Prior to the start of Saturday night's 600cc Micro-Sprint feature at Lanco's Clyde Martin Memorial Speedway, Tyler Ross wasn't exactly comfortable with the chassis setup on his No. 5T. He went with it, though, because his crew chief, who also happens to be his father, was sure it would work. A short time later, Ross found out that (sometimes) dad really does know best.
The resident of Lincoln University, Pa. captured his second victory of the season in 600cc competition at Clyde Martin in grand style, beating Ryan Hook by almost two seconds in the 25-lap main event sponsored by A.J. Blosenski Trash and Recycling Services.
Joining Ross in the winner's circle after the A.J. Blosenski feature races were Billy Logeman (270cc); Jesse Maurer (125cc); Craig DeSantis (250cc Four-Stroke); Ken Miller (Sportsman); and Franklin Heinzmann (Young Guns 390 Junior Sprint Series).
Dedicating his win to a couple of friends who were tragically killed in a car crash just a few days earlier, Ross honored his buddies by putting on quite a show in the 600cc main event.
Allowing the field to sort out during the opening laps, Ross began to display his car's strength following the second caution period of the race with four circuits complete. He was eighth when the initial green flag waved, then used the high groove to move forward after the lap four yellow.
Ross blasted into the runner-up slot on the sixth trip around the lightning quick oval, and two laps later, he powered around the top of Ryan Hook to take command. He had one close call after taking the lead and building a huge lead over Hook, when Tom Kohler spun in front of him in turn two with 14 tours in the books. Ross carefully avoided the spinning Kohler, then went on to record the triumph.
"I tried to run low at first, but everyone was down there, so I went to the top. The car really stuck up high, and I was able to pass up there, so I went with it. Before the race, I wasn't sure about the setup, but my dad knew what he was doing. I blame him when it doesn't work, so I'll give him credit for this one. The car was awesome," said Ross.
With Ross, Hook, and Kory Merkey settled comfortably in the top three positions, the action behind them was frantic as a large pack of cars diced for the remaining top-ten spots. Ryan Wilson, Shane Lewis, Heath Hehnly, Chris Gerhart, Mark Ludwig, Brittany Brown, and Brent Ely used every inch of the clay as they traded positions in side-by-side and three-wide fashion.
At the finish, it was Ross, Hook, and Merkey in the top three, with Wilson, Lewis, and Hehnly completing the top six. Gerhart, the point leader, wound up seventh.
Gerhart has a cushion of almost 50 points over Wilson in the duel for the championship heading into this Saturday's season finale.
Heat winners for the 23-car field of 600's were Bruce Ginther, Jr., Hook, and Brown.
The feature for the 270cc Micros went non-stop from green to checkered, with Billy Logeman, from Lititz, Pa. picking up his first career win in that class. Logeman completed the 25 laps in 4 minutes, 52 seconds.
"We've been so close, so many times," stated the elated winner, "and to get my first win in a non-stop race...this is really cool!"
Zack Fouse grabbed the lead from Brandon Bucher on the second revolution, with fourth-starting Logeman zipping into the runner-up spot on the ensuing trip around the high banked oval.
Logeman locked on to the back bumper of the leader's car, then made his move with eleven laps showing on the scoreboard. When Fouse hesitated just a bit behind some slower traffic, Logeman pounced, jumping to the outside lane and sweeping past the leader in turns one and two.
As Logeman drove away from his pursuers, some close quarters, fast and furious competition took place for positions two through six. Josh Stoyer, Mike Uhrich, Richie Hartman (who started 19th), Dave Grube, and the father/son duo of Pete and Nick Skias contested those spots throughout the second half of the race.
Without a single yellow flag to slow his pace, Logeman romped to victory over Stoyer, Uhrich, Hartman, and Dave Grube.
"I have to thank Jim Skias for allowing me to run this new Viper Chassis; it was great tonight," said Logeman. Stoyer's runner-up effort produced a one-two finish for the Vipers.
Chip Geib, Grube, and Fouse were victorious in qualifying heats for the 25-car field of 270cc Micro-Sprints. Hartman won the consolation.
