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Swavely Stomps 600’s; Rutherford Doubles at Lanco

On April 25, Jason Swavely lost a heart-breaker to James Morris in a hotly contested 600cc main event at Lanco’s Clyde Martin Memorial Speedway. After his scintillating run to victory on Saturday, May 9, Swavely was asked if this triumph made up for the close-but-no-cigar loss to Morris. “No, but it sure helps,” smiled the Fleetwood, Pa. driver.

Swavely charged to his first 600cc Clyde Martin win on Fan Appreciation Night at the Clyde before a large and enthusiastic crowd in the program sponsored by AJ Blosenski Trash & Recycling Service, Grace Truth & Fellowship Church in Morgantown, and The Wounded Heroes Project.

Mike Rutherford doubled his pleasure on Saturday, winning his first 270cc feature of the season and his third of the year in the Sportsman Class. And there were a pair of first time victors on Fan Appreciation Night as well, with William Manotti (125cc) and Zack Hollinger (250cc Four-Stroke) picking up their initial Clyde Martin triumphs.

Polesitter Steve Whary set the pace for the first seven tours in the 600cc main, but Swavely was gaining everyone’s attention as he zoomed from 12th starting spot to fourth in just three laps. He passed Morris for third position on a lap four restart, then snatched second away from last week’s winner, Brent Ely, as the sixth circuit was scored.

A caution flag negated Swavely’s pass for the lead with seven complete, but Jason went right back to work and gassed his Heffner Construction, Timmy’s Shock Labs, RTS Chassis No. 14 under Whary on the backchute to grab the top spot on the eighth revolution around the racy banked oval.

Heath Hehnly wrestled the runner-up position from Whary with nine to go and, while he closed on the leader and had a couple of restarts to work with, the defending and four-time track champ could not muster a serious challenge to Swavely over the final laps.

“This car is so good right now that I wasn’t really worried, even though I looked at the scoreboard during the cautions and I knew Heath was behind me,” said Swavely. “Got to thank all of the sponsors and my crew…I wouldn’t be here without all of them.”

Swavely crossed the stripe with a margin of 0.916-seconds over Hehnly to record his first Clyde Martin victory of the season. Hehnly settled for second, and Mike Rutherford came from 11th to finish third. Chris Gerhart dropped to the rear prior to the start, then rim-rode his way to an exciting-to-watch fourth place effort, and Whary wound up fifth.

Swavely, Ely, and Jared Esh were heat race winners in a 28-car field of 600’s. Taylor Troxel stormed to victory in the consolation race.

Dylan Adams darted from the pole and was out front all by himself for 18 circuits of the 270cc main event. Just when it seemed as though the young lion might pick up his first-ever Clyde Martin win, cagey veteran Mike Rutherford had other ideas.

Lined up ninth for the original start, Rutherford emerged from a terrific four-car tussle to run third on the tenth trip around the clay, then went to the top to pass Toby Blumenshine for second on a lap 15 restart. Four tours later, the Lititz wheel-twister caught Adams, slipping to the inside of the leader’s yellow and red, Adams Auto Sales, Ebersole Power Center, Heisey’s Diner No. 29. Adams fought back on the outside, however, and the duo ran laps 19 and 20 side by side before Rutherford was able to pull ahead and secure the top spot.

Rutherford went on to win, beating Adams to the checkered flag by almost 1.5-seconds. Dave Grube and Richie Hartman, who were part of that fantastic four-car battle for the runner-up position early in the race, finished third and fourth, respectively. Ken Miller was fifth, one lap down, as the final 11 circuits ran clean and green.

“We kind of gave one away last week, so it feels real good to win for Ken and Tony Kaylor tonight,” mentioned Rutherford in victory lane, referring to the previous Saturday when he flipped in turn four while leading comfortably with just two to go.

Miller, Adams, and Billy Logeman won qualifying heats for the 31-car field of 270cc racers. The consolation went to Brent Shearer.

Starting on the outside of row five in the 25-lap Sportsman feature, Rutherford blasted into the runner-up slot in just four revolutions. “It’s not too hard when you’re the only one running up there,” stated Rutherford as he described his dash to the front. “The car worked well up there; I just went to the top and drove around everyone in front of me.”

