Newmanstown, PA - It may have taken a few tries to get the race going, but the intermittent pace did not hamper the effort of Tyler Esh.
Esh, from New Providence, Pa., scored his second consecutive 600cc Micro-Sprint victory on Saturday night at Lanco's Clyde Martin Memorial Speedway. He held off a furious late race charge by Delaware's Luke Thomas to notch the win in his family owned Weaver's Garage, Mark Millwright & Rigging, Bud's Spring & Suspension, Hyper Chassis No. 35.
The second event of the Lanco club's 56th season was run in unseasonably cold temperatures, but the action on the high banked oval was hot and heavy. Joining Esh in the winner's circle were Dave Grube (270cc); Heath Hehnly (125cc); Chip Geib (250cc Four-Stroke); and Bret Habecker (Sportsman).
Tyler Esh rolled off ninth as the field of winged 600's took the green in their 25-lap feature race. Three quick yellows, before one lap could be completed, permitted Esh to gain a few positions due to early attrition. When the race finally got going under green, so did the 21-year-old known as "Mr. Twister."
As Peter Michael and Ryan Morris dueled for the top spot, with Morris eventually securing that position, Esh was blasting around cars on the top side. He charged into third by the time lap five was scored, then ducked under Michael to claim the runner-up slot on the seventh tour.
For the next ten circuits, Esh - a nephew to 410 Sprint Car driver Doug Esh - stalked the race leader, finally beginning his assault on Morris' Animal Resorts No. 96. His effort paid off pretty quickly; Esh steered to the inside of Morris as they entered turn one on lap 17, then he squeezed up in front of the No. 96 as they exited turn two.
Luke Thomas made things interesting during the second half of the event. Executing some beautifully engineered slide jobs, Thomas screamed into third place as the crossed flags were displayed to the field. The Thomas Family Farms/ Devo Race Engines No. 2T used a top side pass of Morris to snatch second, then closed in on race leader Tyler Esh.
Thomas actually pulled alongside Esh on the homestretch as the duo negotiated lapped traffic with the white flag waving. The lapped cars in front of them forced Thomas to back off and fall in line behind Esh, however, on the final revolution. He gave it one last shot in turns three and four, diving to the bottom while Esh rolled the middle groove. Esh used his momentum to launch off the corner and take the win by a half-second over Thomas.
Ryan Hook made a late pass on Ryan Morris to finish third. Morris, in just his second 600cc start, wound up fourth. Shane Lewis earned fifth place money.
With 34 cars signed in for competition on Saturday, heat race victories went to Thomas, Morris, Peter Michael, and Jack Conover. The two consolation races were won by Brent Ely and A.J. Michael.
Dave Grube's triumph in the 270cc main event was the first-ever feature win in that division for a Mongoose Chassis.
Grube ran in the top three and stayed in contention throughout the 25-lap affair, and he benefitted greatly when race-long leader Christi Sweigart and Ken Miller tangled while battling for the top spot with six laps remaining.
Grube inherited the lead at that point, and the resident of Denver, Pa. opened a little bit of a gap over runner-up Billy Logeman during the last few trips around the clay to record the victory for Jim Skias and his Mongoose Chassis.
Richie Hartman started 18th and finished third, while Zack Fouse ran a steady, solid race to end up fourth. Heath Hehnly completed the top five after starting from the rear of the field due to mechanical issues on the initial pace lap. Twentieth-starting Jason Swavely soldiered to a sixth-place effort.
Heat winners for the 29-car field of 270's included Bradley Brown, Fouse, and Chip Geib. The consolation race was won by Hartman.
The same car has captured two straight feature wins in the Clyde's 125cc Class, but the victories have come with two different drivers at the controls.
Gary Gorski's Cocalico Plumbing & Heating No. 21 carried Jesse Maurer to victory lane in the season opener on April 13. Due to other commitments, Maurer could not attend last Saturday's program, so Heath Hehnly strapped into the seat of the No. 21.
Different driver; same result as Hehnly, from Manheim, wrestled the second position away from Dave Grube with four to go after an entertaining joust for the spot that lasted several laps.
With two to go, Hehnly made the winning pass on Dylan Adams, accelerating by the No. 29x as the pair exited turn two.
Adams, the young wheel-twister who led 23 circuits after starting on the pole, finished as the disappointed runner-up over Grube, Derek Ecenrode, and Kory Merkey.
Hehnly was also the recipient of the Weld Racing Fast Lap of the Feature Award, earning a $75 gift certificate for turning the single quickest lap during the 25-lap main event. Hehnly's quick lap was timed in 11.507 seconds.
Brent Shearer and Grube won heat races for the 18-car field of 125cc Micro-Sprints.
Polesitter Ronnie Good jumped to the early lead in the 250cc Four-Stroke main event.
Third-starting Chip Geib, the defending point champ in the Four-Stroke Class, immediately moved into second and began his pursuit of the race leader. Navigating through turns three and four on the third tour of the oval, Geib overtook Good to take command of the 25-lapper. The remainder of the race would not exactly be a walk in the park for the Manheim driver, though.
Opening night winner Ryan Morris was involved in an incident on the original start, then roared from the back of the pack to snare the runner-up spot from Eddie Nocera on a restart with ten to go. Morris closed in on leader Chip Geib, and it was apparent that Geib was beginning to slow a bit as some tell-tale smoke appeared from the engine on his No. 15, the result of a coolant leak.
Geib kept his foot in it, repelling attempts from Morris to steal the lead from him, and his powerplant held up just long enough to give Geib his first win of the season. With its coolant completely gone, the engine went up in smoke on Geib's victory lap.
Morris finished second, and Kenny Miller III notched his second consecutive third-place finish. Nocera and David Ravel made up the top five at the conclusion of the race.
