Saddlemen

Close Finishes Highlight Gratz Half Mile

| 4 May 2017 12:47 pm

Pennsylvania Half Mile
Gratz Fairgrounds

Story and Photos by Len Breech and Ben Breech
GRATZ, PA, APR. 22, 2017

Whether it was the “ideal” conditions – chilly and overcast, with occasional sprinkles – or something else, only two riders managed to score double wins out of the 21 classes at the Baer Racing Products-sponsored Half Mile at the Gratz Fairgrounds: Shane Livingston, in the Over 30 and the Bill Allen Memorial Vintage class, and Tyler Scott, who took his “usual” wins in the 65cc and 85cc (7-11) classes. Most of the A-class finals weren’t decided until the finish line.

This is the view most of the 85cc (7-11) riders usually have of this day’s winner, Tyler Scott (70).

This is the view most of the 85cc (7-11) riders usually have of this day’s winner, Tyler Scott (70).

The closest of them was in the 250cc Sportsman A & B contest, in which a trio of A-rated riders on 250cc two-strokes – Rich Mellinger and Roy Miller, on Roy Miller-built Suzukis, and Mike Poe, on the ex-Chris Klinefelter Honda – quickly distanced themselves from Zach Hensler, Brody Miller, Damon Ream and a field of B-rated riders on four-strokes. Poe went into second going into turn three on the fourth lap, and then into first in the same spot on the following lap, with Miller slipping into second. Miller took the lead off turn four on the sixth lap, and the two stayed close, Miller on the pole and Poe on the high line. They exited turn four on the final lap side by side. Poe took the win by inches.

Mike Poe (2C) leads Roy Miller (56) in 250cc Sportsman A & B action.

Mike Poe (2C) leads Roy Miller (56) in 250cc Sportsman A & B action.

A little later, Poe looked like he might get a double, as he put some distance on Cody Johncox, Justin Jones and Ryan Varnes in the Open Twins final. After Jones and Varnes got by Johncox on the fifth lap, Johncox dropped into a battle with John Long, Kevin Varnes and Dalton Winkler for fourth. Ryan took second on the seventh lap off turn four and then got under Poe for the lead off turn four on the final lap.

Ryan Varnes (168), Mike Poe (10) and Justin Jones (119) went one, two, three in Open Twins competition.

Ryan Varnes (168), Mike Poe (10) and Justin Jones (119) went one, two, three in Open Twins competition.

Cory Texter emerged with the “best score” in the A Singles classes: He took second in the Open A contest and won the 450cc Sportsman A final.

Brandon Price took the Open A lead, ahead of Justin Jones, Cameron Smith, Texter, Poe, Jeremy Higgins, Dan Bromley and Rick Winsett. Smith slipped into second heading into turn three on the fourth lap, and then took the lead off turn four. Texter took third on the fifth lap, dropping Jones into a heated battle for fourth. Texter took second on the final lap.

Cameron Smith (44), Cory Texter (65), Brandon Price (36) and Justin Jones (19) skirmish in Open A action.

Cameron Smith (44), Cory Texter (65), Brandon Price (36) and Justin Jones (19) skirmish in Open A action.

In the 450cc Sportsman A final, after a complete restart for a second-lap crash, Texter was running second to Jones, with Smith, Bromley and Poe behind them. After three laps, another red flag came out.

Texter took the lead on the restart as they hit the third turn, with Bromley, Jones and Smith behind him, and that’s how they finished.

Cory Texter (65) leads Dan Bromley (62) in 450cc Sportsman A competition.

Cory Texter (65) leads Dan Bromley (62) in 450cc Sportsman A competition.

Roy Miller scored a wire-to-wire win in the Over 40 final, with Shawn Tambe, Rich Mellinger, Darren Phillips and Darryl Jakubowski following. Phillips and Jakubowski traded fourth place during the race until Jakubowski took it off turn four on the seventh lap, the same place where Mellinger had taken second.

Over 40 winner Roy Miller (56).

Over 40 winner Roy Miller (56).

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Tambe looked like he was going to run away with the Over 50 final, but a red flag greeted them off turn two. Despite his protests, Tambe was sent to the back row for jumping the gun. Todd Flynn took the lead, ahead of Ray Jenkins, Scott Barrett, Darren Phillips and Marty Christopher. Tambe was about midpack, and he’d taken fourth by the second lap.

