Brickerville, PA - With a large group of students from the Denver Elementary School and Ms. Motorsports 2009 looking on, Bruce Ginther, Jr. annexed his first career Micro-Sprint victory on Saturday night at Lanco's Clyde Martin Memorial Speedway.
Ginther, from Lebanon, Pa., triumphed in the 25-lap main event for the 600cc micros. Pete Skias, Wernersville, notched his second straight victory in the 270cc feature, while Richie Hartman, Shoemakersville, registered his second win of the season in the 250cc Four-Stroke class. In the main event for the 125cc division, defending and two-time champion Jesse Maurer, Mt. Joy, won his first of the year. The 25-lapper for the Sportsman class went to current point leader Steve Drevicki; it was the Reading resident's second victory of the season.
Ginther, who won a pair of point titles in the Strictly Stock division at Path Valley before turning to Micro-Sprint competition, chased early leader Greg Fitzpatrick for three laps in the headliner for the 600cc class.
As Fitzpatrick washed up the banking in turns three and four, Ginther darted to the bottom and snatched the top spot on the fourth trip around the oval. He was never seriously challenged, taking the checkered by a comfortable margin over Joe Lord and Tyler Ross.
"Our starting position (second) certainly helped, and the track favored us tonight. I was lucky...I made plenty of mistakes out there, but no one was able to take advantage of them," sighed the modest victor.
A hotly contested battle for the runner-up spot helped ease the pressure on Ginther, as did some long stretches of green flag racing. The first yellow of the event did not appear until 12 circuits had been scored.
Joe Lord, from Allentown, NJ, attempted to dive under the leader on the restart, but soon found himself immersed in a tussle for second place with 15-year-old Tyler Ross. As Ginther sprinted away from the pack, Lord fought off the repeated attacks from Ross to earn runner-up honors.
Ryan Wilson slipped past Brent Ely for fourth position with ten to go.
Heats for the stellar field of 44-cars were claimed by Mike Caropolo, Fitzpatrick, Ely, and Ginther. Chris Gerhart and Ryan Smith won the two consolation races for the 600's.
A six-car melee on the initial start of the 270cc feature knocked out the point leader, Scott Fick.
The remainder of this 25-lapper evolved at a sluggish pace, with the full moon overlooking the speedway viewed as the culprit.
Polesitter Josh Stoyer paced the early laps, then Jason Swavely took his turn at the head of the field. Many eyes in the crowd, however, were glued to the advancing trio of Pete Skias, Richie Hartman, Ryan Smith, and Mike Rutherford.
Skias and Hartman blasted into second and third, respectively, on lap ten. With eleven tours left, Skias, who started tenth, stuck the nose of his Viper under Swavely in turn two, then accelerated into the lead as they hit the backstretch.
Hartman eased in front of Swavely for second with eight circuits remaining, but he couldn't catch the high-flying Skias. A caution with five laps to go didn't help, as Skias floored his No. 8s to its second consecutive triumph at the Clyde.
Hartman held on to finish second, with a fast-closing Rutherford taking the checkered in third. Swavely and Mike Uhrich rounded out the top five.
"Man, these young guys are good," said Skias, as he explained his difficulty in passing Stoyer and Swavely. "But my brother, Chuck, builds a great car. And my family gives me all the support I need to get the job done."
With 33 of the 270cc micros signing in for action on Saturday, heat race victories fell to Nick Skias, Uhrich, and Hartman. Jim Skias won the consi.
Eighth-starting Richie Hartman zipped into second spot on the fourth lap of the main for the 250cc Four-Stroke class. He grabbed the lead from Jason Johnson on a sixth-lap restart, then rocketed to his second triumph of the '09 season.
Johnson appeared to have a lock on the runner-up position, but he was collected by spinning lapped car with ten to go.
Ryan Gabers inherited second at that point, but current point leader Chad Rhoads wrestled the position away from Gabers with nine trips remaining. Rhoads, the previous week's feature winner, was unable to muster a significant challenge to Hartman, despite a lap 19 yellow, and settled for runner-up money.
Craig DeSantis finished third in his best run of the year, with Gabers and Dick Huzzard completing the top five.
Rhoads and Hartman won the pair of qualifying heats for the Four-Strokes.
In the main event for the 125cc micros, polesitter Dave Falini broke as the green waved, handing the top spot to Jesse Maurer. The Mount Joy Outlaw set the pace for the entire 25-lap distance, fending off a couple of assaults from his Gorski Racing teammate, Heath Hehnly.
Hehnly caught Maurer in traffic, and it looked as though his Pork Producers No. 7 was primed to snare the lead with six tours left to run. A timely caution, though, allowed Maurer to regroup.
With a clear track in front of him, and some laps under the yellow to cool his engine and tires, Maurer pulled away on the restart. He cruised to his first triumph of the season, forcing Hehnly to be satisfied with second.