With 13 of the Four-Strokes on hand, Donna Geib and Chip Geib registered heat race victories.
The Sportsman (250cc Air-cooled engines) headliner also featured a late race pass for the win.
Bret Habecker worked to the inside of Sheena Logeman, then edged in front of Logeman's No. 3s to grab the lead as they raced off turn four on lap 22.
Logeman, who started on the pole and led the first 21 revolutions, was battling a loose pipe that caused her mount to lose power, but she held off Habecker, Jason Swavely, and Ken Miller for most of the race. Swavely appeared to have the fastest car and had the leader in his sights, but a tangle with some lapped cars with eight laps remaining left Swavely's No. 7c broken on the backstretch and out of the race.
Habecker paced the final three circuits to record the triumph, with Logeman hanging on for a well deserved runner-up finish. Ken Miller, Matt Abers, and rookie Anthony Yerger took the checkered in positions three through five.
Swavely and Habecker won heat races for the 15 Sportsman cars that entered the second event of Clyde Martin's 2013 campaign.
The five feature winners received gift certificates as part of the K1 Race Gear Proven Performance Program, presented by Nouse Signs & Graphics. The gift certificates can be used in the purchase of a new two or three-layer custom driving suit manufactured by K1 Race Gear and sold at Nouse Signs & Graphics.
This Saturday, April 27, is the first special event of the season at Lanco's Clyde Martin Memorial Speedway. It's Fan Appreciation Night, when all spectators will be admitted absolutely FREE. The refreshment stand will also participate; it'll be Dollar Dog Night and mini ice cream sandwiches will be sold for just 25 cents. Samples of Snyder's Crackers will also be distributed.
The entire evening is being sponsored by Animal Resorts, and fans are encouraged to bring a non-perishable food item that will be donated to Christ Home of Paradise, Pa.
Christ Home is a safe haven for disadvantaged youth, and many of its residents will be attending the races this week as part of Fan Appreciation Night.
In addition to the always exciting action on the race track, Fan Appreciation Night will be highlighted by giveaways and other activities as the Lanco club displays its gratitude to its loyal and dedicated fan base. Hopefully, some new spectators will also become motivated to return to the Clyde again and again, as they realize, like so many others have over the years, that you've just gotta 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 will go green at 6:00. And again, there will be no tickets to purchase (for spectators) this Saturday, April 27, as part of Animal Resorts Fan Appreciation Night.
600cc Micro-Sprint Feature, 25 laps: 1.Tyler Esh, 2.Luke Thomas, 3.Ryan Hook, 4.Ryan Morris, 5.Shane Lewis, 6.Tyler DeVault, 7.Peter Michael, 8.Heath Hehnly, 9.Brent Ely, 10.Sam LaMothe, 11.Chris Gerhart, 12.Jared Esh, 13.James Morris, 14.Travis Esh, 15.Dan Souder, 16.Mark Yoder, 17.AJ Michael, 18.Jack Conover, 19.Cody Kreger, 20.Mike Coen, 21.Brittany Brown, 22.Mike Rutherford, 23.Chris Panczner, 24.Jered Hook.
DNQ: Taylor Troxel; EJ Holz; Kelby Stauffer; CJ Tracy; Mike Freed; Jon Stewart; William Urkuski; Jerry Schott Jr.; Rebecca LaMothe; Kory Merkey.
270cc Micro-Sprint Feature, 25 laps: 1.Dave Grube; 2.Billy Logeman; 3.Richie Hartman; 4.Zack Fouse; 5.Heath Hehnly; 6.Jason Swavely; 7.Nick Sweigart; 8.Toby Blumenshine; 9.Ken Miller; 10.Nate Weidman; 11.Ron Helmick; 12.Brandon Heist; 13.Christi Sweigart; 14.Dan Lane Jr.; 15.Michael Binkley; 16.Brian Heist; 17.Kory Shissler; 18.Mike Rutherford; 19.Chip Geib; 20.Corey Schmuck Jr.; 21.Bradley Brown; 22.Brian Sholley; 23.Tony Echternacht; 24.Kevin Kopp.
DNQ: Mike Uhrich; Eric Falini; David Woolf; Ricky Sechrist Jr.; Dan Braun Jr.
125cc Micro-Sprint Feature, 25 laps: 1.Heath Hehnly, 2.Dylan Adams, 3.Dave Grube, 4.Derek Ecenrode, 5.Kory Merkey, 6.Chase Gutshall, 7.Nick Sweigart, 8.Adam Minzer, 9.Zack Hollinger, 10.Brie Weiler, 11.Dylan Binkley, 12.Kyle Hehnly, 13.James Wampole, 14.Brent Shearer, 15.Richie Hartman, 16.Chip Geib, 17.Walt Wampole. DQ: Matthew Donley.
250cc Four-Stroke Micro-Sprint Feature, 25 laps: 1.Chip Geib, 2.Ryan Morris, 3.Kenny Miller III, 4.Eddie Nocera, 5.David Ravel, 6.Donna Geib, 7.Ronald Good, 8.Steve Smith Sr., 9.Lewis Kepple Jr., 10.Sheila Fetter, 11.Scott Renninger, 12.Kim Enck, 13.Devin Adams.
Sportsman Micro-Sprint Feature, 25 laps: 1.Bret Habecker, 2.Sheena Logeman, 3.Ken Miller, 4.Matt Abers, 5.Anthony Yerger, 6.Tim Ziegler, 7.Jas Hehnly, 8.Jenna Heagy, 9.Jason Swavely, 10.Brian Becker, 11.Matt Peachey, 12.Robert Shanaman, 13.Charles Hellinger, 14.Wesley Fasnacht, 15.Kerry Lengle.