By the halfway point, Barrett and Tambe had displaced Flynn at the front. Phillips challenged Flynn for fourth in the closing laps. Tambe took the lead on the sixth lap, while Phillips edged out Flynn for third on the final lap.

Shawn Tambe (9B) and Scott Barrett (239) finished first and second, respectively, in the Over 50 final.

Shawn Tambe (9B) and Scott Barrett (239) finished first and second, respectively, in the Over 50 final.

One of the marquee classes was the second annual Bill Allen Memorial for Vintage Heavyweight machines. Named for the longtime Vintage competitor who died in 2015, this event usually features older riders on old machines.

After an accident-induced red flag, Darryl Jakubowski and Shane Livingston put a gap on Gary Bobb, Adam Weiss and Ben Ludlow. Livingston took the lead on the third lap, while Ludlow stalked Weiss in the first half, taking fourth on the sixth lap.

In Vintage Heavyweight action, Shane Livingston (73) was victorious, with Darryl Jakubowski (93B) as runner-up.

In Vintage Heavyweight action, Shane Livingston (73) was victorious, with Darryl Jakubowski (93B) as runner-up.

As he had done all afternoon in all his classes, Roy Miller grabbed the Over 30 lead, ahead of Rick Winsett, Livingston, and Brody Miller, with Kris Weiss, Chris Johnson and Nick Giuseppe several bikelengths behind. Livingston took second off turn two on the third lap and finally got by Miller at the end of the fifth lap. Winsett took second on the final lap.

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New York-based riders took all four of the B finals.

Kyle Lonnen took the 125cc Two-Stroke/150cc Four-Stroke win by more than half a lap over Tyler Varnes.

Cuyler Youngs, Brandon Newman and Caydon Youngs pulled away from the rest of the 250cc B group as they battled for the lead. Caydon got by Newman on the second lap, but Newman retook it late in the race as they stayed close.

Cuyler Youngs (907) won the 250cc B contest, ahead of Brandon Newman (61) and Caydon Youngs (221).

Cuyler Youngs (907) won the 250cc B contest, ahead of Brandon Newman (61) and Caydon Youngs (221).

The Open B final quickly developed into battles among three close pairs: Josh Shear and Brian Wass fought over the lead, Justin Haag and Zach Mullen skirmished for third, and Ken Kolsovsky and Kyle Tambe dueled for fifth. Tambe took fifth on the sixth lap, while Mullen got by Haag off turn two on the final lap.

Josh Shear (36) won the Open B final, ahead of Brian Wass (34B).

Josh Shear (36) won the Open B final, ahead of Brian Wass (34B).

Wass took the initial 450cc Sportsman B lead, ahead of Newman, Tambe and Mullen, but Newman took the lead going into turn three on the second lap. Haag got by Mullen for fourth on the fifth lap.

The 450cc Sportsman B winner was Brandon Newman (61).

The 450cc Sportsman B winner was Brandon Newman (61).

Tyler Scott had to “work” a little for his usual 85cc (7-11) class win, coming off turn two behind Logan McGrane and Jacob Peacock, while Colton Murphy, Evan Renshaw, Logan Eisenhard and Dylan Cunningham started their battle for fourth. At the end of the first lap, Scott slipped into the lead and started pulling away.

Gratz Fairgrounds
Gratz, Pennsylvania
Results: April 22, 2017

50 CHAIN DRIVE: 1. Adam Costan (KTM); 2. Legend Erisman (KTM); 3. Aaden Johnson (KTM); 4. Marshall Sensenig (Lem); 5. Kayla Sample (Cob); 6. Gabriella Pfanders (KTM).

50 SHAFT DRIVE: 1. Kayla Sample (Hon); 2. Gabrielle Pfanders (Yam); 3. Adam Costan (Yam); 4. Caden Steffy (Yam); 5. Marshall Sensenig (Yam); 6. Kohlton Reinhold (Yam); 7. Patrick Vuotto (Yam).

