The next time Ryan Hook and his family-owned 600cc Micro-Sprint team want some tips on chassis set-up, they will probably need to ask someone other than Heath Hehnly.
The 22-year-old grad student at Penn State University used the suggestions offered by Hehnly to defeat the Manheim resident on Saturday. And he picked a great night to notch the first Lanco victory of his career, winning the track's prestigious Clyde Martin Memorial Race presented by Gold Rush Trailer Sales & Service.
Peter Michael (270cc); Jessica Mohler (250cc Four-Stroke); Cody Drace (125cc); and Jason Swavely (Sportsman) were also victorious on Saturday, adding their names to the trophies that are handed down from the previous year's victors.
The Clyde Martin Memorial Race is named, as is the track itself, after the club's first flagman and one of its original members. The event honors the memories of those club members who have passed on, but gave so much of themselves to the facility and the organization. The race is open only to club members who have entered at least half of the current season's point-paying events, and it rewards drivers with a larger payout and double points. The Memorial is highlighted by 35-lap features, the longest races of the season, for all five of the weekly Micro-Sprint classes.
The Hook brothers lined up on the front row of the 600cc main event, with Ryan on the pole and 20-year-old Jered, who is also attending Penn State, flanking him on the outside.
Ryan Hook bolted into the lead as the green flag waved as Jered fell back into a fierce duel for second with Kory Merkey and Mike Caropolo. Five caution periods slowed the pace and brought R. Hook back to his pursuers, but he actually welcomed the yellows. "The cautions were timed perfectly," he stated in his victory lane interview. "They kept me out of lapped traffic, and the car was awesome on an open track. I was nervous, though, because I saw that number two coming up higher and higher on the scoreboard."
That "number two" was Hehnly, who started eleventh and climbed to sixth position in the first ten laps. The driver of Sonny Cooke's Hyper/Spar Racing Engines No. 2 continued to pick off the cars in front of him, finally slashing his way into third place on a restart with 15 complete. Hehnly then battled Jered Hook for six circuits before he wreslted the runner-up slot from the younger of the Hook siblings with 13 trips remaining.
As the laps clicked off, Hehnly zeroed in on the leader's tail tank, but R. Hook was up the challenge and never lost his composure. On the final revolution, Hehnly made a last ditch attempt to slide under the leader in turn four, but Hook held his line and roared off the last corner with his lead intact. He beat Hehnly to the stripe by .35-seconds with Caropolo, J. Hook, and Tyler Esh rounding out the top five.
"Yeah, I tried to scare him on that last lap," smiled Hehnly. "I thought maybe I could shake him up if he saw my nose, but he was just too good tonight. He ran a great race. I guess I shouldn't give him any more advice after this..."
With 25 of the 600cc Micros in the pit area, qualiifying heats fell to R. Hook, Merkey, and Brittany Brown. Jamie Kostic won the consolation race.
Making just his third start in Gary Miller's Gold Rush Trailer Sales No. 82, Peter Michael parked the car in the winner's circle for the second time after Saturday's Clyde Martin Memorial Race for the 270cc Micro-Sprints.
Michael started on the pole and led all the way, fending off a mid-race assault by eventual runner-up Devin Harron. Jesse Maurer, fresh off a victory at Linda's Speedway on Friday night, charged from 12th to fifth during the first eight circuits of the 35-lapper. Maurer claimed the third position by the halfway point, and moved in to challenge Harron, who was trying to sneak under Michael as they navigated heavy lapped traffic.
Nick Skias, who was one of ten cars involved in a turn one melee with one lap complete, blasted from the rear to make his presence known in the top five by lap 29.
With the final 11 tours going non-stop, Michael was able to distance himself from Harron. He crossed the line almost a full second in front of Harron, with Maurer settling for third. Jason Swavely ran a steady race to finish fourth, with N. Skias in fifth.
"I was having some trouble with lapped traffic," noted the winner from Lititz, Pa. "The car didn't work real well down low, and that's when Devin closed in on me. I was happy to be out of traffic; the car was awesome up high. I have to thank Gary (Miller) for providing a great car and my brother (A.J. Michael) for setting it up for me."
