HEISTAND AND SKIAS GRAB LANCO CHECKERS
Brickerville, PA - 5/13/06 - Dusty Heistand, Elizabethtown, PA, and Pete Skias, Wernersville, PA, had the cars to beat on Saturday night at the Clyde Martin Memorial Speedway. And they both took full advantage of their micro sprints' superior performance, as Heistand captured the 600cc main event and Skias notched his second triumph of the season in the 270cc Two-Stroke feature.
Young lion Zach Alspach jumped from his pole starting spot to lead the first 18 circuits of the 600cc headliner. As Alspach was setting a torrid pace out front, Heistand, who rolled off the grid in 11th position, was weaving his way through the pack.
A yellow with ten tours remaining put the Heistand Brothers Trucking/Don-Cin Transport no. 69 on Alspach's back bumper. After several attempts to pass the leader on the low side, Heistand went to the top. He powered around Alspach's no. 67 in turn four to take command with six laps to go.
The rest of the 25-lapper belonged to Heistand, and he zoomed under the checkered flag by a comfortable margin over Alspach. Curtis T. Miller ran in the top three throughout the event, but mechanical gremlins knocked him out on the final lap. Chris Snyder raced by Miller's ailing machine to finish third, with Devin Docherty and Jimmy Dunckley rounding out the first five at the end.
"I kept trying to get inside of him," explained Heistand in victory lane. "But he was really tough. My right-rear tire finally came in, and it stuck like glue. That's when I thought, 'might as well try the top', and it worked!"
When asked if he was thinking about his first Lanco victory during the race, Alspach admitted that it did enter his mind. But he also added that he "wasn't surprised that Dusty came up to challenge. I was surprised, though, that he passed me on the outside. He was really strong!"
Alspach, Shaun Brandel, and Jack Spence were victorious in the three qualifying heats run by the 600's.
Skias added to his win total in the 270cc Two-Stroke class (he also won the season opener at Clyde Martin), making him two-for-three in early season Lanco competition.
Early leader Tyler Pannebecker suffered a right-front flat as the field circled the track under caution with ten laps on the scoreboard. That handed the top spot to Bob Brubaker, and the veteran from Lancaster, PA darted away from his pursuers when the green reappeared.
Skias, who started 12th, wrestled the runner-up slot away from Chip Geib just before the halfway point. He then hounded Brubaker for the next nine trips around the ultra fast oval, but couldn't find the opening he needed to slip by the leader.
The Warko Group/Rainbow Roofing no. 8s finally nudged under Brubaker in turns three and four, surging ahead as they accelerated down the homestretch to complete lap 22. Brubaker tried to pull a slider in one and two, but missed a shift, and Skias had sole possession of first place, a position he maintained until the black-and-white fabric waved over the field.
"What a car, what a car," exclaimed the victor. "Bob Warko gives us everything we need, and my brother builds a fantastic car. I owe it all to them," stated Skias.
Brubaker and Geib trailed Skias to the finish line, giving Viper Chassis the top three finishing positions. A pair of Mikes, Rutherford and Dicely, made up the top five when it was over.
Heat winners included Brubaker, Geib, Jesse Maurer, and Mike Uhrich.
Defending 125cc champion A.J. Michael picked up his first victory of 2006 last Saturday.
Kory Merkey paced the first half of the 25-lapper, which ran clean and green until Mark Yoder and Brian Sholley brought out the yellow with 13 revolutions in the books.
Michael harrassed Merkey for the following nine laps, but the youthful pilot of the no. 29 would not give in easily. A.J. eventually got into Merkey's preferred groove, the bottom, and used that line to pass the leader on lap 23.
Merkey, Brubaker, Tim Drybola, and Kenny Miller chased Michael to the finish line.
Michael, Brubaker, and Doug Coonan scored in the three heat races for the 125's.
Michael, the talented wheelsman from Lititz, PA, was not quite as successful in the 270cc Four-Stroke feature. He took the lead from Chip Geib on lap ten, when Geib made contact with a lapped car and got sideways on the front stretch.
It appeared, for a while, that Michael might cruise to his first Four-Stroke win of the year. But Mike Rutherford, already a two-time winner in this class in 2006, had other ideas. Rutherford disposed of Geib for the runner-up spot with six to go, and he caught a break when the yellow appeared after 23 laps were completed.
On the restart, Rutherford nailed the gas, got underneath Michael in turn two, and rocketed to the point as they raced down the back chute. The defending Four-Stroke champ sailed to his third triumph of the young season, defeating Michael, Geib, Chad Rhoads, and Brittany Brown.
Geib and Michael captured the two heat races for the 270cc Four-Strokes.
Pole-sitter Dwayne Mathias led the way for the first 19 laps of the Sportsman feature. But a gaggle of lapped traffic and an engine that was growing increasingly ill allowed Curtis A. Miller to catch Mathias. Miller passed the Oley, PA chauffeur as Mathias was forced to slow his pace, fading to an eventual ninth-place finish. David Ravel made a late-race charge to earn runner-up money, with Jason Morrison, Jeff Hughes, and Mr. Consistency, Todd Currey, making up the top five at the end of the 25-lap affair.
Jason Swavely, Miller, and Mathias won the Sportsman heats.
Action resumes at the Clyde this Saturday, May 20, with another five division program of micro sprint racing. Warm-ups begin at 5 p.m., and the first heat race goes green at 6:00. This week, the 270cc Two-Strokes will run first, followed by the 600's, Sportsman, 125's, and the 270cc Four-Strokes.
RESULTS FROM THE CLYDE MARTIN MEMORIAL SPEEDWAY:
600cc Feature (25 laps): 1.Dusty Heistand 2.Zach Alspach 3.Chris Snyder 4.Devin Docherty 5.Jim Dunckley 6.Mike Dicely 7.Scott Smith 8.Rich Kuiken, Jr. 9.Pete Skias 10.Jeff Stelter 11.Mike Lester 12.Billy Ney 13.Shaun Brandel 14.Jimmy Glenn 15.Charlie Harach 16.Brian Simmons 17.Curtis T. Miller 18.Jamie Kostic 19.Ray Myers 20.Mike Rutherford 21.Shane Lewis 22.Doug Coonan 23.Jack Spence 24.Josh Swavely.
270cc Two-Stroke Feature (25 laps): 1.Pete Skias 2.Bob Brubaker 3.Chip Geib
4.Mike Rutherford 5.Mike Dicely 6.Tim Mertz 7.Jesse Maurer 8.Bruce Buckwalter,
Jr. 9.Nick Skias 10.Mike Uhrich 11.Terry Schaeffer 12.Kenny Miller 13.Russell
Pannebecker 14.Todd Steffy 15.Scott Fick 16.Mike Skias 17.Terry Ellex 18.Christi
Sweigart 19.Paul Burkman 20.Pete Allison 21.Aaron Rineheimer 22.Tyler
Pannebecker 23.Gregg Miller 24.Ryan Wilson.
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