Brandon Bucher fell victim to Rutherford’s assault on a lap five restart, but it wouldn’t be a leisurely romp to victory for the No. 6. When Brandon Mundis spun in turn two just past the halfway point, Rutherford couldn’t totally avoid contact, leaving the race leader with a bent left-front wheel and a top wing that was no longer parallel to the rest of the racecar.

With eight laps remaining, Devin Adams passed Curtis R. Miller for second and immediately closed the gap between himself and Rutherford, who was wrestling his mount through the corners. Adams actually slipped past the leader on a restart with five to go, but it was called back due to large gaps between some of the cars as they passed the restart cone. When the green reappeared, Rutherford stayed glued to the bottom in turns three and four, preventing Adams from getting another run on him.

Adams gave it one last shot on the final tour, gassing to the inside of Rutherford off turn four but coming up just short. Rutherford notched his third Sportsman triumph of the year by 0.114-seconds over Adams, who registered his best finish of the season after switching to the Sportsman Class (from the Four-Stroke division) this year.

Curtis R. Miller, Angelo Mercado, and Jamie Fetterolf completed the top five.

A. Mercado, Kerry Lengle, and Miller were victorious in heat races as 31 Sportsman signed in for competition. Ava Bellinger was the consolation race victor.

Lancaster’s William Manotti jumped into the lead from his outside front row starting spot and went on to record his first career Clyde Martin victory in the 125cc main event.

Manotti won by nearly two-seconds over Chase Gutshall, who held off Brent Shearer for runner-up cash. Jason Hehnly suffered a flat tire early, then came from the back of the pack to finish fourth. Justin Harrington was fifth.

“We’ve had our ups-and-downs and been close to winning, but tonight we finally got it done and it feels great!” said Manotti in the winner’s circle. “I like long green flag runs like we had in this race…I get into a rhythm and I just keep passing (lapped) cars until I see the checkered,” grinned the winner.

With 23 of the 125cc racers in the pit area on Saturday, heat race wins were scored by Jas Hehnly, Manotti, and Harrington.

The 250cc Four-Stroke field needed three tries to get their feature started, but once they got it going, the race was slowed by just three yellows.

Zack Hollinger flew from his pole position starting spot to lead every trip around the ultra-fast oval for his first career triumph. He took Ron Good’s No. 7 to victory lane, beating Four-Stroke veteran Eddie Nocera and the defending point champion of the division, Dave Ravel, to the finish line.

Zackery Vickers placed fourth and Kassidy Michael rounded out the top five.

The lone Four-Stroke heat race was captured by Ravel as 11 cars took part in the evening’s program.

Fan Appreciation Night was a huge success, as the $1.00 General Admission and warm weather brought a big crowd to the Newmanstown speedway. Donations of non-perishable food items were collected and given to the Lebanon Rescue Mission, while a monetary collection was taken for the Wounded Heroes Project, a subsidiary of the Wounded Warriors Fund.

Ivan Stoltzfus and his Johnabilt, a 1948 John Deere tractor outfitted with a modified Peterbilt truck cab, were also on hand as Stoltzfus sold cap and t-shirts to benefit the Wounded Heroes Project. Last summer, Stoltzfus drove the Johnabilt across the United States as he raised awareness and raised over $100,000 for the Wounded Warriors Fund. He joined co-event sponsors AJ Blosenski Trash & Recycling Service and Grace & Truth Fellowship Church in making Fan Appreciation Night a rousing success with many giveaways distributed to the fans in attendance. Four-Stroke driver Dick Huzzard and his wife were instrumental in coordinating the sponsorship and activities associated with this special night of racing. Special thanks also goes out to 270 and 125cc driver Nick Sweigart and his father for power-washing all of the bleachers in the days leading up to the event, giving the facility a spruced up appearance and ensuring freshly cleaned seats for the large crowd.

This Saturday, May 16, another five division card of Micro-Sprint racing will be presented at Lanco’s Clyde Martin Memorial Speedway. The 600cc, 270cc, Sportsman, 125cc, and 250cc Four-Strokes will compete in qualifying heats, consolations, and 25-lap main events.

