Newmanstown, Pa. (May 1) - Tim Buckwalter, Douglassville, had a very busy schedule during the past weekend. His slate included three consecutive days of racing, as he sandwiched a 600cc Micro-Sprint event between two nights of ARDC Midget competition. Buckwalter made the most of that 600cc opportunity, winning the 25-lap feature race at Lanco's Clyde Martin Memorial Speedway on Saturday.
Joining him for victory lane photos were Devin Harron (270cc); Chip Geib (250cc Four-Stroke); Bret Habecker (125cc); and Ken Miller (Sportsman).
In the 600cc headliner, Shane Braxton darted into the early lead and set a blistering pace for the first ten circuits. Buckwalter, who started fourth, quickly moved up to battle Brittany Brown for the runner-up position before claiming that spot on the sixth trip around the banked oval.
Buckwalter closed in on Braxton as the leaders caught the back of the pack. Braxton became the first caution period of the race, as he admittedly "tried to run too low in three and four", clipping an infield marker and spinning out of the lead.
From that point on, it was all Buckwalter, as he charged to victory aboard Gary and Donna Spotts' No. 25s. Teenager Paul Graham, a two-time winner in '09, finished a distant second. The contest for the third position was settled by a three-wide drag race as Tom Kohler, Brittany Brown, and Heath Hehnly crossed the stripe side-by-side-by-side, in that order.
With 33 of the 600's signed in for action, the qualifying heats went to Brittany Brown, David Brown, and Braxton. Brent Ely captured the consolation race.
It was a very special night for Devin Harron, a student at Governor Mifflin High School in Shillington, Pa. Harron recorded his first career 270cc Micro-Sprint feature triumph, and he did it in grand style, holding off some of the best drivers in the business to notch the win.
Harron took the green on the outside of the front row, and immediately shot into the lead. A few yellow flags during the early stages of the 25-lapper kept him from building a cushion, but the Shillington Slider maintained his composure at the head of the field.
A long period of uninterrupted racing followed a restart with nine revolutions in the books, and it was during this stint of high intensity competition that Harron faced his stiffest challenges. Two-time and defending track champ Richie Hartman pulled up on the leader's rear bumper, then made several attempts to draw alongside Harron's No. 9D.
Billy Logeman and Jesse Maurer ran wheel-to-wheel right behind the lead duo, and Nick Skias soon joined the party at the front of the field. Harron eventually cleared Hartman, and Maurer zipped into third on lap 18. As Harron began to open some daylight between himself and his pursuers, Maurer and Hartman banged wheels in their tussle for the runner-up position. Hartman fell back as Skias took advantage and dashed into third.
Maurer narrowed the gap as Harron got hung up a bit behind some lapped traffic. As the event wound to its conclusion, Maurer stuck the nose of his No. 72 under the leader at both ends of the race track, but Harron didn't waver under the pressure. He flew under the checkered flag to secure his initial Clyde Martin victory with Maurer nipping at his heels. Skias, Logeman, and A.J. Michael completed the top five when the race ended.
"Oh, I knew who was behind me," commented an exhausted Harron as he caught his breath in the winner's circle. "I just ran my line the whole time...man, I just can't believe this. I really didn't expect to win...it's great!"
Roger Graham III, Peter Michael, and Harron were victorious in the heat races as 28 of the 270cc Micros entered the evening's activities. Pete Skias scored the win in the consolation.
By finishing 13th, Billy Murphy was the recipient of the Kelly Fuel gift certificate.
Manheim's Chip Geib is a three-time point champion in Lanco's 250cc Four-Stroke class. Geib, however, spent the past two seasons away from racing in a self-imposed exile from the driver's seat. This year, though, he decided it was time to return, and on Saturday night he showed everyone that there's no rust to be shaken off of his racing skills.
Geib motored from his second starting spot to grab the lead from George Potts III on a lap two restart. Opening night feature winner Peter Michael swept into the runner-up position by the fourth circuit, and Michael mounted numerous attacks to Geib's lead as the field rattled off 20 consecutive laps under green flag conditions. Geib, however, was up to the task, and he consistently repelled each assault to maintain his spot at the head of the pack.
One final restart with with four to go gave Michael a final opportunity to overtake the leader. But Geib stayed in front to win his first feature in three years. Michael chased him to the finish line, with Ed Nocera and Kim Enck placing third and fourth. Craig DeSantis, the winner on April 24, recovered from an early race spin to finish fifth.
"We've been real fast these first three weeks (of the season), and tonight, nothing broke or fell off the car," noted Geib with reference to the previous two events, when mechanical gremlins forced him to drop out well before the checkered. Geib also earned the Valken Racing Fast Lap of the Week by turning a lap at 11.682 during the feature.
Four-Stroke heat races went to Geib and DeSantis.
Defending point king Bret Habecker simply dominated the 125cc feature on Saturday. Habecker, from Leesport, Pa., started tenth but blasted to second by the time three laps were recorded. He passed early leader Brianna Gerhart on a lap four restart, and was never headed or even seriously challenged. The other 125cc competitors, in fact, couldn't even see Habecker during the second half of the race, as he built a half-track lead and lapped all but the top five cars by the time it was over.
Cody Drace put together a solid race to finish second, with Shane Braxton and David Ravel crossing the stripe behind Drace. Last weeks' winner, Dave Grube, was fifth.
Grube and Braxton were heat race winners for the 125's.
