Lemley & Ryan Rule Clay Cup
DEMING, Wash. — With the largest crowd in the history of the 30th annual Clay Cup Nationals in attendance, Brock Lemley, Liam Ryan and Jesse Schlotfeldt were crowned as champions Saturday at Deming Speedway.
With $7,500 on the line, Brock Lemley slammed the door shut on a potential Liam Ryan sweep of the weekend in the 600 Open class. Jared Peterson led the first lap with Ryan in tow on the bottom of the raceway. The two went wing to wing and wheel to wheel around the track with Ryan taking the point on lap two. Peterson looked to have the lead back off turn four on lap three, but a caution came out before the lap completed, reverting the lineup back to a Ryan lead.
From there, Liam held point for a long while, with Peterson and Heath Duinkerken hot on his tail until a lap 15 red for Hayden Schmidt. The subsequent restart saw Kyle Mitchell spin, ending his evening and rebunching the field for another restart. On the next green, Peterson and Duinkerken collided, resulting in Peterson flipping an ending his night. Ryan would restart with Duinkerken now in tow, as the two got out for a long green flag stretch that saw Ryan add a nice pad to his advantage before he entered traffic. With traffic looming, Lemley, who started ninth, worked his way around Duinkerken and set sail for Ryan. Ryan was struggling with the slower cars, unable to race around them as the bulk of them sat low in the turns. Lemley shortened the distance lap by lap, catching Ryan at the lap-36 mark.
Brock managed to keep his momentum up around the high groove, finding enough moisture and wing speed to rocket the car around Liam and securing the lead on the completion of the 38th lap. Ryan moved up raceway, chasing Brock on the high side, but Lemley did not flinch over the final two circuits on his way to the $7,500 win. Ryan jumped the cushion in turn three coming to the checkered flag, flipping hard and ending his night. Duinkerken, the 2012 600 Clay Cup champion, raced home to second and Spud Allen collected his first 600 podium at Clay Cup by coming home third.
Ryan gave himself a shot to win both divisions on the same night with a win in the Shots 2 Go Espresso 1200 division. Lemley, also doing double duty over the weekend, rolled out to the early lead with Ryan hot on his tail. Brock led the first 13 laps, working his car both high and low and Ryan matching him as they looked for the fastest line around the track. Ryan grabbed the lead off the bottom on lap 14, but only held it for one lap as Lemley battled back up high to retake the lead on 15. Lemley held serve through lap 20 when he spun the tires too much off turn four coming to finish lap 21, turning the car around while Ryan raced by on the bottom. An inadvertent yellow bunched the field up, and with clean air in front of him, Ryan was off to the races, building a lead that would prove to be insurmountable. For Liam, it was second straight win in the 1200 division at Clay Cup. Brock ended up second and Jared Gundersen scored a career best third.
Jesse Schlotfeldt picked up the biggest win of his 10 year old life as he won the first ever 600 Restricted Clay Cup A Main. Schlotfeldt, who moved into the restricted class after a season where he won 17 mains in the Kasey Kahne Junior Sprint class, won for the first time in the division by leading all 30 laps of the main event with little to no challenge. He also won the match race. Tristin Thomas was second and Dylan Resch ran third.