Halligan stings competitors to win Lanco feature

By on July 3, 2012

Jeff "The Hornet" Halligan buzzed to his first 600cc victory of the season June 23 at Lanco’s Clyde Martin Memorial Speedway.

The recent Ephrata High School graduate notched the win in a very special event, as the Lanco club paid tribute to its former track photographer of many years, the late Dick Greenawalt, who passed away very suddenly and unexpectedly on July 5, 2011.

Others who registered wins in the Greenawalt Memorial included Mike Rutherford (270cc Two-Stroke); Jesse Maurer (125cc); Mark Ludwig (Sportsman); and Craig DeSantis (270cc Four-Stroke).

Jered Hook led the early laps of Saturday’s 600cc Greenawalt Memorial, with Halligan moving into the runner-up spot after Chris Gerhart lost his left-front wheel with six tours completed.

A terrific three car battle ensued for the third position between Jeff Stelter, Heath Hehnly, and Mike Rutherford, with the trio blasting around the banked oval in three-wide formation at times. Hehnly finally went to the wall with ten to go, accelerating around Stelter to grab third place.

It wasn’t long after that Halligan planted his No. 45H under race leader Jered Hook, forging ahead as they hit the backstretch on lap 17. A few circuits later, Rutherford passed Hehnly for third, then wrestled second away from Hook with two trips remaining.

The final caution appeared with only one lap left to run, giving Rutherford a shot at Halligan. "I know he tries to snooker people on restarts, and he’s really good at it," said Halligan afterward. "I just concentrated on holding my line and doing what I needed to do, and it worked out."

Halligan, who intends to major in accounting at Elizabethtown College in the fall, held off Rutherford’s challenge on the final lap to win by 0.146-seconds.

Jered Hook, Heath Hehnly, and 20th starting Brent Ely completed the top five.

Jered Hook earned the Weld Racing Fast Lap of the Feature Award, scorching the oval in 11.357 seconds to record the quickest time of the 25-lap main event.

Shaun Brandel, Ryan Hook, Chris Gerhart, and Jered Hook were victorious in 600cc heat races on Saturday, as 41 cars signed in for action. Kory Merkey and Tyler Esh captured the two consolation races.

The 270cc Two-Stroke feature began with a nine-car pile up in turns three and four. On the second attempt to get the race started, Denver’s Dave Grube jumped from the pole position to lead with Jason Swavely darting past Brian Sholley for second.

Swavely dashed under Grube on the backstretch, then squeezed up in front of the No. 3d to take the lead. Momentum carried both cars up the banking in turns three and four and into the marbles at the top of the track, causing Grube to spin while Swavely managed to continue as the leader.

Eighth-starting Mike Rutherford, bidding for his second consecutive 270cc triumph, was threading a path to the front. He needed several laps to dispose of Sholley, who was running a strong second to Swavely during the middle stages of the race.

Once he gained the runner-up slot, Rutherford zeroed in on Swavely, but it appeared he might run out of time before he could make the winning pass. As the duo headed for the white flag, Rutherford shoved the nose of his Kaylor Petro No. 5k under Swavely’s No. 14 in three and four. They made slight contact, with Swavely staying in front until his mount suddenly slowed on the homestretch as Rutherford flashed by him to take command.

"I think Jason burned off of four," explained Rutherford in victory lane, "and that’s a shame because he was really good tonight. But I’ve lost plenty of races that way, too…that’s just the way it goes sometimes."

Rutherford, the Lititz resident, notched his second in a row and fourth overall in 270cc competition at the Clyde, winning by slightly more than one second over Sholley. Richie Hartman, Jesse Maurer, and Pete Skias finished third through fifth.

With 31 cars entered in the 270cc Two-Stroke portion of the Greenawalt Memorial, heat races were won by Maurer, Sholley, and Swavely. The consolation went to Mike Uhrich.

The main event for the 125cc Class provided all sorts of drama, and it ended with reigning track champion Jesse Maurer recording his first win of the season in this division.

A wildly entertaining Sportsman feature saw Mark Ludwig, Ephrata, snare his first triumph of the year. Ludwig started tenth, made a daring three-wide pass to secure third place, then ducked under Sheena Logeman for the runner-up spot with four to go. Ludwig inherited the race lead when Jason Swavely – for the second time on Saturday – broke while leading the main event. This time, Jason’s No. 7c fell victim to mechanical issues with three laps remaining, handing Ludwig the lead and the win.

Ludwig raced to the victory, with Sheena Logeman finishing second. Ken Miller, who took the initial green from 17th position, rebounded from an early spin to finish third. Bobby Shanaman and Wesley Fasnacht wound up fourth and fifth, respectively. More HALLIGAN, page B-2

About Ephrata Review