Brickerville, PA - If your first name is Ryan, then Sunday was a really good day for you...if your last name happens to be Greth or Smith, that is.
Ryan "The Outlaw" Greth gunned down the 600cc competition to win the Labor Day Shootout at Lanco's Clyde Martin Memorial Speedway. Just before Greth's dominating victory, the Kid from Kunkletown, Ryan Smith, put on an incredible show to win the 270cc Micro-Sprint A-Main.
In the 600cc A-Main, Shaun Brandel, who set fast time on Saturday, set the pace for the initial four trips around the high banked oval. Jim Radney hounded Brandel for two circuits before slight contact sent the New York chauffeur spinning on the homestretch.
That incident put Greth in the runner-up position, and the New Bloomfield, Pa. resident immediately went to work on the leader. As the lead duo blasted off turn four to complete the fifth revolution, Greth muscled his way past Brandel to assume command.
Driving Wayne Lesher's No. 1J Hyper, Greth quickly built up a big lead. Heath Hehnly began his assault on Brandel for second spot, while tenth-starting Mike Dicely was charging into the fourth slot during the first half of the event.
Hehnly finally wrangled second from Brandel, but Greth had checked out by that time. Without the benefit of a late race caution, Hehnly could not get close enough to the race leader to mount a challenge.
Greth blazed under the checkered flag to win by more than 2.5 seconds over Hehnly, with Brandel finishing a solid third. Dicely was fourth, and Rick Stief earned fifth-place money.
"This is my first win here at Lanco, so it's really cool to get it in a big race like this one," stated Greth in victory lane. "I found the top in warm-ups, and it was still the way to go during the race. I knew, as fast as I was up on top, that the bottom couldn't be any faster."
Starting dead last (26th), Tyler Ross gained 12 positions during the race to claim the Hard Charger Award. Radney's misfortune led to the Hard Luck Award for the New York wheel-twister.
The 270cc A-Main was arguably one of the best ever presented by that class at Clyde Martin, even though it began with a 13-car melee on the initial start.
Ryan Smith, who rolled off the starting grid in 16th position, was one of the few drivers near the back of the pack able to navigate around the pile-up. As a result, Smith took the ensuing green flag on the outside of row four.
Polesitter Billy Logeman fought off repeated attacks from Bill Sorey during the early laps, before he zipped away to lead by a comfortable margin as Sorey wrestled with Kevin Ward Jr., Richie Hartman, and Smith.
Those four throttle-jockeys waged a ferocious battle throughout the middle stages of the 30-lapper, using every inch of the eighth-mile of clay and trading slide jobs at both ends of the speedway. Ward took the runner-up spot from Sorey, bringing Smith and Hartman with him in the process.
A caution period with four to go brought Logeman, who was cruising out front, back to his competitors. On the restart, Ward hung with the Harrington's Bar & Grille No. 75 of Logeman, as Smith and Hartman followed in the front runner's tire tracks.
Disaster struck for Logeman with two laps remaining, as his mount ran out of fuel exiting turn two. Ward was on the leader's rear bumper when Logeman suddenly slowed, forcing Ward to mash the brake pedal. Smith shot low and darted past both cars to grab the lead. He crossed the stripe, taking the white flag as the race leader, before Logeman's car came to a stop at the pit gate entering turn three, forcing a final yellow to be displayed with one lap remaining.
Smith negotiated the final tour without incident, winning his first race at Lanco's Clyde Martin Memorial Speedway. The triumph was also his 21st overall in the 2009 racing season. Hartman settled for second, with Sorey turning in a great effort to place third. Two drivers - Brian Marriott and Pete Skias - who qualified through the B-Main finished fourth and fifth.
Because he gained a total of 15 positions from where he originally started the race, Smith received the RTS Chassis Hard Charger Award.
A terrific 125cc A-Main produced the second Shootout victory of Jesse Maurer's career.
As polesitter Barry Pollard, a two-time champion of the 125's at Airport Speedway, bolted into the lead from the pole, Maurer shot into the runner-up position. The two-time defending point king at Lanco in this division, Maurer attempted numerous bonzai dives but Pollard maintained the top spot through the early stages of the 30-lap affair.
