Ryan wins 600 A-Main at Clay Cup

THE BELLINGHAM HERALDJuly 20, 2013 

DEMING - After grabbing the points lead on the first night's preliminaries for the 30th Annual Clay Cup Nationals in the 1,200, Liam Ryan decided to park it Friday, July 19, to focus on getting a good night in the 600 classification.

With each driver taking their best single night points total to slot into Championship Night on Saturday, July 20, it seemed like a pretty safe gamble.

It looked downright brilliant when the Canadian driver worked his way up from 13th-starting spot to win the 600 A-Main on the second night of preliminaries at Deming Speedway's summer showcase event.

"I had the absolute best car a driver could ask for," Ryan said in a post-race interview. "I could drive it high, low - it was unbelievable."

Without Ryan chasing him down, Kyle Johnson won the 1,200 A-Main, while Jake Helsel claimed victory in the 600 Restricted class.

But the star of the night was definitely Ryan, who qualified fifth, putting him near the back of the fully-inverted field during preliminaries. That allowed him to pile up the passing points.

Ryan, who also won his heat race, steadily worked his way through the field, and found himself in a three-way battle for the lead with Kevin Wilkinson and Brock Lemley on a Lap 17 restart.

Wilkinson led the first 19 laps, but on the back stretch, he found himself in the middle of a sandwich, with Lemley high and Ryan going low.

"The 17 car (Wilkinson) slid up a little bit, and I knew Brock was high, so I knew I didn't have to worry about him," Ryan said. "I just drove it low and it stuck."

After getting by both Wilkinson and Lemley on the one move, Ryan pulled away.

Lemley followed him around Wilkinson one lap later to finish second. Derek Torkelson and Hayden Schmidt filled out the top five.

Ryan is the defending 1,200 Clay Cup Champion, giving him a shot to become the first driver to win two Clay Cup titles in the same year.

"I don't want to sound cocky, but I think I can," Ryan said. "This car was fantastic, and the 1,200 is always good. I think we've got a shot."

Johnson had been chasing motor gremlins during qualifying through most of the first two nights of preliminaries, and on Friday he barely seemed to make it around the 1/6-mile clay oval with his sick-sound machine.

But after the way he ran in the 1,200 A-Main, consider those problems solved.

The slow start put him on the pole for the A-Main, and he didn't waste the opportunity, pulling ahead of Jacob Buckenmeyer, who also started on the front row, down the back stretch on Lap 1.

Buckenmeyer showed he also had a strong car, as he maintained a comfortable advantage for second throughout, but he never could put on a challenge for Johnson, who led all 25 laps.

Steven Hendrickson made a nice late-race charge through the top 10 to finish third. Ryan Cully finished fourth, while Eric Drake also worked his way through the field to finish fifth.

Isaac Abenroth owned the first 19 laps of the Restricted main, as nobody was able to put a challenge on him after he worked his way past Helsel coming off Turn 4 of the first lap. In fact, the only challenge Abenroth faced was avoiding Jesse Schlotfeldt's car, which had spun out and come to rest near the inside of the Turn 4 wall seven laps in.

That obstacle avoided, nothing seemed like it was going to keep Abenroth from his first feature win, but after a number of Lap 19 cautions, Abenroth became another one when something appeared to break, sending him right. He managed to save the car from the wall, but came to a stop in Turn 3, giving the lead to Helsel.

Helsel needed to lead only two laps to grab his second feature win of the year and the seconding 600 Restricted preliminary win in the history of Clay Cup, on a race stopped by time.

Jacob Brown came home second, while a nice drive by Kaitlyn Hammer survived a serious mid-race challenge from Thursday-night winner Ashley Thompson to come home third, while Dylan Resch and Jaden Thomas rounded out the top 10. Schlotfeldt rebounded to finish eight for a nice points night.

