Newmanstown, PA - Jared Esh rocked the house on Saturday, winning his first 600cc Micro-Sprint feature of the season at Lanco's Clyde Martin Memorial Speedway.
Esh, the son of 410 Sprint Car racer Doug Esh, captured the Microracing.com 25-lap main event in the final tune up for the July 6 opener of Kioti Tractors PA 600 Speedweek.
Joining the Lancaster, Pa. wheel-twister in Saturday's winner's circle were Mike Rutherford (270cc), Jesse Maurer (125cc), and Jason Swavely (Sportsman). The 250cc Four-Stroke feature was rained out and will be made up on a date to be announced.
Kunkletown's Randy Smith, a staunch supporter of the Slingshots by Tobias since its creation in 1999, won the Slide at the Clyde, a 35-lap contest for the Slingshots that offered a large payout and awarded National Tour points. It was the first National Tour event ever held for the Slingshots at Clyde Martin, and only the second Lanco appearance in the division's history.
The path to 600cc victory lane was filled with all sorts of potholes for Jared Esh; he had to avoid a slowing Mike Dicely with four laps complete, as Dicely's No. 44 suddenly dropped off the pace while leading. While rolling around the track under yellow for Dicely's stop, the entire facility suddenly went dark. Luckily, there were no incidents due to the power interruption and all of the cars, guided by headlights from the four-wheeled quads that serve as push and tow vehicles, were able to navigate their way off the track.
After a delay of approximately 30 minutes, the lights were back on and racing resumed. Jered Hook was now the leader, with fourth-starter Jared Esh on his tail.
Esh rolled the top in turns one and two, blasting around Hook to snatch the top spot as they accelerated onto the backstretch on lap five.
Jared survived a number of additional caution periods to score the timely victory, as a contingent of family members, including his dad, were on hand to help celebrate the win.
Esh also earned the Weld Racing Fast Lap of the Feature Award, as he recorded the quickest trip around the oval during the main event. His quick lap was timed in 10.757-seconds.
Jered Hook, bidding for his second triumph of the year, was forced to settle for runner-up honors with Chris Gerhart, C.J. Tracy, and Heath Hehnly completing the top five.
Hehnly's effort, along with a sixth-place finish for Tyler Esh, kept the standings tight at the top of the point chart in the battle for the Mark Millwright & Rigging 600cc Championship.
Tyler Esh, Dicely, and Hehnly were victorious in heat race action for the 23-car field of 600cc Micros.
With the calendar about to flip to the month of July, it's hard to believe that Mike Rutherford had been shut out of Clyde Martin's victory lane in 270cc competition this season. On Saturday night, Rutherford took care of that little blip on the radar, roaring from 15th on the starting grid to grab third from Jesse Maurer on the eleventh revolution around the clay.
With Dave Grube setting the pace, second-place Brian Sholley attempted to dive under the leader entering turn one. Sholley's right-front wheel made ever-so-slight contact with Grube's left-rear, but it was enough to send Sholley spinning. The cars behind the lead duo had to scramble to avoid contact, and were successful in doing so.
That put Rutherford, the Lititz resident, on Grube's back bumper for the restart. With seven to go, Rutherford slipped past Grube in one and two, assuming command of the race and going on to take his first Clyde Martin checkered of the season in the 270cc Class.
Grube got hung up behind a lapped car in the final laps of the Microracing.com 25-lapper for the 270cc Micros, allowing Jesse Maurer to sneak past him and finish second to Rutherford.
Grube ended up third, with last week's winner, Bradley Brown, crossing the stripe in fourth and Heath Hehnly earning fifth-place money.
Rutherford's triumph, combined with Hehnly's fifth-place finish, tightened the 270cc Mark Millwright & Rigging point standings even more as the two veteran drivers remain in the top two positions in the chase for the 2013 championship.
With 31 of the 270cc racers on hand, heat race victories went to Barry Shearer, Brown, and Eric Falini. The consolation winner was Danny Lane Jr.
The winter months of 2012-2013 saw a successful campaign waged by young Slingshot driver Danny Buccafusca. His cause was simple...he and his fellow Slingers desperately wanted to present a high-paying Tour Race on Clyde Martin's wide, banked oval.
Buccafusca convinced Lanco officials that it could work, and the date was set. The inaugural Slide at the Clyde was slated for June 29, 2013 and Buccafusca made certain that it would be a lucrative event for the Slingshot competitors as he solicited sponsorship from numerous businesses and individuals.
On Saturday, he was rewarded for his efforts as 35 Slingshot teams, including Buccafusca himself, signed in for competition.
Buccafusca, by the way, just completed eighth-grade in his hometown of Rockaway, NJ. He may be young, but, with four wins already this season and now a hugely successful promotional venture under his belt, he is proving to be very savvy behind the wheel and on the business end of the sport.
