A second consecutive late-race charge propelled Jason Swavely to his second straight 600cc Micro-Sprint victory on Saturday night at Lanco’s Clyde Martin Memorial Speedway in Newmanstown, Pa.
Swavely, from Douglassville, Pa., is actually three-for-four over the past week, as he captured a thrilling, last-lap triumph at the Clyde on June 14, followed by his second win of the season at Linda’s Speedway on Friday, June 20, then threw a slide job on Mike Rutherford to record his second straight victory at the Clyde on Saturday, June 21. The only race he entered, but did not win, was a wingless event at Kutztown’s Action Track USA on Wednesday, June 18.
Other winners at the Clyde on Saturday included Danny Lane Jr. (270cc), Justin Harrington (125cc), Dave Ravel (250cc Four-Strokes), and Bret Habecker (Sportsman). The first 17 laps of the 600cc feature went clean and green, with Taylor Troxel setting the pace. Troxel got hung up a bit in lapped traffic and Mike Rutherford, who’d been dicing with eighth-starting Swavely for the runner-up slot, suddenly found himself perched on the tail tank of the race leader.
Rutherford zipped past Troxel to take command with Swavely moving into second on the next trip around the banked oval. A caution period with two to go set the stage for another fantastic finish as Swavely made his move on the restart.
With the green waving as they passed the restart cone at the end of the backstretch, Swavely made a bonzai run to the bottom of turn three, then slid up in front of Rutherford in four, barely clearing the No. 7h. Rutherford had to brake hard and Swavely roared off the corner with the lead.
Jason went on to notch the victory over Rutherford, with Shaun Brandel, Jared Esh, and point leader Heath Hehnly made up the top five at the finish.
Brandel, PJ Williams, and Ryan Hook won heat races for the 25-car field of 600’s. James Morris was credited with the consolation triumph as only six cars made it onto the track for that event. Since all six would qualify, the race was not run.
Recent high school grad Danny Lane Jr. registered his first career victory in the 270cc main event. Lane started fourth, jumped to second in the first two circuits, then hounded early leader Danny Braun Jr. (who was celebrating his 20th birthday on Saturday). Lane bided his time, then swept around Braun on the high side of turn four at the halfway mark of the 25-lapper.
Kutztown’s Jarid Kunkle, winner of the previous two features for the 270’s, weaved his way from tenth on the starting grid to run second in the latter stages of the race. While Kunkle was fast once again, he was not as fast as Lane, who hails from Elverson, Pa., on this night.
Lane, who graduated with honors from Twin Valley H.S. on June 7, was hooked up in both the bottom and top grooves, and he drove to his first-ever Micro-Sprint victory by 0.809-seconds over Kunkle. Kyle Spence, who started 12th, ended up third with Damon Bomgardner and Dave Grube completing the top five.
The race was marred by two nasty crashes but fortunately none of the drivers involved were injured; they were just sore and frustrated over the unfortunate turn of events.
Mike Rutherford and Ken Miller were battling for sixth with Dave Grube when they simply ran out of racing room on the backstretch, got together, and executed a double flip with both cars climbing the billboards that line the back chute.
Later, Braun and Billy Logeman, who were fighting for third position, tangled and Logeman pounded the backstretch guardrail with severe impact. Braun ended up on his side at the entrance to turn three.
While all four cars were eliminated, their drivers were able to climb out and walk away.
Lane was also the recipient of the Weld Racing Fast Lap of the Feature Award because he turned the quickest lap of the main event at 10.900-seconds.
With 30 of the 270cc racers entering the evening’s program, three heat races were needed and the winners were Rutherford, Spence, and Nick Skias. Nick Sweigart won the consolation race.
Sixteen cars took the green flag in the 125cc main event but the conclusion of the 25-lapper came down to just two – Justin Harrington and Dave Grube.