Sixth-starting Phil Durham, with two victories under his belt at Lanco this season, maneuvered by Heath Hehnly to snatch third. Durham then watched as Maurer took the lead from Pollard, executing a near perfect slide job to take command on lap ten.
Durham and Hehnly eventually motored past Pollard as well, but Maurer had checked out by that time. Jesse flew under Tim Gehret's checkered cloth to win by several car lengths over Durham, with Hehnly soldiering home in third. Pollard and Shane Braxton completed the top five.
For the second consecutive year, Ken Miller was victorious in the Labor Day Shootout for the Sportsman class. Miller took the green from the inside of row two, then passed Sheena Schaefer to move into second during the first few laps.
Dwayne Mathias, who won Saturday's Dash to earn the pole for the A-Main, paced the first 16 circuits with Miller looking for a way to get by the chauffeur from Oley, Pa. All eyes were on Jason Swavely during the first half of the 30-lapper, however, as Swavely rode the high line to move from 18th to sixth in just seven trips around the lightning quick oval. Swavely's Shootout ended on a sour note, though, when something snapped in the left-rear of his No. 7c on lap nine, sending him to the pit area.
The focus then turned to Mike Rutherford, as the Master of the Micros, in Mark Ludwig's No. 19L, also traveled in the high groove to rocket from 26th on the grid to move into the top five just past the halfway point.
With 16 complete, Mathias suddenly slowed on the backchute, falling out of the lead and the race. Ken Miller's reflexes were tested as the leader broke directly in front of him, but Miller passed the exam with flying colors, cutting right to avoid the No. 1M of Mathias. Miller inherited the lead and would go on to win, with Rutherford wrapping up his amazing drive by finishing second. In gaining 24 positions during the race, Rutherford notched the event's Hard Charger Award.
Steve Drevicki finished third after an entertaining duel with Donna Geib, who placed fourth. Sheena Schaefer ran a steady race to finish fifth.
The Sportsman event's Hard Luck Award was shared by Mathias and Swavely.
Craig DeSantis, Lititz, Pa., worked his way under race leader Richie Hartman on lap four, then went on to record his first victory of the '09 season in the 250cc Four-Stroke feature.
A water leak, along with heavy lapped traffic, permitted the second and third-place cars to close the gap on DeSantis as the race entered its final stages. The savvy veteran held his line and the powerplant in his Micro held up in spite of the water leak, enabling DeSantis to maintain control and cross the line as the race winner.
Chad Rhoads, DeSantis' stepson, finished as the runner-up with Hartman fading back to third during the second half of the race. Peter Michael and George Potts III rounded out the top five.
Airport Speedway's 250cc Stock class was also in action at the Labor Day Shootout, with Phil Durham cruising to the victory.
Jim Garrison tried to sneak under Durham on a couple of restarts, but Durham's No. 32 was simply too strong, pulling away to win by almost 2.5 seconds over Garrison. Stephanie Palmai traded third spot with Alex Swift on a few occasions, with Palmai eventually winning the battle to finish in the number three position. Swift and Ava Mercado completed the top five when the checkered flag waved.
Shootout Notes: Mike Rutherford suffered an injury to his right arm during warm-ups that preceeded the 600cc A-Main. His arm restraint apparently slid up his right arm and the slack got caught in the brake rotor, jerking his arm violently and causing the injury. Rutherford attempted to run the ensuing 270cc and 600cc features, but mechanical issues forced him to park the Kaylor Petro No. 5k in the 270 headliner before he completed a lap. Rutherford, driving Gary Hunter's CarStars No. 7h for the weekend, also dropped out of the 600cc feature after 14 laps.
Great showing by the Airport Speedway's 125cc contingent, with three of the top five finishers having their roots at the track in New Castle, DE. Phil Durham's runner-up finish had him sandwiched between Lanco regulars and Gorski Racing teammates Jesse Maurer and Heath Hehnly. Barry Pollard and Shane Braxton wound up fourth and fifth, rounding out an excellent showing by the Airport wheel-twisters. Evan Krautwald, another Airport campaigner, finished tenth.
