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IMG_9814BY JEFF FALK

NEWMANSTOWN – Though they share no common red-cell plasma, those who frequent Clyde Martin Memorial Speedway are like one big happy family. Partly because racing has this way of finding its way into one’s blood stream.

Clyde Martin Speedway may just be Lebanon County’s best-kept, dirt-racing secret. Yet those who are privy to the secret are kept coming back for more by the track’s homey feel, the management’s attention to detail and of course, its family atmosphere.

IMG_9784Nestled in a remote wooded area due south of Schaefferstown, just east of Route 501, Clyde Martin Memorial Speedway is one of two dirt-racing tracks located in Lebanon County – and much too often considered the locale’s ‘other’ racing venue. But, operated by the Lanco Micro-Midget Club, Clyde Martin has done an admirable job of carving out its own niche in the area racing community over the last five decades.

“Yeah, it’s true, racing does get into your blood,” said Kenny Mohler, the president of the Lanco Micro-Midget Club. “I’ve raced most of my life. And I travelled all over the country doing it. A lot of the racers here started racing quarter-midgets. Racing’s a family thing, and it carries over to here.

IMG_9806“We’re all a big family,” continued Mohler. “You can have an argument with someone one week, and the next week you’re helping them fix their car. For me, it goes way beyond ‘on a personal level’. And there’s a lot of people who put in long hours to make this a success.”

Clyde Martin Memorial Speedway moved to its current southeastern Lebanon County location from Ephrata in 1963. The venue is named for Clyde Martin, Lanco Micro-Midget Club’s first flag man, who was killed in an automobile accident in 1957.

IMG_9772Competition on the quarter-mile clay oval, which began in April, is currently winding down for the 2014 series. Racing in five distinct divisions is conducted on most Saturday nights.

“You’ve got to have a good balance of everything,” said Mohler. “We need to run it as a business, because that’s what it is. But you’ve also got to take care of your drivers, because they support you. People wouldn’t show up if you didn’t take care of the drivers. You’ve got to have a good balance and make an effort to give them the best race track you can, the best facility you can.

IMG_9776“When it was in Ephrata, it was a flat track,” continued Mohler. “Actually, we still have some of our original members. We put in the banking, and we put a lot of money into clay. With the banking, speeds are much faster. We had to spend money to upgrade and keep everybody safe. But we have three-wide racing on most nights, from the inside wheel to the guard rail.”

On an average summer evening, Clyde Martin’s racing program attracts an average of 115 cars, throughout its five classes. Racers and their families, friends and families come from all across the Mid-Atlantic Region to test their skills on the track’s challenging oval.

IMG_9860“We get people coming from New Jersey and Delaware, sometimes even North Carolina and Massachusetts,” said Mohler. “And there’s a lot of Lititz, Manheim and Reading drivers. We have people who drive two-and-a-half hours to race here every weekend, and they drive right by other race tracks.

“I think at this level, racing is probably growing,” added Mohler. “We’re on an upswing. A couple of years ago, things were hitting people with traveling. This year, we had an average of 20 cars (in each division) or more a night. That’s good! A lot of people have tried to step up (their level of competition) and didn’t have the funding. We have a lot of drivers this year coming from quarter midgets. It really helped us a lot. But it’s also a benefit of the club’s hard work.”

IMG_9789The popularity of NASCAR has sky-rocketed over the past three decades, to a point where big-time stock-car racing has assumed its place alongside America’s major sports. But if one were to go back even further, the sports’ popularity will always be rooted in dirt.

IMG_9783“With us, we’re going to continue to run the five divisions,” said Mohler. “We’ve done a lot in the last three years to improve the facility, and that’s done a lot to bring in cars. On a weekly basis, we’ve made it more interesting to fans. We continue to grow our car count. I think we’re headed in a really positive direction. As long as we can keep it balanced, I think we can continue that way.

“It’s a good package that makes people want to come here,” Mohler continued. “I’ve heard a lot of guys make the comment, ‘If you can win here, you can win anywhere in Pennsylvania.'”

