Duke wins CCMS Thriller

The Laurel Highlands Sprint Car Series returned to the Clinton County Motor Speedway on Friday with another co-sanctioned event with the Pa Sprint Series on a beautiful evening as 15 sprint cars signed in to compete. A couple of new faces joined the field of sprinters as Josh Fox of State College was making his first appearance with the LHSS, he has competed before with the Mid-Atlantic Sprint Series as well as the Pa Sprint Series, also on hand was Landisburg veteran Scott Ellerman making his first start with Laurel Highlands in 2019 and Mike Murphy, Jr. from Lewistown was making his first start with the LHSS at Clinton County this year, he has competed at Hesston in June, and Jake Frye of Lewisberry was back for another week as well. In heat number one Ian Cumens held off Ken Duke, Jr. to take his first ever heat race victory and he looked strong in the event, turning in an impressive run to finish third was John Walp, Dale Schweikart took the fourth spot with his son Dakota taking the fifth spot, Jeff Weaver was sixth, Josh Fox was seventh and eighth was Tylor Cochran who dropped out of the event on lap 8.


The second 8-lap heat race went to the Jonestown Jet, Scott Lutz who kept a hard charging Jake Frye at bay as the young driver took the second spot, Dylan Proctor came from his sixth starting spot with a fine run to get third place with Scott Ellerman getting the fourth spot, Reed Thompson was fifth, Dave Guss, Jr. was sixth, and Mike Murphy, Jr. was seventh. The statistical results of the heat events saw Ian Cumens have the best lap time with a 13.229 and his best speed was 90.619 mph with an average speed of 88.941 for the event and a margin of victory of 2.243 and in the second heat event Scott Lutz had the best lap time of 13.411 and his best lap speed was 89.389 for an average speed of 44.522 due in part to yellow flags and his margin of victory was 1.567.


For the 25-lap Gary’s Motor Mart IMCA feature the top three heat race finishers redrew for starting positions with John Walp starting on the point and Dylan Proctor on the outside, row two was Ken Duke, Jr. and Ian Cumens made up row two while Scott Ellerman and Jake Frye were in the third row. At the drop of the green the two young drivers battled for the top spot with Proctor taking the lead and Walp second with  Cumens, Duke, Ellerman and Frye in pursuit. As the race went on several of the top starters battled back and forth with cautions slowing the pace. Eventually Ken Duke would work his way around Dylan Proctor to take the point but the Lock Haven driver stayed close as the checker flew the margin of victory 0.971 for the Selinsgrove veteran. An early and disappointing departure on lap one was experienced by Dave Guss, Jr., when he was being push started for the feature he ran over a rock causing a bubble in the floor pan right under the brake pedal, he made a lap and pulled into the infield. Dylan Proctor had the best lap time of the main event with a 13.984 with a speed of 85.727 but the average race speed was only 29.846 due to the yellows. The feature finish is as follows: 1. 67 Ken Duke, Jr., 2. 92 Dylan Proctor, 3. 56 Jake Frye, 4. 8D Scott Ellerman, 5. 33 Scott Lutz, 6. R6 Reed Thompson, 7. 78c Dakota Schweikart, 8. 52 Jeff Weaver, 9. 78 Dale Schweikart, 10. 19 Tylor Cochran, 11. 79 Ian Cumens, 12. 131 Josh Fox, 13. 5 John Walp, 14. 22 Mike Murphy, Jr., 15. 72 Dave Guss, Jr. (DNF).


A thank you to Pa Sprint Series director Rod Ort for coming out at Clinton County to help out with the race activities and also to chief of timing and scoring at CCMS, Kelly McCahan for providing all the race finishes and statistics. Laurel Highlands will return to CCMS on Friday August 9th.