65 (7-11): 1. Tyler Scott (Kaw); 2. Brandon Pfanders (Kaw); 3. Legend Erisman (Kaw); 4. Jack Rutledge (Suz); 5. Evan Renshaw (KTM); 6. Aaden Johnson (KTM).

85 (7-11): 1. Tyler Scott (KTM); 2. Jacob Peacock (Yam); 3. Logan McGrane (Hon); 4. Colton Murphy (KTM); 5. Evan Renshaw (KTM); 6. Logan Eisenhard (Suz); 7. Dylan Cunningham (Hon); 8. Brandon Pfanders (KTM); 9. Tyler Cunningham (Kaw); 10. Jack Rutledge (Suz); 11. Destiny Sharp (Yam).

85 (12-15): 1. Aidan Brown (KTM); 2. Mason Cardwell (Yam).

125 2-STROKE/150 4-STROKE: 1. Kyle Lonnen (Hon); 2. Tyler Varnes (KTM); 3. Chandler Garcelon (Hon); 4. Sara Lamonica (Hon); 5. Tom Hannum (Hon); 6. Cameron Logullo (Hon); 7. Jess Reynolds (Kaw).

150 4-STROKE AIR-COOLED (7-15): 1. Logan McGrane (Hon); 2. Dylan Cunningham (Suz); 3. Colton Murphy (Hon); 4. Tyler Varnes (Hon); 5. Tyler Cunningham (Hon); 6. Tom Hannum IV (Hon); 7. Mason Cardwell (Hon); 8. Jess Reynolds (Hon); 9. Ryan Morrow (Kaw).

250 SPORTSMAN A & B: 1. Mike Poe (Hon); 2. Roy Miller (Suz); 3. Rich Mellinger (Suz); 4. Zach Hensler (Kaw); 5. Brody Miller (Suz); 6. Cuyler Youngs (Hon); 7. Damon Ream (Hon); 8. Kyle Tambe (Hon); 9. Mason Farro (Hon); 10. Jonathan Jordan (Rtx); 11. Chris Johnson (Kaw); 12. Brandon Newman (Hon); 13. Jared Florian (Hon); 14. Robert Wheatley (Kaw); 15. Caydon Youngs (Hon).

250 B: 1. Cuyler Youngs (Hon); 2. Brandon Newman (Hon); 3. Caydon Youngs (Hon); 4. Mason Farro (Hon); 5. Kyle Lonnen (Hon); 6. Zach Hensler (Kaw); 7. Jared Florian (Hon); 8. David Athanas (Hon); 9. Remington Lawyer (Hon); 10. Travis Hankey (Yam); 11. Cherie Weiss (Hon); 12. Terry Swartley (Yam); 13. Samantha Weiss (Hon); 14. Tom Hannum IV (Hon).

450 SPORTSMAN A: 1. Cory Texter (Hon); 2. Dan Bromley (KTM); 3. Justin Jones (Hon); 4. Cameron Smith (Hon); 5. Jordan Harris (Hon); 6. Ryan Varnes (Yam); 7. Jeremiah Duffy (Hon); 8. Trevor Brunnen (Hon); 9. Jeremy Orr (Hon); 10. Christopher Leviness (Hon); 11. Colin Cunningham (KTM); 12. Austin Luczak (Hon); 13. Jeremy Higgins (Kaw); 14. Georgie Price V (Hon); 15. Nick Henderson (Hon).

450 SPORTSMAN B: 1. Brandon Newman (Hon); 2. Brian Wass (Hon); 3. Kyle Tambe (Hon); 4. Justin Haag (Hon); 5. Zach Mullen (Hon); 6. Brett Johnson (Suz); 7. Robert Wheatley (Suz); 8. David Evans (Hon); 9. Jeff Slade (Kaw); 10. John Diem (Hon); 11. Josh Shear (Kaw); 12. Grant Shafer (Kaw); 12. Damon Ream (Hon).

500 2-VALVE: 1. Cody Bauer (Yam); 2. Mike Lawless (Bue).