"Uncle Curt builds a great motor, but he's been sick this week...he's actually been in and out of the hospital. So I took care of the motor, and we ran it real rich tonight so it wouldn't blow up. This win, though, is for Curt." Those were the words of Ken Miller, after he scored a convincing victory in the main event for the Sportsman class on Saturday.
Utilizing his pole starting position, Miller made short work of the talented field of Sportsman chauffeurs. He simply took off after each of the three caution periods and won handily over Wesley Fasnacht, who finished an impressive second. Equally impressive was Kelby Stauffer, who took home third place money.
A terrific five-car donnybrook for the fourth position ensued for much of the event, with Jeff Hughes finally claiming that spot at the end. Brett Wanner was fifth and Jason Swavely came from 19th starting spot to finish sixth.
Winning the Sportsman heat races were Dwayne Mathias, Miller, and Hughes. Swavely was the consolation victor.
This Saturday, May 8, promises to be a very eventful evening at the Clyde Martin Memorial Speedway. Led by 270cc wheel-twister Sheena Schaefer and her family, the Lanco community will host Breast Cancer Awareness Night, with many raffles and activities planned to raise funds and support for the fight against this dreaded disease.
Schaefer and her crew have solicited the donation of many wonderful raffle prizes, including a pair of Red Bull Racing shirts autographed by Scott Speed and Brian Vickers. In addition to the raffles and activities for the children in attendance, Darryl Dissinger will have his Breast Cancer Awareness Sportsman Modified on display. Dissinger competes at the Big Diamond Raceway on Friday nights, and he, like Schaefer, have dedicated their 2010 racing seasons to this worthy cause.
Gates open at 3:30 on Saturday, with warm-ups at 5 p.m. The first heat race goes green at 6:00, and 25-lap features will once again highlight the program for the 600cc; 270cc; 125cc; Sportsman; and 250cc Four-Stroke Micro-Sprints.
General admission for adults is just $8.00, with discounts for Senior Citizens and students. Children between the ages of six and 12 get in for $2.00, while children under the age of six are free. There's always free parking at Lanco's Clyde Martin Memorial Speedway, too.
Come on out to help us support Breast Cancer Awareness and LIVE the excitement that is Lanco!
600cc Feature, 25 laps: 1.Tim Buckwalter, 2.Paul Graham, 3.Tom Kohler, 4.Brittany Brown, 5.Heath Hehnly, 6.Dave Brown, 7.Shane Lewis, 8.Kory Merkey, 9.Jamie Kostic, 10.Tyler Esh, 11.Shaun Brandel, 12.Chris Gerhart, 13.Bob DeVault, 14.Jared Davis, 15.Bruce Ginther Jr., 16.Ryan Wilson, 17.Mark Ludwig, 18.Mike Caropolo, 19.Shane Braxton, 20.Jeff Halligan, 21.Chris Panczner, 22.Tyler Ross, 23.Brent Ely, 24.Rick Stief.
270cc Feature, 25 laps: 1.Devin Harron, 2.Jesse Maurer, 3.Nick Skias, 4.Billy Logeman, 5.A.J. Michael, 6.Richie Hartman, 7.Zack Fouse, 8.Roger Graham III, 9.Todd Steffy, 10.Jason Swavely, 11.Greg Miller, 12.Sheena Schaefer, 13.Billy Murphy, 14.Pete Skias, 15.Mike Uhrich, 16.Christi Sweigart, 17.Dave Grube, 18.Jay Batdorf, 19.Mark Hopwood, 20.Scott Gingrich, 21.Peter Michael, 22.Edward Holz II, 23.Josh Stoyer, 24.Phil Rupert.
250cc Four-Stroke Feature, 25 laps: 1.Chip Geib, 2.Peter Michael, 3.Ed Nocera, 4.Kim Enck, 5.George Potts III, 6.Craig DeSantis, 7.Jared Esh, 8.Jesse Kopp, 9.Jake Booth, 10.George Potts Jr., 11.Julie Wenger, 12.Michael Booth, 13.Steven Brenner, 14.Greg Schmuck, 15.Sheila Fetter, 16.Lewis Kepple Jr. DNS: Matthew Swift.
125cc Feature, 25 laps: 1.Bret Habecker, 2.Cody Drace, 3.Shane Braxton, 4.David Ravel, 5.Dave Grube, 6.Bradley Brown, 7.Mark Yoder, 8.Brianna Gerhart, 9.Corey Schmuck Jr., 10.Daniel Braun, 11.Devin Harron, 12.Curtis R. Miller, 13.Derek Ecenrode, 14.Sonny Sweitzer, 15.Jesse Maurer.
Sportsman Feature, 25 laps: 1.Ken Miller, 2.Wesley Fasnacht, 3.Kelby Stauffer, 4.Jeff Hughes, 5.Brett Wanner, 6.Jason Swavely, 7.Jamie Fetterolf, 8.Billy Logeman, 9.Donna Geib, 10.Dwayne Mathias, 11.Joel Tolley, 12.Russell Pannebecker, 13.Dennis Ziegler, 14.Robert Shanaman, 15.Corey Schmuck Jr., 16.David Kemp, 17.Jenna Keppley, 18.Dennis Fenstermacher, 19.Ashley Kase, 20.Bret Habecker, 21.Paul May III, 22.Tim Ziegler, 23.Samantha Garman. DNS: Jason Hehnly.