Hartman has clinched his third consecutive point title in the 270cc division, leaving Jesse Maurer and Jason Swavely to battle for second in the standings with one race remaining.
The situation is much different in the 125cc point chase, as Maurer rocketed to his sixth triumph of 2010 (and third in a row) on Saturday. His win, combined with an eleventh place finish for David Ravel, pushed Maurer to within a scant four points of Ravel in the championship hunt.
Sonny Sweitzer paced the first eight circuits of the 25-lapper, then spun off turn four, collecting third-place Shane Braxton. The incident put Ryan Wilson at the head of the pack, with Dave Grube now second and eleventh-starting Maurer in third for the restart.
One lap prior to halfway, Maurer snatched the runner-up position from Grube. One tour after the crossed flags, the Mount Joy Outlaw passed Wilson, his Gorski Racing teammate, for the lead. A caution period with nine to go did nothing to alter the outcome, as Maurer flashed to the stripe comfortably ahead of Wilson. Grube settled for third, with Bret Habecker and Bradley Brown rounding out the top five.
Wilson and Brown won heat races for the 125cc competitors.
"The whole crew is here tonight, and I can't thank them enough for their help. We put this motor on the car during the week, and I'm kickin' myself right now for not using it last weekend," said Craig DeSantis after winning the A.J. Blosenski main event for the 250cc Four-Strokes. The victory was his second of the year, and first since April 24.
DeSantis began the race from the outside of row four, then sliced his way to third by the time lap two was scored. Two lap later, he was in the runner-up spot.
With five down, DeSantis slipped by race leader Matthew Swift as they accelerated off turn two to assume command.
As DeSantis roared off to a healthy margin over the field, the attention turned to an entertaining duel for the second position. Jared Esh, the son of Sprint Car star Doug Esh, passed Swift for the runner-up slot with nine to go. Esh brought Jessica Mohler with him, and those final nine tours were filled with a nip-and-tuck battle between the pair.
As DeSantis took the checkered flag, Esh survived the attacks from Mohler to finish second. Mohler, Swift, and George Potts, Jr. completed the top five.
Heat races went to Chip Geib and DeSantis.
Kenny Miller won his sixth Sportsman feature of the season, padding his point lead in the process.
Miller started 19th, weaving a path toward the front of the pack during the first half of the 25-lapper. Miller, from Birdsboro, Pa., gassed his way into third on the twelfth revolution, then wrestled second place away from Bret Habecker lap 14. With ten to go, Miller ducked under Dave Kemp to snare the top spot as they raced off turn four.
"Man, it feels like forever since we've won a Sportsman race," grinned the victor. "We've had a bunch of little things take wins and good finishes away from us, and of course, I've run second to Jason (Swavely) a lot. So this feels real good."
Swavely, one of Miller's Sportsman teammates, had a five race win streak halted when his mount threw its chain early in the event.
Habecker finished second, with Kemp scoring his best ever Lanco finish by placing third. Donna Geib and Kelby Stauffer crossed the stripe in fourth and fifth.
Sportsman heats were taken by Paul May III, Geib, and Kemp. Miller won the consolation race.
The Young Guns 390 Junior Sprint Series made their one and only appearance of 2010 at the Clyde Martin Memorial Speedway on Saturday.
Franklin Heinzmann jumped into the lead from his pole position, then held off some stiff challenges by Ryan Plummer and Sean Case to notch the victory.
Case bolted past Logan Spahr and Plummer to run second in the middle portion of the 15-lap affair, then fell back two spots before he charged back into the runner-up spot. He closed in on the leader, but ran out of time before he could find a way to unseat Heinzmann from the race lead.
Heinzmann took the checkered by a slim margin over Case, Spahr, Plummer, and Jacob Moose.
Heinzmann also won the YG390 heat race.
This Saturday, September 18, is the final event of 2010 at Lanco's Clyde Martin Memorial Speedway. This year's point champions in all five weekly classes will be determined, and it's your last chance to come out and LIVE the excitement that is Lanco.