OPEN A: 1. Cameron Smith (Hon); 2. Cory Texter (Hon); 3. Brandon Price (Hon); 4. Jeremy Higgins (Kaw); 5. Justin Jones (Hon); 6. Ryan Varnes (Yam); 7. Dan Bromley (KTM); 8. Mike Poe (Hon); 9. Rick Winsett Jr. (Rtx); 10. Jeremiah Duffy (Hon); 11. Jordan Harris (Hon); 12. Trevor Brunnen (Hon); 13. Doug Cook (Hon); 14. Austin Luczak (Hon); 15. Cody Johncox (Yam).

OPEN B: 1. Josh Shear (Kaw); 2. Brian Wass (Hon); 3. Zach Mullen (Hon); 4. Justin Haag (Hon); 5. Ken Kolsovsky (Rtx); 6. Kyle Tambe (Hon); 7. Robert Wheatley (Suz); 8. Grant Shafer (Kaw); 9. Kris Weiss (Hon); 10. Brett Johnson (Suz); 11. Tim Jackson (Rtx); 12. David Evans (Hon); 13. Jeff Slade (Kaw); 14. Damon Ream (Hon).

OPEN TWINS A: 1. Ryan Varnes (Kaw); 2. Mike Poe (Kaw); 3. Justin Jones (Kaw); 4. Cody Johncox (Yam); 5. John Long (Kaw); 6. Kevin Varnes (Kaw); 7. Dalton Winkler (Kaw).

WOMEN: 1. Jess Reynolds (Suz); 2. Sara Lamonica (Hon).

30+: 1. Shane Livingston (Rtx); 2. Rick Winsett Jr. (Rtx); 3. Roy Miller (Kaw); 4. Brody Miller (Suz); 5. Kris Weiss (Hon); 6. Chris Johnson (Kaw); 7. Ben Ludlow (Hon); 8. Nick Giuseppe (Rtx); 9. Steve Lerch (Suz); 10. Tim Jackson (Rtx); 11. Bill Stillwell (Suz); 12. Travis Bowman (Suz); 13. Jonathan Riley (Tri); 14. Ben Reinhold (Kaw).

40+: 1. Roy Miller (Kaw); 2. Rich Mellinger (Rtx); 3. Shawn Tambe (Hon); 4. Darryl Jakubowski (Yam); 5. Darren Phillips Sr. (Kaw); 6. Todd Flynn (Hon); 7. Ray Jenkins (Hon); 8. Mike Rabold (Hon); 9. Tom Goodford (Hon); 10. Scott Mullen (Hon); 11. Jeremy Bensley (Hon).

50+: 1. Shawn Tambe (Hon); 2. Scott Barrett (Hon); 3. Darren Phillips Sr. (Kaw); 4. Todd Flynn (Hon); 5. Ray Jenkins (Hon); 6. Marty Christopher (Hon); 7. Todd Kendig (Rtx); 8. Tom Hannum (Hon); 9. Scott Slade (Suz); 10. Tom Goodford (Hon); 11. Gary Bobb (Rtx); 12. Walt Steffy (KTM); 13. George MacNeill (KTM); 14. Mike Slade (Kaw).

VINTAGE SUPERLIGHT 125-249: 1. Steve Stauffer (Yam); 2. Patrick Duffy (Hon).

VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHT 0-499: 1. David Athanas (Hon); 2. Marty Christopher (Hon); 3. Bill Stillwell (Suz); 4. Ray Stillwell (BSA); 5. Bob Hildebrand (Kaw).

SECOND ANNUAL BILL ALLEN MEMORIAL VINTAGE HEAVYWEIGHT 500+: 1. Shane Livingston (Yam); 2. Darryl Jakubowski (Yam); 3. Gary Bobb (Rtx); 4. Ben Ludlow (Yam); 5. Adam Weiss (Tri); 6. Jonathan Riley (Tri); 7. Steve Stauffer (Yam); 8. Cody Bauer (Tri); 9. John Yurejefcic (Yam); 10. Bill Supplee (Tri); 11. Tom Hallowell (Tri); 12. Mark Willis (Yam); 13. Ken Bongino (H-D); 14. Pete Wajda (Nor); 15. Hugh Mackie (Tri).

HOOLIGAN: 1. James Winkler (H-D); 2. Ken Bongino (H-D); 3. Jeff Hogan (H-D); 4. Will Garenso (Yam); 5. Trevor Mann (H-D).

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Category: Flat Track, Regional, Vintage, Vintage Flat Track

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