IMG_9833Logistically, Clyde Martin Memorial Speedway certainly isn’t easy to find. But it seems that once people discover it, they find their way back.

“One of our biggest things is finding different ways to get people here,” said Mohler. “We want to get the word out and get people here the first time. But that’s true of every dirt race track. We struck a deal with Blue Ridge Cable 11, and it doesn’t cost us an arm and leg to be on TV. Attendance has gone up since we’ve been doing it.

“If you go out to the Turkey Hill at the intersection of Routes 501 and 322 in Brickerville and ask them how to get to the race track, they can’t tell you,” Mohler added. “Which is really bad, considering it’s five miles away. It’s more popular, but you’ve got to hear about it.”

IMG_9802Clyde Martin Memorial Speedway

 Division Point Standings

 

2014 600cc Print
Point Standing as of 8/18/14:
Pos # Driver Total
1 2 HEATH HEHNLY 1239
2 7h MIKE RTHERFORD 1157
3 14 JASON SWAVELY 1111
4 75x JAMES MORRIS 1054
5 17b BRENT ELY 1005
6 23 BRITTANY BROWN 964
7 83 JARED ESH 922
8 51 CHRIS GERHART 891
9 25 SHAUN BRANDEL 846
10 21h JERED HOOK 835
11 11z ZACH LIGHT 828
12 15p CHRIS PANCZNER 702
13 14s BRET CONRATH 692
14 11 DAN SOUDER 674
15 23r REBECCA LaMOTHE 601
16 6H RYAN HOOK 591
17 22 NATHAN PRAZENICA 576
18 24t TAYLOR TROXEL 573
19 880 KAMERON MORRAL 500
20 6 MIKE COEN 374
21 24 MIKE FREED 340
22 11a AUSTIN BISHOP 292
23 17g DEVIN GUNDRUM 290
24 44 MIKE DICELY 265
25 12m TROY MUSSELMAN 245
26 8W PJ WILLIAMS 243
27 5 JASON SECHRIST 210
28 28 BRUCE GINTHER JR. 197
29 21b DYLAN BINKLEY 134
30 7 CORRY ROTH* 121
31 55L PAT ELY* 114
32 9 PETER MICHAEL 112
33 05 WILLIAM URKUSKI 101
34 83 KYLE SPENCE 92
35 9 AJ MICHAEL 50
36 21b ZACH HOLLINGER 37

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2014 270cc
Point Standing as of 8/18/2014:
Pos # Driver Total
1 25k KYLE SPENCE 1156
2 5k MIKE RUTHERFORD 1108
3 3d DAVE GRUBE 1088
4 23 BRADLEY BROWN 1059
5 97 BILLY LOGEMAN 945
6 25x DAN LANE JR. 935
7 75 JARID KUNKLE 932
8 3s NICK SKIAS 888
9 11 MIKE UHRICH 876
10 74f KEN MILLER 811
11 17s BRIAN SHOLLEY 785
12 42u TYLER ULRICH* 736
13 21 TOBY BLUMENSHINE 712
14 11a AUSTIN BISHOP 686
15 23M KEN MILLER III 663
16 18s NICK SWEIGART 651
17 22r RONALD HELMICK 605
18 25 NATHAN WEIDMAN 528
19 34 CHRISTI SWEIGART 523
20 6x CAMERON BELLINGER 483
21 6 DAMON BOMGARDNER 481
22 36 DAN BRAUN JR. 467
23 99 BRANDON HEIST 463
24 82 HEATH HEHNLY 410
25 21b MIKE BINKLEY 379
26 26 COREY SCHMUCK JR. 313
27 28s RICKY SECHRIST 282
28 88g JESSE MAURER 179
29 15 MATT PEACHY 152
30 13p CHARLES HELLINGER 134
31 13L ELIZABETH HELMICK* 104
32 55 KEITH HOLIDAY 103
33 4 MIKE MILLER 102
34 19 TERRY ELLEX 98
35 925 DEAN SANGLER JR. 49
36 81 HUNTER JAMES 48
37 4t TIM GILBERT 41
38 1j DENNIS FENSTERMACHER 23
39 10 JOHN DAVIS* 14
40 17 DARYL DAVIS 4
41 9c DARREN MILER 2
42 13L ZACK HOLLINGER 2
43 38 MELVIN BAIMBRIDGE 2
44 925 KELBY STAUFFER 2
45 6s MIKE SHERMAN* 1