The race's promoter may have youth on his side, but it was a grizzled veteran of dirt track activity who showed the field how to get the job done in the 35-lap Slide at the Clyde on Saturday.
Randy Smith, former dirt Modified driver who's been a Slingshot dealer since the division came into existence, led all the way after his victory in the Cash Dash enabled him to start on the pole of the main event.
Two-time and defending National Slingshot Champion Brett Bieber chased Smith for most of the race, but the Oley, Pa. driver had to be content with second place cash when it was over.
Bieber did shove the nose of his No. 32 under Smith on a restart with 13 laps remaining, pulling even as they charged down the backstretch and into turns three and four. Smith, running just a bit higher through the corner, pulled ahead of Bieber as the duo exited turn four and gassed their mounts down the home chute.
Cody Kline, the 2009 National Slingshot Champion, motored into third just before the halfway point and began to pressure Bieber for the runner-up slot. Unfortunately for Kline, a broken front end forced him to the sidelines with 22 circuits complete.
Buccafusca made things exciting by running a higher line than anyone else, and his battle for fifth place with Simon Egan was a crowd-pleaser until mechanical ills popped up on Buccafusca's No. 43 with four to go. He was a DNF in the race, but still managed a big smile afterward when talking about the successful first-time event that he coordinated.
Smith flew to the $700 victory over Bieber, with John Bockhorn steadily maneuvering his way to a third-place finish. Egan wound up fourth and Lanco regular Kory Merkey finished fifth.
"I'm glad it wasn't 40 laps," laughed Smith in victory lane who admitted, as did many of the other competitors, that he was worn out after the fast paced and hard fought 35-lapper. "I want to thank the little girl who pulled the number one pill for me for the Dash; that was the key tonight. And thanks to everyone here at Lanco; it's my first time here - ever - and this is a first class and well run facility," stated the winner, who also promotes the Hamlin Speedway with his wife, Denise.
The Slingshots competed in a dual heat race format on Saturday. Heat winners included Larry Raifsnider, Louden Reimert, Kline, Merkey, Bockhorn, Dylan Hoch, B. Bieber, and Chris Kurtz. The Dash went to Smith and Hoch captured the B-Main.
After taking a week off on June 22nd, Jason Swavely came back hungry on Saturday. The Douglassville, Pa. resident satisfied his competitive appetite by claiming his fourth win of the year in the Sportsman Class.
Swavely, the two-time and defending Sportsman point champ, took the initial green from the outside of row five. He charged into third by the time four laps were scored, then wrestled second away from rookie Anthony Yerger on the sixth trip around the clay.
Leader Curtis R. Miller fell victim to Swavely's attack on the ninth tour, as Swavely ducked under Miller's No. 7R on the backchute, then edged ahead on the homestretch after a side-by-side journey through three and four.
Swavely won by a comfortable margin over a returning Ken Miller. Matt Abers ran a strong third, and first year driver Jas Hehnly notched his best finish with a fourth-place effort. Charles Hellinger crossed the line in fifth when the checkered flag waved over the field.
Swavely and Ken Miller won the two heat races contested by the 18 Sportsman Micro-Sprints.
The 125cc Micros managed to complete 17 of the scheduled 25 laps in their main event before a slight drizzle intensified into steady rain, forcing officials to stop the race and declare it official.
Jesse Maurer started sixth, but knew he needed to get to the front quickly in case the weather became a factor. Driving Gary Gorski's Cocalico Plumbing & Heating No. 21, the Mount Joy Outlaw sliced his way to second in the first couple of trips around the speedway.
Maurer raced to the inside of leader Dylan Adams in turn two, then launched onto the backstretch ahead of Adams to take command on lap ten.
Dave Grube, the tenth-place starter, climbed through traffic and stole the runner-up spot from Adams with ten to go. Grube began his pursuit of Maurer, but Mother Nature had other ideas, as the rainfall increased and the yellow was thrown with 17 tours in the books. After some revolutions under caution to see if the precipitation would cease, officials ordered the cars off the track. It wasn't long before the decision was made to declare the race complete.
Maurer picked up his fourth triumph of the season in the 125cc Class, and Grube finished as the runner-up for the second week in a row. Adams and rookie Chase Gutshall registered their best finishes to date by placing third and fourth. Chip Geib completed the top five when the race was stopped.
A 17-car field of 125cc racers entered the program, and heat race victories were claimed by Kory Merkey and Maurer.
The feature race for the 250cc Four-Strokes, which was to be the nightcap of the evening's program, was rained out and will be made up in the near future.
The four winning Micro-Sprint drivers received gift certificates as part of the season long K1 Race Gear Proven Performance Program presented by Nouse Signs & Graphics. The gift certificates can be used in the purchase of a two or three-layered custom K1 Race Gear custom racing suit designed by Kevin Nouse.
