Three consecutive weeks of bad luck weighed heavily on the shoulders of 600cc Sprint racer Jared Esh and his car owner/crew chief Chris Snyder. On Saturday night, however, Esh turned those frowns upside down in a dominant drive that led to his division leading third triumph of the season at Lanco’s Clyde Martin Memorial Speedway.
Hoosier Tire Mid-Atlantic and Precise Racing Products sponsored Saturday’s five division program of Micro-Sprint competition, and Mike Rutherford (270cc), Toby Blumenshine (Sportsman), Jason Hehnly (125cc), and Brian Kramer (250cc Four-Stroke) joined Esh in victory lane celebrations.
Millersville, PA’s Jared Esh out-gunned polesitter Taylor Troxel to grab the top spot in the 600cc main on the first trip around the clay. Esh led all the way, although a few caution periods wiped out substantial leads and permitted Zach Light, Heath Hehnly, and finally Kyle Spence to take a shot at unseating the Hyper Racing, Bud’s Spring & Suspension No. 83 from the number one position. Esh simply blasted away from his competitors on each restart, though, and cruised to a 0.810-second victory over Spence.
Spence, who has been (arguably) the hottest driver in northeastern 600’s since the Fourth of July, rumbled from the tenth starting spot to engage in a terrific joust for the runner-up position with Light after he wrestled third away from Hehnly. Spence and Light traded slide jobs for several laps before Spence finally secured second place and set sail in an attempt to run down Esh. While he closed the gap somewhat and felt a few more laps would have proved interesting, Spence had to settle for runner-up cash in the 25-lapper.
Light finished a season best third with Hehnly and Kenny Miller III rounding out the top five.
With 29 of the 600’s on hand, Troxel, Chris Gerhart, and Miller captured qualifying heat victories. Jered Hook won the consolation race.
Hehnly’s fourth place effort, combined with a tenth for Rutherford, unofficially puts the four-time and defending 600cc title holder in front of Rutherford by just two markers with five point shows remaining. The official, updated point standings for all five divisions will be posted on the track’s website, www.lancomicrosprint.com, later in the week.
The Ken and Tony Kaylor No. 5k, driven by Mike Rutherford in the 270cc Class, must enjoy the hot, humid weather of mid-summer. Rutherford and the Kaylor Petro No. 5k tasted victory just once in the season’s first 11 races, but he’s reeled off three straight since July 18 and also picked up the non-point wingless victory in the Clash at the Clyde on Independence Day.
On Saturday night, Rutherford charged from 12th starting spot to run second in just three revolutions around the banked oval. Dave Grube had gone from third to first on the opening tour, but he relinquished the lead to Rutherford as they raced off the second corner on lap nine.
Kyle Spence slipped under Grube to snare the runner-up position as they navigated through heavy lapped traffic at the halfway mark of the 25-lap affair.
A yellow with one to go gave Spence a final shot at the leader, but Rutherford, from Lititz, motored ahead on the restart and went on to win by several car lengths. Spence gave Gary Miller’s Gold Rush Trailer Sales No. 82 its second straight top five finish with his runner-up placing and Grube held on to finish third with Bradley Brown fourth and Ken Miller taking the checkered in fifth. Cameron Bellinger had to go to the rear at the beginning of the race, but he didn’t stay there for long. Bellinger sliced and diced his way to sixth by the time Tim Gehret waved the black-and-white silk over the field.
Dan Lane Jr., Bellinger, and Kenny Miller III were victorious in heat race action while Nick Sweigart captured the consolation race. A total of 27 cars took part in 270cc activity on Saturday.
With his victory, Rutherford extended his point lead to 58 (unofficially) over Nick Skias, who finished seventh in the 270cc main event.
Toby Blumenshine, Reinholds, notched his fourth triumph of the year in the Sportsman Micro-Sprint feature, although it was his first win since May 16.
“We’ve been really bad for several weeks, but I think we’ve got the car back to where it was in the beginning of the season,” said Blumenshine in his winner’s circle interview.
Angleo Mercado passed Brandon Bucher for the top spot on the eighth circuit. Blumenshine, who started ninth, moved up to challenge Mercado as Mike Rutherford steered his No. 6 from 11th on the starting grid to run fourth as lap nine was scored.
Mercado and Blumenshine waged a nip-and-tuck battle for the lead until Blumenshine edged in front of the Delaware ace to lead lap 17 by a half-car length. The caution lights flashed on a few seconds later, enabling Blumenshine to lead the field back to green on the restart.
Blumenshine had a major scare as a pair of lapped cars tangled directly in front of him in turn two on the last trip around the oval. He deftly avoided the tangle, cutting hard left and just barely getting by the incident. Jason Swavely, running second and closing on the leader, was not as lucky as his No. 22j was collected in the crash, knocking Swavely out of the race.
That put Rutherford right behind the leader for the one-to-go restart, but Blumenshine pulled away as the green reappeared and went on to win over Rutherford, Mercado, Jas Hehnly, and Jeff Harnish.
Heat race victors for the 27 Sportsman included Devin Adams, Rutherford, and Curtis R. Miller. Adam Minzer won the consolation race.
Jason Hehnly’s second victory of the season in the 125cc division was bittersweet as a member of his sponsor’s family, Dave Weinhold of Weinhold’s Poultry, passed away just a few days prior to Saturday’s event. Other members of the Weinhold family attended the program and joined Hehnly in victory lane as the driver from Stevens, PA dedicated his win to Dave Weinhold.
“Sometimes you have to take ’em any way you can get ’em,” noted Hehnly, in a reference to the strong run authored by Tajae Adams, who led the feature from lap two through 24. Adams, who seemed to have the field covered and was prepped for his first career victory at Clyde Martin Memorial Speedway, suffered mechanical problems during a caution period with only one circuit remaining.