The 270cc heat winners were N. Skias, Swavely, and Michael.
There is only one phrase that describes Jessica Mohler's drive to victory in the 250cc Four-Stroke feature...utter dominance.
The petite brunette started sixth and vaulted into the second spot by the time two laps were scored. She raced side-by-side with leader Matthew Swift on the third trip around the banked oval, sticking the nose of her Race 4 Autism No. 43 in front by inches as they flashed by the flagstand. A few seconds later, the caution lights came on, with Mohler scored as the race leader.
Point leader Peter Michael was scorching the competition at this point, blazing from his 12th starting spot to snare the runner-up position on the lap four restart. Now that she was out front, though, this 35-lap main event belonged to Mohler.
As the final 32 tours ran clean and green, Mohler, from Reemstown, Pa., simply put an old fashioned whuppin' on the field of Four-Strokes. She ran away from Michael and lapped all but the second and third place finishers when the race ended. Afterward, Michael admitted that "a yellow probably would not have helped me...she was just too fast."
The winner downplayed her role in the dominating triumph, giving credit instead to her crew and especially to her father, Steven Enck, who put together the race winning Yamaha engine during the week leading up to the Memorial. "We threw a rod last week," said Jessica, "and my dad just threw this motor together with parts that he had lying around."
It was an emotionally gratifying victory, too, because it enable Mohler to join her dad as a 250cc Four-Stroke winner of the Clyde Martin Memorial Race. "Now my name will be on the trophy with my dad...that's pretty cool," she grinned as her family celebrated in victory lane.
Michael finished a distant second to Mohler, with Jared Esh racing home in third as the last driver on the lead lap. Chip Geib and Craig DeSantis finished one lap down in fourth and fifth, respectively.
George Potts III and Michael were victorious in the pair of Four-Stroke heat races.
Elizabethtown, Pa. hotshoe Cody Drace won his second consecutive 125cc Clyde Martin Memorial Race.
Ryan Wilson emerged from a terrific, three-lap, wheel-to-wheel tussle with his teammate, Ray Miller, to grab the lead as the duo accelerated off turn four to complete the tenth circuit.
Drace, who rolled off the grid ninth, snatched second from Miller on the next trip around the ultra smooth, super fast clay. Drace stalked Wilson for the next nine tours, then made his move in turns one and two as Wilson got hung up, momentarily, behind a slower car. Once out front, the race was his to win.
Wilson dropped out with ten to go, handing the runner-up spot to Jesse Maurer. Point leader David Ravel stopped on the backstretch with two laps in the books, then roared from the back of the pack, moving into third during the final stages of the event.
Drace took the checkered with a margin of 2.66 seconds over Maurer, with Ravel finishing third. Mark Yoder and Derek Ecenrode completed the top five.
Dave Grube and Ravel won the two heat races for the 125cc Micros.
The Sportsman class (250cc Air-cooled Micro-Sprints) provided the nightcap to the Clyde Martin Memorial, and Jason Swavely quickly displayed his car's strength by zipping from his eighth-place starting spot to run third by the fourth circuit. Two laps later, he passed Bret Habecker for second, and set his sights on the leader.
Paul May III jumped into the lead from his outside front row starting position, and May would set the pace for the first six tours. Swavely caught the leader when May hesitated while trying to lap a slower car, then slipped past the No. 61 as they launched off turn four on the seventh revolution.
Swavely went on to win handily, with May turning in his best effort of the season by finishing second. Donna Geib made a bonzai dive to get by Habecker late in the race to secure third, while Jeff Hughes and Habecker placed fourth and fifth.
"Thanks to Curt (Miller) for preparing a great car," said Swavely, who recorded his fourth Sportsman triumph of the year. "Man, this track was unbelievable...it was so good, up high and down low. We were a little loose on the bottom, but I could run low when I had to."
Sportsman heats went to May, Swavely, and Geib.
