Newmanstown, Pa. - May 22 - Saturday night's racing program at Lanco's Clyde Martin Memorial Speedway was sponsored by Seltzer's Smokehouse Meats of Palmyra, Pa. In the evening's nightcap, a 25-lap main event for the 600cc Micro-Sprints, it was Shane Braxton who smoked the field, winning the first Lanco feature of his career.
Joining Braxton in the Seltzer's Smokehouse Meats Winner's Circle were: Richie Hartman (270cc); Cody Drace (125cc); Ken Miller (Sportsman); and Peter Michael (250cc Four-Stroke).
The soon-to-be 20-year-old Braxton, in his first full season of competition at the Clyde, struggled with handling issues during the early part of the campaign. "We were trying all sorts of things with the front axle during the first five races, and it wasn't working," explained the resident of West Grove, Pa. "Tonight, we just went back to a basic set-up, and what a difference! The car was just great all night long."
Braxton, the grandson of well-known dirt Modified standout Bobby Braxton, led every lap of the feature, beating his front row starting mate Brittany Brown to the checkered flag by seven-tenths of a second.
Kory Merkey registered an impressive third-place finish, while Mark Yoder and Bob DeVault crossed the stripe in fourth and fifth, respectively.
Braxton, Brown, and Yoder won heat races for the 32 entrants, and Heath Hehnly notched the consolation triumph.
By virtue of his 13th place finish, Shaun Brandel was the recipient of the Kelly Fuels Gas It Up Award.
The path to victory - his second in a row and third overall - was not as easy for Hartman as it was for Braxton. The two-time and defending 270cc point champion was forced to run the consi, which he won, relegating him to the 19th starting position as the 25-lapper went green. And Hartman needed every one of those 25 trips around the banked oval, as he executed the winning pass on Josh Stoyer in turns one and two on the final circuit.
Stoyer set the pace for the vast majority of the event. But the engine in his Viper Chassis No. 3 began to sour in the waning laps of the race, allowing Hartman to erase the huge cushion built up by the young charger from Reading, Pa. As the lead duo roared under the white flag and into the first corner, Stoyer was not able to hug the bottom, leaving just enough room for Hartman to shove the nose of his RTS No. 39 under the leader's car.
"Josh was definitely slowing at the end," noted Hartman after the race. "I just had to try that move on the last lap...I would have hated myself if I hadn't given it a shot."
Hartman's right-rear slapped the left-front wheel on Stoyer's car as he took command, but the contact was incidental; just a product of the tight-quarters in which the two waged their duel. Hartman went on to record the victory, with Stoyer's motor expiring just as he crossed the line as the disappointed runner-up.
Brandon Bucher turned in his best Lanco performance with a third-place effort, with Jesse Maurer and Chip Geib completing the top five.
The 27-car field was split into three qualifying heats, with Sheena Schaefer, Bucher, and Pete Skias claiming the wins. As mentioned, the consi went to Hartman.
"I never thought we'd win from 19th," said Hartman afterwards. "We were junk in the heat race. But my dad kind of lit a fire under me, and we got the car right for the feature."
After suffering through a miserable night on May 15, Cody Drace rebounded nicely on Saturday, winning his first of the year in the 125cc Micro-Sprint class.
Drace snatched the top spot from Ray Miller on the tenth revolution, then maintained a comfortable margin over Sonny Sweitzer for the duration of the 25-lap main event.
Sweitzer notched a well-deserved second, and Jesse Maurer came from 19th on the starting grid to finish third. Miller and Mark Yoder rounded out the top five at the checkered.
With 21 of the 125cc racers in the pit area, Ryan Wilson and Drace were victorious in the two qualifying heats.
In the previous week's Sportsman feature, Ken Miller experienced the agony of defeat. He tangled with a lapped car while leading, marking yet another race where victory slipped through his fingers. Miller was not about to let that happen in Saturday's 25-lapper, although he did have at least one close call when a slower car caromed off the left side of his No. 7P when Miller slowed as the yellow was displayed. Fortunately, the damage was minimal and it did not deter the wheel-twister from Birdsboro, Pa. from his appointed mission.
Starting fifth, Miller grabbed the lead from Wesley Fasnacht with five laps complete. He motored away on a handful of restarts and raced under Tim Gehret's checkered flag with a lead of .872-seconds over runner-up Jamie Fetterolf. It was Miller's second Sportsman triumph of the 2010 season.
Fetterolf, the current point leader in the Sportsman class, climbed from his eleventh starting spot to earn second-place money. Jeff Hughes, Fasnacht, and Billy Logeman made up the top five when the race ended.
Winning the three heat races were Brett Wanner, Miller, and Dwayne Mathias. Joel Tolley won the consolation as a field of 28 Sportsman entered the night's program.
Fetterolf earned the Valken Racing Fast Lap of the Week, turning a quick lap of 11.342 seconds during the feature.
Webster's Dictionary may have discovered a new definition for the word "domination" during Saturday's main event for the 250cc Four-Stroke Micros. Look up that word, and there might be a photo of Peter Michael next to it.