Hehnly, who started eighth, moved into second on the sixth revolution but did not have quite enough muscle to overhaul Adams for the lead. He inherited the top spot when Adams’ No. 63k rolled to a stop during the last of numerous yellow flag slowdowns that plagued the 25-lap main.
The checkered flag waved over Hehnly, Chase Gutshall, point leader Dave Grube, Jas Hehnly, and Justin Harrington.
There were 22 of the 125cc racers in competition on Saturday, with heat race victories going to Grube and Jason Hehnly.
After several near-misses over the past 1 1/2 seasons, Brian Kramer put it all together and registered his first career Micro-Sprint victory on Saturday, winning the feature for the 250cc Four-Strokes.
Kramer gave up the top spot to Jarrett Imler on the first trip around the progressively banked clay playground, but Imler was the victim of a run-in with a lapped car, spinning out of the lead with 11 circuits in the books.
That put Kramer back in front, and he capitalized on his good fortune by leading the remainder of the 25-lap main over Zach Hollinger, who zipped into the runner-up slot with four to go. Zak Vickers wound up third with point leader Eddie Nocera finishing fourth and Devin Adams racing home in fifth.
Vickers and Imler won heat races for the dozen Four-Strokes who entered Saturday’s event.
Coming up this Saturday, August 15, is another five division program of ground-pounding, clay slinging action at Lanco’s Clyde Martin Memorial Speedway. The 600cc, 270cc, Sportsman, 125cc, and 250cc Four-Stroke Micro-Sprints will take part in qualifying heats, consolations, and 25-lap feature races as the point chases enter the final month of the 2015 season.
Gates open at 3:30 and warm-ups begin at 5 p.m. The first heat race goes green at 6:00.
Adult general admission tickets are priced at just $8.00, with discounts for Senior Citizens and Students. The admission cost for youth between the ages of six and 12 is just $2.00 and children under the age of six are free. And parking is always free at the Clyde!
You’ve just gotta come out and LIVE the excitement that is Lanco!
600cc Micro-Sprint Feature, 25 laps: 1.Jared Esh, 2.Kyle Spence, 3.Zach Light, 4.Heath Hehnly, 5.Kenny Miller III, 6.Chris Gerhart, 7.Brittany Brown, 8.Jason Swavely, 9.Ryan Hook, 10.Mike Rutherford, 11.Jered Hook, 12.Brent Ely, 13.Taylor Troxel, 14.Shaun Brandel, 15.Brooklyn Gable, 16.Amber Oraschin, 17.Matt Carr, 18.Rebecca LaMothe, 19.Chris Oraschin, 20.Jarid Kunkle, 21.Chris Panczner, 22.Ryan Groff, 23.Troy Musselman, 24.Justin Whittall.
DNQ: Patrick Ely, William Urkuski, Dylan Binkley, Bret Cronrath, Jenna Heagy.
270cc Micro-Sprint Feature, 25 laps: 1.Mike Rutherford, 2.Kyle Spence, 3.Dave Grube, 4.Bradley Brown, 5.Ken Miller, 6.Cameron Bellinger, 7.Nick Skias, 8.Kenny Miller III, 9.Billy Logeman, 10.Nick Sweigart, 11.Tyler Ulrich, 12.Dan Lane Jr., 13.Toby Blumenshine, 14.Christi Sweigart, 15.Nate Weidman, 16.John Ruoss, 17.Steve Drevicki, 18.Daryl Davis, 19.Dustin Fox, 20.Sean Zechman, 21.Brock Whisler, 22.Elizabeth Helmick, 23.Derek Ecenrode, 24.Cody Drace.
DNQ: Nicole Whisler, Dylan Adams, Melvin Bainbridge.
Sportsman Micro-Sprint Feature, 25 laps: 1.Toby Blumenshine, 2.Mike Rutherford, 3.Angelo Mercado, 4.Jas Hehnly, 5.Jeff Harnish, 6.Brandon Mundis, 7.Ricky Sechrist, 8.Robert Shanaman, 9.Brandon Bucher, 10.Dave Schroeder, 11.Adam Minzer, 12.Ken Miller, 13.Brian Becker, 14.Dennis Fenstermacher, 15.Jeff Boyer, 16.Jason Swavely, 17.John Davis, 18.Patrick Kirn, 19.Ava Bellinger, 20.Devin Adams, 21.Kerry Lengle, 22.Curtis R. Miller, 23.Sheena Schaefer, 24.Megan Mercado.
DNQ: Anthony Yerger, Cody Sechrist, Steve Smith Sr.
125cc Micro-Sprint Feature, 25 laps: 1.Jason Hehnly, 2.Chase Gutshall, 3.Dave Grube, 4.Jas Hehnly, 5.Justin Harrington, 6.William Manotti, 7.Corey Schmuck Jr., 8.Zach Hollinger, 9.Brandon Gibble, 10.Jarrett Imler, 11.Tajae Adams, 12.Kyler Heiney, 13.Jimmy Wampole, 14.Austin Graby, 15.Kelsey Heiney, 16.Kody Hibshman, 17.Alexis Sheely, 18.Matthew Donley, 19.Walt Wampole, 20.Scott Gantert.
DNS: Shane Davis, Dustin Adams.
250cc Four-Stroke Micro-Sprint Feature, 25 laps: 1.Brian Kramer, 2.Zach Hollinger, 3.Zak Vickers, 4.Eddie Nocera, 5.Devin Adams, 6.Jarrett Imler, 7.Donna Geib, 8.Lester Dise, 9.Lewis Kepple Jr., 10.Brandon Yoder, 11.Aidan Jones, 12.Kassidy Michael.
By Barry Angstadt – https://www.facebook.com/barry.angstadt?fref=ts&ref=br_tf