Newmanstown, PA - Rebounding from a rollover the week before, "Showtime" Jered Hook snared his first win of the season on Saturday night at Lanco's Clyde Martin Memorial Speedway in Newmanstown, Pa.
Hook narrowly defeated Manheim's Heath Hehnly in the 25-lap main event for the 600cc Micro-Sprints. He joined Billy Logeman (270cc), Kory Merkey (125cc), Chip Geib (250cc Four-Stroke), and Bret Habecker (Sportsman) in victory lane ceremonies on Saturday. In addition to their first-place payout envelope, all five feature winners received gift certificates as part of the K1 Race Gear Proven Performance Program presented by Nouse Signs & Graphics.
On Saturday night, the speedway raised $900 for Charlie Dean Leffler, son of the late Jason Leffler, who as killed in a 410 Sprint Car crash on Wednesday, June 12, at the Bridgeport Speedway in New Jersey. On Saturday, Lanco held a silent auction and sold raffle tickets for Jason Leffler t-shirts, with all of the proceeds going to Leffler's five-year-old son. The club, through its track photographer, Bonnie Goshert, also sold Jason Leffler decals, with all of the money from the sale of the decals going to Charlie.
In the Mark Millwright & Rigging 600cc feature, Hook vaulted from the pole position to lead every one of the 25 trips around the banked oval, but Heath Hehnly made life miserable for the Cochranville, Pa. resident.
Hehnly threw everything at Hook except for the kitchen sink, but the college student in the Churchman's Machine No. 21H thwarted each attempt by the two-time point champion of this division.
A timely caution at the halfway mark kept the leaders from having to deal with lapped traffic, and two additional yellow flags during the second half of the 25-lapper insured a clear race track in front of Hook - even though the pressure from behind was pretty intense.
"Oh, I knew he was there," said Hook afterward. "I kept waiting to see him pull even with me. I messed up and left the door open for him a few times; he probably should have passed me a couple of times. After the way our season has gone, though, I'll take it. We needed this."
"Maybe I was a little too nice," revealed Hehnly. "He was choppin' me, but he did what he had to do to win, so congratulations to him."
Hehnly, from Manheim, repeatedly tried to duck under Hook as they entered turns one and three, but Hook slammed the door on him each time. Hehnly then looked to the high side, but couldn't make anything happen on the top, so he went back to the bottom. Hook, however, repelled every assault from the driver of Sonny Cooke's No. 2.
Hook dashed under the checkered flag with an advantage of just 0.156-seconds over Hehnly. Brent Ely ran a strong race to finish third, with Shaun Brandel and Chris Gerhart rounding out the top five.
Qualifying heat victories went to A.J. Michael, Willie Urkuski, and Hook. The consolation victor was Shane Lewis. There were 26 of the 600cc Micros in action on Saturday.
It's been a rough start to the 2013 campaign for Reinholds' Billy Logeman, too, but he felt a lot better after Saturday's 270cc victory. He was also elated about winning on Father's Day weekend, dedicating the victory to his grandfather, Pete Ober, who's been battling some health issues but was on hand to watch his grandson capture the win. "This proves the apple doesn't fall far from the tree," smiled Pete in victory lane, a spot that he enjoyed many, many times during a long career with the Lanco club.
Early in the race, Logeman dueled with Richie Hartman for second as Nate Weidman set the pace. Logeman secured the runner-up spot, then set his sights on Weidman. Just as Logeman wrestled the top spot from Weidman, the yellow flag appeared, negating the pass.
Logeman went back to work on the restart, pushing the nose of his Phoenix Fire Equipment/ Jablonski Lawn Care/ Viper Chassis No. 3s in front of Weidman's No. 25W as they hit the stripe to complete lap 11. Logeman cleared Weidman's car on the backstretch, and Hartman zipped under Weidman on the same lap to grab second place.
Mike Rutherford, who started 18th, navigated his way up to the third position at the halfway point. Neither he or Hartman were able to offer a serious challenge to Logeman, though, who motored away from them on three restarts just after the crossed flags were displayed to the field.
Rutherford suddenly slowed and fell out of third with five laps remaining, then disaster struck second-place Hartman, as he dropped out with 21 circuits scored.
