Robbie Kendall, the Candyman from Catonsville, MD, roared to his second triumph of the season on Saturday night at Lanco's Clyde Martin Memorial Speedway.
Kendall copped the 600cc Micro-Sprint feature, and was joined in the winner's circle by Jason Swavely (270cc); Ken Miller (125cc); Bret Habecker (Sportsman); and Craig DeSantis (250cc Four-Stroke).
The entire event was dedicated to the memory of longtime Lanco track photographer Dick Greenawalt, who passed away on July 5, one day after his 71st birthday. Greenawalt's wife of 48 years, Carol, and son Lee were at the track on Saturday as the Lanco club paid tribute to the husband/father who was so devoted to and passionate about the Clyde Martin Memorial Speedway.
Kendall started sixth in the 600cc main event and began moving forward immediately. Running the high groove, Kendall charged into third on lap three, then flew by Ryan Hook to grab the runner-up position on the next revolution.
With Jared Davis setting the pace, Kendall needed just two laps to zero in on the race leader before zipping past him to snatch the lead. Once in front, it was a matter of navigating his way through some heavy lapped traffic, which Kendall did with apparent ease. Some timely yellow flags helped him out, too, allowing him to restart with a clear track in front of him.
Tyler Esh and Shane Lewis waged an entertaining battle for the second spot, trading slide jobs on several occasions before Esh prevailed.
Kendall streaked under the checkered flag to win his second of the year, with Esh and Lewis finishing second and third, respectively. Heath Hehnly (who started 12th) and Ken Miller rounded out the first five at the conclusion of the 25-lapper.
"Got to credit the crew chief on this one," said Kendall afterward. "We saw they watered the top of the track at intermission, so we decided to go with a softer tire. We made some other changes, too, and the car was a rocket; it was really good."
With 22 of the 600cc Micros in the pit area on Saturday, heat races went to Shaun Brandel and Jared Davis.
The Kelly Racing Fuels "Gas It Up Award" went to 15th place finisher Zach Light.
Jason Swavely notched his second feature win of the season in the 270cc main event.
Swavely lined up on the inside of row one, but two massive pile-ups - including the first one that involved half of the 24-car field - prevented the 25-lap event from getting started. Amazingly, only a few cars were eliminated in the wrecks, and the race finally got underway on the third attempt to complete lap number one.
Pete Skias challenged Swavely for most of the affair, with Swavely, the Rocket Man from Douglassville, Pa., repelling each attack. Skias eventually pulled off a slide job in turns one and two with four circuits remaining, but a caution flag for a flipping Billy Logeman wiped out the pass and put Swavely back in front for the restart.
Swavely went on to win over Skias, with Kevin Garman turning in an excellent ride to finish third. Heath Hehnly and Mike Dicely, two of the drivers who were involved in that huge pile-up on the initial start, rebounded to finish fourth and fifth.
"When I saw his nose a few times," stated the race winner about his strategy for keeping Skias behind him, "I changed my line...but I thought he was gonna get me anyway. I moved up the track again because that's where the car was working the best."
With 30 of the 270cc Micros on hand, Brian Marriott, Garman, and Tyler Reinhardt were victorious in the qualifying heats. Jesse Maurer claimed the consolation victory.
For much of the 125cc main, it appeared as though Curtis R. Miller, the teen from Mertztown, Pa. and last year's Rookie of the Year, was going to break through and score his very first feature win. His dad's cousin, Ken Miller, was running second and seemed to be content to finish there, so it looked as though the stars were aligned for Curtis. Unfortunately, that initial victory is still on hold...
As Curtis, who set the pace for the first 20 tours, caught the back of the pack and attempted to lap two of those cars, the pair of cars being lapped got into one another and collected the leader, causing a severely bent front axle on Miller's No. 7R, forcing him to retire.
Sonny Sweitzer, who had passed Ken Miller for second just one lap prior to the caution for the race leader, inherited the top spot at that point. On the restart, contact between K. Miller and Sweitzer resulted in Miller going to the head of the field, with Sweitzer falling back a few positions.
K. Miller went on to win, with point leader Jesse Maurer staging a late race charge to finish second. Maurer's teammate, Ryan Wilson, wound up third with Bradley Brown and Derek Miller completing the top five.
"I apologize to Sonny (Sweitzer)," said K. Miller in his victory lane interview. "I turned to cut down low on him, and as I crossed over, my front bumper caught his rear bumper. I certainly didn't mean to do that, and I'm sorry it happened."
Miller also paid respect to young Curtis, who displayed a lot of class by coming out onto the track to congratulate the winner.
Twenty-three of the 125cc racers signed in for competition on Saturday, with heat wins going to K. Miller, Dave Grube, and Shane Braxton.
As Paul Moore led the 25-lap Sportsman feature, Bret Habecker was cutting a path to the front from his eighth starting spot.
Habecker gained four positions in the first two trips around the racey, high banked oval. A few circuits later, he was challenging Moore for the top spot, and he got it by outgunning Moore off the fourth corner on lap six.
One of Habecker's teammates in the Sportsman class, Ken Miller, took the runner-up slot from Moore with fifteen to go. A yellow with six laps left to run put Miller on Habecker's tail tank, but the Leesport, Pa. wheel-twister was up to the task and held off Miller to record his first Sportsman triumph.
Trailing Habecker and K. Miller to the stripe were Moore, Kelby Stauffer, and Matt Abers.
