The wait was well worth it for first-time Lanco winners Rebecca LaMothe (600cc), Jas Hehnly (125cc), and Brett Estep (Sportsman). Picking up a double victory in the curtain-closing event was Kenny Miller III (270cc and 250cc Four-Stroke). The 2014 point championships were also decided on the race track, and not by the weather, thanks to the two-hour delay. Claiming this year’s track titles were Heath Hehnly (600cc), Mike Rutherford (270cc), Darren Miller (125cc), Curtis R. Miller (Sportsman), and Dave Ravel (250cc Four-Stroke).
The 2014 season turned out to be quite a year for Hamilton, NJ’s Rebecca LaMothe. The 22-year-old got engaged – when Jack Conover proposed to her at the Clyde’s start/finish line at the end of July – then topped off the season by winning her first 600cc main event in Saturday’s finale.
LaMothe started on the pole of the 20-lap feature, but her ride to victory was anything but easy. Taylor Troxel applied heavy pressure for much of the race, diving under the Ed LaMothe owned and wrenched No. 23R on several occasions. The attempt that almost ended the race for both of them occurred on the tenth revolution, when the duo banged wheels in turns one and two and both cars got out of shape. LaMothe and Troxel hung on to their mounts, straightening up and continuing on with LaMothe gassing back into the lead.
A few more anxious moments with lapped traffic did not prove costly, and LaMothe drove under Tim Gehret’s checkered flag with an advantage of 0.29-seconds over Shaun Brandel, who slipped past Troxel on the white flag lap and finished as the runner-up. Troxel, 12th-starting Mike Dicely, and Mike Rutherford made up the top five.
With 21 of the 600’s on hand for the final event, heat race victories went to LaMothe and Rutherford.
Heath Hehnly gave car owner Sonny Cooke a nice going-away present, as the Manheim driver clinched his second consecutive 600cc point title. With Cooke deciding to retire as a car owner after this season, Hehnly’s fourth overall track championship in the 600cc division was the perfect gift. Hehnly merely needed to show up and take a green flag on Saturday to secure the title over Mike Rutherford. Unfortunately, Hehnly was knocked out early in the main event when something broke in the rear end of the No. 2, but he still had the championship in his pocket.
The 270cc feature provided some drama as far as the point title was concerned, and the race itself was in doubt until the final lap.
Kenny Miller III started third and quickly took over the second spot, chasing leader Heath Hehnly while holding off Bradley Brown at the same time. Miller caught Hehnly as the leaders began to negotiate some heavy lapped traffic, then used a nifty outside maneuver to sneak by the leader as Hehnly got trapped behind a couple of slower cars on the front stretch. Miller’s No. 23m was in front as lap 16 was scored, and he went on to build a sizable lead over Mike Rutherford, who inherited second place when Hehnly’s car gave up with eight circuits remaining.
As the race neared its conclusion, Miller was once again mired in lapped traffic and Rutherford pulled up to his rear bumper. On the final trip around the clay, Miller got a great run off turn two, sprinting past two of the back markers and separating himself from Rutherford. The move gave the high school freshman just enough clearance to gain his second triumph of the season in the Clyde’s 270cc Class, beating Rutherford to the stripe by 1.248-seconds.
Kyle Spence came into Saturday’s program leading the 270cc point chase by 48 over Rutherford, and needing to finish 12th or better in order to clinch the title. But it was not meant to be for the young charger from Bear, DE, as he got collected in a fourth-turn jingle early in the race. The incident loosened his exhaust pipe, robbing the engine of much of its power. All Spence could do from that point on was limp around the track (he soldiered to an 18th place finish) and watch as Rutherford wound up second to Miller and, in the process, leap over Spence to win his third straight (and fourth overall) 270cc point crown.
Bradley Brown, Billy Logeman, and Ken Miller (the feature winner’s dad) finished third, fourth, and fifth in the final feature of the year for the 270’s.