Fortunately for Logeman, his car did not suffer any mechanical ills, and he blasted to the victory over Heath Hehnly. Hehnly's No. 82 ran the entire distance with a busted up left-front corner after he clipped one of the infield tire markers, so the runner-up finish felt like a win to the driver from Manheim.
Delaware's Kyle Spence, who fell back as far as 12th during the race, came on late to record a third-place payday. Dan Lane Jr. crossed the line in fourth with Bradley Brown earning fifth-place money.
A terrific field of 31 cars signed in for Mark Millwright & Rigging 270cc competition on Saturday. Heat race winners included Dave Grube, Lane, and Devin Harron. The consolation winner was Mike Rutherford.
Post-race comments by three of Saturday's feature winners were very similar..."after the way our season has begun, we really needed a good run like this. We needed a win."
Echoing those sentiments was Mark Millwright & Rigging 125cc victor Kory Merkey. The Manheim driver inherited the pole when Brie Weiler, originally scheduled to start on the inside of row one, was involved in one of two incidents before a single lap could be completed.
Merkey made the most of his opportunity, racing away to a big lead as Brent Shearer and point leader Derek Ecenrode battled for second. A caution period with nine to go slowed the pace, and on the restart, Shearer surprised Merkey by timing the green perfectly and darting past the leader as they flew down the homestretch.
"I was probably a little lazy on that restart," grinned Merkey in the winner's circle. "And Brent did an awesome job; he made a great move to pass me. He's really coming along as a driver...he's gonna be really good."
Merkey, now back up on the wheel, stalked Shearer for a few laps before reclaiming the top spot as they launched off turn four with five laps left to run. Now back in front, Merkey roared away, beating Shearer to the finish line by almost 1.5-seconds.
Ecenrode continued his steady streak of top finishes with a third place effort, followed by last week's winner Kyle Hehnly and defending point king Richie Hartman.
With 19 cars entered for battle, the two heat race triumphs went to K. Hehnly and Merkey.
In the 250cc Four-Stroke main, Mohnton's Eddie Nocera passed Kim Minzer for the lead on lap six. Two revolutions later, Ryan Morris and Chip Geib, the eighth and ninth place starters, flashed into second and third, respectively, and began their chase of the race leader.
With Nocera pinned behind a slower car at the halfway mark and Morris in his tire tracks, Geib seized the opportunity to slice under Morris and snatch the runner-up position. One circuit later, Geib worked his way inside of Nocera's No. 62 in turns one and two, then charged into the lead as they hit the backstretch.
Geib, from Manheim, was never challenged from that point, going on to win the non-stop feature race in seven minutes, 35 seconds. It was his second consecutive triumph and fourth of the year in the Mark Millwright & Rigging Four-Stroke Class, tying him with Morris for most wins in the division in 2013.
Morris eventually grabbed second from Nocera and they finished in that order, with recently married Kim Minzer coming home fourth and Lewis Kepple Jr. racing to a fifth-place finish.
Two heats were run for the 12-car field of Four-Strokes. Chip Geib and Donna Geib (no relation) won the ten-lap preliminaries.
Ryan Morris earned the Weld Racing Fast Lap of the Feature Award for registering the single quickest trip around the clay during the 25-lap main event. The Honeybrook wheel-twister's fastest lap was 11.806-seconds.
The Weld Racing bonus is offered each week on a rotating basis among the five weekly divisions.
Leesport's Bret Habecker passed Kerry Lengle for the top spot as they accelerated down the frontstretch to complete lap eleven in the Sportsman feature. Habecker went on to notch his third victory of the 2013 season, tying him for most wins in the division with Mark Millwright & Rigging point leader Jason Swavely.
Lengle drove his Mongoose Chassis No. 81 to the runner-up finish, with seventh-starting Sheena Logeman getting third place cash. Charles Hellinger wound up fourth, his second straight top five effort, and Swavely completed the first five to cross the stripe when starter Tim Gehret waved the checkered flag.
Heat race victories for the 19 Sportsman went to Habecker and Swavely.
This Saturday, June 22nd, the Clyde will host the second annual Dick Greenawalt Memorial Race. The event pays tribute to the track's longtime photographer and dedicated supporter of the Lanco organization. Greenawalt's widow, Carol, and his son, Lee will be on hand for the special night that honors the Lancaster resident who passed away suddenly in July, 2011.
