July 23, 2011 - Newmanstown, Pa. - "We set the car up to run where the others don't run...and that's usually down on the bottom."
Mike Rutherford deployed that strategy on Saturday night at Lanco's Clyde Martin Memorial Speedway, and it paid off handsomely, as Rutherford captured the 600cc Micro-Sprint victory.
Josh Stoyer recorded his first Lanco triumph in the 270cc feature, making it a picture-perfect weekend for the driver of the Viper Chassis No. 3. Stoyer also won on Friday night at Linda's Speedway - which was also his grandfather's birthday. And his grandfather is Chuck Skias, who created and continues to build the Viper Chassis Micro-Sprints.
Dave Grube notched his fourth victory of the season in the main event for the 125cc Micros, while Jared Esh registered the first triumph of his short career by winning the 250cc Four-Stroke main. Tim Buckwalter, making just his second start in the Sportsman class, won the 25-lap feature for that division.
This Saturday, July 30, the Lanco club presents one of its biggest shows of the year...the Clyde Martin Memorial Race. A total purse of $12,000 - an increase of $2,000 over last year's payout - and double points will be on the line as each of the five weekly classes competes in a 35-lap main event.
The Clyde Martin Memorial is sponsored by Gold Rush Trailer Sales, and the event is open only to those Lanco members who have entered at least half of this season's point-paying shows.
In last week's final tune up for the Clyde Martin Memorial, Rutherford started eighth and steadily worked his way toward the front, picking off one car at at time as he motored around the low groove.
Jeff Halligan set the pace from his pole position, leading the first half of the 25-lapper. With twelve circuits complete, Rutherford jumped past Jered Hook and Halligan in turns one and two, grabbing the lead as he blasted off the bottom of the corner and onto the backstretch. Once in front, the race belonged to Rutherford, as he dashed away to a comfortable advantage.
Jered Hook and Heath Hehnly engaged in a spirited battle for the runner-up spot late in the race, with Hehnly prevailing after the pair ran side by side and exchanged the position on several occasions. By the time Hehnly cleared Hook's No. 21h, though, Rutherford was gone and time was rapidly running out as he began his pursuit of the leader.
Rutherford took the checkered by almost 2.5 seconds over Hehnly, with J. Hook, Chris Gerhart, and 15th starting Brent Ely making up the top five.
Ely earned the Churchmen's Machine Hard Charger Award by advancing ten positions during the feature.
The top four finishers and five of the top six were steering Hyper Chassis, with Ely's RTS machine breaking the string of Hypers as they crossed the stripe.
With 25 of the 600's entered for competition, Gerhart, Tim Buckwalter, and Hehnly captured qualifying heats. Jared Esh, subbing for Ryan Greth in Wayne Lesher's No. 1J, won the consolation.
In the 270cc main event, Josh Stoyer watched from third as Tyler Reinhardt and Nate Weidman dueled for the lead in the early stages of the 25-lap affair. When Reinhardt cleared Weidman and took sole possession of first place, Stoyer began to pressure the No. 25w for the runner-up spot.
Stoyer slipped past Weidman for second prior to a caution period at the halfway point. On the restart, Stoyer raced to the inside of Reinhardt, diving under the Jersey driver in one and two, then accelerating into the lead as they hit the backchute.
Stoyer, from Mohnton, Pa., went on to notch the first Lanco triumph of his career, taking the checkered in his Viper Chassis House Car by the healthy margin of 1.29 seconds over Reinhardt. The runner-up finish was also a career best for Reinhardt at the Clyde.
Billy Logeman, Jesse Maurer, and Pete Skias finished third through fifth, with point leader Nick Skias recovering from an early race incident to salvage a sixth-place finish.
Four of the top six finishers in the 270cc feature were sitting in Viper Chassis.
N. Skias, Logeman, and Devin Harron won heat races for the 25-car field of 270cc Micros. Dave Grube won the consolation.
Kyle Hehnly grabbed the early lead in the main event for the 125cc racers, with third-starting Dave Grube flying into the runner-up position, then passing Hehnly for the lead on lap three.
Hehnly, the young charger from Stevens, Pa. snatched the lead back from Grube on a fourth-lap restart. A few laps of entertainingly intense racing ensued before Grube slid up in front of Hehnly once more, reclaiming the top spot for the final time.
The final 20 trips around the clay went clean and green, with Grube scoring his fourth win of the season. The 125cc point leader and defending champion, Jesse Maurer, finished second to Grube.
"I was kind of worried when I looked up on the board and saw some of those numbers in second and third. I never saw anyone's nose, though, so I figured I had a pretty decent lead," stated Grube from the winner's circle.
Bradley Brown ended up third, followed by 20th starting Shane Braxton and Kory Merkey.
With 20 cars in the 125cc pit area, the two heat race victories went to Grube and Mark Yoder.
Two laps were completed in the Sportsman main when ten cars were involved in a track-clogging pileup on the front stretch. Fortunately, none of the drivers were injured and most of the cars were able to restart.
Tim Ziegler put his No. 10z out front during the early laps, but this race would become a tale of "the sevens", as Miller Racing stablemates Jason Swavely, Ken Miller, and Tim Buckwalter quickly made their presence known at the head of the field.
Swavely passed Ziegler to take command, but it didn't last long as Miller dashed by his teammate before ten laps were scored.