600cc Micro-Sprints: 1.Ryan Greth 2.Heath Hehnly 3.Shaun Brandel 4.Mike Dicely 5.Rick Stief 6.Luke Thomas 7.Jason Cunningham 8.Mike Caropolo 9.Jake Winters 10.Ryan Wilson 11.Bruce Ginther Jr. 12.Jamie Kostic 13.Jared Davis 14.Tyler Ross 15.Jimmy Glenn 16.Nick Sapp 17.Shane Lewis 18.Ryan Smith 19.Shane Braxton 20.Jim Radney 21.Mark Yoder 22.Alex Buben 23.Dave Brown 24.Patrick Kelly 25.Chris Gerhart 26.Mike Rutherford.
Hard Charger Award: Tyler Ross.
Hard Luck Award: Jim Radney.
270cc Micro-Sprints: 1.Ryan Smith 2.Richie Hartman 3.Bill Sorey 4.Brian Marriott 5.Pete Skias 6.Tyler Pannebecker 7.Kevin Ward Jr. 8.Greg Miller 9.Mark Ewer 10.Christi Sweigart 11.Jason Swavely 12.Shannon Doran 13.Dana Lamothe 14.Billy Logeman 15.Nick Skias 16.Nick Walton 17.Todd Steffy 18.Scott Gingrich 19.Mike Uhrich 20.Heath Hehnly 21.Steve Drevicki 22.Steve Whary 23.Jesse Maurer 24.Josh Stoyer 25.Matt Budd 26.Mike Rutherford.
125cc Micro-Sprints: 1.Jesse Maurer 2.Phil Durham 3.Heath Hehnly 4.Barry Pollard 5.Shane Braxton 6.Sonny Sweitzer 7.Greg Miller 8.Cody Drace 9.Nathan Weidman 10.Evan Krautwald 11.Scott Gantert 12.Jim Garrison 13.Ernie Miles 14.Kyle Henninger 15.Brianna Gerhart 16.Dana Watkins 17.Lee Reinhardt 18.Dan Cogdill 19.Steve Wright 20.Mark Yoder 21.Bradley Brown 22.Ken Miller 23.Dave Grube 24.Corey Schmuck Jr.
Sportsman Micro-Sprints: 1.Ken Miller 2.Mike Rutherford 3.Steve Drevicki 4.Donna Geib 5.Sheena Schaefer 6.Brett Wanner 7.Mike Skias 8.Tyler Pannebecker 9.Jeff Hughes 10.Robert Shanaman 11.Dennis Ziegler 12.Dean Spangler Jr. 13.Robert Schaffner 14.Dennis Fenstermacher 15.Dave Graybill 16.Jenna Keppley 17.Dean Spangler Sr. 18.Dwayne Mathias 19.Billy Logeman 20.Jason Hehnly 21.Kelby Stauffer 22.Jason Swavely 23.Paul May III 24.Jamie Fetterolf 25.Dennis McKeon 26.Wesley Fasnacht 27.Dave Schroeder.
Hard Charger Award: Mike Rutherford.
Hard Luck Award: Dwayne Mathias & Jason Swavely.
250cc Four-Stroke Micro-Sprints: 1.Craig DeSantis 2.Chad Rhoads 3.Richie Hartman 4.Peter Michael 5.George Potts III 6.Jessica Enck 7.Jared Gabers 8.Jim Harrington Jr. 9.Lewis Kepple Jr. 10.Dusty Heistand 11.Kimberly Enck 12.Tom Peacock 13.Ryan Gabers 14.Bryan Wilbert 15.Bobby Alleman Jr. 16.George Shupp.
250cc Stock Micro-Sprints: 1.Phil Durham 2.Jim Garrison 3.Stephanie Palmai 4.Alex Swift 5.Ava Mercado 6.Brian Estep 7.Justin Layton 8.Steve Wright.