The Clyde will be dark this Saturday, August 7, as the club takes its final break of the season. The action resumes on August 14 when Greenawalt Photos sponsors the five division card of Micro-Sprint racing. The 270cc Micros will compete in the first Doc Hoff Memorial Race on the 14th, with several of Doc's family members scheduled to attend.
The HTMA 600 Pro Series Presented by NPS Racing Engines is slated for an August 21 appearance at Lanco's Clyde Martin Memorial Speedway. The 600 Pro Series will join the 270cc, 125cc, Sportsman, and 250cc Four-Strokes in qualifying heats, consolations, and 25-lap features.
Gates open at 3:30, with warm-ups at 5 p.m. The first heat race goes green at 6:00. Adult general admission tickets are just $8.00, with discounts for Senior Citizens and Students. Youth between the ages of six and twelve are admitted for $2.00, with children under the age of six admitted free. Parking is always free at the Clyde.
600cc Feature, 35 laps: 1.Ryan Hook, 2.Heath Hehnly, 3.Mike Caropolo, 4.Jered Hook, 5.Tyler Esh, 6.Kory Merkey, 7.Brent Ely, 8.Ken Miller, 9.Chris Gerhart, 10.Jamie Kostic, 11.Tom Kohler, 12.Ryan Wilson, 13.Mike Freed, 14.Tyler Ross, 15.Bruce Ginther Jr., 16.Mark Yoder, 17.Shaun Brandel, 18.Jermain Godshall, 19.Shane Braxton, 20.Brittany Brown, 21.Zachary Fisher, 22.Jared Davis, 23.Mark Ludwig, 24.Jeff Halligan.
270cc Feature, 35 laps: 1.Peter Michael, 2.Devin Harron, 3.Jesse Maurer, 4.Jason Swavely, 5.Nick Skias, 6.Dave Grube, 7.Billy Logeman, 8.Richie Hartman, 9.Mike Uhrich, 10.Greg Miller, 11.Josh Stoyer, 12.Roger Graham III, 13.Christi Sweigart, 14.Jay Batdorf, 15.Sheena Schaefer, 16.Brandon Bucher, 17.Kevin Kopp, 18.Kerry Lengle, 19.Pete Skias, 20.Zack Fouse, 21.Chip Geib.
250cc Four-Stroke Feature, 35 laps: 1.Jessica Mohler, 2.Peter Michael, 3.Jared Esh, 4.Chip Geib, 5.Craig DeSantis, 6.George Potts III, 7.Eddie Nocera, 8.Kim Enck, 9.Matthew Swift, 10.Greg Schmuck, 11.Ronald Wechter, 12.Lewis Kepple Jr., 13.Steve Brenner, 14.Sheila Fetter, 15.George Potts Jr.
125cc Feature, 35 laps: 1.Cody Drace, 2.Jesse Maurer, 3.David Ravel, 4.Mark Yoder, 5.Derek Ecenrode, 6.Bradley Brown, 7.Bret Habecker, 8.Dave Grube, 9.Devin Harron, 10.Curtis R. Miller, 11.Kyle Hehnly, 12.Sonny Sweitzer, 13.Walter Wampole, 14.James Wampole, 15.Ryan Wilson, 16.Ray Miller, 17.Shane Braxton.
Sportsman Feature, 35 laps: 1.Jason Swavely, 2.Paul May III, 3.Donna Geib, 4.Jeff Hughes, 5.Bret Habecker, 6.Wesley Fasnacht, 7.Ken Miller, 8.Brett Wanner, 9.Corey Schmuck Jr., 10.Jason Hehnly, 11.Billy Logeman, 12.James Fetterolf, 13.Dwayne Mathias, 14.Dave Kemp, 15.Kelby Stauffer, 16.Tim Ziegler, 17.Jenna Keppley, 18.Dave Schroeder, 19.Mike Heiser, 20.Dennis Fenstermacher, 21.Joel Tolley, 22.Robert Shanaman, 23.Dennis Ziegler, 24.Earl Eveland.