went high over there, but that's racing. I'll take it (the win)...it feels really good to win in my own equipment again."
"This one will sting for a long time," noted Bishop. "I'm happy to run so well here; we're still learning this place. But we're really fast and we should have won this race...can't believe I gave it away like that."
Bishop held on to finish second to Logeman, with Dan Lane Jr. and Rutherford settling for third and fourth, respectively. Dave Grube placed fifth.
Weidman, Rutherford, Bishop, and Nick Skias registered heat race victories with 37 cars signed in for 270cc competition. Twin consies went to Heath Hehnly and Jarid Kunkle.
The number 2 was significant for Jesse Maurer on Saturday; he scored a second consecutive 125cc triumph, and added a second victory of the night when he notched the 250cc Four-Stroke win in just his second time out in a new creation owned by the king of the Four-Strokes, Chip Geib.
The Four-Stroke feature led off the string of five main events on Saturday. Maurer, the Mount Joy Outlaw, rolled off eighth on the starting grid, but he didn't stay there for long. He had the nose of his Hammer Engines, Ingham's Powder Coating No. 8 in front of Donna Geib as they screamed across the stripe to complete lap one. Maurer cleared the Geib machine by the time they set the cars for turn one, then rocketed away to a huge advantage over Devin Adams, who charged into the runner-up position on lap five.
Kenny Miller III, the previous week's winner, came from the back of the 14-car field to sneak past Adams in lapped traffic off turn four to secure second place with six to go. Unfortunately for Miller, the fourth generation racer from Birdsboro, his No. 23 gave out on a restart with just three circuits left to run. He'd closed on Maurer, but not quite enough to make a serious bid for the lead, before the mechanical gremlins knocked him out of the race.
Maurer cruised to the checkered ahead of Adams, with opening night winner Ryan Shupp in third. Dave Ravel wound up fourth, and a great effort by rookie Brian Kramer ended with a fifth-place pay envelope.
Maurer also received the Weld Racing Fast Lap of the Feature Award for turning the single quickest trip around the track during the Four-Stroke main event.
Ravel and Maurer captured heat race wins for the 14 car field of Four-Strokes.
In winning his second straight feature for the 125cc Micros, Maurer once again benefitted from the misfortune that befell his teammate, Darren Miller.
Miller, in Gary Gorski's Pork Producers No. 29, started sixth and rapidly weaved his way to the runner-up position by the time two laps were scored. For the next three trips around the banked clay, he and early leader Jas Hehnly waged a tremendous fight for the top spot. They traded the position numerous times and ran nose-to-tail as they entered turns one and two with five down.
Hehnly got into the back of Miller as the duo ran the high side of the banking, turning Miller around before the No. 29 tipped over on its side. Miller was through for the night, and track officials also sent Hehnly to the pits for his role in the incident.
Kyle Hehnly inherited the lead at that point, but it wasn' t long before Maurer blew by Kyle's No. 19 and into the race lead. By the time the 25-lap affair ended, only six cars remained on the lead lap. Maurer was a whopping four seconds ahead of Kyle Hehnly at the finish, with Justin Harrington claiming third in just his third start in the 125cc division. Dylan Adams and Chase Gutshall completed the top five.
A nice field of 23 cars entered the 125cc portion of the program. Darren Miller, Maurer, and K. Hehnly were victorious in the three heat races run for the 125cc group.
In the main event for the Sportsman Class, the move that won the race occurred on the start. That's when Curtis R. Miller, from Mertztown, Pa., saw an opening down low as the field launched off turn four and headed for the green flag. Miller, on the inside of row two, utilized the opportunity to sneak under polesitter Brian Becker and grab the lead as the Sportsman rumbled down the homestretch and into turn one.
Former Sportsman champ and opening night winner Ken Miller passed Bobby Shanaman for second on the fifth tour, but he was no match for his cousin's son on this night. A few caution periods put Ken on the tail tank of Curtis' No. 7c, but the younger Miller simply motored away from him on each restart to once again build a commanding lead.
At the finish, Curtis had a margin of more than one second over Dave Ravel, who'd just dug his No. 21v out of mothballs a couple of days before the race. Ravel started ninth and finished second, with tenth-starting Jamie Fetterolf, in the Jeff Hughes No. 17, picking up third place money. Dave Kemp ran a steady race to finish fourth, and Ava Bellinger wound up with a fine fifth-place effort.
With 20 Sportsman Micros in the pits, Ravel and Anthony Yerger won heat races.
