Sometimes, its better to be lucky, rather than good. When you’re running good AND lady luck smiles on you, well, that’s a recipe for victory. And it’s an especially sweet concoction when the combination produces a first career triumph.
That was the case for Taylor Troxel on Saturday night at Lanco’s Clyde Martin Memorial Speedway, as the Bally, Pa. college student capitalized on some good fortune (for him; it was horrible luck for Dan Souder), then put his elbows up and gave the fans a fancy driving display to earn his first 600cc victory at the Clyde.
Bradley Brown shook off the previous week’s bad luck to score his third win of the season in the 270cc division, and Darren Miller recorded his fifth triumph of 2014 in the 125cc Class. Curtis R. Miller extended his point lead with a win in the Sportsman feature, and Kenny Miller III captured his fifth checkered flag of the season in the main event for the 250cc Four-Stroke Micro-Sprints.
The 600cc feature looked like party time for Dan Souder. The young charger from Quakertown bolted to a big lead from his outside front row starting position. He led the first 11 laps until calamity struck in turn two…a four-car pileup blocked most of the track and left Souder, who was committed to the high side, without a lane in which to navigate through the mishap. He braked to a complete stop to avoid contact with the car parked in front of him and, since he stopped on the track, Lanco rules dictate that he must fall to the rear of the field.
Troxel inherited the top spot at that point, and he pulled out to a comfortable lead as Heath Hehnly, Chris Gerhart, Brittany Brown, and Kyle Spence battled for the runner-up position behind him. Lapped traffic permitted Hehnly, who snatched second from Gerhart, to close in and soon Spence made it a three car tussle at the head of the pack.
Troxel made some bold moves to get through the heavy traffic in front of his No. 24T, barely keeping point leader Hehnly behind him as the laps clicked off in rapid fashion. Troxel flew under Tim Gehret’s checkered flag just 0.194-seconds ahead of Hehnly to register a popular first-time victory.
Hehnly was a close second, with Spence, who was filling in for Jared Esh (sitting out with a broken thumb) in the Bud’s Spring & Suspension No. 83, finishing an impressive third in his first-ever 600cc main event. Brittany Brown and Gerhart completed the top five.
Souder did claim a consolation prize, as he picked up the gift certificate for recording the Weld Racing Fast Lap of the Feature. His quick lap was timed in 10.509-seconds.
Sammy LaMothe, Hehnly, and Spence won heat races for the 26-car field of 600’s. Nathan Prazenica notched the consolation victory.
On August 9, Bradley Brown uncorked not one, but a pair of 270cc engines in the two-feature program. He lost the point lead in the process, but rebounded nicely on Saturday, registering his third win of the campaign in the 25-lapper for the 270cc Micros.
Brown started fourth and passed Ken Miller for the lead on lap six. Point leader Mike Rutherford rumbled from 17th on the starting grid to run eighth in the opening eight trips around the banked oval, and made even more progress during the second half of the race before his No. 5k fell victim to mechanical gremlins with two to go. He pulled off the track and was credited with 20th place in the final rundown.
Brown was cruising up front, but a late caution period put Mike Uhrich on his tail tank. Uhrich blasted to the bottom on the restart, diving under Brown at both ends of the speedway. Brown had the momentum from running the high side, however, and he pulled in front once again as the duo launched off the corners and back onto the straightaways.
Brown streaked to the finish line just one-half second in front of Uhrich, with tenth-starting Kyle Spence ending up third and, due to Rutherford’s misfortune, taking over the point lead. Brian Sholley was fourth and Jason Swavely wound up fifth at the end of a wildly competitive race.
With 32 of the 270’s on hand, heat race victories fell to Jarid Kunkle, TJ Greve, and Sholley. The consolation victor was Cameron Bellinger.
After a couple of (for him) subpar performances, Darren Miller and his Gary Gorski No. 29 team went back to some old reliable engine settings for Saturday’s 125cc event. The result was Miller’s fifth victory of the year, and in the process, the Mt. Joy driver also increased his point lead.
Miller dashed past Dylan Adams to grab the top spot on the ninth revolution, and he was never seriously challenged from that point on, going on to win by a comfortable margin over Dave Grube. After crashing heavily in his heat race when a slower car suddenly drifted up the track right in front of him, Grube and his crew made the necessary repairs to his No. 3d to get him out for the feature. Grube started 19th and rocketed to third spot by the tenth circuit. He worked his way past Adams for second, but Miller was long gone by that time.
Heath Hehnly drove Gorski’s other car, the No. 21, to a third place finish with Chase Gutshall and Justin Harrington completing the top five.
William Manotti and Hehnly won heat races for the 21-car field of 125cc racers.
Curtis R. Miller, from Mertztown, Pa., rolled off ninth when the Sportsman Micros took the green to begin their 25-lap main event. Miller moved up quickly, battling Mike Rutherford for the lead before Rutherford pulled ahead and Jarid Kunkle entered the picture, challenging Miller for the runner-up position.
The complexion of the race changed dramatically on a restart with ten laps in the books, as leader Rutherford slowed and stopped on the homestretch. At almost the same time, Kunkle, who would have inherited the top spot, also fell off the pace, handing the lead to Miller.
Curtis took advantage of his golden opportunity, romping to his fifth win of the season and building his point lead over Anthony Yerger (who suffered a DNF on Saturday), Kerry Lengle, and Rutherford.
Phil Durham, after taking the initial green in 23rd, sliced his way forward to an impressive second-place finish. Bret Habecker wound up third with Rutherford overcoming his troubles to record a fourth place finish. Ava Bellinger earned fifth-place money.