Coming up on May 23rd is the track’s annual Memorial Day Open Show presented by Bud’s Spring & Suspension Service. Thirty-lap feature races will highlight the Memorial Day Open Show, with invaders expected to battle the Clyde’s regulars in most of the five classes scheduled for competition.

Gates open at 3:30 each Saturday, with warm-ups at 5 p.m. The first heat race goes green at 6:00.

Come on out and LIVE the excitement that is Lanco!

RESULTS:
600cc Micro-Sprint Feature, 25 laps: 1.Jason Swavely, 2.Heath Hehnly, 3.Mike Rutherford, 4.Chris Gerhart, 5.Steve Whary, 6.Brent Ely, 7.Ryan Hook, 8.Dan Souder, 9.Jarid Kunkle, 10.Zach Light, 11.Taylor Troxel, 12.Bruce Ginther Jr., 13.Jered Hook, 14.Jared Esh, 15.Shaun Brandel, 16.Ernie Miles, 17.Ryan Groff, 18.Rebecca LaMothe, 19.Brittany Brown, 20.Brooklyn Gable, 21.Chris Panczner, 22.James Morris, 23.Will Urkuski, 24.Troy Musselman. DNS: Justin Whittall.
DNQ: Dylan Binkley, Jenna Heagy, Kenny Miller III.

270cc Micro-Sprint Feature, 25 laps: 1.Mike Rutherford, 2.Dylan Adams, 3.Dave Grube, 4.Richie Hartman, 5.Ken Miller, 6.Nick Skias, 7.Kenny Miller III, 8.Billy Logeman, 9.Mike Uhrich, 10.Nick Sweigart, 11.Randy West, 12.Brent Shearer, 13.Brian Sholley, 14.Christi Sweigart, 15.Keith Holiday, 16.Mike Binkley, 17.Bradley Brown, 18.Ricky Sechrist, 19.Toby Blumenshine, 20.Mark Yoder, 21.Dan Lane Jr., 22.Kyle Spence, 23.Kyle Hehnly, 24.Tyler Ulrich.
DNQ: Nathan Weidman, Dustin Fox, Daryl Davis, Elizabeth Helmick, Nicole Whisler, Brock Whisler, Cameron Bellinger.

Sportsman Micro-Sprint Feature, 25 laps: 1.Mike Rutherford, 2.Devin Adams, 3.Curtis R. Miller, 4.Angelo Mercado, 5.Jamie Fetterolf, 6.Ken Miller, 7.Bret Habecker, 8.Toby Blumenshine, 9.Ava Bellinger, 10.Jas Hehnly, 11.Kerry Lengle, 12.Patrick Kirn, 13.Joe Ilg, 14.Dave Ravel, 15.Robert Shanaman, 16.John Davis, 17.Megan Mercado, 18.Keith Holiday, 19.Adam Minzer, 20.Steve Smith Sr., 21.Dave Schroeder, 22.Brandon Bucher, 23.Brandon Mundis, 24.Anthony Yerger.
DNQ: Dennis Fenstermacher, Randy Landis, Jeff Boyer, Katelin Vragovich, Brian Becker, Sami Schenck, Joshua Sears.

125cc Micro-Sprint Feature, 25 laps: 1.William Manotti, 2.Chase Gutshall, 3.Brent Shearer, 4.Jason Hehnly, 5.Justin Harrington, 6.Corey Schmuck Jr., 7.Alexis Sheely, 8.Nick Sweigart, 9.Dave Grube, 10.Zack Hollinger, 11.Tajae Adams, 12.Brie Weiler, 13.Austin Graby, 14.Kelsey Heiney, 15.Kody Hibshman, 16.Brandon Gibble, 17.Jarrett Imler, 18.Jimmy Wampole, 19.Jas Hehnly, 20.Brooklyn Shearer, 21.Walt Wampole, 22.Thomas Kelley. DNS: Dustin Adams.

250cc Four-Stroke Micro-Sprint Feature, 25 laps: 1.Zack Hollinger, 2.Eddie Nocera, 3.Dave Ravel, 4.Zackery Vickers, 5.Kassidy Michael, 6.Dick Huzzard, 7.Jarrett Imler, 8.Mike Coen, 9.Lewis Kepple Jr., 10.Donna Geib, 11.Lester Dise.