LANCASTER, Pa. – The 56th season of Micro-Sprint racing arrived at its official conclusion on Saturday night, as Lanco’s Clyde Martin Memorial Speedway saluted its champions and special award winners at the club’s annual Awards Banquet.
As it has for the past several years, the banquet was held at the Host Resort & Conference Center in Lancaster, Pa.
Heading up the list of 2013 Mark Millwright & Rigging point champions recognized by the crowd of more than 300 who attended Saturday’s banquet, was 600cc titlist Heath Hehnly of Manheim. Driving Sonny Cooke’s Hyper/Spar No. 2, Hehnly utilized consistency to capture his third point crown in the 600cc division, tying him with Mike Rutherford for the most championships since the 600’s became a weekly class at the Clyde in 2005.
One feature win, three runner-up and four third-place efforts highlighted Hehnly’s come-from-behind path to the title, along with an unfortunate race-ending crash by point leader Tyler Esh in the season finale.
Car owner Sonny Cooke celebrated the championship, his 50th wedding anniversary, and the news that he and wife Melverne are going to be grandparents (of twins) for the first time. In his acceptance speech, Hehnly joked that, “our racing budget may decrease next year since Sonny is going to have grandchildren to spend money on…”
Mike Rutherford has driven Ken & Tony Kaylor’s No. 5k for the past 13 seasons, and they were feted on Saturday night for winning their second consecutive 270cc point crown. Winless until June 29, the Rutherford/Kaylor combination caught fire in the second half of the campaign, reeling off five straight feature victories to end the year. One of those triumphs occurred in the lucrative Labor Day Shootout, and Rutherford, from Lititz, went on to win the title by 122 points over Billy Logeman.
As he received his Championship Car Owner hardware, Ken Kaylor told the crowd that, “it’s been a great 13 years together, and there’s absolutely no one I’d rather have in my car than Mike Rutherford.”
Manheim’s Chip Geib says that he is stepping away from weekly competition, and if that is truly the case, then he is going out on top.