The annual Labor Day Shootout at Lanco’s Clyde Martin Memorial Speedway had a little bit of everything…great car counts, lots of interactive activities for the fans, some terrific action on the track, and…rain.
The two day event presented by the Lanco Micro-Sprint Club and Hyper Racing was punctuated by a late race, win-producing slide job that propelled Alex Bright to victory in the winged 600cc A-Main, along with an incredible five-car tussle for the lead in the wingless 270cc main event. Rain ended that one prematurely and Jason Swavely was the only driver who was happy about the precipitation because he was leading – barely – and therefore declared the winner when the wet weather stopped the race.
Jesse Maurer was also a winner – twice – during the weekend, taking top honors in the winged 270cc A-Main (with a final lap, last turn pass of Bradley Brown) and the Mount Joy Outlaw notched his 6th Labor Day Shootout triumph (since 2007) in the 125cc division.
Mike Rutherford captured the 30-lap A-Main for the Sportsman Class.
The rain that moved in during Sunday’s wingless 270cc A-Main also caused the cancellation of the main event for the wingless 600cc Micros. The purse for that race was split evenly among the 26 drivers who qualified for the A-Main.
The winged 600cc feature was postponed on Saturday, August 30, due to curfew. That 30-lapper was the first race run on Sunday the 31st, and the battle for the win was well worth the wait.
Heath Hehnly, a two-time winner and current 600cc point leader at the Clyde, was in control for most of the event. Hehnly, from Manheim, earned the right to start on the pole by setting the quickest time in Knockout-style group time trials among the top 12 in passing points (a dual heat race format, with passing/finishing points used to determine the top 18 qualifiers was in effect for every division at the Shootout).
Hehnly set the pace and seemed to have luck on his side as well, with timely yellow flags appearing on several occasions, just as he was about to become mired in heavy lapped traffic. The final caution period, however, proved to be his undoing.
On the restart, with just four laps remaining, runner-up Alex Bright pounced, throwing a slide job in turns one and two and sliding up in front of Hehnly. Bright jumped back in the gas before Hehnly could turn left and shoot back under him, and it was the ARDC Midget hotshoe from Collegeville, Pa. with the advantage as they rumbled down the backstretch.
Bright went on to score the $1,000 victory in Greg Stevens’ No. 20, with Hehnly settling for second place money. Chris Gerhart drove a steady race to finish third, with 11th-starting Mike Rutherford climbing to fourth at the checkered. Shaun Brandel was fifth.
The 270cc wheel-twisters are not used to running without wings bolted to the top of their mounts; they simply don’t get many opportunities to compete in non-winged events.
That fact was nearly impossible to detect on Sunday night, though, as a solid 38-car field of wingless 270cc jockeys put on an incredibly good show. The quality of the racing in the heats and B-Main was terrific, and the intensity was ratcheted up even higher in the A-Main as the top five cars could have been covered with a blanket, although it would have needed to be a large blanket because they (literally) were using every inch of the banked oval.
Jason Swavely earned the pole by accumulating the most passing points, and he led all the way…but it was far from easy during the 23 laps that were completed before the rains came and washed away all the fun and what surely would have been a tremendously exciting final seven circuits.
Mike Rutherford, a three-time 270cc Shootout winner over the past seven seasons, challenged Swavely in the early going, but Rutherford was passed by Brandon Heist and Richie Hartman on the sixth trip around the clay. Hartman slipped past Heist for second, then began his assault on Swavely, nipping at the heels of the leader for several circuits until Heist, Rutherford, and 13th-starting Kyle Spence entered the picture.
With 22 revolutions scored, Swavely turned down to shut the door on Hartman as they entered turn three. Heist immediately went up the banking to try and sweep around Hartman and Swavely, while Rutherford remained on the bottom. Spence followed Heist, and the five car hornet’s nest swarmed down the front chute with Heist now threading the needle between Swavely and Hartman and Spence looking to make a big high side jaunt into corner number one as lap 23 was completed.
Just like that, with the leaders storming into turn one, an actual rain storm swept across the speedway and the yellow was thrown. The rain intensified as the cars quickly exited the speedway, and it was soon determined that the track was lost and the wingless 270 race was deemed official.
Swavely, the Douglassville resident, was a relieved winner, with Heist scored as the runner-up when they crossed the line to complete lap 23. Spence wound up third with Hartman fourth and Rutherford fifth and everyone agreed it was a darn shame that those final seven laps could not be completed. This race was just that good.
