A little bit of rain at the end of the warm-up session didn’t prevent Lanco’s Clyde Martin Memorial Speedway from producing its sixth racing program of the 2015 season. The track prep crew simply went back to work and whipped the progressively banked clay oval back into racing condition in little more than an hour, and the show went on as scheduled.
Jared Esh executed a daring three-wide move on the start to nab his second 600cc victory of the season, while Billy Logeman finally shook his streak of bad luck to win his first of the year in the 270cc division. Toby Blumenshine notched his third Sportsman Class victory of the campaign and William Manotti made it two straight in 125cc competition. Zach Hollinger also captured his second consecutive victory in the main event for the 250cc Four-Stroke Micro-Sprints.
Millersville, Pa.’s Jared Esh started on the outside of row two for the 25-lap, 600cc main, but he didn’t stay there for long. Esh bolted alongside front row mates Kenny Miller III and Troy Musselman, then shot to the lead as the trio exited turn two on the first trip around the speedway.
As Esh cruised comfortably out front, Chris Gerhart was the car on the move as the Harleysville resident charged from eighth to third in just four circuits. Gerhart then threw a slide job on Shaun Brandel to claim the runner-up position on the ninth tour, and, while he closed the gap in a hurry as Esh dealt with slower traffic at the back of the pack, a yellow flag with 11 complete put Gerhart right on the leader’s rear bumper.
With clear track in front of him, however, Esh darted away as soon as the green reappeared. Tenth-starting Heath Hehnly was now in contention as well, slipping past Brandel for third just prior to the halfway point. Hehnly and Gerhart waged an intense duel for second before Hehnly eventually secured the spot on lap 17. But there was no catching the Bud’s Spring & Suspension, Hyper Racing No. 83 as Esh ran the final 11 laps uncontested to score the victory by 2-seconds over Hehnly.
Gerhart settled for third with Chris Panczner and Jarid Kunkle rounding out the top five.
Qualifying heats went to Jason Swavely, Mike Rutherford, and Hehnly as exactly 24 teams signed in for 600cc competition on Saturday.
A restart with seven down radically altered the complexion of the 270cc main event.
Nate Weidman started on the pole and led those initial seven trips around the clay but on that fateful restart, his Geno’s Auto Pulling No. 25 did not come up to speed in turns three and four. Toby Blumenshine was hot on his heels in second, and Blumenshine had no choice but to get into the back of Weidman’s car, turning both of them sideways in front of the field. The two leaders stalled in three and four, keeping the race under yellow.
Billy Logeman avoided the Blumenshine and Weidman machines, inheriting the lead when the race went back to green. Logeman, from Sinking Spring, Pa. made the most of his good fortune, maintaining control of the event through a couple more caution periods and going on to win his first feature of the season.
Bradley Brown, who started 13th, passed Ken Miller for the runner-up spot on the white flag lap as Miller was forced to settle for third place money. Mike Rutherford, the previous week’s winner who started 19th on Saturday, navigated his way to a fourth place effort and Kyle Spence (who graduated from high school on Friday, May 15th) was fifth.
Weidman, Dave Grube, and Logeman were victorious in 270cc heat races. The consolation fell to Rutherford as 28 cars took part in the evening’s program.
Bordentown, NJ’s Sami Schenck finally shook the gorilla from her back, jumping into the lead of the Sportsman feature at the outset from her outside front row starting spot. The college student who has had nothing but bad luck so far this season set the pace for 20 of the 25 laps, but her first win of the year is still on hold.
That’s because Toby Blumenshine, Reinholds, had other ideas. Blumenshine dashed from fifth to second on the opening tour, then took part in a back-and-forth battle for the position with Ken Miller and Tyler Ulrich. Both of those drivers got by Blumenshine on the eighth revolution, but Blumenshine re-passed Ulrich and Miller on a restart with seven to go.
Blumenshine then caught the leader, diving under Schenck’s Palermo Pizza No. 92 in the fourth turn as the pair throttled towards the completion of lap 20. They ran side by side down the front chute with Schenck barely in front as they passed the flagstand. Blumenshine ripped around the bottom of one and two, nosing ahead as the duo banged wheels in the corner. Schenck lost her momentum and, in the process, several positions as well.
Blumenshine survived a final yellow with three to go, winning his third of the year in Sportsman competition. Ken Miller passed Ulrich with two to go to earn runner-up laurels, while Ulrich, Jas Hehnly, and Angelo Mercado (who was celebrating his 50th birthday on Saturday) completed the top five.
With a nice field of 30 Sportsman in the pit area on Saturday, heat races went to Curtis R. Miller, Anthony Yerger, and Devin Adams. Kerry Lengle won the consolation race.
On May 9, William Manotti captured the first Lanco victory of his career when he grabbed the checkered flag in the 125cc main. He must have really enjoyed that winning feeling because he came right back and did it again on Saturday, May 16.
Manotti charged from his outside pole starting spot to grab the lead as the race went green. He was never headed or even seriously challenged, leading all the way for his second consecutive triumph.