Jared Peterson (600s) and Tristin Thomas (600 Restricted) joined Ryan as the top points winners in their respective classifications from the first night of preliminaries on Thursday, July 18. Drivers will take their best night of points from the preliminaries to line up for Clay Cup Championship Night on Saturday, July 20, when $45,000 will be distributed between the three divisions.

Brayden Plenko, who posted the second-highest points total in the 600 class, found himself in the C-Main on Friday. But he took the lead coming out of Turn 2 and went wire-to-wire. Kyle Kennedy used a Lap 6 restart to move into second and grab the second transfer spot.

Jared Peterson beat Joe Constance coming off the high side of Turn 2 and led all 15 laps to win the 600 B-Main. Constance, Austin Sheridan, Spud Allen, Greg Hamilton, Shaun Holtorf and Nate Vaughn also collected transfer spots.

Tristan Thomas led all 15 laps in the 600 Restricted B-Main. Tanner Holm worked his way around Eli Schmidt on a Lap 12 restart to finish second, while Riley Watkins, Darius Walker-Perkins and Galen Turner joined them in advancing to the feature.

Reach David Rasbach at david.rasbach@bellinghamherald.com or 360-715-2286.

30TH ANNUAL CLAY CUP NATIONALS

Championship night: Saturday, July 20

Site: Deming Speedway

Gates open: 5 p.m.

Racing starts: 7 p.m.

Tickets: Preliminaries - Adult $14, juniors (8-17) and seniors (65 and older) $12, children (7 and younger) $5. Championship - Adults $17, juniors (8-17) $14, seniors (65 and older) $12, children (7 and younger) $7.

30TH ANNUAL CLAY CUP NATIONALS

Friday's results

At Deming Speedway

1,200 class

A-Main (25 laps): 1. (99) Kyle Johnson, 2. (98K) Jacob Buckenmeyer, 3. (13) Steven Hendrickson, 4. (21c) Ryan Cully, 5. (22) Eric Drake, 6. (9) Clennon Holloway, 7. (N8) Nate Vaughn, 8. (21) Derek Holmwood, 9. (6) Jared Gunderson, 10. (11m) Dwayne Mackey, 11. (15) Dale Schmidt, 12. (16z) Zack Keefe, 13. (55) Tony Helsel, 14. (7) Dick Williams, 15. (51) Ben Dial, 16. (10) Brock Lemley, DNF (01) Darren Hillberg, DNF (2) Derek Junell, DNF (72) Chance Arrants, DNF (09) Tyson Cross.

Qualifying top time: (09) Tyson Cross 69.164 mph. Heat 1 winner: (09) Tyson Cross. Heat 2 winner: (16z) Zach Keefe. Heat 3 winner: (22) Eric Drake.

600 class

A-Main (25 laps): 1. (87) Liam Ryan, 2. (10) Brock Lemley, 3. (17) Kevin Wilkinson, 3. (47) Derek Torkelson, 5. (12s) Hayden Schmidt, 6. (9p) Jared Peterson, 7. (7j) Michael Faccinto, 8. (21p) Robbie Price, 9. (79) Heath Duinkerken, 10. (78) Joe Constance, 11. (19) Shaun Holtorf, 12. (21b) Landon Hurst, 13. (83c) Chance Crum, 14. (40) Madison Hess, 15, (M79) Dahnelynn McKay, 16. (1) Austin Sheridan, 17. (12) Spud Allen, 18. (96) Greg Hamilton, 19. (N8) Nate Vaughn), DNF (5d) Annie DeRemer, DNF (71) Dustin O'Brien, DQ (76) Chase Schmidt..

B-Main(15 laps, top 6 advance): 1. (9p) Jared Peterson, 2. (78) Joe Constance, 3. (1) Austin Sheridan, 4. (12) Spud Allen, 5. (96) Greg Hamilton, 6. (19) Shaun Holtorf, 7. (N8) Nate Vaughn, 8. (33s) Lance Sargent, 9. (28R) Kelly Mauck, 10. (29o) Aiden Ostrom, 11. (00) Brayden Planko, 12. (14) Keith Wickard, 13. (4x) Tom Hovind, 14. (8) Kyle Kennedy, 15. (8R) Rachel Westmoreland, DNF (3H) Hannah Lindquist, DNF (13) Kris LaBree, DNF (23) Jacob Brown.

