Newmanstown, Pa. - With a pair of qualifying heats remaining to be run on Saturday night, a heavy thunderstorm swept over Lanco's Clyde Martin Memorial Speedway. A few miles from the track, a falling tree took out some power lines, cutting the electricity that serves the Lanco facility.
As the precipitation lessened and finally stopped, Joe Kepple and his track prep crew went to work on the high banked clay oval, feeling they could bring it back to racing condition by the time power was restored.
As it turned out, Kepple and crew did much better than the team from the local utility provider; the track was ready for racing approximately 90 minutes after the storm began - but there was still no electricity at the Clyde.
An update from the utility, PP&L, indicated that it would be at least 10:30 before power would be restored. That news forced the hand of Lanco officials, and the Clyde Martin Memorial Race, featuring a $12,000 purse, double points, and 35-lap main events, to be postponed until Saturday, August 11.
No racing is scheduled for Saturday, August 4.
The heat races that were completed prior to the storm on July 28 do not count; the Clyde Martin Memorial Race, presented by Gold Rush Trailer Sales, will start from scratch on August 11.
Spectator's rain checks, along with the pit pass wristbands, from July 28 will be honored at one of the next two events on the Clyde's schedule (August 11 or August 18).
NOTE: the update from the utility company, stating that power would not be restored until at least 10:30, was received at about 8:50 p.m. on Saturday. Based on that information, the decision to postpone the Clyde Martin Memorial was made quickly so that race teams and fans could exit the facility using the little bit of daylight that remained. At 9:09, the power came back on as officials and the concession stand employees were cleaning up and preparing to leave. By then, though, it was too late to reconsider the decision to postpone.
And so the 2012 running of the Clyde Martin Memorial Race will have to wait two weeks, until August 11, when it will once again be time to "LIVE the excitement that is Lanco!"