Jas Hehnly chased Manotti, who hails from Lancaster, Pa., to the checkered with Jason Hehnly finishing third. Justin Harrington came from 11th to place fourth and Chase Gutshall, involved in a flipping crash with four laps complete, roaring back to claim fifth place cash.
Jason Hehnly and Dave Grube split heat race victories over the 19 car field of 125cc racers.
Zach Hollinger watched Manotti make it two in a row in the 125cc Class, then he went out and did the same in the 25-lap feature for the 250cc Four-Strokes Micros.
Hollinger started on the pole and led all the way in the non-stop main for the Four-Strokes. He took the checkered flag after a six minute, 36-second romp around the clay.
Second year driver Kassidy Michael went from fourth to second on the first revolution, then tried in vain to catch the high flying Hollinger. Michael had to be satisfied with runner-up honors, with Eddie Nocera, Zackery Vickers, and Dave Ravel finishing third through fifth, respectively.
Ravel won the lone heat race for the nine car field of 250cc Four-Strokes.
This Saturday, May 23rd, is Lanco’s annual Memorial Day Open Show. The times have been altered slightly for this week, with gates opening at 2 p.m. and warm-ups getting underway at 4:00. There will be a driver’s meeting prior to the hot lap sessions; that meeting will begin at 3:45. The first heat race will take the green at 5:00 for the Memorial Day Open Show.
Qualifying heats, consolations, and 30-lap features will be presented for the 600cc, 270cc, Sportsman, 125cc, and 250cc Four-Stroke divisions with Bud’s Spring Service signing on as race sponsor.
Come on out and LIVE the excitement that is Lanco and the Memorial Day Open Show!
600cc Micro-Sprint Feature, 25 laps: 1.Jared Esh, 2.Heath Hehnly, 3.Chris Gerhart, 4.Chris Panczner, 5.Jarid Kunkle, 6.Zach Light, 7.Shaun Brandel, 8.Jason Swavely, 9.Dan Souder, 10.Mike Rutherford, 11.Brittany Brown, 12.Kameron Morral, 13.Brent Ely, 14.Ryan Hook, 15.Ryan Groff, 16.Dylan Binkley, 17.Rebecca LaMothe, 18.Troy Musselman, 19.Jered Hook, 20.Will Urkuski, 21.Steve Whary, 22.Jack Conover, 23.Kenny Miller III, 24.Justin Whittall.
270cc Micro-Sprint Feature, 25 laps: 1.Billy Logeman, 2.Bradley Brown, 3.Ken Miller, 4.Mike Rutherford, 5.Kyle Spence, 6.Dan Lane Jr., 7.Nick Skias, 8.Cameron Bellinger, 9.Nick Sweigart, 10.Dave Grube, 11.Richie Hartman, 12.Heath Hehnly, 13.Christi Sweigart, 14.Kyle Hehnly, 15.Toby Blumenshine, 16.Devin Harron, 17.Dylan Adams, 18.Brian Sholley, 19.Ricky Sechrist, 20.Dustin Fox, 21.Kenny Miller III, 22.Nate Weidman, 23.Tyler Ulrich, 24.Brock Whisler.
DNQ: Elizabeth Helmick, Daryl Davis, Nicole Whisler, Mike Binkley.
Sportsman Micro-Sprint Feature, 25 laps: 1.Toby Blumenshine, 2.Ken Miller, 3.Tyler Ulrich, 4.Jas Hehnly, 5.Angelo Mercado, 6.Ava Bellinger, 7.Curtis R. Miller, 8.Sami Schenck, 9.Kerry Lengle, 10.Sheena Schaffer, 11.Bret Habecker, 12.Joe Ilg, 13.John Davis, 14.Megan Mercado, 15.Patrick Kirn, 16.Brandon Bucher, 17.Adam Minzer, 18.Randy Landis, 19.Dennis Fenstermacher, 20.Anthony Yerger, 21.Devin Adams, 22.Robert Shanaman, 23.Steve Smith Sr., 24.Dave Ravel.
DNQ: Chris Heagy, Jeff Boyer, Joshua Sears, Brian Becker, Jeff Harnish, Brian Kramer.
125cc Micro-Sprint Feature, 25 laps: 1.William Manotti, 2.Jas Hehnly, 3.Jason Hehnly, 4.Justin Harrington, 5.Chase Gutshall, 6.Jarrett Imler, 7.Alexis Sheely, 8.Tajae Adams, 9.Zack Hollinger, 10.Brandon Gibble, 11.Austin Graby, 12.Kelsey Heiney, 13.Nick Sweigart, 14.Brie Weiler, 15.Corey Schmuck Jr., 16.Dave Grube.
DNS: Jimmy Wampole, Kody Hibshman, Walt Wampole.
250cc Four-Stroke Micro-Sprint Feature, 25 laps: 1.Zach Hollinger, 2.Kassidy Michael, 3.Eddie Nocera, 4.Zackery Vickers, 5.Dave Ravel, 6.Jarrett Imler, 7.Lewis Kepple Jr., 8.Dick Huzzard, 9.Lester Dise.
By Barry Angstadt – https://www.facebook.com/barry.angstadt?fref=ts&ref=br_tf
HammerheadPhotos.com – Dave Nale