Heats for the 29-car field were won by William Manotti, K. Miller III, and Ken Miller. Nick Sweigart was victorious in the consolation race.
Kenny Miller III doubled his pleasure on Saturday by also romping to victory in the main event for the 250cc Four-Stroke Micro-Sprints. The triumph was Miller’s division-leading sixth of the year, but it was not quite enough to propel the Birdsboro, Pa. chauffeur to the Four-Stroke point title.
He entered the night trailing Dave Ravel by 31 in the standings, and Miller knew that his task was simple: just go out and win. He accomplished that goal, weaving his way from eighth on the starting grid to snatch the top spot from Donna Geib with a power move around Geib’s No. 82 on the third tour. From there, Miller cruised to the win by almost four seconds over Eddie Nocera, who wrestled the runner-up position from Geib on the 16th of the 20-lap feature.
Ravel needed to finish seventh or better, no matter what Miller did in the final race. And the Reading wheel-twister took the checkered flag exactly where he had to be, winding up seventh and claiming the title for car owner Earl Eveland by a scant three points over Miller.
The top five in Saturday’s Four-Stroke feature were Miller, Nocera, Geib, Jesse Maurer, and Jarrett Imler.
Imler and Devin Adams won heat races for the 13-car field.
Miller also earned the Weld Racing Fast Lap of the Feature Award, with a quick lap of 12.151-seconds.
Jas Hehnly led every lap of the 125cc main, holding off Dave Grube to register his first career triumph at the Clyde Martin Memorial Speedway. Hehnly, from Stevens, Pa., steered his Wise Snack Foods/ Martin’s Country Kitchens No. 77m to the popular victory.
Grube chased Hehnly to the stripe, with rookie William Manotti finishing third. Nick Sweigart and Darren Miller placed fourth and fifth.
Darren Miller, a five-time winner during the 2014 campaign, locked up the 125cc championship with his fifth-place effort. Miller simply needed to finish 17th or better, and he’d clinched the crown by the third lap of the feature when a few cars fell out and only 17 remained on the speedway. It is the Mount Joy driver’s first Lanco track championship, but the seventh point title in the last eight years for 125cc car owner Gary Gorski.
Kyle Hehnly recorded the fastest lap of the 125cc feature on Saturday, earning him the Weld Racing Fast Lap of the Feature Award after his trip of 11.769-seconds.
With 22 of the 125cc racers in the pit area for the finale, Kyle Hehnly and Zach Hollinger scored heat race victories.
Mertztown’s Curtis R. Miller joined his dad as a point champion in the Sportsman division on Saturday, and he almost put the icing on the cake with a season-ending victory.
Miller sliced his way from the outside of row four to run third in just a few laps. He challenged, then ducked under early leader Steve Smith Sr. to grab the top spot with six circuits complete – after he darted past Ava Bellinger for second on the same lap.
But the new Sportsman champion would not write a story book ending on this night, as his No. 7C coasted to a stop in turn four at the halfway point, handing the lead to Airport Speedway invader Brett Estep.
Estep, who won the duel for the runner-up position with Jarid Kunkle just a lap or two prior to Miller’s demise, made the most of his golden opportunity as he ran away from Kunkle to notch his first-ever Lanco victory.
Kunkle held on for second with Angelo Mercado, 20th starting Mike Rutherford, and Brent Shearer completing the top five.
Estep also picked up the Weld Racing Fast Lap of the Feature Award, zipping around the oval in 10.982-seconds.
The Sportsman Class drew a field of 25 for the last race of the season. Heat race triumphs went to Dave Kemp, Shearer, and Kunkle.
The next event on Lanco’s calendar is the annual Awards Banquet, slated for November 22nd at the Lancaster Host Showroom in Lancaster, Pa. Order forms for tickets can be found on the club’s website at www.lancomicrosprint.com.
Doors will open at 4:45 p.m and dinner will be served at 5:30, with the awards ceremony following dinner. The night will end with music and dancing as the champions are honored and the just-completed season is celebrated. Drivers must be present to receive their point fund and special awards (the top 15 in each division receive point money/ trophies).