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2014 250cc 4 Stroke
Point Standings as of 8/18/2014:
Pos # Driver Total
1 69k DAVE RAVEL 1339
2 23 KENNY MILLER 1308
3 99 DEVIN ADAMS 1272
4 62 EDDIE NOCERA 1214
5 82 DONNA GEIB 1080
6 17 JARRETT IMLER* 1060
7 16 LEWIS KEPPLE 1033
8 11k KASSIDY MICHAEL* 1018
9 27K BRIAN KRAMER* 950
10 42k RONALD WECHTER 873
11 7 RON GOOD 712
12 199 ZACHARY YOUNG* 707
13 15 RYAN SHUPP 644
14 8 JESSE MAURER 249
15 56 DICK HUZZARD 133

IMG_9766

2014 125cc
Point Standings as of 8/18/2014

Pos # Driver Total
1 29 DARREN MILLER 1275
2 3d DAVE GRUBE 1214
3 1a CHASE GUTSHALL 1202
4 19 KYLE HEHNLY 1149
5 29x DYLAN ADAMS 1072
6 18s NICK SWEIGART 1034
7 88 JUSTIN HARRINGTON 1016
8 19a ALEXIS SHEELY 938
9 77 WILLIAM MANOTTI V* 903
10 77m JAS HEHNLY 902
11 15d MATTHEW DONLEY 849
12 55x JIMMY WAMPOLE 803
13 24t THOMAS KELLY* 680
14 26 BRIE WEILER 651
15 00g BRANDON GIBBLE* 628
16 59j WALT WAMPOLE 621
17 56 ZACH HOLLINGER 593
18 83 DUSTIN ADAMS* 576
19 21 JESSE MAURER 443
20 90 SONNY SWEITZER 201
21 81 HUNTER JAMES 132
22 21 HEATH HEHNLY 92
23 77M JASON HEHNLY 87
24 00g MARK YODER 78
25 19A DAMON BOMGARDNER 74
26 25 JASON RHOADS 31

IMG_9787

2014 Sportsman
Point Standings as of 8/18/2014

Pos # Driver Total
1 7c CURTIS R. MILLER 1190
2 21 ANTHONY YERGER 1095
3 81 KERRY LENGLE 1053
4 6 MIKE RUTHERFORD 1013
5 16p PATRICK KIRN* 997
6 7r KEN MILLER 985
7 72 BRET HABECKER 923
8 9 DAVE KEMP 897
9 19 WESLEY FASTNACHT 837
10 15 BOBBY SHANNAMAN 833
11 88 MEGAN MERCADO* 784
12 3 AVA BELLINGER 730
13 25 JENNA HEAGY 717
14 92 SAMI SCHENCK 711
15 55 BRANDON BUCHER 696
16 13 KIM MINZER 657
17 23 BRANDON MUNDIS* 638
18 36s STEVE SMITH SR. 628
19 7P RANDY LANDIS* 523
20 22 BRIAN BECKER 461
21 21V DAVID RAVEL 378
22 25L/44 JASON RHOADS 343
23 10 JOHN DAVIS* 299
24 17 JAMIE FETTEROFF 246
25 23s ROBERT SIMMERMAN 225
26 10z DENNIS ZIEGLER 183
27 6 TOBY BLUMENSHINE 156
28 14 KELBY STAUFFER 113
29 13P CHARLES HELLINGER 112
30 26 COREY SCHMUCK JR. 91
31 17 JEFF HUGHES 78
32 7 DAVE SCHROEDER 47
33 12 MATT PEACHY 47
34 7p JASON SWAVELY 42
35 49 KYLE HEHNLY 32

 

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