Gates open at 3:30 and warm-ups begin at 5 p.m. The first heat race goes green at 6:00, as the 600cc, 270cc, 125cc, Sportsman, and 250cc Four-Strokes compete in qualifying heats, consolations, and 25-lap feature races.
Adult general admission tickets are just $8.00, with discounts for Senior Citizens and Students. Youth between the ages of six and twelve are admitted for just $2.00, and children under the age of six are free. And parking is always free at the Clyde!
Coming up on June 29, the All Star Slingshots by Tobias will join the five weekly divisions of Micro-Sprints. The All Star Slingers will take part in a National Tour Race, the Slide at the Clyde, as the cameras of Blue Ridge Cable 11 record all six main events that evening.
Come on out and LIVE the excitement that is Lanco!
600cc Micro-Sprint Feature, 25 laps: 1.Jered Hook, 2.Heath Hehnly, 3.Brent Ely, 4.Shaun Brandel, 5.Chris Gerhart, 6.James Morris, 7.Tyler Esh, 8.Travis Esh, 9.Shane Lewis, 10.Tim Iulg, 11.Ryan Morris, 12.Ernie Miles, 13.Mark Yoder, 14.Mike Freed, 15.Jared Esh, 16.Christopher Tracy, 17.Kameron Morral, 18.Chris Panczner, 19.Steve Kemery, 20.Mike Coen, 21.A.J. Michael, 22.Will Urkuski, 23.Brittany Brown, 24.Mike Dicely.
DNQ: Mike Rutherford, Rebecca LaMothe.
270cc Micro-Sprint Feature, 25 laps: 1.Billy Logeman, 2.Heath Hehnly, 3.Kyle Spence, 4.Dan Lane Jr., 5.Bradley Brown, 6.Danny Stratton, 7.Shaun Brandel, 8.Brian Sholley, 9.Devin Harron, 10.Barry Shearer, 11.Charles Hellinger, 12.Cody Drace, 13.Christi Sweigart, 14.Zack Fouse, 15.Nate Weidman, 16.Daniel Braun Jr., 17.Damon Bomgardner, 18.Toby Blumenshine, 19.Richie Hartman, 20.Mike Rutherford, 21.Eric Falini, 22.Dave Grube, 23.Steve Drevicki, 24.Michael Binkley.
DNQ: Jason Swavely, Kory Shissler, Mike Miller, Brandon Morrison, Kevin Kopp, Misti Kopp, Hunter James.
125cc Micro-Sprint Feature, 25 laps: 1.Kory Merkey, 2.Brent Shearer, 3.Derek Ecenrode, 4.Kyle Hehnly, 5.Richie Hartman, 6.Chase Gutshall, 7.Nick Sweigart, 8.Kenny Murray, 9.Dave Grube, 10.Matthew Donley, 11.Dylan Binkley, 12.Alexis Sheely, 13.Zack Hollinger, 14.Brie Weiler, 15.Walt Wampole, 16.Chip Geib, 17.Adam Minzer, 18.James Wampole, 19.Dylan Adams.
250cc Four-Stroke Micro-Sprint Feature, 25 laps: 1.Chip Geib, 2.Ryan Morris, 3.Eddie Nocera, 4.Kim Minzer, 5.Lewis Kepple Jr., 6.Donna Geib, 7.Devin Adams, 8.Scott Renninger, 9.Steve Smith Sr., 10.Earl Eveland, 11.Sheila Fetter, 12.Ronald Good.
Sportsman Micro-Sprint Feature, 25 laps: 1.Bret Habecker, 2.Kerry Lengle, 3.Sheena Logeman, 4.Charles Hellinger, 5.Jason Swavely, 6.Bobby Shanaman, 7.Tim Ziegler, 8.Wesley Fasnacht, 9.Jas Hehnly, 10.Dave Kemp, 11.Matt Peachey, 12.Matt Abers, 13.Mark Yoder, 14.Anthony Yerger, 15.Jenna Heagy, 16.Curtis R. Miller, 17.Caleb Keller, 18.Brian Becker, 19.Taylor Shissler.