May 29 - Robbie Kendall makes occasional visits to Lanco's Clyde Martin Memorial Speedway, but he certainly knows the fast way around the high banked oval. He's especially good in big races at the Newmanstown facility, and he proved it once again during Saturday night's Memorial Day Open Show.
Kendall won Lanco's Super 600 Showdown in 2008, a $10,000-to-win event for the 600cc Micro-Sprints. He added to his Clyde Martin victory total on Saturday, taking the checkered flag in a heart-pounding thriller over Jeff Halligan.
In the event sponsored by Bud's Spring Service of Lancaster; Dallas Spring/Eagle Suspension of Dallas, Texas; and OCME America of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, the pit area was crammed with 188 racecars. Six different classes competed in the racing program, with Nick Skias (270cc); Mike Kelly (Xcel 600 Modifieds); Phil Durham (125cc); Jason Swavely (Sportsman); and Richie Hartman (250cc Four-Stroke) joining Kendall in victory lane.
Kendall, the young charger from Catonsville, MD, started from the pole in the 600cc Micro-Sprint main event. He shot out to a comfortable advantage over Ephrata's Jeff Halligan, but lapped traffic would provide Halligan with an opportunity to close the gap and challenge the race leader.
While Kendall committed to running the bottom groove, Halligan found a lane high atop the banking that worked extremely well for him. On lap 14, Halligan roared off the fourth turn to grab the top spot as Kendall became trapped, momentarily, behind a couple of cars that were running at the back of the pack.
It appeared as though Halligan was going to collect the winner's pay envelope as he rocketed around the high line of the clay oval. But Kendall stormed back into contention, and this time he used the congestion of lapped traffic to his advantage. As the lead duo swapped the point several times while zipping in and out of slower cars, Kendall put the nose of No. 55k in front and finally cleared Halligan's car with three to go.
Heath Hehnly swept past two cars during the final ten circuits to secure the third position, and he immediately tracked down the lead pair to make it a three car contest for the win.
A late caution period set up a one lap dash to decide the winner, but Kendall got a good jump on the restart, with Halligan fighting off Hehnly for the runner-up spot.
As they crossed the stripe to complete the 30-lap feature, Kendall was a half-second ahead of Halligan to claim the victory. Hehnly, who was battling brake issues for most of the race, finished third. Tom Kohler and Luke Thomas rounded out the top five.
With 46 of the 600cc Micros signed in for action, heat races went to Hehnly, Mike Rutherford, Kohler, and Tyler Esh. Twin consolations were claimed by Ryan Wilson and Tim Buckwalter.
Kendall also earned the Valken Racing Fast Lap of the Week by dashing around the clay in 10.759 seconds and recording the single quickest lap during the feature.
"I honestly don't know what to say...we've had such a bad year up until now, so I really didn't expect this. It's great, and I have to thank my family and friends for all their support," stated 270cc victor Nick Skias, who hails from Wernersville, Pa.
Skias rolled off the starting grid in fifth, and he, like Halligan, found the high groove to his liking. With Greg Miller setting the pace early, Skias quickly picked off the cars in front of him, rumbling into second place within the first ten revolutions of the 30-lapper.
Continuing to roll the top at both ends of the speedway, Skias powered by Miller for the lead on the eleventh trip around the lightning-quick eighth-mile of clay. He and Miller maintained control at the head of the field until Richie Hartman screamed into the runner-up position with less than ten circuits remaining. Just as Hartman was narrowing his deficit to the leader, however, mechanical ills knocked him out with four laps left to run.
Skias flew to the triumph, his first of the year, with Miller registering an impressive second place effort. Pete Skias, the winner's father, provided a late race challenge to Miller, but settled for third. Mike Rutherford (who started 19th) finished fourth in the car normally driven by Billy Logeman and Mike Uhrich (who started 21st) wound up fifth.
With 45 of the 270cc Micro-Sprints in the pit area, Dave Grube, Jason Swavely, Heath Hehnly, and N. Skias were victorious in the qualifying heats. Evan Krautwald and Andrew Locuson won the two consolation races.