Michael, the Lititz Pa. teenager, simply blew past his competitors during the early stages of the 25-lapper, blazing his way from ninth to the lead in just two laps. From that point on, A.J.'s younger brother cruised into his own zip code, scorching the oval and winning his second of the season by an astounding 6.7 seconds over Chip Geib.
Geib slowed to a stop on the initial start, then came from the rear to pass Craig DeSantis for second position in the final segment of the race. DeSantis hung on for third, with Jared Esh placing fourth and Lewis Kepple, Jr. finishing fifth.
Geib and Jessica Mohler won heat races for the Four-Strokes. In the first few laps of the feature, Mohler appeared to have a car that might keep pace with Peter Michael. Unfortunately, her evening came to a premature conclusion, as mechanical issues forced her to the sidelines prior to the halfway point.
This was the first of seven events to be recorded and broadcast on a tape-delayed basis by Blue Ridge Cable Channel 11. The Cable 11 cameras return this Saturday, May 29, as the Lanco club celebrates the holiday weekend with its annual Memorial Day Open Show. The five weekly Micro-Sprint classes will compete in qualifying heats, consolations, and 30-lap features, and they won't have to worry about point battles during this program. The Open Show is all about cash and the glory associated with winning the Memorial Day main events.
In addition, the Micros will be joined by the Xcel 600 Modifieds, who are anxious to display their broadsliding brand of excitement to the Cable 11 audience. Last year, a stellar field of 44 Xcel 600's made the haul to Clyde Martin Memorial Speedway for this big event.
The entire racing program will be sponsored by Bud's Spring Service of Lancaster.
The time schedule for the Memorial Day Open Show is a bit different from the weekly agenda. This Saturday, gates will open at 2 p.m., with warm-ups slated for 4:15. The heat races will commence immediately following hot laps.
Sunday, May 30, and Monday, May 31st, will serve as the rain dates for the Memorial Day Open Show.
Help us honor those who have made the ultimate sacrifice in service to this great country and at the same time, LIVE the excitement that is Lanco!
600cc Feature, 25 laps: 1.Shane Braxton, 2.Brittany Brown, 3.Kory Merkey, 4.Mark Yoder, 5.Bob DeVault, 6.Shane Lewis, 7.Brent Ely, 8.Jeff Halligan, 9.Tyler Esh, 10.Ken Miller, 11.Tom Kohler, 12.Mark Ludwig, 13.Shaun Brandel, 14.Bruce Ginther Jr., 15.Heath Hehnly, 16.Ryan Wilson, 17.Mike Rutherford, 18.Chris Gerhart, 19.Dave Brown, 20.Jon Stewart, 21.Tyler Ross, 22.Mike Freed, 23.Jamie Kostic, 24.Tim Buckwalter.
270cc Feature, 25 laps: 1.Richie Hartman, 2.Josh Stoyer, 3.Brandon Bucher, 4.Jesse Maurer, 5.Chip Geib, 6.Steve Drevicki, 7.Jason Swavely, 8.Nick Skias, 9.Billy Logeman, 10.Greg Miller, 11.Terry Ellex, 12.A.J. Michael, 13.Phil Rupert, 14.Zack Fouse, 15.Roger Graham III, 16.Christi Sweigart, 17.Sheena Schaefer, 18.Kerry Lengle, 19.Devin Harron, 20.Dave Grube, 21.Todd Steffy, 22.Pete Skias. DNS: Edward Holz II. DQ: Jay Batdorf.
125cc Feature, 25 laps: 1.Cody Drace, 2.Sonny Sweitzer, 3.Jesse Maurer, 4.Ray Miller, 5.Mark Yoder, 6.Shane Braxton, 7.Dave Grube, 8.Bret Habecker, 9.Bradley Brown, 10.Ryan Wilson, 11.Daniel Braun, 12.Curtis R. Miller, 13.Devin Harron, 14.Corey Schmuck Jr., 15.Kyle Hehnly, 16.James Wampole, 17.Scott Gantert, 18.David Ravel, 19.Derek Ecenrode, 20.Brianna Gerhart. DNS: Walter Wampole.
Sportsman Feature, 25 laps: 1.Ken Miller, 2.Jamie Fetterolf, 3.Jeff Hughes, 4.Wesley Fasnacht, 5.Billy Logeman, 6.Donna Geib, 7.Dwayne Mathias, 8.Corey Schmuck Jr., 9.Robert Shanaman, 10.Brett Wanner, 11.Jenna Keppley, 12.Sarah Shreiner, 13.Earl Eveland, 14.Dean Spangler Jr., 15.Paul May III, 16.Joel Tolley, 17.Dennis Ziegler, 18.Dennis Fenstermacher, 19.Tim Ziegler, 20.Tyler Pannebecker, 21.Jason Hehnly, 22.David Kemp, 23.Jason Swavely, 24.Bret Habecker.
250cc Four-Stroke Feature, 25 laps: 1.Peter Michael, 2.Chip Geib, 3.Craig DeSantis, 4.Jared Esh, 5.Lewis Kepple Jr., 6.George Potts III, 7.Ed Nocera, 8.Kim Enck, 9.Greg Schmuck, 10.George Potts Jr., 11.Steve Brenner, 12.Jessica Mohler, 13.Matthew Swift, 14.Jake Booth, 15.Ronald Wechter.