For the third time this season, Mike Rutherford left Lanco’s Clyde Martin Memorial Speedway on a Saturday night with not one, but two feature wins. He also registered a third-place effort in the 270cc main event.
The Lititz, Pa. wheel-twister picked up his second triumph in 600cc Micro-Sprint competition on Saturday, then ended the evening with his fifth victory in the Sportsman Class. “Yeah, it was a pretty good night,” summed up Rutherford in his victory lane interview after the Sportsman feature.
Other drivers who were victorious on Saturday included Nick Skias (270cc), William Manotti (125cc), and Eddie Nocera (250cc Four-Stroke).
The 600cc drivers produced an impressively quick 25-lap main, with just a single caution flag slowing the action after nine circuits had been scored. Rutherford completed the entire distance in 7:22.549, and 18 of the 24 starters finished on the lead lap.
Will Urkuski led early until Brent Ely slipped past him on the 11th trip around the progressively banked oval. Rutherford, who started seventh, moved into the runner-up spot on lap 12, then, two tours later, worked his way past Ely to grab the top spot.
Tenth starter Jared Esh flashed into second with ten to go, and it wasn’t long before Heath Hehnly’s No. 7H came to life and he zoomed to third, challenging Esh for the runner-up slot. Esh and Hehnly engaged in an entertaining duel for the remainder of the race as Rutherford maintained a comfortable advantage.
With a few laps left to run, however, Esh and Hehnly closed in on the race leader. Esh went for the bottom in turns three and four on the final lap, but Rutherford fended off the attempt and held on for his first 600cc win since the season opener on April 11.
“My right-rear tire went away with about five to go,” noted Rutherford afterward, “Jared probably would have got me if the race was one lap longer. But it’s a 25-lap feature, not 26, so we were okay.”
Esh hung on for second place money while Hehnly settled for third. A late race charge brought Jarid Kunkle to fourth (he started 17th) and Ely rounded out the top five.
J. Esh, Austin Bishop, and Rutherford won heat races for the 24-car field of 600cc competitors.
Nick Skias, from Wernersville, Pa., started on the outside of row five as the 270cc main event went green. He drove his V&S Sandwich Shop, Denver Meats, Viper Chassis No. 3s to third by the seventh trip around the clay, then squeezed under Bradley Brown to snatch the second position on the 11th revolution.
On a restart with 12 complete, Skias ducked under race-long leader Tyler Ulrich, then forged ahead to become the leader at the halfway mark of the 25-lapper.
Some fierce racing for the runner-up spot allowed Skias to build some breathing room during the second half of the event, as Brown, Ulrich, Kyle Spence, and Rutherford waged battle. Spence moved to third with ten to go, but Rutherford wrestled that position from the three-time winner on lap 19.
Skias crossed the stripe with a margin of almost one second over Brown, with Rutherford placing third. Spence and Kenny Miller III completed the top five.
“Before the feature, I thought about making a change, but I wasn’t sure it would work,” explained Skias, who picked up his second 270cc victory of the campaign. “I couldn’t make up my mind, but finally figured the heck with it…we’ll go for it and see what happens. It worked; made the car really good on the bottom.”
Three qualifying heats were run for the 270cc Micros, with Mike Uhrich, Brown, and Dan Lane Jr. picking up the wins. Randy West won the consolation race. A total of 28 cars were signed up for 270cc competition on Saturday.
The 25-lap feature for the Sportsman Class had Sami Schenck go from third to first on the opening circuit. Schenck’s No. 92 was hooked up in the low groove as she set the pace for 18 laps before 11th starting Mike Rutherford got by for the lead.
Rutherford’s No. 6 sailed into the corners on the high side, then crossed to the bottom and used a big run on the straightaway to blast by other cars on the inside. That was exactly the move he utilized to pass Schenck, then motor away to win by 2.8-seconds.
His fifth Sportsman victory of the season came over Schenck, who notched her second consecutive top-three finish. Bret Habecker wound up third with Ken Miller and Angelo Mercado, who started 15th, racing home in fourth and fifth, respectively.
Devin Adams, Rutherford, and Ken Miller won heat races for the 31 Sportsman drivers who entered Saturday’s program. Robert Shanaman snared the consolation victory.
The 250cc Four-Stroke drivers went non-stop, green to checkered in their 25-lap feature, and the race came down to a last lap, final corner pass for the win.
Eddie Nocera, from Mohnton, Pa., pounced when leader Kassidy Michael hesitated, just for a second, behind some lapped cars. Nocera, who started 11th, completed the distance in 5:15.488.
Zach Hollinger, who already has a pair of triumphs in this year’s Four-Stroke action, came from 12th on the starting grid to finish third. Jarrett Imler was fourth and Devin Adams took the checkered in the fifth position.
Heat winners for the 15 car field included Mike Coen and Kassidy Michael.
Lancaster’s William Manotti motored past early leader Austin Graby on the third revolution, bringing Chase Gutshall with him in the 25-lapper for the 125cc racers. Manotti went on to record his third win of 2015, with Gutshall finishing a distant second. Tajae Adams finished a career-best third and Dave Grube recovered from a first lap incident to come from the rear and finish fourth. Jas Hehnly earned fifth place cash.
A pair of heat races were contested by the 19-car field of 125’s, with victories going to Gutshall and Manotti.