Racing returns to Lanco's Clyde Martin Memorial Speedway in a big way this Saturday, as Kioti Tractors PA 600 Speedweek kicks off with the biggest winner's payoff of the five-race miniseries. The winner of the 40-lap A-Main will receive $2,500, and a hefty purse will be paid to all of the 24 starters as the seventh annual 600 Speedweek begins in grand style.
Joining the 600's on this week's agenda is the third annual Hyper Racing 270 Clash at the Clyde, boasting a $1,050 payday for the winner if 40 or more cars enter the event. A lucrative payout awaits the 270cc competitors (dependent on car count; the total purse is posted at www.lancomicrosprint.com) as they take part in a 30-lap main event.
Racing begins at 7 p.m. this Saturday. The event carries a Sunday, July 7 rain date.
MicroRacing.com Night and All Star Slingshots "Slide at the Clyde" Results:
600cc Micro-Sprint Feature, 25 laps: 1.Jared Esh, 2.Jered Hook, 3.Chris Gerhart, 4.Christopher Tracy, 5.Heath Hehnly, 6.Tyler Esh, 7.Brent Ely, 8.Travis Esh, 9.Dan Souder, 10.Kameron Morral, 11.Ryan Morris, 12.Mike Freed, 13.Ryan Hook, 14.Shaun Brandel, 15.Mike Dicely, 16.Mark Yoder, 17.Joe Kay, 18.Bruce Ginther Jr., 19.Brittany Brown, 20.Ernie Miles, 21.Rick Perone, 22.Mike Rutherford. DNS: David Beiler.
270cc Micro-Sprint Feature, 25 laps: 1.Mike Rutherford, 2.Jesse Maurer, 3.Dave Grube, 4.Bradley Brown, 5.Heath Hehnly, 6.Kyle Spence, 7.Michael Binkley, 8.Eric Falini, 9.Dan Lane Jr., 10.Shaun Brandel, 11.Billy Logeman, 12.Brian Sholley, 13.Barry Shearer, 14.Christi Sweigart, 15.Charles Hellinger, 16.Mike Uhrich, 17.Jason Swavely, 18.Zack Fouse, 19.Corey Schmuck Jr., 20.Nick Sweigart, 21.Kory Merkey, 22.Richie Hartman, 23.Ken Miller, 24.Kory Shissler.
DNQ: Dylan Binkley, Toby Blumenshine, Danny Braun Jr., Taylor Shissler, Hunter James, Damon Bomgardner, Nathan Weidman.
All Star Slingshots National Tour Race, 35 laps: 1.Randy Smith, 2.Brett Bieber, 3.John Bockhorn, 4.Simon Egan, 5.Kory Merkey, 6.Kyle Gruber, 7.Louden Reimert, 8.Mark Sensenig, 9.Matt Mertz, 10.Larry Raifsnider, 11.Dakota Barlet, 12.Alex Schoffstall, 13.Joe Bodenschatz, 14.Danny Buccafusca, 15.Cody Kline, 16.Dylan Hoch, 17.Chris Kurtz, 18.Demetrios Drellos, 19.Tyler Ulrich, 20.Ryan Raidline, 21.Ed Shaub, 22.Kurt Bettler, 23.Jared LaBagh, 24.Matt Miller.
DNQ: BJ Antonio, Sam Scicchitano, Carissa June, Ashley Ebersole, Henry Anderson, Joe Howey, John Gilroy, Don Schmidt, Dakota Kohler, Travis Bieber, Mike Fogler.
125cc Micro-Sprint Feature, 25 laps (Rained Out after 17 laps): 1.Jesse Maurer, 2.Dave Grube, 3.Dylan Adams, 4.Chase Gutshall, 5.Chip Geib, 6.Kory Merkey, 7.Richie Hartman, 8.Brent Shearer, 9.Nick Sweigart, 10.Matthew Donley, 11.Dylan Binkley, 12.Brie Weiler, 13.Walt Wampole, 14.Alexis Sheely, 15.Kyle Hehnly, 16.Derek Ecenrode, 17.Adam Minzer.
Sportsman Micro-Sprint Feature, 25 laps: 1.Jason Swavely, 2.Ken Miller, 3.Matt Abers, 4.Jas Hehnly, 5.Charles Hellinger, 6.Anthony Yerger, 7.Brian Becker, 8.Tim Ziegler, 9.Matt Peachey, 10.Sheena Logeman, 11.Dave Kemp, 12.Curtis R. Miller, 13.Jenna Heagy, 14.Bret Habecker, 15.Kerry Lengle, 16.Kelby Stauffer, 17.Bobby Shanaman, 18.Wesley Fasnacht.