Miller's time at the front was also short-lived, because Buckwalter, the newest member of Curt Miller's dominant team, was maneuvering from his 12th starting position toward the head of the pack. Buckwalter ducked to the inside of Miller on lap 12, taking a lead that he would not give up.
Buckwalter zipped to the win, with Swavely earning second place money. Another of the Miller Team's cars, Bret Habecker, finished third ahead of Donna Geib and Joel Tolley.
Heats for the 26 Sportsman were claimed by Swavely, Habecker, and Miller. The consolation race was won by Jeff Hughes.
Jared Esh, the son of 410 Sprint Car standout Doug Esh, recorded his first Micro-Sprint victory in Saturday's 250cc Four-Stroke feature. For most of this 25-lapper, however, it looked as though every leader was doomed to fall out of the race.
Jessica Mohler set the pace in the early going, only to break with four revolutions in the books. That handed the lead to Chip Geib, but the defending champion of the Four-Stroke class soon had youthful chauffeur Ryan Morris breathing down his neck at the head of the field.
Morris worked the high groove and Geib hugged the low line as Esh battled Justin Harrington for third in a crowd pleasing 25-lap event. Morris' determination eventually propelled him past Geib for the lead as they roared off turn four to complete lap 17.
Geib would not go away, however, and he darted under Morris to reclaim the top spot with five to go, just as Morris slowed with mechanical issues, bringing out the yellow with 21 complete.
On the restart, Geib's mount gave up as Esh flashed by him and into the lead. Geib tried to limp off the track but could not make it to the pit exit, so the caution lights flashed on once more with three tours left to run.
Esh survived the final three circuits to earn his first triumph, with Harrington notching a career best runner-up finish. Eddie Nocera, Kim Enck, and Earl Eveland rounded out the top five.
Jessica Mohler and Ryan Morris captured heats for the 15 car field of 250cc Four-Stroke Micros.
In spite of his sophomore status as a Micro-Sprint jockey, Jared Esh currently sits atop the Four-Stroke point standings, padding his lead with Saturday's victory.
600cc Micro-Sprint Feature, 25 laps: 1.Mike Rutherford, 2.Heath Hehnly, 3.Jered Hook, 4.Chris Gerhart, 5.Brent Ely, 6.Peter Michael, 7.Tim Buckwalter, 8.Jermain Godshall, 9.Ryan Hook, 10.Brittany Brown, 11.Danny Wykes, 12.C.J. Tracy, 13.Jared Esh, 14.Shane Braxton, 15.Mark Yoder, 16.Jeff Halligan, 17.Dave Beiler, 18.Monnie Wonder, 19.A.J. Michael, 20.Shaun Brandel, 21.Tyler Esh, 22.Bruce Buckwalter, 23.Shane Lewis.
DNQ: Ken Miller, Tyler Ross.
270cc Micro-Sprint Feature, 25 laps: 1.Josh Stoyer, 2.Tyler Reinhardt, 3.Billy Logeman, 4.Jesse Maurer, 5.Pete Skias, 6.Nick Skias, 7.Mike Uhrich, 8.Chip Geib, 9.Zack Fouse, 10.Christi Sweigart, 11.Darren Schott, 12.Dave Grube, 13.Rebecca Lamothe, 14.Dave Williams, 15.Bret Guzik, 16.Charles Hellinger, 17.Austin Clark, 18.Melvin Bainbridge, 19.Tom Schearer, 20.Jason Swavely, 21.Nathan Weidman, 22.Devin Harron.
125cc Micro-Sprint Feature, 25 laps: 1.Dave Grube, 2.Jesse Maurer, 3.Bradley Brown, 4.Shane Braxton, 5.Kory Merkey, 6.Ryan Wilson, 7.Kyle Hehnly, 8.Nick Sweigart, 9.Darren Miller, 10.Derek Ecenrode, 11.Sonny Sweitzer, 12.Brianna Gerhart, 13.Curtis R. Miller, 14.Derek Miller, 15.Daniel Braun, 16.Zack Hollinger, 17.Ashley Kase, 18.Jonathan Rutter, 19.Mark Yoder, 20.Samantha Garman.
Sportsman Micro-Sprint Feature, 25 laps: 1.Tim Buckwalter, 2.Jason Swavely, 3.Bret Habecker, 4.Donna Geib, 5.Joel Tolley, 6.Kelby Stauffer, 7.Dwayne Mathias, 8.Paul May, 9.Ken Miller, 10.Tim Ziegler, 11.Paul Moore, 12.Corey Schmuck Jr., 13.Wesley Fasnacht, 14.Jeff Hughes, 15.Rick Fisher, 16.Scott Garman, 17.Sheena Shaeffer, 18.Dean Spangler Jr., 19.Dave Kemp, 20.Matt Abers, 21.Brett Wanner, 22.Brad Kemp, 23.Sarah Shreiner, 24.Brian Becker.
250cc Four-Stroke Micro-Sprint Feature, 25 laps: 1.Jared Esh, 2.Justin Harrington, 3.Ed Nocera, 4.Kim Enck, 5.Earl Eveland, 6.Lewis Kepple Jr., 7.Travis Esh, 8.Ronald Wechter, 9.Chip Geib, 10.Ryan Morris, 11.Matthew Swift, 12.Jessica Mohler, 13.Craig DeSantis, 14.Sheila Fetter, 15.Greg Schmuck.