Minersville’s Brandon Firestine started his birthday weekend off in a big way with his second career 270 Micro Sprint win at Linda’s Speedway on Friday. Twin 600 Micro Sprint features were run. Each was 15 laps in distance and both presented first time winners. Hagerstown, Maryland’s Kameron Morral and Wells Tannery native Garrett Bard took victories. Lebanon’s Brett Spitler was the victor in a close Slingshot event. It was the first of his career. Justin Harrington of Manheim was the night's only repeat winner.
It was a great way to start a birthday weekend for Brandon Firestone. Firestine took the lead of Friday's 270 micro sprint feature at the drop of the green flag and led all 25 Laps on his way to a second career Linda's Speedway win. Firestine will celebrate his 21st birthday on Tuesday. Lyle Strohman looked to be a worthy adversary from the front row of the feature event. Strohman ran second for much of the race before getting passed by Kyle Weiss. Weiss was able to catch Firestine but unable to pass him for the lead. Coming to the Checkered Flag Firestine saw what no driver wants to see and that was a yellow flag. Firestine held on through the one-lap shootout while chaos ensued behind him for the second position. Mike Rutherford, who started 19th, went by both Devin Harron and Kyle Weiss for the runner up spot on the final restart. Harron finished in third with Weiss fourth. Strohman closed out the top five. Dave Williams finished sixth followed by Collin Ginther, Toby Blumenshine, Nick Skias, and Mason Peters. Heat races for the 33 car field went to Billy Logeman, Kyle Weiss, Lyle Strohman, and Devin Harron. The consolation race was won by Nick Skias.
The 600 Micro Sprints tan twin 15 lap feature events on Friday night. In the first twin 15 it was a mid race move by Kameron Morral to sweep around race leader Aaron Bollinger that gave the Hagerstown, Maryland driver his first Linda’s Speedway checkered flag. Bollinger led the race until lap 11 when Morral slide by. Jesse Maurer quickly followed suite into second. Bollinger and Maurer waged a battle for second while Morral pulled away. Maurer ended up grabbing the spot with Bollinger settling for third. Hayden Miller and Steve Whary finished inside the top five as well.
In victory lane after the first feature Morral drew a 12 invert, the highest number possible. That put Kory Merkey and Bj Antonio on the front row. The two tangled on the start and crashed, but the crash only caught up the front row. After the accident it was clear sailing for Garrett Bard as he drove to his first win at Linda’s Speedway. Bard passed Ryan Groff at the green flag and outside of some close calls with lap traffic the race was his to lose. Some late race restarts allowed Morral to work back into the thick of things from 12th, but he couldn’t challenge Bard before the race came to an end. Bard led Groff and Morral across the line. Dustin Stolzfus and Cory Lawler rounded out the top five finishers.
Heat races for the 600 Micro Sprints were won by Steve Whary, Hayden Miller, and Garrett Bard.
Justin Harrington used a lap three slide job to go by Chase Gutshall in the race for the win in the Gutshall’s Automotive 125 Micro Sprint feature event. Once out front Harrington never looked back, even holding on to the top spot through a lap 16 restart with Gutshall right on his tail. The win is Harrington’s second of the season. Gutshall finished in second with Zach Hollinger, Scott Renninger, and Austin Graby rounding out the top five finishers. Kalani Adams, Ron Wechter, Kyler Heiney, Levi Vail, and Ron Zimmerman were the top ten finishers with the heat race win going to Zach Hollinger.
Jason Dunkleberger got the luck of the draw and started from the front row. He had that luck last week as well, but that's where his luck ran out when he got a flat tire and never got to finish the feature event. This week he had redemption on his mind. Dunkleberger led all 20 laps on his way to the win. He also received an extra cash bonus from the Race Chaser’s Facebook page for being the highest racer across the finish line all night with that sticker. Mike Burrows worked his way by Mark Sensenig for second on lap 12 and stayed there until the checkered flag. Sensenig finished in third. Richie Hitzler and Tyler Brehm rounded out the top five finishers. Dylan Mccrone, Josh Bewley, Scott Heilman, Jeromy Guistwite, and Scott Gesford finished out the top ten. Modified heat races wins were grabbed by Mark Sensenig and Richie Hitzler.
Brett Spitler started racing with his dad a few years ago in the Slingshot division. Spitler has struggled with bad luck over the last few seasons, but Friday night he was able to turn it around. He said that his dad told him before the race that it was his race and it certainly was. Spitler held off Mike Glass, who is second on the slingshot when list at Linda's Speedway, for the win. A mid-race double-file restart that was called back for a yellow flag helped Spitler after Glass had passed him for the race lead. Given the second chance Spitler held on for the remaining laps and took his first win. Glass was second followed by Sam Scicchitano, Dawson Landis, and Alex Yankowski. Jack Lewis finished sixth just in front of Scott Gray, Aiden Svanda, and Chuck Whary. Slingshot heat wins were credited to Amber Britto and Brett Spitler.
May 27th is the return of the Jonestown Throwdown for the Chargers. Rather than Running heat races the Chargers will compete in a match race format to set the starting line up for their future event. Joining the Chargers next Friday night will be the 270 micro sprints, Winged 600 micro sprints, and the Modifieds. Gates open at 5:30 with hot laps starting at 7 and racing to follow. Check Lindasspeedway.com, Facebook, or Twitter for more information on our upcoming events.