C-Main (10 laps, top 2 advance): (00) Brayden Plenko, (8) Kyle Kennedy (13) Kris LaBree, (11C) Chad Sinner..

Qualifying top time: (79) Heath Duinkerken 69.485 mph. Heat 1 winner: (40) Madison Hess. Heat 2 winner: (76) Chase Schmidt. Heat 3 winner: (12s) Hayden Schmidt. Heat 4 winner: (10) Brock Lemley. Heat 5 winner: (87) Liam Ryan.

600 Restricted class

A-Main (21 laps): 1. (44) Jake Helsel, 2. (29b) Jacob Brown, 3. (39k) Kaitlyn Hammer, 4. (23R) Dylan Resch, 5. (J10) Jaden Thomas, 6. (9T) Tristan Thomas, 7. (53) Ian Humphries, 8. (21) Jesse Schlotfeldt, 9. (41m) Ozzie McGee, 10. (0) Ashleigh Johnson, 11. (76e) Eli Schmidt, 12. (25) Darius Walker-Perkins, 13. (1w) Brandee Wood, DNF (3H) Hannah Lindquist, DNF (91) Isaac Abenroth, DNF (41) Ashley Thompson, DNF (55z) Riley Watkins, DNF (48T) Tanner Holm.

B-Main(15 laps, top 6 advance): 1. (9T) Tristin Thomas, 2. (48T) Tanner Holm, 3. (76e) Eli Schmidt, 4. (55z) Riley Watkins, 5. (25) Darius Walker-Perkins, 6. (29) Galen Turner, 7. (41m) Ozzie McGee, 8. (55) Kinser Kennedy, 9. (12p) Tatum Pospical, DNF (08) Lizzy Johnson..

Qualifying top time: (9T) Tristin Thomas 63.807 mph. Heat 1 winner: (0) Ashleigh Johnson. Heat 2 winner: (44) Jake Helsel Heat 3 winner: (21) Jesse Schlotfeldt. Heat 4 winner: (53) Ian Humphries.

Thursday's late results

1,200 class

A-Main (25 laps): 1. (09) Tyson Cross, 2. (10) Brock Lemley, 3. (N8) Nate Vaughn, 4. (87) Liam Ryan, 5. (98K) Jacob Buckenmeyer, 6. (13) Steven Hendrickson, 7. (6) Jared Gundersen, 8. (22) Eric Drake, 9. (9) Clennon Holloway, 10. (55) Tony Helsel, 11. (21) Derek Holmwood, 12. (51) Ben Dial, 13. (7) Dick Williams, 14. (2) Derek Junell, DNF (16z) Zack Keefe, DNF (21c) Ryan Cully, DNF (72) Chance Arrants, DNF (99) Kyle Johnson, DNF (11) Brad Davison, DNF (01) Darren Hillberg, DNF (11m) Dwayne Mackey.

Preliminary points: 1. (87) Liam Ryan 711, 2. (10) Brock Lemley 709, 3. (6) Jared Gunderson 707, 4. (09) Tyson Cross 706, 5. (13) Steven Hendrickson 705, 6. (98K) Jacob Buckenmeyer 702, 7. (22) Eric Drake 696, 8. (21) Derek Holmwood 688, 9. (N8) Nate Vaughn 688, 10. (9) Clennon Holloway 684, 11. (55) Tony Helsel 679, 12. (21c) Ryan Cully, 13. (16) Zach Keefe 672, 14. (51) Ben Dial 671, 15. (7) Dick Williams 669, 16. (11m) Swayne Mackey 666, 17. (11) Brad Davison 665, 18. (72) Chance Arrants 664, 19. (99) Kyle Johnson 662, 20. (01) Darren Hillberg 657, 21. (10s) Frosty Metcalfe, 22. (2) Derek Junell 391.