Another five division program of intensely exciting Micro-Sprint action will take place this Saturday, June 20. The 600cc, 270cc, 125cc, Sportsman, and 250cc Four-Stroke Micros will compete in qualifying heats, consolations, and 25-lap main events.
Gates open at 3:30 and warm-ups begin at 5 p.m. The first heat race goes green at 6:00.
Coming up on June 27 is the Third Annual Slide at the Clyde, a National Tour race for the All Star Slingshots that will pay $1,000 (plus contingency money) to the winner as long as 30 Slingers enter the event. The five weekly Micro-Sprint divisions will also be part of the program, and the 270cc Micros will compete in the Charlotte Hartman Memorial – a race that will pay at least $1,000 to the winner if 24 or more cars sign in for action on the 27th.
The Fourth of July will be huge at Lanco’s Clyde Martin Memorial Speedway, as the ARDC Midgets make their first ever appearance at the Newmanstown oval. Star Spangled Havoc will be highlighted by the cars and stars of the American Racing Drivers Club, and they’ll be joined by wingless 600cc Micros in Firecracker Frenzy, along with wingless 270cc Micro-Sprints in the Clash at the Clyde.
For additional information on these events, log on to www.lancomicrosprint.com or follow us on Twitter: @LancoCMMS. The Facebook page can be found at Facebook.com/Clyde Martin Memorial Speedway. Effective June 13, you can also find live timing and scoring of Lanco’s events on the Race Monitor App.
But you’ve got to experience it in person…so come out and LIVE the excitement that is Lanco!
600cc Micro-Sprint Feature, 25 laps: 1.Mike Rutherford, 2.Jared Esh, 3.Heath Hehnly, 4.Jarid Kunkle, 5.Brent Ely, 6.Kenny Miller III, 7.Chris Gerhart, 8.Shaun Brandel, 9.Will Urkuski, 10.James Morris, 11.Dan Souder, 12.Austin Bishop, 13.Zach Light, 14.Jason Swavely, 15.Jack Conover, 16.Travis Esh, 17.Jason Sechrist, 18.Brittany Brown, 19.Rebecca LaMothe, 20.Ryan Groff, 21.Jenna Heagy, 22.Patrick Ely, 23.Troy Musselman, 24.Chris Oraschin.
270cc Micro-Sprint Feature, 25 laps: 1.Nick Skias, 2.Bradley Brown, 3.Mike Rutherford, 4.Kyle Spence, 5.Kenny Miller III, 6.Mike Uhrich, 7.Nick Sweigart, 8.Randy West, 9.Tyler Ulrich, 10.Billy Logeman, 11.Toby Blumenshine, 12.Dan Lane Jr., 13.Heath Hehnly, 14.Ken Miller, 15.Nate Weidman, 16.Brock Whisler, 17.Dave Grube, 18.Dustin Fox, 19.Daryl Davis, 20.Elizabeth Helmick, 21.Dylan Adams, 22.Nicole Whisler, 23.Richie Hartman, 24.Greg Miller.
DNQ: Mark Yoder, Corey Schmuck Jr., Christi Sweigart, Cameron Bellinger.
Sportsman Micro-Sprint Feature, 25 laps: 1.Mike Rutherford, 2.Sami Schenck, 3.Bret Habecker, 4.Ken Miller, 5.Angelo Mercado, 6.Devin Adams, 7.Kerry Lengle, 8.Adam Minzer, 9.John Davis, 10.Joe Ilg, 11.Brandon Mundis, 12.Anthony Yerger, 13.Curtis R. Miller, 14.Steve Smith Sr., 15.Greg Miller, 16.Patrick Kirn, 17.Robert Shanaman, 18.Michael Kreiser, 19.Megan Mercado, 20.Toby Blumenshine, 21.Ava Bellinger, 22.Dave Ravel, 23.Jas Hehnly, 24.Ricky Sechrist.
DNQ: Joshua Sears, Jeff Boyer, Katelin Vragovich, Brian Kramer, Jeff Harnish, Dennis Fenstermacher, Brian Becker.
125cc Micro-Sprint Feature, 25 laps: 1.William Manotti, 2.Chase Gutshall, 3.Tajae Adams, 4.Dave Grube, 5.Jas Hehnly, 6.Corey Schmuck Jr., 7.Justin Harrington, 8.Alexis Sheely, 9.Jarrett Imler, 10.Austin Graby, 11.Jason Hehnly, 12.Matthew Donley, 13.Kelsey Heiney, 14.Dustin Adams, 15.Brandon Gibble, 16.Walt Wampole, 17.Brie Weiler, 18.Jimmy Wampole, 19.Kody Hibshman.
250cc Four-Stroke Micro-Sprint Feature, 25 laps: 1.Eddie Nocera, 2.Kassidy Michael, 3.Zach Hollinger, 4.Jarrett Imler, 5.Devin Adams, 6.Zak Vickers, 7.Mike Coen, 8.Dick Huzzard, 9.Donna Geib, 10.Lewis Kepple Jr., 11.Ronald Wechter, 12.Scott Renninger, 13.Brandon Yoder, 14.Lester Dise, 15.Brian Kramer.
By Barry Angstadt – https://www.facebook.com/barry.angstadt?fref=ts&ref=br_tf