The Lanco club wishes to thank all of the race teams, track officials, volunteers, and fans for another fantastic season at the Clyde Martin Memorial Speedway.
For all of the off-season news and information, log on to the website and/or follow us on Twitter (@LancoCMMS). Info is also available on the track’s Facebook page at Facebook.com/ClydeMartinMemorialSpeedway.
600cc Micro-Sprint Feature, 20 laps: 1.Rebecca LaMothe, 2.Shaun Brandel, 3.Taylor Troxel, 4.Mike Dicely, 5.Mike Rutherford, 6.Dan Souder, 7.Jared Esh, 8.Brittany Brown, 9.Jason Swavely, 10.Nate Prazenica, 11.Brent Ely, 12.Justin Schraden, 13.Corry Roth, 14.Zach Light, 15.Troy Musselman, 16.Chris Gerhart, 17.Heath Hehnly, 18.Mike Freed, 19.Peter Michael. DNS: Josh Conover; Jered Hook.
270cc Micro-Sprint Feature, 25 laps: 1.Kenny Miller III, 2.Mike Rutherford, 3.Bradley Brown, 4.Billy Logeman, 5.Ken Miller, 6.Dan Lane Jr., 7.Dave Grube, 8.Brian Sholley, 9.Nate Weidman, 10.Christi Sweigart, 11.Mike Uhrich, 12.Toby Blumenshine, 13.Ricky Sechrist Jr., 14.Damon Bomgardner, 15.Daryl Davis, 16.Cameron Bellinger, 17.Lauren Huffman, 18.Kyle Spence, 19.Nick Sweigart, 20.Heath Hehnly, 21.Ronald Helmick Jr., 22.Jarid Kunkle, 23.William Manotti, 24.Jason Swavely.
DNQ: Corey Schmuck Jr., Dennis Fenstermacher, Elizabeth Helmick, Matt Peachy, Tyler Ulrich.
250cc Four-Stroke Micro-Sprint Feature, 20 laps: 1.Kenny Miller III, 2.Eddie Nocera, 3.Donna Geib, 4.Jesse Maurer, 5.Jarrett Imler, 6.Devin Adams, 7.Dave Ravel, 8.Kassidy Michael, 9.Brian Kramer, 10.Ronald Wechter, 11.Lewis Kepple Jr., 12.Zachary Young, 13.Peter Michael.
125cc Micro-Sprint Feature, 20 laps: 1.Jas Hehnly, 2.Dave Grube, 3.William Manotti, 4.Nick Sweigart, 5.Darren Miller, 6.Brie Weiler, 7.Chase Gutshall, 8.Alexis Sheely, 9.Dylan Adams, 10.Gary Gorski, 11.Brianna Gerhart, 12.Matthew Donley, 13.Walt Wampole, 14.Kyle Hehnly, 15.Richie Hartman, 16.Zack Hollinger, 17.James Wampole, 18.Jesse Maurer, 19.Brandon Gibble, 20.Dustin Adams, 21.Tajae Adams. DNS: Thomas Kelly.
Sportsman Micro-Sprint Feature, 25 laps: 1.Brett Estep, 2.Jarid Kunkle, 3.Angelo Mercado, 4.Mike Rutherford, 5.Brent Shearer, 6.Ava Bellinger, 7.Anthony Yerger, 8.Dave Kemp, 9.Bret Habecker, 10.Patrick Kirn, 11.Ken Miller, 12.Kerry Lengle, 13.Jenna Heagy, 14.Kim Minzer, 15.John Davis, 16.Brian Kramer, 17.Ron Young, 18.Brandon Mundis, 19.Bobby Shanaman, 20.Randy Landis, 21.Curtis R. Miller, 22.Steve Smith Sr., 23.Megan Mercado, 24.Brandon Bucher. DNS: Brian Becker.