The Xcel 600 Modifieds made their first Clyde Martin appearance of 2010 at the Memorial Day Open Show, and they produced a very competitive, entertaining feature with very few cautions to slow the pace.
Mike Kelly wrestled the top spot away from early leader Gary Suchy, Jr. as the pair accelerated off turn four to complete 11 tours around the oval. Suchy and Aaron Bowes stayed close and made several attempts to snare the lead from Kelly, but the Frazer, Pa. throttle-jockey was up to the task.
During the latter stages of the 25-lap affair, an exciting three-car slugfest was waged for the fourth position. Current Xcel Modified point leader Nick Mady battled with Ryan Kunkle and Chris Stockham for many laps before Mady and Stockham prevailed over Kunkle.
At the finish, it was Kelly scoring his initial triumph of 2010, with Suchy and Bowes chasing him to the finish line. N. Mady and Stockham completed the first five, with Kunkle and Kasey Earnst finishing fifth and sixth, respectively.
In the winner's circle, Kelly revealed that he "trashed the car at Linda's (Speedway) last night. We spent all morning fixing it, so this (win) is really sweet."
Nick Mady, Bowes, and Dave Baldwin, Jr. won heat races for the 32 Xcel Mods. Cody Coons took the checkered in the consolation race.
Jesse Maurer, Evan Krautwald, and Phil Durham engaged in a terrific three-car tussle for the lead in the main event for the 125cc Micro-Sprints. Krautwald ducked under Maurer as both cars skated up the banking, opening the door for Durham to scoot by on the inside.
Once out front, Durham kept his RTD Masonry/ Elmer's Garage & Dyno Services No. 32 at the head of the pack. The resident of Newfield, NJ went on to win by almost one full second over Shane Braxton, who made a late race charge to pass Maurer for the runner-up position. Maurer held on for third place money, with Krautwald and Dave Grube notching the fourth and fifth positions.
A full field (24 cars) of 125cc Micros entered the event, and the three heat races were won by Maurer, Grube, and Krautwald.
In the 30-lap feature for the Sportsman Micro-Sprints, Nick Skias went for his second win of the evening as he filled in for Ken Miller in the No. 7P. Skias started on the pole, but Dwayne Mathias passed him as the green flag waved. Skias was forced to retire after just three circuits.
Fourth-starting Jason Swavely, Birdsboro, slipped past Mathias to snare the lead on the second tour of the oval, then ran away to record his second Sportsman victory of 2010.
Mathias pedaled hard as he attempted to keep pace with Swavely, but had to be satisfied with a second place finish. Bret Habecker, Brett Wanner, and Jeff Hughes made up the first five at the end of the 30-lap contest.
Nick Skias, Mathias, and Habecker copped the qualifying heats for the 27 Sportsman cars. The consolation went to Joel Tolley.
Because the Memorial Day Open Show is a non-points event, Chip Geib decided to take the night off (as did many of the Clyde's regulars). Richie Hartman accepted Geib's offer to wheel the No. 88, and Hartman made the most of his opportunity by winning the 30-lapper for the 250cc Four-Stroke Micros.
Julie Wenger, a member of the United States Air Force who is stationed in Virginia, led the first two revolutions before Hartman zoomed past her to assume command.
In a dominating performance, Hartman lapped everyone except runner-up Craig DeSantis and third place Jared Esh, who turned in his best finish of his young career.
Jim Harrington, a former champion of the class, recorded a fourth place effort in Steve Brenner's No. 9B and Wenger held on for fifth.
DeSantis and Hartman won the Four-Stroke heat races.
Saturday, June 5, will be a night off at Lanco's Clyde Martin Memorial Speedway, as no racing is scheduled on that evening. The speedway swings back into action on Saturday, June 12, with another five division card of Micro-Sprint activity sponsored by Shred Racing Products.
Gates open at 3:30, with warm-ups beginning at 5 p.m. The first heat goes green at 6:00.
Adult general admission is priced at just $8.00, with discounts for Senior Citizens and students. Youth between the ages of six and twelve are admitted for $2.00, and children under the age of six are free. Parking is always free at the Clyde.
Enjoy the week off, then come back and LIVE the excitement that is Lanco!