Harrington, from Lancaster, started on the pole and led every lap, but almost lost the race on a restart with one to go. Grube ducked under him as the green reappeared, and the two-time winner from Denver, Pa. nosed ahead as they rumbled into turns one and two. He cleared Harrington’s mount as the duo prepared to throttle off the corner.
Keeping his poise, Harrington simply turned left and drove back under Grube as the pair sped down the back chute. His RTS Chassis No. 88 took him to his first 125cc triumph.
“I just told myself that he was not going to beat me…not after I led all those laps. I crossed over and fortunately was able to drive by him,” said the happy winner as he posed with his dad, former Lanco champion Jim Harrington Jr., for victory photos.
Grube chalked it up to “a good points night” as he settled for runner-up money. Three-time winner Darren Miller chased Harrington and Grube to the stripe, with Alexis Sheely finishing a career-best fourth and Jas Hehnly rounding out the top five.
Grube and D. Miller were victorious in the two heat races for the 125cc division.
Leesport’s Bret Habecker captured his second Sportsman victory of the year, but it was the intense racing behind him that entertained the spectators.
Habecker started sixth and inherited the top spot when leader Curtis R. Miller fell out due to mechanical issues with three tours complete.
As Habecker distanced himself from the rest of the pack, a pair of terrific battles raged behind him. Dave Ravel (started tenth) and Sami Schenk (started 15th) raced side-by-side as they dueled for second, swapping the position numerous times during their wheel-to-wheel tussle that lasted for most of the second half of the 25-lap affair. Ravel secured the spot late in the going after a tire-rubbing pass on Schenk, who was making just her fourth career start at the Clyde, in turns one and two.
The race for fourth was just as good, with Kerry Lengle and second-year driver Anthony Yerger duplicating the Ravel/Schenk battle for several trips around the clay. Lengle eventually claimed the position, finishing fourth behind Habecker, Ravel, and Schenk. Yerger crossed the line in fifth.
A total of 23 Sportsman entries took part in three heats, with victories going to Curtis R. Miller, Ravel, and Mike Rutherford. Rutherford ran as high as second in the feature before mechanical gremlins forced him to the sidelines.
Dave Ravel of Reading notched his second consecutive triumph in the main event for the 250cc Four-Stroke Micros. His Earl Eveland owned, Al’s Service Center, Angelo’s Pizza No. 69k was strong once again, but Ravel was aided by the misfortune of two other drivers in his drive to the checkered flag.
Ryan Shupp set the pace for the first 13 laps, building a large advantage as the race stayed green. Shupp’s No. 15 suddenly slowed with carburetor problems on the front straightaway, and runner-up Eddie Nocera closed so fast that he couldn’t avoid launching his No. 62 over the left side wheels of Shupp’s machine. Nocera flipped wildly on the front chute, but was uninjured.
Ravel narrowly missed the incident, cutting to the inside as Nocera tumbled right in front of him. He inherited the lead at that point and went on to win handily over Kenny Miller III (who started last after arriving late due to an all day lacrosse tournament). Donna Geib wound up third with rookie Brian Kramer and Lewis Kepple finishing fourth and fifth.
D. Geib and Shupp won the two heat races for the 13 cars in the Four-Stroke field.
On Saturday, June 28, Lanco’s Clyde Martin Memorial Speedway presents another five division card of Micro-Sprint racing – with a twist. Joining the weekly classes will be the All Star Slingshots, who will compete in a National Touring event titled Slide at the Clyde 2 Presented By Kovatch Motorsports.
Depending upon car count, the Slingers will race for either $500 or $700 to win, and a hefty overall purse with plenty of cash contingency prizes is certain to lure the top Slingshot wheel-twisters in the land to Newmanstown.
Randy Smith, former dirt Modified pilot and now a Slingshot dealer, along with being the co-promoter of Hamlin Speedway, climbed back into the driver’s seat for last year’s inaugural Slide at the Clyde and won, narrowly defeating three-time and defending National Slingshot Champion Brett Bieber of Oley, Pa. John Bockhorn finished third as the Slingers impressed the Lanco crowd with their close and competitive brand of racing.