600 class

A-Main (25 laps): 1. (76k) Kyle Mitchell, 2. (87) Liam Ryan, 3. (12) Spud Allen, 4. (23) Jacob Brown, 5. (79) Heath Duikerken, 6. (83c) Chance Crum, 7. (9p) Jared Peterson, 8. (40) Madison Hess, 9. (00) Bayden Planko, 10. (21b) Landon Hurst, 11. (19) Shaun Holtorf, 12. (76) Chase Schmidt, 13. (78) Joe Constance, 14. (71) Dustin O'Brien, 15. (17) Kevijn Wilkinson, 16. (96) Greg Hamilton, 17. (1) Austin Sheridan, DNF (7j) Michael Faccinto, DNF (10) Brock Lemley, DNF (33s) Lance Sargent, DNF (14) Keith Wickkard, DNF (21p) Robbie Price.

Preliminary points: 1. (9p) Jared Peterson 704, 2. (00) Brayden Planko 698, 3. (76) Chase Schmidt (697), 4. (83c) Chance Crum (697), 5. (12) Spud Allen, 6. (79) Heath Duinkerken 695, 7. (87) Liam Ryan, 8. (76k) Kyle Mitchell, 9. (21b) Landon Hurst 686, 10. (40) Madison Hess 685, 11. (23) Jacob Brown 685, 12. (10) Brock Lemley 683, 13. (71) Dustin O'Brien 683, 14. (19) Shaun Holtorf, 15. (78) Joe Constance, 16. (21p) Robbie Price 676, 17. (7j) Michael Faccinto, 18. (96) Greg Hamilton, 19. (33s) Lance Sargent 667, 20. (17) Kevin Wilkinson 667, 21. (1) Austin Sheridan 666, 22. (14) Keith Wickard 656, 23. (N8) Nate Vaughn 644, 24. (5d) Annie DeRemer 641, 25. (29o) Alden Ostrom 639, 26. (28R) Kelly Mauck 638, 27. (12s) Hayden Schmidt 635, 28. (8) Kyle Kennedy (634), 29. (12x) Brent Holloway 634, 30. (13) Kris LaBree 633, 31. (4x) Tom Hovind 631, 32. (m79) Dahnelynn McKay 629, 33. (3H) Hannah Lindquist 615, 34. (8R) Rachel Westmoreland 613, 35. (11C) Chad Sinner 610, 36. (41) Ozzie McGee 609, 27. (47) Derek Torkelson.

600 Restricted class

A-Main (25 laps): xxx.

Preliminary points: 1. (9T) Tristin Thomas 702, 2. (44) Jake Helsel 697, 3. (29b) Jacob Brown, 4. (76e) Eli Schmidt 693, 5. (3H) Hannah Lindquist 693, 6. (29) Galen Turner 693, 7. (41) Ashley Thompson, 8. (78) Spencer Constance 691, 9. (23R) Dylan Resch 691, 10. (0) Ashleigh Johnson 687, 11. (1w) Brandee Wood 686, 12. (55z) Riley Watkins 685, 13. (25) Darius Walker-Perkins, 14. (48T) Tanner Holm 680, 15. (91) Isaac Abenroth 676, 16. (22) Sawyer Sorgenfrei 673, 17. (12p) Tatum Popsicle 672, 18. (39k) Caitlyn Hammer 665, 19. (21) Jesse Schlotfeldt 659, 20. (55) Kinser Kennedy 650, 21. (53) Ian Humphries 648, 22. (J10) Jaden Thomas 646, 23. (8) Lizzy Johnson 642.

Reach DAVID RASBACH at david.rasbach@bellinghamherald.com or call 715-2271.

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