Gates open at 3:30, with warm-ups at 5 p.m. The first heat race goes green at 6:00, and the final 25-lap main events of the year will highlight the program.
General admission for adults is just $8.00, with discounts for Senior Citizens and Students. Youth between the ages of six and twelve are admitted for only $2.00, and children under six are free. Parking is always free at the Clyde.
The club's annual Awards Banquet is scheduled for Saturday, November 20, at the Lancaster Host. Banquet tickets are $35.00 per person, and the doors will open at 5 p.m. Dinner begins at 6:00.
Order forms for banquet tickets will be available at the pit shack this Saturday, and will also be available online at the track's website, www.lancomicrosprint.com.
600cc Micro-Sprint Feature Finish: 1.Tyler Ross, 2.Ryan Hook, 3.Kory Merkey, 4.Ryan Wilson, 5.Shane Lewis, 6.Heath Hehnly, 7.Chris Gerhart, 8.Mark Ludwig, 9.Brittany Brown, 10.Brent Ely, 11.Tyler Esh, 12.Jeff Halligan, 13.Ken Miller, 14.Shaun Brandel, 15.Peter Michael, 16.Mark Yoder, 17.Zach Fisher, 18.Jamie Kostic, 19.Bruce Ginther Jr., 20.Tom Kohler, 21.Mike Freed, 22.Shane Braxton, 23.Pete Skias.
270cc Micro-Sprint Feature Finish: 1.Billy Logeman, 2.Josh Stoyer, 3.Mike Uhrich, 4.Richie Hartman, 5.Dave Grube, 6.Nick Skias, 7.Zack Fouse, 8.Chip Geib, 9.Pete Skias, 10.Jesse Maurer, 11.Greg Miller, 12.Jason Swavely, 13.Brandon Bucher, 14.Devin Harron, 15.Christi Sweigart, 16.Peter Michael, 17.Sheena Schaefer, 18.Tyler Reinhardt, 19.Jay Batdorf, 20.Brian Sholley, 21.Billy Murphy, 22.Lee Reinhardt, 23.Kerry Lengle.
125cc Micro-Sprint Feature Finish: 1.Jesse Maurer, 2.Ryan Wilson, 3.Dave Grube, 4.Bret Habecker, 5.Bradley Brown, 6.Mark Yoder, 7.Ray Miller, 8.Derek Ecenrode, 9.Daniel Braun, 10.Kyle Hehnly, 11.David Ravel, 12.Walter Wampole, 13.Curtis R. Miller, 14.Sonny Sweitzer, 15.Shane Braxton, 16.Cody Drace, 17.James Wampole.
250cc Four-Stroke Micro-Sprint Feature Finish: 1.Craig DeSantis, 2.Jared Esh, 3.Jessica Mohler, 4.Matthew Swift, 5.George Potts Jr., 6.Ed Nocera, 7.Dick Huzzard, 8.Travis Esh, 9.Kim Enck, 10.Chip Geib, 11.Justin Zelek, 12.Lewis Kepple Jr., 13.Greg Schmuck, 14.Sheila Fetter, 15.Steve Brenner, 16.George Potts III, 17.Peter Michael.
Sportsman Micro-Sprint Feature Finish: 1.Ken Miller, 2.Bret Habecker, 3.Dave Kemp, 4.Donna Geib, 5.Kelby Stauffer, 6.Wesley Fasnacht, 7.Dwayne Mathias, 8.Jeff Hughes, 9.Jason Hehnly, 10.Brett Wanner, 11.Rick Fisher, 12.Dennis Ziegler, 13.Brad Kemp, 14.Jenna Keppley, 15.Joel Tolley, 16.Mike Heiser, 17.Scott Garman, 18.Robert Shanaman, 19.Paul May III, 20.Corey Schmuck Jr., 21.Earl Eveland, 22.Jamie Fetterolf, 23.Jason Swavely, 24.Dennis Fenstermacher.
Young Guns 390 Junior Sprint Series Feature Finish: 1.Franklin Heinzmann, 2.Sean Case, 3.Logan Spahr, 4.Ryan Plummer, 5.Jacob Moose. DNS: Alyssa Rowe.