This Saturday, May 3rd, finds the same five divisions back in action at Lanco's Clyde Martin Memorial Speedway. Qualifying heats, consolations, and 25-lap features make up this week's agenda, with gates opening at 3:30 p.m. Warm-ups begin at 5:00, and the first heat race goes green at 6:00.
Adult general admission tickets are priced at just $8.00, with discounts for Senior Citizens and Students. Youth between the ages of six and twelve are admitted for only $2.00, while children under the age of six are free. And parking is always free at the Clyde!
Coming up in less than two weeks, on May 10, is Fan Appreciation Night. All spectators over the age of 12 will be admitted for just $1.00...with the one of a kind Clyde Martin brand of clay tossing excitement generating an incredible value for your entertainment dollar! And fans who are 12 and under will be admitted for FREE on Fan Appreciation Night!
You can't buy a cup of coffee for $1.00, but on May 10th, you can LIVE the excitement that is Lanco for just a buck!
600cc Feature, 25 laps: 1.James Morris, 2.Heath Hehnly, 3.Mike Rutherford, 4.Brent Ely, 5.Jason Sechrist, 6.Jason Swavely, 7.Zach Light, 8.Mike Freed, 9.Austin Bishop, 10.Bret Cronrath, 11.Nate Prazenica, 12.Jered Hook, 13.Kameron Morral, 14.Ernie Miles, 15.Mike Coen, 16.Bruce Ginther Jr., 17.Brittany Brown, 18.Rebecca LaMothe, 19.Chris Panczner, 20.Will Urkuski, 21.Barry Pollard, 22.Corry Roth, 23.Jared Esh, 24.Shaun Brandel.
DNQ: Jerry Schott Jr., Pat Ely, Dylan Binkley, Chris Gerhart, Devin Gundrum, Troy Musselman.
270cc Feature, 25 laps: 1.Billy Logeman, 2.Austin Bishop, 3.Dan Lane Jr., 4.Mike Rutherford, 5.Dave Grube, 6.Ken Miller, 7.Cameron Bellinger, 8.Heath Hehnly, 9.Nick Skias, 10.Nate Weidman, 11.Tyler Ulrich, 12.Brian Sholley, 13.Bradley Brown, 14.Devin Harron, 15.Jarid Kunkle, 16.Mike Uhrich, 17.Cody Drace, 18.Mike Skias, 19.Toby Blumenshine, 20.Michael Binkley, 21.Nick Sweigert, 22.Dan Degler, 23.Ronald Helmick, 24.Kyle Spence.
DNQ: Damon Bomgardner, Brent Shearer, John Davis, Matt Peachy, Dennis Fenstermacher, Bob Brubaker, Dan Braun Jr., Corey Schmuck Jr., Christi Sweigart, Ricky Sechrist, Dean Spangler Jr., Elizabeth Helmick, Charlers Hellinger.
125cc Feature, 25 laps: 1.Jesse Maurer, 2.Kyle Hehnly, 3.Justin Harrington, 4.Dylan Adams, 5.Chase Gutshall, 6.Mark Yoder, 7.Alexis Sheely, 8.Hunter James, 9.Tajae Adams, 10.Thomas Kelley, 11.James Wampole, 12.Walt Wampole, 13.Brooklyn Shearer 14.Dustin Adams, 15.Darren Miller, 16.Jas Hehnly, 17.Dave Grube, 18.Brie Weiler, 19.Matthew Donley, 20.Nick Sweigert Jr., 21.Sonny Sweitzer, 22. William Manotti, 23.Jason Rhoads.
250cc Four-Stroke Feature, 25 laps: 1.Jesse Maurer, 2.Devin Adams, 3.Ryan Shupp, 4.Dave Ravel, 5.Brian Kramer, 6.Donna Geib, 7.Ron Good, 8.Eddie Nocera, 9.Lew Kepple Jr., 10.Kassidy Michaels, 11.Kenny Miller, 12.Jarrett Imler, 13.Ronald Wechter. DNS: Zachary Young.
Sportsman Feature, 25 laps: 1.Curtis R. Miller, 2.Dave Ravel, 3.James Fetterolf, 4.Dave Kemp, 5.Ava Bellinger, 6.Patrick Kirn, 7.Toby Blumenshine, 8.Bobby Shanaman, 9.Robert Simmerman, 10.Megan Mercado, 11.Kim Minzer, 12.Jenna Heagy, 13.Brian Becker, 14.Ken Miller, 15.Steve Smith Jr., 16.Anthony Yerger, 17.Brandon Bucher, 18.Randy Landis, 19.Wesley Fasnacht, 20.Kerry Lengle.