Jesse Maurer registered his second victory of the LDS on Sunday, taking the checkered for the sixth time in the last eight Labor Day Shootout A-Mains for the 125cc division.
Evan Krautwald, in Dave Grube’s No. 3D, set the pace for 22 of the 30 laps before sixth-starting Maurer, from Mount Joy, Pa., ducked under him in turn four, then forged ahead as they blasted down the main straightaway.
Maurer went on to win by almost 1.5-seconds over Krautwald, the Drexel Engineering student. Jas Hehnly was an impressive third and Heath Hehnly finished fourth ahead of Kenny Miller III.
In Saturday’s A-Main for the winged 270cc Micro-Sprints, Maurer scored his first win of the Shootout weekend, as he closed in on race long leader Bradley Brown, who dominated most of the 30-lapper.
With Brown committed to the high groove, Maurer saved his best for last, as he drove deep to the bottom in the middle of three and four, then slid up in front of Brown’s No. 23. The final lap, last turn maneuver paid off as Maurer dashed to the stripe in front of Brown, who was forced to settle for runner-up laurels. Kyle Spence, Rutherford, and Swavely made up the top five.
The triumph was worth $1,000 to Maurer in the race that also paid $100 to take the green.
Saturday’s first main event was contested by the Sportsman/250cc Stock division, and it was an interesting race, to say the least.
Phil Durham started on the pole and led early, while Jarid Kunkle and Rutherford dueled for second. Curtis R. Miller, a four-time winner at the Clyde this season, sliced his way to the runner-up spot just past the halfway mark, and he would be involved in a race-changing moment on a restart with 18 complete.
Durham’s No. 32 did not come up to speed on the restart, and a charging Miller had no choice but to climb over the left side of Durham’s car. Kunkle and Rutherford shot by the duo, but the contact between the leaders knocked the pipe off Durham’s car, causing another yellow flag and allowing Miller to go back to the head of the pack.
Kunkle spun out of second place with three to go and Rutherford passed Miller for the top spot with two tours remaining. Rutherford went on to win his second Shootout main since 2007 in the Sportsman Class, with Miller hanging on for second as the checkered fell. Tyler Reinhardt, who started 12th, ended up in third and Ken Miller finished fourth. Alex Swift threaded his way from 19th on the starting grid to a fifth-place finish.
Rutherford, who lives in Lititz, earned $600 for the Sportsman/250cc Stock victory.
A huge number of entrants, the most of any Labor Day Shootout in the last eight years, participated during the weekend. A total of 247 entries were split as follows: on Saturday, there were 32 Sportsman/250cc Stock; 48 of the winged 270’s; and 47 winged 600cc Micros.
On Sunday, 29 of the 125cc racers signed in, while 38 wingless 270cc drivers joined a whopping 53 of the wingless 600’s in competition on the banks of the Clyde.
There are only two more races on the 2014 schedule at Lanco’s Clyde Martin Memorial Speedway, beginning with this Saturday’s Triangle Communications Night that was rained out on August 23. The point battles in all five weekly divisions – 600cc, 270cc, 125cc, Sportsman, and 250cc Four-Stroke – will be the main focus as the contenders race for a championship in their respective divisions.
Gates open at 3:30 on Saturday, with warm-ups getting underway at 5 p.m. The first heat race goes green at 6:00.
Only two more chances to LIVE the excitement that is Lanco in 2014!
Winged 600cc Micro-Sprint Feature, 30 laps: 1.Alex Bright, 2.Heath Hehnly, 3.Chris Gerhart, 4.Mike Rutherford, 5.Shaun Brandel, 6.Brent Ely, 7.James Morris, 8.Chris Panczner, 9.Bobby Butler, 10.Luke Thomas, 11.Dan Jones, 12.Zach Light, 13.Shane Lewis, 14.Ryan Hook, 15.Ben Kysor, 16.Brittany Brown, 17.Nick Walton, 18.Nate Prazenica, 19.Steve Kemery, 20.PJ Williams, 21.Jason Swavely, 22.Jack Conover, 23.Ryan Greth, 24.Tyler DeVault, 25.Jared Esh, 26.Corry Roth. DNS: Dan Souder, Kameron Morral.
DNQ: Jered Hook, Jason Brown, Tyler Tank, Brett Cronrath, Phil Durham, Barry Pollard, Sammy LaMothe, Dale Arnold, Kyle Coffey, Mick Diagostino, Ernie Miles, Rebecca LaMothe, Joe Kepple, Troy Musselman, Sal Tossona, Mike Austin, Brandon Azzalina, Tony DiMattia, Bryan Radcliff.