With 24 Sportsman signed in for action on Saturday, Kunkle, Rutherford, and Sami Schenck were victorious in heat race activity.
Kenny Miller III and Dave Ravel have been the big winners in 250cc Four-Stroke competition this year. As the top two in the point standings (Ravel leads Miller), they started side by side in the last row of the 25-lap feature and Miller won the race to the front of the field.
Miller, the Birdsboro, Pa. resident, passed Eddie Nocera for the lead on the ninth tour. Ravel moved to second just before the halfway mark, but Miller had already checked out by that time and, without the benefit of a yellow flag, Ravel had to settle for second as Miller recorded his fifth triumph of the season, tying him with Ravel for most wins in the Four-Stroke division.
At the end it was Miller, Ravel, Nocera, Devin Adams, and rookie Jarrett Imler making up the top five. Miller’s 25-lap victory was completed in a little over five minutes, with an official time of 5:02.204.
Nocera and Miller won the two heat races for the ten-car field of Four-Strokes.
This Saturday, August 23rd, will find the focus remaining on the point chases in all five weekly divisions – the 600cc, 270cc, 125cc, Sportsman, and 250cc Four-Strokes. Gates open at 3:30, with warm-ups beginning at 5 p.m. The first heat race goes green at 6:00.
Time permitting, there will be a practice session at the end of the night for wingless 270cc Micros in preparation (and great anticipation) of the non-winged 270 program coming up on Sunday, August 31, as part of the Labor Day Shootout.
Details regarding the two-day Shootout on Labor Day weekend are now posted on the speedway’s website at www.lancomicrosprint.com. The exact order of events for each day is still being determined, but the decision has been made to run a complete program of winged 600’s and 270’s on Saturday, along with a complete show of Sportsman Micro-Sprints.
On Sunday, the 31st, a complete program of wingless 600cc and 270cc action, along with winged 125cc activity, will highlight the second night of the Labor Day Shootout.
NOTE: the Four-Strokes are invited to run with the 125cc Class on Sunday, but there will not be a separate race for the 250cc Four-Strokes at this year’s Shootout.
600cc Micro-Sprint Feature, 25 laps: 1.Taylor Troxel, 2.Heath Hehnly, 3.Kyle Spence, 4.Brittany Brown, 5.Chris Gerhart, 6.Shaun Brandel, 7.Mike Rutherford, 8.Brent Ely, 9.Jason Swavely, 10.James Morris, 11.Chris Panczner, 12.Peter Michael, 13.Ernie Miles, 14.Ryan Hook, 15.Tyler DeVault, 16.Dan Souder, 17.Brett Cronrath, 18.Zachary Light, 19.Jered Hook, 20.Nate Prazenica, 21.Devin Gundrum, 22.Sammy LaMothe, 23.Pat Ely, 24.Rebecca LaMothe.
DNQ: Sal Tossona, Troy Musselman.
270cc Micro-Sprint Feature, 25 laps: 1.Bradley Brown, 2.Mike Uhrich, 3.Kyle Spence, 4.Brian Sholley, 5.Jason Swavely, 6.Billy Logeman, 7.Mike Miller, 8.Tyler Ulrich, 9.Cameron Bellinger, 10.Dan Lane Jr., 11.Toby Blumenshine, 12.Nickk Sweigart, 13.Nick Skias, 14.Christi Sweigart, 15.Damon Bomgardner, 16.Ricky Sechrist Jr., 17.Ken Miller, 18.Corey Schmuck Jr., 19.Dave Grube, 20.Mike Rutherford, 21.Matt _Peachy, 22.Terry Ellex, 23.Jarid Kunkle, 24.TJ Greve Jr.
DNQ: Dennis Fenstermacher, Daryl Davis, Elizabeth Helmick, Kenny Miller III, Nathan Weidman, Melvin Bainbridge, Ronald Helmick, Heath Hehnly.
125cc Micro-Sprint Feature, 25 laps: 1.Darren Miller, 2.Dave Grube, 3.Heath Hehnly, 4.Chase Gutshall, 5.Justin Harrington, 6.Dylan Adams, 7.Willliam Manotti, 8.Kyle Hehnly, 9. Jas Hehnly, 10.Alexis Sheely, 11.Brandon Gibble, 12.Nick Sweigart, 13.Evan Krautwald, 14.Tajae Adams, 15.Brianna Gerhart, 16.James Wampole, 17.John Fischer, 18.Matthew Donley, 19.Walt Wampole, 20.Dustin Adams, 21.Brie Weiler.
Sportsman Micro-Sprint Feature, 25 laps: 1.Curtis R. Miller, 2.Phil Durham, 3.Bret Habecker, 4.Mike Rutherford, 5.Ava Bellinger, 6.Kerry Lengle, 7.Patrick Kirn, 8.Ken Miller, 9.Brandon Mundis, 10.Dave Kemp, 11.Wesley Fasnacht, 12.Brandon Bucher, 13.Megan Mercado, 14.Steve 15.Dave Schroder. 16.Kim Minzer, 17.Randy Landis, 18.Sammony Shenck, 19.James Fetterolf, 20.Jarid Kunkle, 21.Bobby Shanaman, 22.Anthony Yerger, 23.Brian Becker, 24.Jenna Heagy.
250cc Four-Stroke Features, 25 laps: 1.Kenny Miller III, 2.Dave Ravel, 3.Eddie Nocera, 4.Devin Adams, 5.Jarrett Imler, 6. Kassidy Michael, 7.Brian Mower, 8.Ronald Wechter, 9.Lewis Kepple Jr., 10.Donna Geib.
By Barry Angstadt – https://www.facebook.com/barry.angstadt?fref=ts&ref=br_tf