Point leader Bret Habecker raced home in third, with teenager Bradley Brown recording his best finish of the young season in fourth. Dave Grube, triumphant just one week earlier, finished fifth.
Maurer and Nathan Weidman were victorious in the two heats for the 125cc class.
On opening night, April 18, Steve Drevicki used a "never say die" attitude to run down and pass veteran Mike Miller for the victory. Last Saturday, the high school senior employed a similar tactic to score his second win by passing Miller's nephew and the defending class champion, Kenny Miller, with just three revolutions left to complete.
Drevicki jumped into second on a lap 17 restart, then, five circuits later, ducked low in turns one and two to snatch the lead from Miller.
A caution with one to go provided a last gasp chance for Miller, but his car jumped out of gear on the restart, permitting Drevicki to circulate unchallenged during the final lap.
Jeff Hughes, Donna Geib, and Brett Wanner made up the rest of the top five at the conclusion of the 25-lapper.
Miller, Drevicki, and Robert Shanaman won the Sportsman heats, with Geib capturing the consolation.
Another five division card of Micro-Sprint racing is on tap this Saturday at the Clyde Martin Memorial Speedway. Once again, the action will be highlighted by 25-lap features for each class.
Gates open at 3:30, with warm-ups at 5 p.m. The first heat goes green at 6:00.
Adult admission is just $8.00, with discounts for students and Senior Citizens. Kids between the ages of 6 and 12 are only $2.00, and children under the age of 6 are admitted free. As always, there is no charge for parking.
Coming up on Saturday, May 23, is Lanco's annual Memorial Day Open Show. Joining the five classes of Micro-Sprints that evening will be the popular and paint-rubbin' Xcel 600 Modifieds. Racing begins at 5:30 on May 23rd.
The high-banked oval's smooth and tacky clay produces heart-thumping, hair-raising, adrenaline-flowing action, so you've just gotta come out and LIVE the excitement that is Lanco!
600cc Feature (25 laps): 1.Bruce Ginther, Jr. 2.Joe Lord 3.Tyler Ross 4.Ryan Wilson 5.Brent Ely 6.Jimmy Glenn 7.Heath Hehnly 8.Jeremy Lynch 9.Ryan Smith 10.Mike Rutherford 11.Greg Fitzpatrick 12.Robbie Kendall 13.A.J. Michael 14.Jeff Halligan 15.Jamie Kostic 16.Ben Murphy 17.Mike Caropolo 18.Chris Gerhart 19.Kerry Gilbert 20.Jared Davis 21.Shaun Brandel 22.Ryan Greth 23.Kenny Miller 24.Mike Freed.
270cc Feature (25 laps): 1.Pete Skias 2.Richie Hartman 3.Mike Rutherford 4.Jason Swavely 5.Mike Uhrich 6.Ryan Smith 7.Dave Falini 8.Heath Hehnly 9.Brian Sholley 10.Nick Skias 11.Tyler Pannebecker 12.Chrisit Sweigart 13.Greg Miller 14.Todd Steffy 15.Dave Grube 16.Steve Drevicki 17.Ryan Shupp 18.Josh Stoyer 19.Mark Ewer 20.Steve Whary 21.Jay Batdorf 22.Billy Logeman 23.Scott Fick 24.Jim Skias.
125cc Feature (25 laps): 1.Jesse Maurer 2.Heath Hehnly 3.Bret Habecker 4.Bradley Brown 5.Dave Grube 6.Mark Yoder 7.Cody Drace 8.Scott Gantert 9.Kyle Henninger 10.Derek Ecenrode 11.Brianna Gerhart 12.Corey Schmuck, Jr. 13.Sonny Sweitzer 14.Chrissy Ochs 15.Nathan Weidman 16.Dave Falini.
250cc Four-Stroke Feature (25 laps): 1.Richie Hartman 2.Chad Rhoads 3.Craig DeSantis 4.Ryan Gabers 5.Dick Huzzard 6.Ed Nocera 7.Chris Lee 8.Lewis Kepple, Jr. 9.Jared Gabers 10.Jessica Enck 11.George Potts, Jr. 12.George Potts III 13.Greg Schmuck 14.Kim Enck 15.Phil Johnson 16.Jake Booth 17.Peter Michael 18.Jason Johnson 19.Kayla Fetter.
Sportsman Feature (25 laps): 1.Steve Drevicki 2.Kenny Miller 3.Jeff Hughes 4.Donna Geib 5.Brett Wanner 6.Jamie Fetterolf 7.Dwayne Mathias 8.Glenn Moyer 9.Jason Swavely 10.Sheena Schaefer 11.Mark Ludwig 12.Robert Shanaman 13.Kelby Stauffer 14.Dennis Ziegler 15.Wesley Fasnacht 16.Tim Ziegler 17.Robert Schaffner 18.Joel Tolley 19.Dean Spangler, Sr. 20.Jenna Keppley 21.Mike Skias 22.Tyler Pannebecker 23.Dennis Fenstermacher 24.Gene Murphy.