Wingless 270cc Micro-Sprint Feature, 30 laps: 1.Jason Swavely, 2.Brandon Heist, 3.Kyle Spence, 4.Richie Hartman, 5.Mike Rutherford, 6.Tyler Reinhardt, 7.Heath Hehnly, 8.Toby Blumenshine, 9.Damon Bomgardner, 10.Dylan Adams, 11.William Manotti, 12.Joe Dopke, 13.Kyle Hehnly, 14.John Vreeland, 15.Nick Sweigart, 16.Evan Krautwald, 17.Corey Schmuck Jr., 18.Tyler Ulrich, 19.Brent Shearer, 20.Bradley Brown, 21.Nate Weidman, 22.Billy Logeman, 23.Ken Miller Jr., 24.Danny Lane Jr., 25.TJ Greve Jr. 26.Brian Sholley.
DNQ: Derek Miller, Ronald Helmick Jr., Matt Carr, Ron Kramer, Steve Smith Sr., Mark Jones, Matt Peachy, Jenna Heagy, Matthew Jones, Derek Ecenrode, Adam Minzer Jr., Alex Swift.
125cc Micro-Sprint Feature, 30 laps: 1.Jesse Maurer, 2.Evan Krautwald, 3.Jas Hehnly, 4.Heath Hehnly, 5.Kenny Miller III, 6.Justin Harrington, 7.Richie Hartman, 8.William Manotti, 9.Chase Gutshall, 10.Darren Miller, 11.Zack Hollinger, 12.Devin Adams, 13.Brianna Gerhart, 14.Ronald Wechter, 15.Thomas Kelly, 16.Alexis Sheely, 17.Tajae Adams, 18.Brandon Gibble, 19.Robert Miles, 20.Dylan Adams, 21.Ronnie Rhoads, 22.Kyle Hehnly, 23.Nick Sweigart, 24.Brie Weiler.
DNQ: Barry Pollard, Tyler Grau, Ron Ford, Jimmy Wampole, Dustin Adams.
Saturday, August 30 – Night One of Labor Day Shootout:
Winged 270cc Micro-Sprint Feature, 30 laps: 1.Jesse Maurer, 2.Bradley Brown, 3.Kyle Spence, 4.Mike Rutherford, 5.Jason Swavely, 6.Billy Logeman, 7.Brian Sholley, 8.Kenny Miller III, 9.Nick Sweigart, 10.Cameron Bellinger, 11.Tommy Kunsman Jr., 12.Damon Bomgardner, 13.Dylan Adams, 14.Nate Weidman, 15.Christi Sweigart, 16.Curtis R. Miller, 17.Dan Lane Jr., 18.TJ Greve, 19.Ken Miller, 20.Richie Hartman, 21.Tyler Reinhardt, 22.Jarid Kunkle, 23.Darren Miller, 24.Toby Blumenshine, 25.Jim Potts, 26.Brian Marriott.
DNQ: William Manotti, Matt Carr, Heath Hehnly, Evan Krautwald, Derek Miller, Keith Holiday, Matthew Jones, Marty Gorr, Tyler Ulrich, Corey Schmuck Jr., Joe Dopke; Dave Williams, Barry Shearer, Dale Arnold, and Ricky Sechrist, Ronald Helmick Jr., Elizabeth Helmick, Luke Fogg, Adam Giovanetti; Mark Jones, Matt Peachy, Mark Elizabeth Helmick, Matt Peachy.
Sportsman Micro-Sprint Feature Finish, 30 laps: 1.Mike Rutherford, 2.Curtis R. Miller, 3.Tyler Reinhardt, 4.Ken Miller, 5.Alex Swift, 6.Toby Blumenshine, 7.Brent Shearer, 8.Sami Schenk, 9.Brandon Bucher, 10.Jarid Kunkle, 11.Angelo Mercado, 12.Ava Bellinger, 13.Kyle Melvin, 14.Keith Holiday, 15.Dave Kemp, 16.Brandon Mundis, 17.Joe Bednarek, 18.Patrick Kirn, 19.Anthony Yerger, 20.John Davis, 21.Phil Durham, 22.Kerry Lengle, 23.Brett Estep, 23.Kyle Hehnly.
DNQ: Lee Reinhardt, Dave Schroeder, Megan Mercado, Kim Minzer, Jenna Heagy, Robert Miles, Randy Landis, Brian Kramer.
By Barry Angstadt – https://www.facebook.com/barry.angstadt?fref=ts&ref=br_tf