600cc Feature, 30 laps: 1.Robbie Kendall, 2.Jeff Halligan, 3.Heath Hehnly, 4.Tom Kohler, 5.Luke Thomas, 6.Kady Wills, 7.Tyler Esh, 8.Tyler Ross, 9.Mike Rutherford, 10.Ryan Wilson, 11.Tim Buckwalter, 12.Bob DeVault, 13.Tyler Tank, 14.Isaac Sneeringer, 15.Brent Ely, 16.Kory Merkey, 17.Chris Gerhart, 18.Carl Locuson, 19.Sam Locuson, 20.Ryan Hook, 21.Bradley Brown, 22.Mike Freed, 23.Jim Garrison, 24.Christopher Tracy.
270cc Feature, 30 laps: 1.Nick Skias, 2.Greg Miller, 3.Pete Skias, 4.Mike Rutherford, 5.Mike Uhrich, 6.Steve Drevicki, 7.Jack Spence, 8.Dave Grube, 9.David Williams, 10.Jason Swavely, 11.Shane Lewis, 12.Andrew Locuson, 13.Zack Fouse, 14.Phil Rupert, 15.Christi Sweigart, 16.Jay Batdorf, 17.Dana Lamothe, 18.Jesse Maurer, 19.Nick Walton, 20.Richie Hartman, 21.Evan Krautwald, 22.Brian Marriott, 23.Josh Stoyer, 24.Heath Hehnly.
Xcel 600 Modified Feature, 25 laps: 1.Mike Kelly, 2.Gary Suchy Jr., 3.Aaron Bowes, 4.Nick Mady, 5.Chris Stockham, 6.Ryan Kunkle, 7.Kasey Earnst, 8.Joe Fanelli, 9.Ryan Higgs, 10.Ryan Suchon, 11.Justin Schraden, 12.Dave Ogin, 13.Cody Coons, 14.Eric Whitby, 15.Butch Getz, 16.Shaun Horning, 17.Alec Bartholomew, 18.Tyler Bartik, 19.Cory Coons, 20.Corry Roth, 21.Joey Fahler, 22.Dave Baldwin Jr., 23.Sean Weiss, 24.Ray Horning.
125cc Feature, 30 laps: 1.Phil Durham, 2.Shane Braxton, 3.Jesse Maurer, 4.Evan Krautwald, 5.Dave Grube, 6.Ryan Wilson, 7.Bret Habecker, 8.Cody Drace, 9.Mark Yoder, 10.Sonny Sweitzer, 11.Bradley Brown, 12.David Ravel, 13.Kyle Spence, 14.Angelo Bianco, 15.Daniel Braun, 16.Curtis R. Miller, 17.Jared Hartlieb, 18.Kyle Hehnly, 19.Zoe Ford, 20.Brianna Gerhart, 21.Nathan Weidman, 22.Devin Harron, 23.Derek Ecenrode. DNS: Scott Gantert.
Sportsman Feature, 30 laps: 1.Jason Swavely, 2.Dwayne Mathias, 3.Bret Habecker, 4.Brett Wanner, 5.Jeff Hughes, 6.Donna Geib, 7.Robert Shanaman, 8.Tyler Pannebecker, 9.Wesley Fasnacht, 10.Corey Schmuck Jr., 11.Tim Ziegler, 12.Jonathan Swift, 13.Sarah Shreiner, 14.Mike Heiser, 15.Dave Schroeder, 16.Kelby Stauffer, 17.Dean Spangler Jr., 18.Jamie Fetterolf, 19.Joel Tolley, 20.David Kemp, 21.Jenna Keppley, 22.Nick Skias, 23.Jason Hehnly. DNS: Ashley Kase.
250cc Four-Stroke Feature, 30 laps: 1.Richie Hartman, 2.Craig DeSantis, 3.Jared Esh, 4.Jim Harrington, 5.Julie Wenger, 6.Kim Enck, 7.Ronnie Rhoads, 8.Lewis Kepple Jr., 9.Ed Nocera, 10.Kim Trout, 11.Matthew Swift, 12.Peter Michael. DNS: Jessica Mohler; Ronald Wechter.