Wesley Fasnacht, K. Miller, and Brett Wanner won heat races for the 24 Sportsman Micro-Sprints.
Ken Miller earned the Weld Racing Fast Lap of the Feature, recording the single quickest trip around the clay during the Sportsman main.
Starting Craig DeSantis on the outside of the front row is akin to dangling raw meat in front of a hungry lion. Polesitter George Potts III knew that DeSantis would pounce swiftly to take the lead, and that's exactly how it played out as the veteran from Lititz, Pa. jumped in front of Potts as the green waved to begin the 250cc Four-Stroke feature.
DeSantis went on to lead every one of the 25 laps, registering his third victory of the season, but he had to work for it. Teenager and Quarter-Midget ace Ryan Morris sliced his way from 12th on the starting grid to run second by the time a yellow flag appeared with eleven laps scored.
On the restart, Morris made numerous attempts to shove the nose of his No. 9 under DeSantis, but the leader was able to pull ahead each time, using the momentum gained by running a higher line than Morris to stay in front.
DeSantis raced to the triumph by four-tenths of a second over Morris, with Jared Esh earning third place money. The Potts family, George III and George Jr., ended up fourth and fifth.
Seventeen of the 250cc Four-Strokes entered the event, with heat race victories going to Eddie Nocera and Chip Geib.
Another five division card of Micro-Sprint action is set for this Saturday, July 16, at Lanco's Clyde Martin Memorial Speedway. Hoosier Tire Mid-Atlantic (HTMA) will sponsor the program of qualifying heats, consolations, and 25-lap features are slated for the 600cc; 270cc; 125cc; Sportsman; and 250cc Four-Stroke Micros.
Gates open at 3:30, with warm-ups set for 5 p.m. The first heat race goes green at 6:00.
General Admission tickets for adults are just $8.00, with discounts for Senior Citizens and Students. Youth between the ages of six and twelve are just $2.00, and children under the age of six are admitted free. Parking is always free at the Clyde!
600cc Micro-Sprint Feature, 25 laps: 1.Robbie Kendall, 2.Tyler Esh, 3.Shane Lewis, 4.Heath Hehnly, 5.Ken Miller, 6.A.J. Michael, 7.Peter Michael, 8.Shaun Brandel, 9.Jered Hook, 10.Mike Dicely, 11.Chris Gerhart, 12.Jermain Godshall, 13.Brent Ely, 14.Mark Yoder, 15.Zach Light, 16.Rick Stief, 17.Chris Panczner, 18.Brittany Brown, 19.David Beiler, 20.Ryan Hook, 21.Jeff Halligan, 22.Jared Davis.
270cc Micro-Sprint Feature, 25 laps: 1.Jason Swavely, 2.Pete Skias, 3.Kevin Garman, 4.Heath Hehnly, 5.Mike Dicely, 6.Mike Uhrich, 7.Nick Skias, 8.Keith Holiday, 9.Tom Shearer, 10.Christi Sweigart, 11.Tyler Reinhardt, 12.Jesse Maurer, 13.Dave Grube, 14.Billy Logeman, 15.Mike Skias, 16.Chip Geib, 17.Kerry Lengle, Sr. 18.Justin Harrington, 19.Greg Miller, 20.Brian Marriott, 21.Nathan Weidman, 22.Josh Stoyer, 23.Mike Boyer, 24.Ernie Miles.
125cc Micro-Sprint Feature, 25 laps: 1.Ken Miller, 2.Jesse Maurer, 3.Ryan Wilson, 4.Bradley Brown, 5.Derek Miller, 6.Mark Yoder, 7.Darren Miller, 8.Kyle Hehnly, 9.Derek Ecenrode, 10.Sonny Sweitzer, 11.Brianna Gerhart, 12.Felisha Kirlin, 13.Daniel Braun, 14.Ashley Kase, 15.Shane Braxton, 16.Curtis R. Miller, 17.Nick Sweigart, 18.Devin Garman, 19.Dave Grube, 20.Walter Wampole, 21.Samantha Garman, 22.James Wampole, 23.Zack Hollinger.
Sportsman Feature, 25 laps: 1.Bret Habecker, 2.Ken Miller, 3.Paul Moore, 4.Kelby Stauffer, 5.Matt Abers, 6.Brett Wanner, 7.Jeff Hughes, 8.Dwayne Mathias, 9.Brad Kemp, 10.Wesley Fasnacht, 11.Richard Fisher, 12.Dave Kemp, 13.Joel Tolley, 14.Tim Ziegler, 15.Cory Schmuck Jr., 16.Sarah Shreiner, 17.Mikke Heiser, 18.Jenna Keppley, 19.Donna Geib, 20.Sheena Schaefer, 21.Jared Davis, 22.Brian Becker, 23.Jason Swavely.
250cc Four-Stroke Feature, 25 laps: 1.Craig DeSantis, 2.Ryan Morris, 3.Jared Esh, 4.George Potts III, 5.George Potts Jr., 6.Travis Esh, 7.Kim Enck, 8.Eddie Nocera, 9.Earl Eveland, 10.Sheila Fetter, 11.Justin Harrington, 12.Colton Goshert, 13.Jessica Mohler, 14.Chip Geib, 15.Tyler Armstrong, 16.Lewis Kepple Jr., 17.Ronald Wechter.