On Saturday, gates open at 3:30 with warm-ups set to begin at 5 p.m. The first heat race will go green at 6:00.
Adult general admission is just $8.00, with discounts for Senior Citizens and students. Youth between the ages of six and 12 are only $2.00, and children under the age of six are free. Parking is always free at the Clyde!
Five weekly classes of ultra-competitive Micro-Sprint racing plus the 2nd Slide at the Clyde for the All Star Slingshots means you’ve just gotta come out and LIVE the excitement that is Lanco!
600cc Micro-Sprint Feature, 25 laps…1.Jason Swavely, 2.Mike Rutherford, 3.Shaun Brandel, 4.Jared Esh, 5.Heath Hehnly, 6.Taylor Troxel, 7.James Morris, 8.Dan Souder, 9.Brent Ely, 10.Chris Gerhart, 11.Brittany Brown, 12.Bret Cronrath, 13.PJ Williams, 14.Ryan Hook, 15.Jered Hook, 16.Zachary Light, 17.Bobby Scherff, 18.Ernie Miles, 19.Rebecca LaMothe, 20.Nate Prazencia, 21.Corry Roth, 22.Dylan Binkley, 23.Devin Goldrum.
DNQ: Troy Musselman.
270cc Micro-Sprint Feature, 25 laps…1.Dan Lane Jr., 2.Jarid Kunkle, 3.Kyle Spence, 4.Damon Bomgardner, 5.Dave Grube, 6.Mike Uhrich, 7.Bradley Brown, 8.Nick Skias, 9.Ronald Helmick Jr., 10.Terry Ellex, 11.Toby Blumenshine, 12.Christi Sweigart, 13.Josh Schaffer, 14.Matt Peachery, 15.Michael Binkley, 16.Hunter James, 17.Nick Sweigart, 18.Nate Weidman, 19.Billy Logeman, 20.Daniel Braun Jr., 21.Corey Schmuck Jr., 22.Tyler Ulrich, 23.Mike Rutherford, 24.Ken Miller.
DNQ: Cameron Bellinger, Dennis Fenstermacher, Kenny Miller III, Heath Hehnly, Cale Mutter, Zack Hollinger.
125cc Micro-Sprint Feature, 25 laps…1.Justin Harrington, 2.Dave Grube, 3.DarrenMiller, 4.Alexis Sheeley, 5.Jas Hehnly, 6.Nick Sweigart, 7.Chase Gutshall, 8.William Manotti V, 9.Kyle Hehnly, 10.Matthew Donley, 11.James Wampole, 12.Walt Wampole, 13.Dustin Adams, 14.Dylan Adams, 15.Brandon Gibble, 16.Zack Hollinger.
Sportsman Micro-Sprint Feature, 25 laps…1.Bret Habecker, 2.Dave Ravel, 3.Sami Schenk, 4.Kerry Lengle, 5.Anthony Yerger, 6.Patrick Kirn, 7.Wesley Fasnacht, 8.Megan Mercado, 9.Dennis Ziegler, 10.John Davis, 11.Jenna Heagy, 12.Randy Landis, 13.Ava Bellinger, 14.James Fetterolf, 15.Mike Rutherford, 16.Bobby Shanaman, 17.Kim Minzer, 18.Brandon Bucher, 19.Dave Kemp, 20.Curtis R. Miller, 21.Jason Rhoads, 22.Steve Smith Sr., 23.Ken Miller.
250cc Four-Stroke Micro-Sprint Feature, 25 laps…1.Dave Ravel, 2.Kenny Miller III, 3.Donna Geib, 4.Brian Kramer, 5.Lewis Kepple Jr., 6.Devin Adams, 7.Jarrett Imler, 8.Ron Good, 9.Kassidy Michael, 10.Zachary Young, 11.Ryan Shupp, 12.Eddie Nocera, 13.Ronald Wechter.